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A THREEFOLD CORD
By Ken Blue
“A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ec 4:12. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1Jo 2:16.
The “cord” is used several ways in Scripture; some are positive, some are negative. A threefold cord consists of three smaller cords braided together to make a strong rope. Obviously, it would have three times the holding power of a single cord.
John says all the sins of the world are classified in three categories; they are the flesh, the eye and pride. Any one of these cords is strong enough to subdue the strongest of men, but when a man is bound by all three, only God’s power can release him.
The lust of the flesh: The word “lust” speaks of desire, or the object of desire. It is anything which pampers the appetites, or indulgence animal tendencies. Our culture lives for this, and it is the lowest form of worldly indulgence. It includes comforts, food, sex, alcohol, drugs and a host of other addictions. This cord has most of the world in bondage.
The lust of the eye: Not everything pleasant to the eye is sin. God has made the eye with the ability to appreciate the beautiful. God made trees that were “pleasant to the sight”. The cord here is that which is intended to gratify the sight only. Examples of this are costly clothing, jewels, elegant furniture, impressive palaces, etc. Peter speaks of those having eyes full of adultery. Sadly, most women and young girls dress with the intent to have men lust after them. Many of the great men in the Bible were shamed or destroyed through the lust of the eyes. No wonder Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would have no sin.”
The pride of life: The meaning has to do with boasting of one’s talents, accomplishments, appearance and ambitions. Pride can manifest itself in many ways, it is impossible to list all of them. The one thing that keeps the lost man from salvation is his pride. Pride can be laid at the feet of most arguments, divorces and wars. God hates a proud look; no doubt because we have nothing to be proud of. It was this sin that caused the fall of Satan. Pride always precedes a fall; yours and mine.
Any one of these cords is more than enough to bind men and women and send them to hell. However, the three combined create an impossible situation. The only hope of release is to humble yourself and turn to Jesus Christ as your only hope. He came to set the captives free! A threefold cord is not easily broken; but He can break it!