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Theology and Philosophy => Christian Theology => Topic started by: Olde Tymer on January 17, 2019, 10:25:52 pm

Title: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 17, 2019, 10:25:52 pm
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There's been times during my 20+ years of internet forum activity when I've encountered people wanting to know what they're supposed to do now that they decided to become a Christian.

A mega Baptist church that I attended back in the decade of the 1970's had a discipleship program that incorporated an outreach booklet called "The Four Spiritual Laws", authored in 1952 by Campus Crusade for Christ founder Dr. Bill Bright.

Those guidelines are helpful as far as they go, but they're pretty elementary and in my opinion inadequate for taking Christ's believing followers to infinity and beyond, so to speak.

Some years ago, just for the fun of it, I set out compiling a home-spun catalogue of Christ's instructions from the new Testament that apply to all his followers regardless of denominational affiliation. In time I realized that his instructions, accompanied by a little commentary, would make a pretty good devotional.

I chose to start in the book of Acts because that's pretty much where Christ's apostles began telling his believing followers what to do in accord with the Lord's instructions as per Matt 28:19-20.

Should someone prefer a better quality devotional than mine; there's a very popular one available online and in print called "Our Daily Bread" that's been around for a long time. It's not only instructional; but also quite entertaining, and it's available in children's versions too.

Buen Camino
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 17, 2019, 10:28:32 pm
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Acts 15:20a . . Abstain from food tainted by idols,

Here's the text of a common Christian prayer.

"Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ, Our Lord. Amen."

That prayer credits the providence of God for the nourishment on the table. Well; in the old Roman world, they sometimes credited the providence of a pagan deity for their nourishment. According to 1Cor 10:25-31; this is one of those don't ask situations; we'll get to that.

Acts 15:20b . . Abstain from promiscuity

Promiscuity typically refers to things like adultery, incest, shacking up, one night stands, sleeping around, etc.

Acts 15:20c . . Abstain from the meat of strangled animals.

Strangulation is a slow, inhumane way to die. If you know that the meat you're being served came from an animal that was choked to death, consider it food fit only for barbarians. We want nothing to do with animal abuse.

Acts 15:20d . . Abstain from blood

In other words: Christ's followers are forbidden to use blood as a nourishing beverage.

There are cultures that poke holes in cows' necks in order to drink blood straight out of the living animal utilizing its own blood pressure like a tap to fill their cups; a rather ghastly thirst that might be okay for Edward Cullen's family but certainly not for us.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 19, 2019, 04:49:23 pm
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Rom 6:11 . . Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

"dead to sin" in this case doesn't mean Christ's sheep can't, won't, and/or don't sin (cf. 1John 1:8-10). It means that sin can no longer give God cause to slam them with the sum of all fears.

Rom 5:12-21 explains, in so many words; that Christ's believing followers are accounted as having gone to the cross with him similar to accounting them as having tasted the forbidden fruit with Adam. This principle is at the very core of Christianity's plan of salvation so it's important to get it.

In a nutshell: When Jesus went to the cross; he died for the sins of the world from first to last. That being the case, then when his believing followers went to the cross with him, they died for their sins from first to last. As a result: when the books are opened as per Rev 20:11-15, there will be nothing on record with which to charge them.


FYI: Rom 6:11 is an order, and Christ's believing followers are expected to obey it.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 21, 2019, 12:56:38 pm
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Rom 6:12-13 . . Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.

If I'm understanding John 5:24-25 correctly; Jesus spoke of a non-physical resurrection that his believing followers undergo in this life-- now --before they pass on.

It's a pretty good resurrection too because it doesn't rejuvenate ordinary life, rather; it's a step up to eternal life-- a superior kind of life that brings with it not only immortality, but also a change from human nature to divine nature. (2Pet 1:4)

Anyway, the point is: Christ's non-physically resurrected followers really should make an effort to walk as insiders who live in heaven rather than outsiders on their way to the other place. Political theorists like Niccolň Machiavelli would not recommend Christ's way of life of course because in this world, situation ethics are better; viz: the end justifies the means so long as the end, no matter how obtained, benefits the so-called greater good.

Well; to my knowledge, Machiavellian thinking doesn't fly in heaven so it's best for those "brought from death to life" to avoid it.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 22, 2019, 08:03:27 pm
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Rom 12:1 . . Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

The Greek word for "sacrifice" technically refers to a victim; but it's not always applied that way. For example speaking well of God, doing good, and sharing are legitimate sacrifices. (Heb 13:15-16)

The sacrifice required by Rom 12:1 is a living sacrifice rather than deceased so Christ's followers don't have to martyr themselves in order to fulfill it; but their bodies do have to be holy in order to be accepted; which means avoiding things that defile their bodies like indecency, promiscuity, adultery, and LGBT stuff.

The Bible calls those avoidances "reasonable". In other words: Is it asking too much of Christ's followers to keep themselves pure?
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 23, 2019, 07:03:27 pm
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Rom 12:2 . . 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.

Christianity, when taken seriously, can't help but radically change the way, the what, and the how we think about things in this life and in the next.

Personal Bible reading is a good place to begin with Rom 12:2; however, the will of God isn't meant to be self-taught; it's meant to be instructed by teachers empowered by God for that specific purpose. (Rom 12:4-8, 1Cor 12:1-30)

"Are all teachers?" (1Cor 12:29)

No, not all are teachers; which of course precludes self-teaching. Only some are teachers and the rest of Christ's believing followers are supposed to be students.

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith" (Eph 4:11-13)

According to that passage, the goal of gifted teaching is unity. Well, when Christians come together with differing perspectives-- debating and engaging in perpetual bull sessions that never get to the bottom of anything --we're in danger of becoming divided and taking sides as intolerant bigots instead of unified. Like it's said: Too many cooks spoil the soup.

Sermons and Sunday school classes are Christianity's traditional sources of teaching. But there's radio programs too, e.g. Thru The Bible with Dr. J.Vernon McGee. These days with radio, television, and the internet; gifted teaching is wide-spread and readily available.

In centuries gone past, it was necessary to go where the teachers were in order to hear them speak. Nowadays, they come to speak right where we are by means of electronic gadgetry.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 24, 2019, 08:28:27 pm
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Rom 12:3 . . I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

"soberly" is from the Greek word sophroneo (so-fron-eh'-o) which means to be of sound mind, i.e. sane, sensible.

A popular saying going around is this: "You can be anything". No, you can't be anything, and it's unreasonable to think otherwise. Know your limits and stay within them; don't be setting impossible goals for yourself; especially in matters of faith and practice.

"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

. . . If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." (Rom 12:4-8)

Some church managers have a really bad habit of recruiting people to teach Sunday school who don't have a gift for it in accordance with Rom 12:3-8, 1Cor 12:1-30, and Eph 4:7-12. Well; if teaching is not your spiritual specialty; then the sensible thing to do is turn them down. Stay within your limits like Rom 12:3 says, and don't let those managers pressure you into submission by making you feel guilty for refusing. Nobody gains points with Christ by going off-reservation.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 27, 2019, 09:32:39 pm
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Rom 12:6 . . If God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you.

The koiné Greek word for "prophesy" in that verse is from propheteia (prof ay-ti'-ah) which encompasses predictions. Predicting was common in the early church; for example Agabus at Acts 11:27-28 and Acts 21:10-11.

Hunches don't count as God speaking through you. You have to really know it. Don't ask me how to really know it because I don't have the gift; nor do I want it. There was quite a bit more acceptance of paranormal activity back in Paul's day; but in our day, prophecy mongers are written off as kooks.


NOTE: One of my dad's favorite ways to annoy mom was to ask her how she didn't know if maybe God was speaking through him. Well, dad didn't know; that's what counts. He didn't "have faith that God is speaking through you" so mom could justifiably ignore him, like she always did anyway.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 28, 2019, 07:56:35 pm
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Rom 12:7a . . If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well.

"serving well" implies serving conscientiously and whole-heartedly rather than half-baked, grudging, and/or hit and miss.

One of my brothers has been a construction foreman for decades and one of his perpetual complaints is that he never knows from one day to the next whether some of the men he hires on jobs will show up. In other words: they aren't reliable-- he can't count on them.

What I'm saying is: if you're thinking about becoming helpful in some way, don't do it unless you're willing to commit to the long haul because people need to know that they can depend on you to stay the course.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 29, 2019, 07:05:40 pm
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Rom 12:7b . . If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching.

I had a Sunday school teacher once who worked as a maintenance man in a public swimming facility. One Saturday he had to work very late repairing some equipment at the pool and had no time to prepare his lesson plan for Sunday morning so he just threw something together. It stunk; and my wife and I got nothing out of it.

In contrast, I once knew a pastor who took all week long to prepare his Sunday morning sermons rather than put it off till Saturday night. Now there was a guy who knew what it means to do a good job of teaching; viz: a conscientious job.


