Summary: In this Internet savvy generation the term “firewall” is not only common vernacular but also an essential component for the proper functioning of your personal computer. To ignore a firewall’s value, is to put yourself at risk of losing all that is dear

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In this Internet savvy generation the term “firewall” is not only common vernacular but also an essential component for the proper functioning of your personal computer. To ignore a firewall’s value, is to put yourself at risk of losing all that is dear to you on your hard drive. Literally, hours and hours and mounds and mounds of important information and data can be lost if you fail to maintain an adequate firewall as part of your standard equipment. To keep your head in the sand will not help you if a virus attacks your system. It cares little about your knowledge base, your good intentions, your busy schedule or the value of what is at risk of being lost. Therefore, ignorance and being too busy is no excuse against it and of no help if you are attacked.

A firewall is usually defined as a system that enforces an access control policy between two networks. I wonder dear Christian are you applying your own access control policy between you and the network system of the world today? The actual means by which a firewall accomplishes control varies widely, but in principle, the firewall can be thought of as “gatekeeper” who on one hand exists to block unwelcome traffic while on the other hand allowing traffic deemed acceptable to enter your network. The most important thing to recognize about a firewall is that it implements an access control policy. However, if you don’t have a good idea of what kind of access you want to allow or to deny, a firewall really won’t help you no matter how effective it may be. You see, the Internet, like the spiritual realm, is plagued with those who enjoy the electronic equivalent of the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy everything dear to you.

However, when a firewall is used properly, it keeps unwelcome thieves out of your network while still letting you get your work done. In a sense, your personal firewall can act as your corporate ``ambassador’’ to the Internet.

Some two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John had the same principle of a protective firewall in mind when it comes to discerning truth and proper spiritual growth. The Gentiles in Apostles’ day, like the unsaved today, were walking in the futility of their minds by having their understanding darkened. The sin infected Gentiles had a virus that excluded them from the life of God because of their ignorance and the hardness of their heart. In their busy after the world attitude, they became slaves to sin. They had become callous and given over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. Need you look beyond your local TV station to see this is true today? But the Apostles proclaimed the Christian’s way of life is to be different. The Apostle Paul told the Christians at Ephesus: “But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,” (Ephesians 4:20-21)

Your life as a Christian is to be different from those in bondage to the world. Paul is saying you must burying your old, dead selves to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). It is a dramatic spiritual change that may bring a time of difficult adjustment. Ingrained habits and attitudes may hang on like withered leaves in autumn. But to overcome sin, you must remember that it is no longer your master (Romans 6:1), and you are to refuse to let it reign in your lives (Romans 6:12). Instead, Paul says you are to offer yourselves to God as “alive from the dead” (Romans 6:13). As you take these steps of faith, you will learn to see Jesus more clearly.

But what did Paul mean by the phrase, “…just as truth (or in accordance with the truth that) is in Jesus? I believe Paul is answering the question, “How do I know what is being spoken is true? After all, the Apostle John says there are many antichrists in the world. So, how do you know what is the truth? Paul says to the churches at Ephesus, it starts for the Christian by learning Christ – not learning about Christ but learning Christ – there is a significant difference. This learning Christ starts by burying the old life and hearing Christ speak through His Holy Word and The Holy Spirit. Then, upon hearing Him, you must willingly obeying Him. An example of this type of hearing is given to you in Acts 16:14 where the same Greek word is used for “hearing”: “A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” The formula hasn’t changed. As the song says, “Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”

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