05/04

Shared Convictions

“Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.”
I Corinthians 15:33 NIV

When referring to your close friendships, the Bible makes it very clear that your inner circle, those that you closely fellowship with, should be people who share your convictions for a holy lifestyle. Obviously, they aren’t going to be perfect and neither will you be, but your lives are surrendered to Christ, yielded to what is right and pure. Of course, there is forgiveness and grace as you share a common passion to serve Him.

In I Corinthians 5:10 the Apostle Paul makes it clear that he is not saying to disassociate from people in the world. People who are not saved are ruled by a sinful nature. We understand that they have not yet surrendered their hearts to the Lord. We are still to associate with them, hopefully bringing them the light of salvation, but we are also to guard with whom we have close fellowship with. Paul said that we are to disassociate with Christians who know the truth, yet they are choosing to live a sinful lifestyle. In I Corinthians 5:13 Paul says, “Put away from yourselves the evil person.”

In I Corinthians 15:33, the Apostle Paul warns us not to be misled about our friendships. It is possible to be deceived or tricked by the enemy into having fellowship with people who are compromised. They might be people we like, people that we get along with, or people that are convenient. We may enjoy their company, but if their morals are bent on what is sinful, they will affect our character in the long run.

Romans 8:7 says, “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” Through salvation our spirit was suddenly made new, but our minds and are bodies were not. We refer to what has not been saved as being flesh. The word carnal means fleshly, referring to being ruled by sin. The word enmity means hostile, contrary, or opposed. If we are in fellowship with a Christian who is ruled by their flesh, they are in opposition to God. They are positioning themselves as being contrary to God. We don’t want that for ourselves. Choose friends that choose God.

Application: Our close friends should share our passions, one of which should be the presence of the Lord and His holiness. When we share that passion, we encourage one another in our life-giving relationship with God. Make sure your inner circle is not carnal, but holy.

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