17 This [touto] I say [lego] therefore, [oun] and [kai] testify [marturomai] in [en] the Lord, [kurios] that ye [humas] henceforth [meketi] walk [peripateo] not [meketi] as [kathos][kai] other [loipoy] Gentiles [ethnos] walk, [peripateo] in [en] the vanity [mataiotes] of their [autos] mind, [nous] KJV-Interlinear
17 This I
say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just
as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, NASB
This, or better put, because of this. And what is this, in reference to?
Paul has brought to our attention, and to all believers who happen to read these verses, the extreme importance of all that God has done for us, of the extreme opportunities that God has made available to each individual believer, of the nature and vastness of this universe and history and the overall connections between everything that has ever been created, all of which are pointed toward our individual eternal future and collective futures.
These things are all so important, but nearly everyone ignores or does not take them seriously. Far too many other things in life are more important, things that have virtually no meaning whatsoever. But most folks elevate the little things to a greater height in their priorities, than their obligations to God and their own spiritual lives.
And that brings us to the gentile remark.
The Bible symbolically classifies all people into two categories. The terms Gentile and Jews are generally used to distinguish those folks that are unbelievers, gentiles, from those folks that are believers, Jews. These are symbolic terms only which refer to unbelievers and believers. This does not mean that all Jews are believers, nor that all gentiles are all unbelievers.
The term Jew or Israelite were used to designate the children of family of God.
The term gentile was used to designate all outsiders, strangers, non-family of God people, aliens, foreigners and other synonymous terms.
Today, all believers are referred to as the Church, or Royal Family, or Bride of Christ. The terms for gentile and Jew have been dropped just as their genetic distinction has been dropped, and are irrelevant as to who is or who is not Gods family. You are either a believer or an unbeliever. Your race or culture or color or whatever are all irrelevant. Your faith in Christ is the single relevant factor for salvation.
Unbelievers possess no spiritual life. They are not saved. They possess no spiritual truth. They are not saved. Their opinions, their wisdom, their beliefs, their ideas and so forth are all from the world and therefore are empty, carrying no substance or value whatsoever.
So, Paul gives us all fair warning. Given that God has created such a huge and complicated and integrated history and destiny for every believer, then you should look to those things of phenomenal value, rather than those empty things that unbelievers look to.
Their walk is their daily life, their daily thoughts, their daily attitude, their daily beliefs, their daily pursuits, their daily desires and goals and so forth. All of which are empty, void, vanity.
So, if you have as a possession for your very own self, a vast mountain of gold, why then would you spend all of your daily thoughts and energy on a little pile of nothing?
But that is what most folks actually do. They fight over money or things or their desires or lusts or status, or how others perceive them, or their boasting or self-promotion in the eyes of people, or whatever it is that they claim as their own in this life. Those things are more important to them than their God given gifts from God.
And so Paul exhorts us all, calls us all to this important principle. Do not make the doggie doo-doo of this world, into something more important that the golden gifts of God.
Table of Contents
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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