2Timothy 2:25b-26 ESV God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
In my previous post, I mentioned the word snare and in my personal reading today I came across another verse that happened to include the same word.
This verse is interesting because it brings to our attention the blessed fact that it is God who releases us from the snares we are captured in. A simple, yet vitally important truth. A truth that reminds us of the need to pray, for others as well as for ourselves.
This truth led to a bucket of confusion for me, however! I was instructed, from books and from fellow believers I knew, that to try too hard in my struggle against sin was, in fact, a work of the flesh. I knew enough to know that anything done in the flesh was of no use to God, and of no use in my struggle. So I took the advice, and tried to yield to the Spirit and allow him to work.
I should have kept reading… and comparing Scripture to Scripture. Jc Ryle said, “Others are so afraid of ” works” being made part of justification, that they can hardly find any place at all for “works” in their religion.”
Verses stating our personal responsibility in sanctification abound in Scripture. Of course, any “good” a Christian ever does is based solely on the Work of Christ on their behalf and through the empowering of the Holy Spirit. We pray for God’s gift of repentance, and we act on what he reveals.
Galatians 5:24 ESV And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Colossians 3:5 ESV Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Hebrews 12:1 ESV Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Philippians 2:12 ESV Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Clearly these are commands, not just things we are to pray about and wait for God to zap us! My prayer is that we would do some self-refection and self-confrontation, without the snare of fear we are being self-righteous, and commit ourselves to new obedience to Christ. After all, he is not just our Lord in name only.