NOTE: Internet forums have given many of Christ's obscure followers a convenient venue for sharing their time-won knowledge and experience with a worldwide audience. For the world's sake, I highly recommend making an effort to compose legible posts; neatly arranged, sensible, and tidy.

Shouting with king-size bold letters, scribbly italics, lack of adequate paragraphing, twitter spelling, unnecessary emogies, horrible grammar, and a confusing mixture of fonts, sizes, and colors, makes for tiresome clutter and annoying forum graffiti that leave a bad impression.

I rather suspect that some people regard forums as a canvas for painting their comments instead of composing them. Well; that might be okay for outsiders, they can be as messy as they want because it doesn't matter. But for those of us who honestly believe ourselves to be representing God's son; it's unacceptable.

"Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." (Phil 1:27)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 30, 2019, 08:34:46 pm
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Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids. Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the time and never once giving them an "atta boy" or a single vote of confidence.

A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing, then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to be honest though because flattery is all the same as treachery.

"Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet." (Prov 29:5)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on January 31, 2019, 05:06:09 pm
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Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

Generously is quite the opposite of sparingly.

Jesus once compared a widow's contributions to those of the wealthy. The small amount she gave counted more than the larger amounts contributed by the wealthy because her donation pretty much cleaned her out; while the wealthy's contributions scarcely made a dent in their prosperity. (Mark 12:41-44)

I don't think Rom 12:8b is commanding Christ's followers to ruin themselves, rather, to avoid being miserly.

“Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man's pockets.”


Scrooge
From: A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens


Ol' Scrooge is known the world over as the king of tightwads. He's an extreme example, to be sure; most people aren't that grasping, but I think quite a few are maybe a bit too frugal.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 01, 2019, 10:07:52 pm
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Rom 12:8c . . If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.

A natural aptitude for church management doesn't count. It has to be God-given; that is: a legitimate Spirit-endowed ability. (cf. Rom 12:3-8, 1Cor 12:4-11, 1Cor 12:27-30)

There are far too many people sitting on church boards merely because they're a success in business. Well; if your church is a commercial enterprise; then maybe you should think about finding another one.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 02, 2019, 09:10:34 pm
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Rom 12:8d . . If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

That would probably correspond to incidents like the one depicted in the parable of the man attacked by road agents in Luke 10:30-36. In that instance, a passerby had the skills and the wherewithal to provide care for a total stranger in need.

Personally, I'm not much at first aid and/or emergency medical services. But what we're getting at here is that should you find yourself in circumstances where you can be of genuine, effective assistance; don't lend a hand grudging. It ought to make Christians happy to be of assistance instead of getting irritated and grumpy about an unexpected inconvenience.

A solo Pacific Crest Trail hiker named Cheryl Strayed, in her book WILD, recounts an evening wherein she was very low on funds and having no luck locating a suitable place in the woods to set up her tent before it got really dark. Cheryl found her way into a fee campground and set up at the extreme end of the facility where she thought no one would mind; but later that night the caretakers came by and, in a not-so-friendly tone, insisted that she either pay the $12 fee or break camp and leave.

The "Christian" thing to do would have been to pay the fee for her instead of forcing a woman to wander out into the pitch black forest all alone at night.


NOTE: The law is the law and rules are rules, that's true but according to Jesus' teachings; there are instances when human need-- e.g. health, safety, and welfare --come first. His hard-hearted, strictly by-the-book religious opponents just couldn't get that through their thick skulls. (cf. Ex 1:15-21)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 03, 2019, 08:55:09 pm
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Rom 12:9a . . Don't just pretend that you love others.

Webster's defines "pretense" as fiction, make-believe, and/or simulation. Ironically, pretense is foundational to ordinary civility and common courtesy. But when it comes to love; Christians should never put on a front. In other words: don't lead someone on to believe you care about them when in reality you don't. That's not only dishonest; it's cruel.

I once asked a rather incompetent Sunday school teacher, in so many words, whether feelings play a role in Christianity. He said that feelings are emotions and therefore insignificant. Well; I have to disagree.

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies" (Col 3:12)

The koiné Greek word for "bowels" in that passage is splagchnon (splangkh'-non) which basically refers to one's intestines; i.e. the tummy; which says to me that bowels of mercies are emotions rather than just good manners.

In other words: real love isn't a non emotional academic concept; it contains things like pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity. Real love is easily mimicked, but not all that easy to feel; especially by people who, by nature, are more monster than human.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on February 04, 2019, 12:18:44 am
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Rom 12:9a . . Don't just pretend that you love others.

Webster's defines "pretense" as fiction, make-believe, and/or simulation. Ironically, pretense is foundational to ordinary civility and common courtesy. But when it comes to love; Christians should never put on a front. In other words: don't lead someone on to believe you care about them when in reality you don't. That's not only dishonest; it's cruel.

I once asked a rather incompetent Sunday school teacher, in so many words, whether feelings play a role in Christianity. He said that feelings are emotions and therefore insignificant. Well; I have to disagree.

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies" (Col 3:12)

The koiné Greek word for "bowels" in that passage is splagchnon (splangkh'-non) which basically refers to one's intestines; i.e. the tummy; which says to me that bowels of mercies are emotions rather than just good manners.

In other words: real love isn't a non emotional academic concept; it contains things like pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity. Real love is easily mimicked, but not all that easy to feel; especially by people who, by nature, are more monster than human.
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Hi Old Timer...You finally put an OPED out that I can agree with.

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 04, 2019, 08:28:00 pm
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Rom 12:9b . . Hate what is evil.

Hating evil is second nature to God-fearing people; or at least it should be.

"You who love The Lord; hate evil." (Ps 97:10)

"In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil." (Job 1:1)

"The fear of The Lord is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I hate." (Prov 8:13)

I think it's fair to say that when somebody hates the same things that God hates, and loves the same things that God loves; the two of them have the makings of a rapport: defined by Webster's as a friendly, harmonious relationship-- especially a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on February 05, 2019, 10:53:47 am
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Rom 12:9b . . Hate what is evil.

Hating evil is second nature to God-fearing people; or at least it should be.

"You who love The Lord; hate evil." (Ps 97:10)

"In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil." (Job 1:1)

"The fear of The Lord is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I hate." (Prov 8:13)

I think it's fair to say that when somebody hates the same things that God hates, and loves the same things that God loves; the two of them have the makings of a rapport: defined by Webster's as a friendly, harmonious relationship-- especially a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy.
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I believe I would call it something else beside a harmonious relationship.

                                                        LOVE

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 05, 2019, 09:39:31 pm
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Rom 12:9c . . Cling to what is good.

The Greek word translated "good" is agathos (ag-ath-os') which refers to good in just about every sense imaginable, e.g. beneficial, fitting, suitable, acceptable, adequate, all right, alright, creditable, decent, fine, useful, commendable, nice, OK (or okay), passable, respectable, satisfactory, serviceable, sufficient, well-- everything from doing good, tasting good, looking good, to sounding good, etc.

Christian CEOs on the boards of multi-national corporations have my sympathy. Good luck complying with Rom 12:9c.

I recently watched a very interesting documentary on NetFlix that analyzed corporations; and they found that corporations, as a personality, typically exhibit all five of the psychopathic behaviors listed below.

• Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.

• Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.

• Reckless disregard for the safety of others.

• Deceit and dissembling; viz: repeated lying, suppressing information, stretching the truth, and conning others for profit.

• Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.

One of corporate America's more shameful management practices is the exploitation of foreign poverty, cheap labor, defenseless employees, minimal safety requirements, and hardly any environmental regulations in order to keep costs down and the bottom lines of quarterly reports up. It's all about profits with corporations; while the human suffering exploited to obtain them is collateral damage, so to speak; and nowhere has that been more prevalent than the manufacture of textiles and garments.

One of corporate America's more shameful management practices is the exploitation of foreign poverty, cheap labor, defenseless employees, minimal safety requirements, and hardly any environmental regulations in order to keep costs down and the bottom lines of quarterly reports up. It's all about profits with corporations; and nowhere has that been more prevalent than the manufacture of textiles and garments.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on February 05, 2019, 10:41:56 pm
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Rom 12:9c . . Cling to what is good.

The Greek word translated "good" is agathos (ag-ath-os') which refers to good in just about every sense imaginable, e.g. beneficial, fitting, suitable, acceptable, adequate, all right, alright, creditable, decent, fine, useful, commendable, nice, OK (or okay), passable, respectable, satisfactory, serviceable, sufficient, well-- everything from doing good, tasting good, looking good, to sounding good, etc.

Christian CEOs on the boards of multi-national corporations have my sympathy. Good luck complying with Rom 12:9c.

I recently watched a very interesting documentary on NetFlix that analyzed corporations; and they found that corporations, as a personality, typically exhibit all five of the psychopathic behaviors listed below.

• Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.

• Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.

• Reckless disregard for the safety of others.

• Deceit and dissembling; viz: repeated lying, suppressing information, stretching the truth, and conning others for profit.

• Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.

One of corporate America's more shameful management practices is the exploitation of foreign poverty, cheap labor, defenseless employees, minimal safety requirements, and hardly any environmental regulations in order to keep costs down and the bottom lines of quarterly reports up. It's all about profits with corporations; while the human suffering exploited to obtain them is collateral damage, so to speak; and nowhere has that been more prevalent than the manufacture of textiles and garments.

One of corporate America's more shameful management practices is the exploitation of foreign poverty, cheap labor, defenseless employees, minimal safety requirements, and hardly any environmental regulations in order to keep costs down and the bottom lines of quarterly reports up. It's all about profits with corporations; and nowhere has that been more prevalent than the manufacture of textiles and garments.
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God will not judge nor will He give salvation to the Corporations. This is part of the problem with churches today. The building as a whole is held responsible for everything instead of the individuals inside.

Blade


Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 06, 2019, 08:28:23 pm
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Rom 12:10a . . Love each other with genuine affection

Real affection is easy to imitate, but not so easy to duplicate. Going through the motions is just not the same as feeling the feelings.

There are people in this world who are affection-challenged. They can't even feel anything for their own children, let alone other people. For them, parenting is a nightmare rather than a dream come true. Their children are a burden rather than a blessing. Children ruin those parents' lives instead of brightening them up and making their lives more worth the living.

When affection-challenged people decide to follow Christ, they're up against it because Christianity is a faith that works by love rather than by law.

Though someone were to comply with every rule that I've listed thus far and yet be affection-challenged, they're as Paul described in his first epistle to the Corinthians as resounding gongs and clanging cymbals. Those are percussion instruments; they don't carry a tune or a melody; they just make noise.

However, affection-challenged people aren't entirely hopeless because Christianity isn't a do-it-yourself religion; it's a supernatural religion.

"If the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit, who lives in you." ( Rom 8:11)

Some might argue that verse is talking about the future. Well; their argument is okay as far as it goes, but doesn't go far enough. It's futile to resurrect a mortal body because it would be still be mortal; i.e. vulnerable to disease, aging, and death. No, the "life" that Rom 8:11 is talking about is a benefit package defined as the fruit of the Spirit; spoken of in Gal 5:19-25. One of the benefits in that package is love.

A heads up to affection-challenged people: The fruit of the Spirit comes with some negative side effects. Though its love will make you a better human being, it will also make you pretty miserable at times too because love gets into your heart and makes you sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic. If you've never felt those kinds of feelings before, then they would be overwhelming were they to come upon you in full power. Fortunately the fruit of the Spirit doesn't come on people all at once; instead, love sort of grows on people a little at a time; sort of like gradually bringing a frog up to the boiling point by starting him out in cold water.

Of course the process is lethal to the frog; but I'm only using the doomed amphibian as an analogy rather than a reality. The fruit of the Spirit is life rather than death. So the fruit gradually brings people up from a cold dead heart to a warm living heart.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 07, 2019, 08:44:56 pm
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Rom 12:10b . . Honor others over yourselves.

Christians infected with narcissistic personality disorder will find that rule difficult, if not impossible, to obey. It's a mental condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, exploitive behavior in relationships, and a lack of empathy.

Narcissistic people are by nature insufferably arrogant, self-absorbed, indifferent, and insensitive. They see nothing wrong with their behavior, nor are they attuned to its impact on others. Were you to confront narcissistic folk with your concerns about their attitude; be prepared for a counterattack because they'll no doubt become indignant and defensive; possibly accusing you of selfishness, jealousy, overreaction, hysteria, and unloving behavior. You see; they're never the problem: you are.

As I was watching a recent series on the National Geographic channel about geniuses; it became readily apparent to me that people in the genius category crave recognition. Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso are two very good examples. Their contributions to art and science were secondary to their ambitions for greatness. I wouldn't say that all geniuses are like that of course, but apparently the desire for greatness is not uncommon among them.

I should think that most alpha achievers would have trouble complying Rom 12:10b too. I mean. why be a winner if not to feel superior to everyone else? The alpha achiever's motto is: It's not enough to succeed: everyone else must fail.

Feelings of value are important to everyone's sense of well being, but the alpha achiever feels only himself to be of any real value; in his mind's eye, those "below" him are of little worth, i.e. expendable and/or a dime a dozen. (cf. Est 6:6, Matt 27:26, Mark 12:38 39, and 3John 1:9)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 08, 2019, 09:59:51 pm
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Rom 12:11a . . Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit

The koiné Greek word for "slothful" is okneros (ok-nay-ros') which, according to its use in Matt 25:26-27, indicates failure to honor one's fiduciary responsibilities.

In other words: when people have put their trust in you, in whatever capacity or circumstance: do not disappoint them, nor (God forbid) make lame excuses for failing to deliver on your commitments.

"fervent in spirit" sort of means on fire-- i.e. highly motivated --which is just the opposite of half-hearted, lukewarm, and/or procrastinating.

A touching example of the kind of reliability I'm talking about is Boaz. He made a promise to Ruth that goes like this:

"And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as The Lord liveth." (Ruth 3:11-13)

That man must've had a reputation in Bethlehem as someone you could believe because here's Naomi's response upon hearing all about Ruth's midnight experience.

"Then Naomi said: Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today." (Ruth 3:18)

And sure enough, Naomi knew what she was talking about: Boaz got right to it just as he promised.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 10, 2019, 12:33:34 pm
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Rom 12:12a . . Be glad for all God is planning for you.

Christians unsure of their afterlife destination cannot, in all honesty and a good conscience, comply with the above. For all they know, God has outer darkness planned for them. That's not something to be glad about.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: comingfrom on February 11, 2019, 03:31:37 am
Thank you Olde Tymer.

When Jesus Christ came He taught God's ways.
The New Testament hadn't been produced yet.
I believe you'll get a lopsided view, if you leave out God's word.

So let us have a look at the ways of Christ,
which Jesus and St Paul were talking about and teaching us.

Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way,
and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.
Exodus 23:20

The Holy Spirit, which Jesus spoke of, shall keep us in the way.
Jesus said...

Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth:
John 16:13

~~~`

They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them:
they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto,
and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
Exodus 32:8

A warning, that many turn out of the way, to go worship molten gods.
Jesus said...

And He said,
Take heed that ye be not deceived:
for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ;
and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
Luke 21:8

for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Matthew 7:13



~~~`

Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you,
that ye may live,
and that it may be well with you,
and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.
Deuteronomy 5:33

God's commandments are His ways.
Jesus said...

