“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
Are you opposing yourself? One certainly would not do so on purpose, but the truth is that many people today are opposing themselves without even realizing it. How does this happen? It happens when we are ensnared or taken captive by our adversary. In other words, when we sin.
Sin, of course, is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). We sin when we give in to selfish desires (James 1:13-15). The snare of the devil is three-fold: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17; Genesis 3:1-6).
Those who set a snare do not make such apparent. They camouflage it. They make it look safe and appealing for their intended prey. A fisherman, for example, does not just cast a shiny metal hook into the water and hope that a fish decides it looks tasty. He or she disguises the hook with bait or some kind of lure. So it is with Satan. He presents us with things that look innocent and appealing (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Sin, however, when it is finished, brings forth death (James 1:15; Romans 6:23). Spiritual death, that is. A separation from God. A severance of our relationship with Him (Isaiah 59:1-2). When one is in such a condition, they are destined for eternal separation from God; an eternity in hell fire (Revelation 21:8).
People lie to get ahead or avoid getting into trouble. They consider their career and the “almighty dollar” as of greater value than time with their spouse and/or children. People get drunk and have sex because it feels good and lets them blend in with their peers or forget about their problems. People render evil for evil because it gives them a sense of satisfaction. You see, people do all manner of things that seem right and good to them, but if God says such things are sinful, what they feel is good is actually bad! What seems to be beneficial is actually detrimental. They are opposing themselves by jeopardizing their soul’s eternal destiny (Mark 8:36-37).
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
“Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird; But they [sinners – vs. 10] lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives.” (Proverbs 1:17-18)
Jesus said that whoever commits sin is a slave of sin (John 8:24), but we do not have to remain in such a lost condition (Romans 3:23). Because of Christ’s sacrifice, you and I can escape sin’s penalty. His death satisfies our debt (Isaiah 53:11; 1 Peter 2:24). When we obey Christ’s instructions by believing in Him, confessing Him, repenting of our past life of opposition to self and God, and being baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, we can break free and have hope of eternal life (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:36-38; Romans 10:10; Hebrews 5:9)!
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Romans 6:3-6)
Are you opposing yourself? It is a question we all must answer. It is a condition that only Jesus can remedy (John 14:6).