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By Curtis Pugh

Both natural enemies and spiritual enemies walk among men. We easily recognize our natural enemies. On the other hand, spiritual enemies often parade themselves as our friends. They are most often nice people outwardly and may be quite sincere in their words. In speaking of his enemies the Psalmist wrote: “For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue,” (Psalm 5:9).

Flattery! When pretended friends compliment and praise you to your face in order to gain your trust. Once having your trust they may try to use you by feeding you lies. These are deceivers. Such deceivers are to be found in all parts of our society: politics, business, schools, etc., and yes, even churches – especially religion! Paul foretold of the increase of religious deceivers after his death. He wrote, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them,” (Acts 20:29-30).

When Paul was alive he constantly warned his hearers and readers of the dangers of such deceivers. He used plain words in doing so. Some people were upset at what he said and wrote. They concluded that Paul was wrong in speaking to them in such a manner. His answer should serve as a guide to us today. He asked them this question: “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16).

Who is your true friend? Are those who tell you how good you are really your friends? Are those who tell you that you can do this or that and get in good with God by your works your friends? Are those who tell you that you have the ability to please God in your own strength by “making a decision for Jesus” or by “exercising your own faith in Christ,” or by “praying the sinner's prayer,” etc. - are these your true friends?

Or is the best friend the person who will speak the truth to you. Is he not your friend who points you to these words: “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God,” (Romans 8:8). Your pretended friends may try to tell you that you can please God by keeping the Old Testament Law. Your true friend will show you that you are not under the Law: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster,” (Galatians 3:24-25).

Your true friend will tell you the truth of Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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