And I know that His commandment is life everlasting:
John 12:50

~~~`

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 6:7

We shall teach the commandments when we are in the way.
Jesus said...

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments,
and shall teach men so,
he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:
but whosoever shall do and teach them,
the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:19

Bless Jesus.

Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 11, 2019, 03:55:48 pm
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Rom 12:12b . . Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.

Patience in trouble requires a hang-in-there, tough-it-out attitude; i.e. perseverance, which can be defined as continued effort to do, or achieve, something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

I've heard of people giving up on religion due to adverse circumstances which they felt were undeserving. But life goes on whether one is pious or not.

"Adversity that comes into your life is no different from what others experience." (1Cor 10:13)

"Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward." (Job 5:7)

I guess some people figure that life should be a bed of roses for Christians; but alas, such is not the case.

"To be, or not to be, that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them: to die, to sleep no more; and by a sleep, to say we end the heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished." (Hamlet. Act III, Scene I)

Wishing one's self dead in order to escape troubles doesn't comply with patience; and wishing one's self was never born is futile.

"Why didn't I die at birth as I came from the womb? Why did my mother let me live? Why did she nurse me at her breasts? For if I had died at birth, I would be at peace now, asleep and at rest." (Job 3:11-13)

A Christian buddy of mine died in his mid forties. Sometimes I envy his untimely death because he doesn't have to go through old age like I'm doing. I've had lots of troubles in my lifetime: the sudden passing of my favorite nephew, betrayed by people I thought were BFFs, dumped by girl friends, financial reversal, appendicitis, thyroid failure, total knee replacements, cataract surgery, loss of kidney function, loss of teeth, lay-offs, etc. None of those misfortunes have been as destructive to my peace of mind as the aging process.

Fortunately I'm not demented nor suffering from onset Alzheimer's, but nevertheless, I'm disintegrating, little by little and day by day; and there's no remedy. The aging process is like Arnold Swarzenegger's relentless movie character; the Terminator, of whom it is said: feels neither pain nor pity, nor remorse nor fear; it cannot be reasoned with nor can it be bargained with, and it absolutely will not stop-- ever --until you are dead.

I don't really mind getting old, nor mind dying: what I do mind is falling apart along the way. But others have fallen apart before me, others are falling apart along with me, and others will fall apart after me. My own personal Terminator is nothing new or unusual; so I'm riding it out like people in hurricane zones ride out the storms that come their way year after year. I don't know if anyone ever gets comfortable with the aging process; but at least they can take comfort in knowing we only have to go through it once.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 12, 2019, 09:16:38 pm
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Rom 12:13a . . Share with God's people who are in need.

Hebrews are God's people in accordance with an unconditional covenant that He made with Abraham. (Gen 17:7-8)


NOTE: Nazi Germany was very nearly 99% Christian. Had they all complied with Rom 12:13a, the effects of the Holocaust would've no doubt been greatly reduced.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 13, 2019, 09:13:56 pm
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Rom 12:13b . . Practice hospitality.

Webster's defines hospitable as: (1) given to generous and cordial reception of guests, (2) promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome, (3) offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.

In other words; a hospitable person is civil, courteous, thoughtful, easy on one's nerves, helpful, approachable, accommodating, and relaxing to be with.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 14, 2019, 08:58:10 pm
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Rom 12:14 . . Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

The koiné Greek word for "persecute" is dioko (dee-o'-ko) which means to pursue; i.e. to hound. In other words; a persecuting personality is one whose mission in life is to ruin somebody's day at every opportunity; and they are pretty good at finding ways to do it.

Christians are under orders to remain civil with people deliberately out to get you; and not let them discourage the practice of hospitality. If they want to behave like predators, that's their choice; just be careful you don't choose to react in kind.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 16, 2019, 04:09:38 pm
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Rom 12:15 . .When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow.

A number of factors play a role in the making of an insensitive clod; one of which is defective areas of the brain called amygdalae. In brief, the amygdalae control, to a large extent, our emotions; i.e. our feelings, especially relative to empathy.

Normal amygdalae make it possible to commiserate; which can be roughly defined as feeling sympathy and/or compassion as opposed to just going thru the motions. For example: I heard somewhere that half of us go to funerals to honor folk we couldn't be bothered with when they were alive and then lie through out teeth when we tell the family "I'm sorry for your loss."

Defective amygdalae are usually a genetic problem; i.e. people with them were born that way. So, they are going to have a pretty difficult time of it when it comes to sharing in the happiness and/or the sorrow of others.

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?" (Jer 13:23)

The answer to both those questions is of course NO; like they say: you can't get blood out of a turnip. So then, how is it reasonable to expect empathy-challenged Christians to share the happiness of happy people and/or the sorrows of sad people?

Well; it isn't reasonable, but neither is it hopeless seeing as how a portion of the fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal 5:22). In other words: there's a supernatural remedy for personality disorders. (cf. Ezek 36:26)


BTW: It's surprising the number of Christians that I've encountered, even Sunday school teachers, who honestly believe that feelings have no role whatsoever in the practice of Christianity. As a result, they go about the business of their Christian life as insensitive mannequins: heartless, cold, and metallic; sort of like the Tin Woodsman of the Wizard of Oz-- without a heart, he couldn't feel the passionate emotions he once felt for the love of his life. Without a heart; the poor, pitiful man was barely a sentient being
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 18, 2019, 08:48:29 pm
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Rom 12:16a . . Live in harmony with each other.

It isn't necessary to be in 100% agreement with others on everything in order to comply with that command. But it is necessary to practice courtesy, tolerance, and patience, i.e. make every effort to avoid feuding, one-upmanship, and debating. The opposite of harmony is dissonance, which can be defined as a mingling of sounds that strike the ear harshly, e.g. sour notes.

For some people, every disagreement is an act of war to be won at any cost. That's not harmony, that's hostility. It's far and away better for Christians to be diplomatic than to be right all the time.

"For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder." (2Cor 12:19-20)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 20, 2019, 09:14:28 am
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Rom 12:16b . . Don't be elitist, but willing to associate with people below you.

I'd have to say that those instructions apply only in church where it's understood by Spirit-led Christians that no one in attendance is somehow better than another. (cf. Jas 2:1-4)

Church managers should be given a higher degree of respect than pew warmers because they're in positions of authority; but all in all, church is a congregation of redeemed sinners, and that includes the managers; so we're all equals on that basis. Christ had to undergo just as much suffering, indignity, and death to redeem church managers as he did for everyone else so God forbid that the hierarchy should exhibit a holier-than-thou attitude; viz: a superiority complex. (cf. Matt 23:2-7)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 22, 2019, 08:29:26 pm
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Rom 12:16c . . Don't be wise in your own conceit.

Webster's defines "conceit" as excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth or virtue. In other words we're talking about hubris; which often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence, accomplishments or capabilities.

Conceit is uncivil, untrainable, and intolerable. It truly believes nobody beneath its dignity could possibly have anything to tell that it doesn't already know; and if it doesn't already know, then that's because the information possessed by those beneath its dignity isn't worth knowing.

Those kinds of people will interrupt you right in the middle of your sentence and begin talking about their own perspective as if your voice is nowhere to be heard in the whole room. You know why they do that? Because they sincerely believe that nothing you are in the midst of saying is nearly as important as what they have to say. In other words: you, and your thoughts, are superfluous.

Conceited folk are generally very picky about their influences too; in other words, even if somebody is a Spirit-gifted Bible teacher, but are neither published, accredited, or properly educated, then forget it. That Spirit-gifted somebody is eo ipso undeserving of conceit's intellectual attention right out of the box.

Conceit is not only stuck on itself; but very critical of others too. I've seen it to happen time and again that when a Spirit-gifted Bible teacher comes across with a personality like Elijah's or John the Baptist's that conceit summarily brushes them off as "unloving" no matter even if they speak as the very voice of God. In other words; conceit disdains to be taught; rather, conceit seeks to be accommodated.

I think most people in church are aware that conceit is unacceptable.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:3)

Conceit is a psychological disorder, so people can't just turn it off at will. But unless something radical is done to correct their conceit; people will have to face the sum of all fears.

"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 18:3)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 24, 2019, 07:15:21 pm
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Rom 12:17a . . Never reciprocate evil with evil to anyone.

That is a really tough command to follow; for example: when someone makes a demeaning comment about us, the urge to bounce back with a retort in kind is very difficult to resist
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 26, 2019, 08:21:06 am
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Rom 12:17b . . Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

The koiné Greek word for "right" is a bit ambiguous. It can mean: honorable, decent, sensible, mature, conforming to social norms of decency and propriety, beautiful, virtuous, honest, having worth, fitting, and/or appropriate. Those are all good qualities and should be practiced not only inside church, but outside church too.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 27, 2019, 03:55:38 pm
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Rom 12:18 . . If possible, so far as it in your power, be at peace with all men.

Assertive, defensive, demanding, fault-finding, imperious, judgmental, confrontational, argumentative, bossy, spirited, hard-nosed, implacable, moody, thin skinned, vindictive, abrasive, spiteful people are not allowed in heaven. Why? Because heaven is a place of peace (Matt 5:9, Rom 14:17).

Disagreeable people who fight at the drop of a hat simply don't fit in heaven and besides, not only would they be a fish out of water; but it wouldn't be fair to the others to let difficult people in to heaven where they would surely turn it into the same kind of hellish world to live in that they've made the Earth.

Christians should not be difficult. Of all people, they should be the easiest to get along with.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on February 28, 2019, 10:07:50 pm
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Rom 12:19 . . Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay; testifies The Lord.

