Are You Innocent In Evil?
Although living a Christian life has many challenges, the concept of living for Christ is not difficult to understand. For instance, Paul told the Roman Christians, “For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil” (Romans 16:19). So, in encouraging these people to live for the Lord he wanted them to be wise in what is good and simple (innocent) concerning evil. That’s simple to understand. Yet, sometimes we treat this simple concept as if it is difficult.
1) God wants you to be holy – because He is holy. God does not want you to have any amount of evil in your life. He has saved you from your past sins and wants you to live your life for Him. He wants you to appreciate the sacrifice He has made to save you from sin – not to go back into the ways of sin! Just as He is separate from everything that is evil, God wants you to be innocent regarding everything evil and devoted to everything that is good – no exceptions.
1 Peter 1:13-16 says, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”
2) The desires of your flesh fight against your will to do what is right. Refusing to live for anything that is evil is not a difficult concept. Those who are Christians should recognize that it is a reasonable expectation God has for them. Yet, those who are Christians often find themselves compromising their holiness in order to please their own fleshly desires. They often make excuses for things that are evil to make them seem not so bad. This is because the flesh fights against the ways of God.
Galatians 5:16-17 says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Then, Galatians 5:24-25 says, “And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
3) You will not be innocent of evil if you don’t use God’s word as the standard in everything. One of the ways Christians can begin to compromise in areas God considers to be evil is to not acknowledge His standard for right and wrong. Although Christians know that God’s word is the standard, sometimes they do not act like it is. They talk about whether they “feel” something is right or wrong. They talk of whether they “believe” something is right or wrong. But, God’s word just does not work like that. Whenever God identifies something as right or wrong, there is no question left for us to settle except whether or not we will be obedient to it.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” If God’s word does not authorize something as being right, our feelings, beliefs, opinions, etc. do not matter. No matter how we might like to excuse or justify something, God’s word is the criteria for establishing what is right and what is wrong. Period.
So, honestly evaluate yourself. Are you innocent in evil? Is there any amount of evil in any of the things you are engaged in? If so, why are you allowing yourself to be involved in them? Determine that you will be wise concerning good and only practice the things God says are right!