WHAT WORKS ITSELF OUT
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” Romans 3:13
Paul spends much of Romans describing how men turn away from God, how they reject God’s presence in the revelation of nature. He’s plentiful with his own descriptive language but in this particular scripture, he uses this opportunity to reach back into the Psalms to quote three difference passages. He does not explain what causes men to go astray, he uses Old Testament quotes to paint a picture of how men act when they go astray.
Any man or woman who rejects God creates an inward reality that eventually works its way out. Heart breeds behavior. Thoughts breed speech. If anyone spurns Christ, how will anything they do or say resemble the Christ they have spurned? How will an unbeliever talk like Christ, bless others as Christ would bless them? It won’t happen.
Instead, their inner life will be fraught with deception. What are curses? Untrue statements. Out of the graveyard of the unbeliever’s dead heart comes false statements about most everything. They do not provide sound advice when we lean on them. The feedback they give is self-generated wisdom, skewed by the world and their own soulish experiences. I’m not saying that nothing good is inside, nothing noteworthy, but they are certainly unpredictable friends, spouses, parents and business partners. Rely on them for some kind of stability and there will be frustration.
Without the Spirit inside, any of us are on a downward spiral. We accumulate opinions, judgments, and biases that are not of the kingdom and we are usually generous with our opinions, unaware that what proceeds out of the heart of an unbelieving man or woman is utter foolishness, leading others into harm’s way.
I just turn on the TV to watch the slick orators of our political houses of Congress and I see these scriptures come alive. Oh God, fill Your church with Your Spirit, with the Word, so that we may be sound and true. Amen