The focus is upon one's "own" revenge; in other words: if the matter can't be settled legally; let it go rather than take it upon yourself to be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, i.e. a vigilante. Those who seek justice outside the justice system are no less criminals than the people they seek to punish.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 01, 2019, 10:02:12 pm
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Rom 12:20 . . If your personal enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

Way back when the television show SURVIVOR was in its second or third season, two of the women fell out of sorts and one vowed that even if the other were lying in the street near death from thirst, she'd walk right past and not give her so much as a drop of water.

Bad form. Christians have to remain civil and not permit detestable people to dictate the way we treat our fellow men. It is far better for Christ's followers to exemplify humanitarian principles than satisfy a grudge. I'll admit it's galling to have to be courteous with people that mistreat us; but what can I say? It's Christ's wishes.

"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?" (Matt 5:46-47)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 02, 2019, 08:47:11 pm
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Rom 12:21 . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

In other words: fighting fire with fire is not always the wisest course of action for Christians to follow.

Compliance with that particular command requires some self control on our part because human nature's impulses usually steer us into the wrong course of action when coping with evil.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 03, 2019, 08:53:26 pm
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Rom 13:1-5 . . Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

. . . For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

There are Christians out there sincerely believing that all capital punishment is wrong; and how can they be faulted when of late Pope Francis himself has been saying it's wrong. But according to the passage above, and the one below, capital punishment is divine.

"And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." (Gen 9:4-6)

Murder deserves the death penalty not so much because it's morally wrong, but because it disparages the image of God. In other words: murder is an act of blaspheme.

Rom 13:1-5 is a fair warning to Christians that should they break the law; to expect neither favoritism nor immunity. So then, if you can't do the time, then don't do the crime.

Christians that commit capital crimes should expect their heads to roll just like any other capital criminal's head; and that goes for lesser crimes too, e.g. J-walking, illegal U-turns, feeding parking meters, drifting through stop signs without coming to a complete halt, exceeding the speed limit, unsafe lane changes, road rage, disturbing the peace, littering, trespassing, shoplifting, civil disobedience, animal abuse, etc.

God has given governments the right to play God; any Christian who opposes government's right to play God, is playing the Devil. God forbid! Christians ought not to be scofflaws; no, they really ought to be the most law-abiding citizens on Earth.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 04, 2019, 09:58:42 pm
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Rom 13:6a . . Pay your taxes

While it's true that tax dollars often get wasted on fraud, graft, pork, bail outs, ear marks, and such things; by and large taxes are essential if we're to expect services like schools, parks, national defense, law enforcement, fire protection, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, foster care, endowments, reparations, flood control, TANF, and the maintenance of infrastructure, etc.

Taxes are also used to pay government salaries, wages, and benefits. Though they are not holy people in the religious sense, they should probably be regarded as such: maybe even as angels seeing as how they are the servants of God. (Rom 13:6b)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 05, 2019, 07:27:10 pm
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Rom 13:7 . . Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

There is currently throughout America a wave of hate, hysteria, and disrespect for the U.S. President the intensity of which is unlike anything I've ever seen in my 75 years on this planet. I should hope that none of Christ's followers get caught up in it. We don't have to particularly like Mr. Trump, but we do have to honor his position. Don't be a Mordecai-- Esther's guardian is not a suitable role model for Christ's followers.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 06, 2019, 08:34:30 pm
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Rom 13:8 . . Owe no man anything.

Some have construed this item to mean that it's a sin to have a mortgage, a car payment, and/or a credit card balance. However, the koiné Greek word for "owe" is opheilo (of-i'-lo) an ambiguous word with a number of meanings, one of which is to fail in duty; viz: fail to meet your obligations. In today's world; debt is pert near impossible to avoid; but debt is okay for Christians just so long as they pay their bills on time. Christ is neither pleased nor honored when his followers are known as deadbeats.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 07, 2019, 09:54:45 pm
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Rom 13:12 . . Put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Among the first things that God created for the cosmos was light (Gen 1:3). He didn't have to create darkness because darkness as per Gen 1:2 is just simply the default condition in the absence of light.

At that time, God made a distinct difference between light and darkness (Gen 1:4). I think it is very notable that God labeled the light "good" but He didn't label the darkness good.

I believe Gen 1:4 set the stage; in other words: from that point on in the Bible darkness typically represents something harmful and/or distasteful; while light always represents something tasteful and/or beneficial. So then we could label the deeds of darkness as deeds unbecoming Christ's followers, and we could label the armor of light as deeds befitting his followers. In other words: deeds befitting Christ's followers are their first line of defense in a world gone mad with evil.

"Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (1Pet 3:10-12)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 09, 2019, 07:39:31 pm
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Rom 13:13 . . Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and envy.

The Greek word for "envy" is somewhat ambiguous. It includes-- along with envy --jealousy, indignation, and outrage.

The Greek word for "strife" is somewhat ambiguous too. It includes-- along with strife --quarrelling, wrangling, contention, debate, and a whole other bunch of ugly stuff associated with variance.

"in the day" probably refers to daytime when the sun is up as opposed to nighttime when the sun is down; which is usually when people are out partying, drinking, and picking each other up for one night stands.

Though strife and envy can be seen during both day or night, they're listed as nighttime behavior due to their being shameful.


BTW: What I find interesting about Christ's commandments is that his followers have to be instructed how to properly conduct themselves; viz: it's never assumed they can be trusted to instinctively and/or intuitively know how.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 11, 2019, 08:22:10 am
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Rom 13:14 . . .Clothe yourselves with The Lord Jesus Christ

Clothing one's self with a personage was a colloquialism many years ago which would correspond in our day to "emulation" which Webster's defines as trying to be like someone or something you admire.

They say that imitation is the highest flattery. Well; if you'd like to flatter The Lord; adopt his integrity, his principles and his core values. But don't guess at them; learn them, from someone that the Lord has empowered to teach for him as per Eph 4:11-15.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 12, 2019, 08:51:54 am
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Rom 14:1 . . Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

A strong faith consists of the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction. A weak faith can be defined as vacillating; viz: one that's not all that sure whether something is wrong for a Christian; or even that something is right; in other words, a weak faith lacks the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction.

Disputable matters are matters of opinion rather than matters of fact. Opinions are often subjective, biased, and arbitrary, rather than objective, unbiased, and by-the book. Opinions inevitably invite perpetual debating that never really gets to the bottom of anything; which, in matters of spiritual significance is strictly forbidden within the context of the 14th chapter of Romans; because debatable matters are not matters of doctrine; but rather; matters of conscience.

We're not talking about black and white doctrines and principles here. Those are not open to debate. We're talking about gray areas.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery" is black and white; while issues like video games, music, fashions, foods, cosmetics, movies, self defense, gambling, swim suits, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, fasting, religious art, crucifixes, couture, and holy days of obligation are debatable. In regards to those areas; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind rather than somebody else's mind.

Those are things about which each has to decide for themselves according to the dictates of their own conscience; and God forbid they should impose their personal dictates upon others and thus become dictatorial because that's playing God and usurping Christ's sovereign prerogative to make the rules for his own church.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 13, 2019, 07:33:46 pm
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Rom 14:2-4 . . One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.

If somebody sincerely believes that fast food, GMO, high fructose corn syrup, non organic produce, processed foods, grain-fed beef, raw oysters, sushi, and/or anything fried in lard is sinful; well; more power to them; but God forbid they should condemn others who disagree.

So then; whether or not to eat grass-fed beef or grain-fed beef is your call; although in my judicious estimation; you run a much higher risk of contracting E.coli 0157-H7 by eating grain-fed beef. But the choice to run that risk is yours alone; not mine. The important point to note is that either way, God will accept one's diet just so long as they are convinced in their own mind it's not a sinful diet.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 14, 2019, 07:53:21 pm
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Rom 14:5 . . One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Common Christian holy days are The Lord's Day (Sunday), Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, the Epiphany, Solemnity of Saint Joseph Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Ascension Trinity Sunday, Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Good Friday, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas), and the Sabbath. Some would probably include Easter and Ash Wednesday.

If your denomination, or your church of choice, rules that days like the above are sacred, then for you they are. Whether God himself really and truly rules them as sacred is irrelevant. What matters is whether you are convinced He does.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 15, 2019, 05:33:53 pm
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Rom 14:13a . .Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

Within the context of the 14th of Romans, "passing judgment" pertains to criticizing others for refusal to accept and/or comply with your own gray-area beliefs and practices.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 16, 2019, 08:25:13 pm
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Rom 14:13b . . Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

The koiné Greek word translated "stumbling block" means a stub. For example: one year I cut down a troublesome bush in my front yard and left a bit of a stump sticking up out of the ground that later damaged my lawn mower when I accidentally ran over it while cutting the grass; which had grown tall enough to conceal the stump. In that respect, stumbling blocks are hazards not easily detected.

