By Johnie Edwards
The phrase, “Be Not” is two words designed to teach us some valuable spiritual lessons. Please look at these “be not’s”:
1. Be Not Conformed To This World. The apostle Paul sets the stage for our study when he said, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2). The trend, even among a lot of members of the church of Christ, is to be like the world. This worldly attitude has done much to retard the spiritual growth of the Lord’s church in a lot of God. We must not let our places. We are admonished opinions override what the by John, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). To go where the world goes, do what the world does, drink what the world drinks, dress like the world dresses, talk like the world talks, act like the world acts is but to make one conform to the world.
2. Be Not Unwise. The Lord divides folks into two groups, the wise and the foolish. Paul admonished the Ephesians, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17). We are taught to study that we might understand God’s will to us. By the way, the will of God can be understood! “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4). Remember the “foolish virgins” of Matthew 25? They were a people who failed to make adequate preparation to meet God. Do you consider yourself wise or foolish?
3. Be Not Drunk. The Bible condemns both drinking and drunkenness. The wise man said, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Prov. 20:1) The Holy Spirit wrote, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but ye filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Even drinking parties are condemned in the New Testament. Peter refers to “. . . banquetings” in 1 Peter 4:3. “Banquetings” were nothing but drinking parties. Is social drinking a sin? Absolutely!
4. Be Not Wise In Your Own Conceits. The Roman Christians were admonished to, “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits” (Rom. 12:16). No one Christian is superior to another Christian in the sight of God. We must not let our opinions override what the Scriptures have to say. We must learn, as Paul said, “. . . to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Rom. 12:3). Some try to be wiser than God himself, yet the Lord said, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Gal. 6:3). We must not let our “. . . faith stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:5).
5. Be Not Many Masters. Every teacher needs to read and re-read this passage, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (Jas. 3: I). The word “master” in this passage refers to Bible teachers. Every teacher needs to know that he will give account for every word he teaches. Yet, some teachers run into a class room without studying, being only half prepared to teach. The future of our boys and girls is in the hands of our Bible teachers. Bible teachers need to be like Ezra in Ezra 7:10.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 16 p. 1
August 21, 1997