Within the context of the 14th of Romans, I would equate stumbling blocks to the clever sophistry that silver-tongued orators employ to persuade people to do things contrary to their convictions and their conscience. In other words; there are people out there with the skills to make a lie sound like the God's truth (cf. Eph 4:11-14) and if you get pulled into a debate with those people you'll probably lose.


NOTE: The Star Wars era spawned a pertinent colloquialism that goes like this: "Let the Wookie win one." When it comes to gray-area disputes, that colloquialism is pretty good advice.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 17, 2019, 10:04:36 pm
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Rom 14:14-16 . . I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of The Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be condemned for doing something you know is alright.

For example: We may believe that there is nothing wrong with eating non-Kosher foods; but our Christian dinner companion might feel very strongly about it. Well; sure, we can get by with eating non-Kosher foods; but Rom 14:14-16 is saying don't. In other words; it is Christ's wishes that we restrain ourselves from eating non-Kosher foods in front of our Christian companions out of respect for their feelings about it.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 18, 2019, 08:08:07 pm
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Rom 14:19 . . Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

The koiné Greek word for "edification" is oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which is a word related to the building trades; and in this instance would be related to structural improvements like a new wing, or a bedroom, or another floor; and in many instances adds square footage to an already-existing structure and/or improves its appearance, its value, and it's utility. Edification then, builds up instead of tearing down.

Webster's defines "peace" as a state in which there is no war or fighting; viz: harmony and mutual concord.

"For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder." (2Cor 12:19-20)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 20, 2019, 06:03:30 pm
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Rom 14:20-21 . . Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

The critters that God lists in the Jews' covenanted law as unsuitable for food aren't intrinsically unsuitable. They're only unsuitable for the Jews because that's how God wants it for His people. But outside the covenant; and for everybody else: whatever you'd like to eat can be eaten; all flora and all fauna.

"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." (Gen 9:3)

"The voice spoke to him a second time; "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." (Acts 10:15)

But still; you wouldn't want to invite someone over for dinner serving foods that they sincerely believe are wrong for them to eat. Prepare something else that you both can eat. That's the Christian way to go about it; it's also the sympathetic way to go about it. There are times when it's appropriate to accommodate people's feelings about certain things. The world has enough intolerant bigots as is; don't be one.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 22, 2019, 12:41:53 pm
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Rom 14:22b-23 . . Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

In other words, it's possible to be wrong even when you're right because it's a sin to forge ahead when one's conscience is not sure it's okay to do so.

I once knew a Christian who felt guilty just setting foot inside a BlockBuster video store. Was he silly for feeling that way? Not in his mind; and it's your own personal moral compass that counts in gray areas. Some Christians can't permit themselves to dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol; while others see nothing wrong with it. If those two kinds of Christians should perchance dine out together, it's the more sensitive conscience that determines where to eat.

In other words; it makes good spiritual sense to avoid insisting upon your freedoms and rights sometimes in order to prevent dragging your fellow Christians into something that makes them feel guilty and/or uncomfortable.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 23, 2019, 07:58:28 pm
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Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who believe certain things are wrong.

Webster's defines "considerate" as thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others, i.e. sympathetic regard; which is no doubt near impossible for Christians afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder: a toxic psychological condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, exploitive behavior in relationships, and a lack of empathy.

I think this would be a good place to interject a note pertaining to the statement below:

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35)

For many of us who grew up in dysfunctional families, broken homes, foster systems and/or orphanages et al; the concept of love doesn't resonate in our thinking; viz: it just goes in one ear and right out the other because we quite literally have no points of reference in our minds to aid comprehending what The Lord means by love; and this is what makes his commandments interspersed throughout the epistles so valuable-- many of them not only show us how to recognize love when we encounter it; but also how to exemplify it in our own lives so that those of us who were deprived of love growing up are not left to figure it out on our own.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 24, 2019, 08:13:44 pm
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Rom 15:7 . . Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

That's a bit tricky but I think it just means all Christians should acknowledge each other as Christians, and treat one another as Christians though they may differ in opinion about what constitutes a true Christian.

For example: it's not unusual to hear a Christian pontificate that real Christians would never watch R-rated movies, gamble, wear a speedo or a string bikini, use cosmetics, smoke marijuana, expose cleavage or wear skin tight yoga pants in public, stop for a beer on the way home from work, have a glass of wine before bedtime, listen to RAP music, ditch church and Sunday school for years at a time, or go in a bar or a nightclub where there's topless female dancers up on a stage twining themselves around a pole while leering men stuff currency into the hems of their skimpy little costumes.

Too many Christians have the opinion that unless others believe and practice the very same way they believe and practice, then those others are not Christians. Well; the easiest way to settle this is to follow Webster's definition that a Christian is simply someone who professes a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. That's it: no more, no less, and no qualifiers. They don't even have to practice The Lord's teachings; they only have to profess to believe in them.

An internet forum I was on in the past made it even easier. In order to qualify as a Christian on that forum; one only had to believe they were a Christian; viz: they didn't have to prove they were a Christian; no, they only had to be convinced in their own minds that they were a Christian. If we all followed that rule it would put a stop to a lot of unnecessary quarreling, name calling, and bad feelings.


NOTE: Heresy is subjective. In other words: what's heresy to a Catholic may not be heresy to a Methodist, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a Mormon may not be heresy to a Jehovah's Witness, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a Baptist may not be heresy to the Church Of God, and vice versa. So my advice is: never, ever call another Christian a heretic.

Just to be on the safe side; edit that label from your remarks because it just might be that you yourself are the one infected with heresy and don't know it; viz: be circumspect with your choice of words because the hapless day just may arrive when you are forced to eat them.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 25, 2019, 08:53:14 pm
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Rom 15:27 . . For if the Gentiles have shared in the Israelite's spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Israelites to share with them their material blessings.

Within the context of Rom 15:25-27, the Israelites to whom Paul refers are not those who believe and practice Judaism; but those who believe and practice Christianity. It is unbecoming for Christians to support religions that undermine their Master's; especially when it's taken into consideration that 1Cor 16:22 requires Christ's followers to regard the followers of religions opposed to his as cursed.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 27, 2019, 12:04:22 pm
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Rom 16:17-18 . . I urge you, brothers, beware of those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naďve people.

In the 17th chapter of John's gospel, Christ prayed for unity. People in church who cause division and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned are detrimental to his wishes.


NOTE: Christianity isn't a democracy. It's a theocracy. The New Testament Greek word for lord and/or master in Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, 2Tim 2:21, 2Pet 2:1, and Rev 6:10 is despotes (des-pot'-ace) from which we get our English word despot; defined by Webster's as a ruler with absolute power and authority.

People in church following a fire in their belly instead of the wishes of Christianity's despot are guilty of insurrection. In their own minds; the rebels no doubt honestly believe themselves working for the greater good, but that path is risky. For example: failure to obey God cost King Saul the loss of his reign. (1Sam 15:22-26)

"smooth talk" is the practice of sophistry; defined as a reason or an argument that sounds correct but at its core is actually false; viz: subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation. Sophistry is typically rational, reasonable, and sensible; but the thing to keep in mind is that faith believes what's revealed to it rather than only what makes sense to it.

According to Eph 4:11-14 the very reason that Christ endows some of his followers to speak for him is so that the rest of his followers may have access to true premises upon which to build their faith and thus achieve the unity for which he prayed.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 28, 2019, 07:56:46 pm
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1Cor 1:10 . . I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

I think it would be interesting to analyze the incident that prompted Paul to issue that order.

"My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this; one of you says: I follow Paul; and another says: I follow Apollos; and another says: I follow Cephas; and still another says: I follow Christ." (1Cor 1:11-12)

The "divisions" that Paul addressed were apparently related to the sins of rivalry and elitism-- some even going so far as to allege that their baptism was superior to the "second-rate" baptisms undergone by others.

Modern examples of that kind of elitism today might go like this: one might brag "I was saved at a Louis Palau crusade" while, not to be outdone, another might retort "That's nothing; I was saved at a Billy Graham crusade" or "My pastor got his degree at Dallas Theological Seminary" while another may counter by saying "So? My pastor got his doctorate at Yale Divinity School" or "I listen to Thru The Bible with J.Vernon McGee every day on the radio" while another may retort by saying "He's okay for some people; but Back To The Bible with Woodrow Kroll is where it's really at." or "I use nothing but the King James version of the Bible" while another may scoff with "People serious about Bible study use a Scofield Reference Bible in the NIV." or "I can read and write Greek" while another might retort: "You should try learning Hebrew sometime. Now there's a challenge." And then there's the hermeneutics know-it-alls who insist that the truth of a passage can only be seen in context and no other way

Those kinds of petty rivalries are harmful to unity; plus: they generate unnecessary bad feelings amongst Christians, and should be avoided.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 29, 2019, 10:35:54 pm
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1Cor 1:26-31 . . Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

. . . God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom. As the Scriptures say: The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what The Lord has done.

Some of us tend to think ourselves pretty smart for having enough good sense to believe the gospel. But according to the passage above, we didn't become believers due to our IQ; were that the case, then Carl Sagan would've stood on the side of intelligent design instead of opposing it.

No; the credit is due to God's IQ, i.e. God alone was smart enough to make it possible for any of us to be in Christ Jesus. Personally, I look upon that as something not for me to boast about, rather; an incredible stroke of luck. (One of the meanings of "blessed" is fortunate.)

Boasting in what the Lord has done is sort of like the pride that sports fans feel for their favorite teams; especially when they win. Well; it goes without saying that God is a winner-- maybe He's not accounted a winner by the world's best and brightest, but certainly by those of us very pleased that Christ's mission succeeded.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 30, 2019, 09:53:50 pm
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1Cor 3:21-23 . . So don't take pride in following a particular leader. Everything belongs to you-- Paul and Apollos and Peter --the whole world and life and death; the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

I've noticed that avid sports fans are afflicted with chronic identity syndromes. When their favorite team wins; they say "we" won; as if they were on the field playing the game instead of up in the bleachers or on the couch at home watching the action on TV.

Christians that idolize their favorite pastors and/or Sunday school teachers are just as avid. They want to be identified with those kinds of church luminaries because it makes them look really smart and elite; when in reality it just makes them look silly and star-crossed.

But the thing is; when it comes to inheritance; Christ's believing followers are equals-- the big shots with the little nobodies --because they are all, regardless of status, co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17) which is somewhat different than a regular heir.

Regular heirs each receive an individually specified portion of a benefactor's estate while co-heirs are heirs in common. For example: supposing a benefactor's estate totals 60 acres of land plus $10,000 in a bank account. Co-heirs-- i.e. heirs in common --inherit the whole ball of wax corporately as one beneficiary instead of six; viz: all six inherit the 60 acres and the $10,000 as if each one were the only heir. So then, whatever the Father bequeathed His son, He bequeathed everyone belonging to His son.

I honestly cannot wrap my mind around that because the ramifications are just too, too remarkable; I really don't even want to think about it.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on March 31, 2019, 09:50:58 pm
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1Cor 4:1 . . So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ, and as those entrusted with the mysteries of God.

Big names like Mother Teresa, Charles Spurgeon, and Billy Graham are practically sacred cows-- but Christian celebrities like those are only human rather than divine. Just be grateful you're not one of them because their responsibility is proportional.

"Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." (Jas 3:1)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 01, 2019, 09:18:02 pm
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1Cor 4:5 . . Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till The Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and expose the motives of men's hearts.

The "appointed time" is probably referring to the event described at 1Cor 3:5-15 when the work done by outstanding Christians will be evaluated for performance awards.

Human nature has a propensity to shower accolades on religious celebrities without having all the facts.

For example; we now know from Mother Teresa's private letters-- made public by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk's book "Mother Teresa / Come Be My Light" --that Ms. Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was a nun with so little personal belief in God as to be an agnostic; and yet for decades everyone the world over thought she was the cat's meow and the bee's knees: a veritable poster child of piety in thought, word, and deed. It turns out Teresa was a remarkable actor. Her public image bore no resemblance whatsoever to the secret life of her inner being.

The Spirit's corroboration that comes to Christ's followers via Rom 8:16 never happened for Teresa. As a result, the remarkable nun came to the end of her life worried that if perchance there is a God, He didn't particularly like her and might actually be quite intent upon condemning her.

Well; I'd have to say that if somebody is a Christian missionary with those kinds of thoughts going thru their head, maybe they really ought to seriously consider another line of work.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 03, 2019, 07:17:43 pm
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1Cor 5:1-5 . . It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst.

. . . For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of The Lord Jesus.

Gentiles of course do sleep with their stepmothers on occasion; but the world's practice of that kind of behavior is more an aberration than a custom.

Well, the Corinthians were treating that man's behavior as if it were a norm, i.e. they apparently felt that the man's conduct was trivial, undeserving of either attention or criticism. They must have wondered why Paul was reacting so badly rather than just "get over it". After all; it's none of his business what goes on behind closed doors. Had he not heard of the right to privacy? And besides, didn't the Lord say: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Delivering someone to Satan for the destruction of the flesh just simply means to cull them from the herd, so to speak. In other words: exclude them from congregational activities; e.g. worship, Sunday school, and prayer meetings. This is not as radical as totally breaking off contact with someone; it's purpose is church discipline rather than the social blacklisting practiced by Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 04, 2019, 07:28:46 pm
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1Cor 5:6b-8 . . Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

. . . I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-- not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

The apostle Paul's leaven analogy indicates that the shameful conduct of just one member of the congregation is the whole congregation's shame.

This isn't a proprietary Christian principle. It first shows up in the 7th chapter of Joshua. The insubordination of one insignificant Jewish man-- just one --caused God to stop assisting Joshua's army in battle. As a result, 36 men were needlessly killed in action; and ultimately capital punishment was inflicted upon not only the insubordinate man himself, but also his sons and his daughters. What did God say? Achan has sinned? No: Israel has sinned. (Josh 7:11)

This is one of the best arguments against church expansion. The bigger a congregation gets, the more difficult it is to keep an eye on everyone's conduct.


FAQ: What about saved and born-again LGBT? Do they have to be culled from the herd too?

A: There was a time in the not-so-distant past when there would have been no need to ask that question. But the question is very pertinent nowadays what with so many State, local, and Federal laws practically giving LGBT the status of protected species. It's got to the point when labeling their sexual preferences as sin is considered hate speech.

The key to correctly applying Paul's instruction to Christian LGBT is the word "indulges" which Webster's defines as: excessive compliance and weakness in gratifying another's or one's own desires. In other words: before culling an LGBT they have to be sexually active; and not just active, but openly active.

And please; let's not level all the heavy guns at LGBT because the list takes in all forms of immorality; plus slander, heavy drinking, greed and swindling.

Those last two were responsible for the Wall Street crash of 2008 that led to thousands of people everywhere losing their jobs, their retirements, and their homes. LGBT are of no consequence at all in comparison to the power of greed and swindling to ruin people's lives, collapse entire economies, and create fear, panic, and havoc on a titanic scale.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 05, 2019, 10:38:52 pm
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Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.

If there's an old leaven, then there must be a new leaven; which, I believe, requires an explanation.

Well; biblical leaven has practically nothing to do with yeast; after all, even freshly milled flour contains an amount of naturally-occurring fungi so it's just about impossible to find flour that doesn't contain some. But the presence of fungi isn't the focus in leaven. It's all about age rather than ingredients.

Naturally-occurring fungi will, in time, spoil even the very freshest lump of pure dough. Old leaven then, probably speaks of a lump of dough that has been allowed to get so old, and consequently so spoiled, that it's no longer fit for human consumption, not even for making sour dough bread, and has to be thrown out.

Paul's instructions relate to a parable that Christ told of a woman mixing some spoiled dough in with fresh (Matt 13:33 and Luke 13:20-21). That's an old trick for making fluffy bread, which in our day has been replaced by adding cultured yeast to the mix instead of spoiled dough. In other words: adding yeast and/or spoiled dough speeds up the aging process; and if done just right, results in a pretty tasty product; which is a useful metaphor for saying that many of us, even the most dedicated Christians, prefer the flavor of our old ways rather than Christ's because our old ways are an acquired taste, so to speak, whereas Christ's ways take some getting used to.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 06, 2019, 09:12:01 pm
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1Cor 5:6a . .Your boasting is not good.

The Corinthian church was liberal in its attitudes about sex. That's no surprise considering the city's culture in that day and age.

Then, as now, liberals tend to think of themselves as sophisticated and progressive; and vastly superior to the stodgy, old-fashioned ways of conservatives.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 07, 2019, 10:19:27 pm
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1Cor 6:1-6 . . If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

. . .Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another-and this in front of unbelievers!

Apparently some of the Christians in the church at Corinth let the Sermon On The Mount go in one ear and out the other.

"But I say unto you: That ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." (Matt 5:39-40)

"Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right? As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." (Luke 12:57-59).

The Lord began his teaching in Luke with the words "Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?" In other words; if someone threatens to take you to court over a tort matter, and you know darn good and well he's in the right; don't force him to go to law. Instead, admit to your wrong and settle out of court. According to The Lord, it’s unrighteous to tie up the courts when you know your own self that you are the one who's in the wrong. There's just simply no righteous reason why Christian defendants and plaintiffs can't be their own judge and jury in tort matters.

"Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren." (1Cor 6:7-8)

The koiné Greek word for "defraud" is apostereo (ap-os-ter-eh'-o) which is an ambiguous word with more than one meaning, and more than one application. The meaning that seems appropriate in this instance is "deprive".

It works like this: Were I to trip and fall because of a crack in the walk leading up to the front door of the home of one of my kin; I wouldn't haul them into court over it because we're related; viz: any injury I might incur by tripping and falling because of a crack in their walk would be a family matter rather than a legal matter; and they have a right to be treated by me as family rather than as enemies in a lawsuit because we're related. Were I to sue them for tripping and falling because of a crack in their walk; I would be depriving them of the love that kin have a right to expect from one another.

Well; Christians are supposed to be brethren; in the highest possible sense of the word.

"We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. . . We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1John 3:14-16)

I think it's safe to say that if somebody is comfortable taking a fellow Christian to court; then they certainly are not prepared to lay down their life for the brethren.

It's sad to see relatives suing each other in court; but it happens all the time. When the world does it; well, that's to be expected; but when Christians sue each other; that's dysfunctional.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 08, 2019, 07:09:01 pm
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1Cor 6:18 . . Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.

The koiné Greek word for "fornication" is porneia (por-ni'-ah) which doesn't especially mean pornography; it means harlotry; a term that Webster's defines as sexual profligacy. Porneia would include things like prostitution, adultery, promiscuity, date sex, free love, shacking up, one-night stands, swingers, wife swapping, and that sort of thing.

The command is not to walk away from fornication; but to run away from it as if your very life depends upon putting distance between you and it. The same Greek word is used at Matt 2:13 where an angel instructed Joseph to flee into Egypt in order to save his little boy's life.

Fleeing is different than shunning. I think what we're talking about here are the times when a golden opportunity comes along to mess around with somebody who is absolutely irresistible. Some people would call that getting lucky; but in God's estimation, it's getting stupid if you play along and see what happens.

Young Christian couples often want to know how far they can go with their dates before they're into forbidden territory. Well, we all instinctively know the upper limits, but since the lower limits aren't chipped in stone then I would have to say let your own conscience be your guide in accordance with The Lord's principles stipulated in the 14th chapter of Romans regulating gray areas. The key principles are:

"Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." (Rom 14:5)

"Happy is he that feels no guilt in that thing which he allows." (Rom 14:22)

"He that doubts is guilty if he eats, because he eats not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." (Rom 14:23)

However, as an old senior guy of 72 who's been around the block a time or two: I must forewarn youngsters that the human conscience is trainable. What I mean is, if you manage to suppress your first-time pangs of guilt, the second time will be easier; and each succeeding suppression of your conscience gets easier and easier till the day comes when you feel no guilt at all. In other words: you will eventually succeed in cauterizing your conscience. (cf. 1Tim 4:1-2)

The phrase "sins against his own body" is sort of the same wording as at 1Cor 11:27 where it's said "whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of The Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of The Lord."

Some Christians construe 1Cor 11:27 as murder. Well if so, then sinning against one's own body would be suicide. But actually, what we're talking about here is gross contempt and disrespect. In other words; Christian fornicators are treating their body like a chamber pot instead of a holy vessel; and all the while dragging God's Spirit into situations that He finds extremely unbecoming.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" (1Cor 6:19)

"Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (Eph 4:30)

They're also dragging Christ into shame and disgrace too.

"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with an harlot? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with an harlot is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." (1Cor 6:14-16) (cf. Gen 2:18-24)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 09, 2019, 10:58:43 pm
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1Cor 6:20 . . For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Christ's crucifixion and resurrection ransomed his followers from facing justice and the second death in the scene depicted at Rev 20:11-15. That was a mighty big favor, and I should think it earns him the right to expect a favor in return. All things considered; conducting ourselves in ways that honor God is really not too much to ask seeing as how it was He who donated His No.1 son's life to pay the price for people's ransom. (1Pet 1:18-19)

"in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1Cor 6:20b)

Human life consists of not only body and spirit, but also soul. (1Thess 5:23, Heb 4:12). So, that being the case; why isn't soul mentioned in 1Cor 6:20? Well; I'm pretty sure it's implied by the pronoun "ye". In other words: soul speaks of the person as a conscious, sentient being.

"Soul" is somewhat ambiguous. In the very beginning, the Hebrew word for soul (nephesh) simply distinguished between fauna life and flora life.

It shows up first at Gen 1:20-21 as sea creatures and winged creatures. Then again at Gen 1:24 as terra creatures; again at Gen 2:7 as the human creature; again at Gen 2:19-20 as the creatures to whom Adam gave names; and again at Gen 9:8-16 as all creatures aboard the ark, including Noah and his family.


NOTE: Speaking of conscious, sentient beings: God's spirit is viewed by some not as a person, but as a force. However, according to Isa 63:10 it's possible to vex God's spirit. The Hebrew word for "vex" is 'atsab (aw-tsab') which means distress, worry, pain, or anger. 'Atsab's first appearance in the Bible is located at Gen 6:6, where it's stated:

"Jehovah was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to his heart."

'Atsab's equivalent in the New Testament is lupeo (loo-peh'-o). For example:

"Do not grieve the holy spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (Eph 4:30)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 10, 2019, 07:48:42 pm
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1Cor 7:2 . . To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

The above is especially pertinent in 2014 America. Fornication is everywhere: on a pandemic scale. It's in our music, in our schools, in the White House, in our offices, on our televisions, in our movies, in our novels, and in our conversations. People are even sleeping together on their very first dates.

Even Congressmen, Senators, and US Presidents are indulging in forbidden love. The previous Governor of Oregon was openly shacking up with a girlfriend. An item in the January 2011 issue of National Geographic reported that 41% of America's births in 2008 were illegitimate; which is up 28% from 1990.

This country is in a state of moral decadence, and becoming more and more like the ancient city of Pompeii just prior to its destruction by the volcanism of Mt. Vesuvius.

It's important to note that 1Cor 7:2 makes it okay to marry for sex. My childhood religion taught me that it's a sin to marry for any other reason except procreation and that couples who decide to remain childless are living in sin. They get that from Genesis 1:28 where it's says: "God blessed them; and God said to them: Be fruitful and multiply". But that is clearly a blessing rather than a law. It's always best to regard blessings as benefits and/or empowerments unless clearly indicated otherwise.

Ironically the original purpose of marriage was neither sex nor procreation; it was companionship (Gen 2:18). Leave it to people to construe God's words to mean things they don't say in writing.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on April 10, 2019, 10:35:48 pm
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1Cor 7:2 . . To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

The above is especially pertinent in 2014 America. Fornication is everywhere: on a pandemic scale. It's in our music, in our schools, in the White House, in our offices, on our televisions, in our movies, in our novels, and in our conversations. People are even sleeping together on their very first dates.

Even Congressmen, Senators, and US Presidents are indulging in forbidden love. The previous Governor of Oregon was openly shacking up with a girlfriend. An item in the January 2011 issue of National Geographic reported that 41% of America's births in 2008 were illegitimate; which is up 28% from 1990.

This country is in a state of moral decadence, and becoming more and more like the ancient city of Pompeii just prior to its destruction by the volcanism of Mt. Vesuvius.

It's important to note that 1Cor 7:2 makes it okay to marry for sex. My childhood religion taught me that it's a sin to marry for any other reason except procreation and that couples who decide to remain childless are living in sin. They get that from Genesis 1:28 where it's says: "God blessed them; and God said to them: Be fruitful and multiply". But that is clearly a blessing rather than a law. It's always best to regard blessings as benefits and/or empowerments unless clearly indicated otherwise.

Ironically the original purpose of marriage was neither sex nor procreation; it was companionship (Gen 2:18). Leave it to people to construe God's words to mean things they don't say in writing.
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  There you go again! Where does it say:"It's important to note that 1Cor 7:2 makes it okay to marry for sex."

It does not: You appear to make up things where they are convenient.

Then you say:"Leave it to people to construe God's words to mean things they don't say in writing."

REALLY! That is what you just did!

Blade



Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 11, 2019, 08:30:51 pm
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1Cor 7:3-4 . . Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not authority of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not authority of his own body, but the wife.

What we're talking about in that verse is the principle of private property in marriage that was established right from the get-go.

"Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife" (Gen 2:24)

There are no specific Hebrew words for "wife". The word for wife in that verse comes from the very same word as woman-- 'ishshah. What makes an ishshah somebody's wife? The possessive pronoun "his". The same grammar works for husbands too, for example:

"And Leah said: God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons." (Gen 30:20)

The Hebrew word for "husband" in that verse is 'iysh which is specifically males; for example Gen 2:23-24 where it says:

"And Adam said: This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

So Eve became Adam's woman; and Adam of course became Eve's man. They quite literally owned each other.

Adultery is very serious not only because it's immoral, but also because it's an act of theft. Spouses that cheat on their partners are no different than carjackers taking an SUV that doesn't belong to them and selling it to a chop shop.

So then; if you're looking for a man, or for a women, then go out and find one of your own instead of taking a married one who has no right to give themselves to you without their spouse's consent.


TRIVIA: Leah speaks of Jacob as her man something like five times in Genesis while Rachel never once speaks of him in that way.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 13, 2019, 08:42:13 pm
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1Cor 7:5 . . Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

It's not uncommon for wives to withhold intimacy from their husbands as a strategy to manipulate them. God forbid that any woman believing herself to be one of Christ's followers should ever pull a stunt like that! Same goes for the husbands. There is just no excuse for that kind of behavior in marriage. It's deplorable and it's unbecoming.

The koiné word for "defraud" is apostereo (ap-os-ter-eh'-o) which means: to despoil; which Webster's defines as: to strip of belongings, possessions, or value; viz: pillage.

In other words, married people who withhold intimacy from their spouses without a valid reason to do so are nothing less than thieves, and in violation of the 8th commandment.

"Thou shalt not steal." (Ex 20:15)

The temptation in question is of course adultery. In other words; if one spouse denies the other spouse's conjugal rights for too long a time they run the risk of pushing them into another's arms.

I heard a story recently about a rather conniving Christian woman who wanted a divorce from her Christian husband; but seeing as how God only allows death or adultery to dissolve the marital bond; she deliberately denied her husband his conjugal rights in order to force him to think about taking a lover; and when he did; she proceeded to divorce him on the grounds of unfaithfulness. That way, in her mind's eye, she was the victim and he the villain. (chuckle) What people won't do to circumvent the laws of God.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 14, 2019, 08:38:32 pm
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1Cor 7:8-9 . . Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn.

Paul said it's good to remain single; but he didn't say it's best.

The koiné Greek word for "burn" is puroo (poo-ro'-o) which means: to kindle, to ignite, to glow, and/or to be inflamed. I seriously doubt Paul meant to convey the thought that the believers who lacked self control at Corinth were in grave danger of the flames of hell since he had already assured them in 1Cor 6:9-11 that they were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of The Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Paul was one of those kinds of men with a very low-powered libido. But not everyone is like him; nor is everyone cut out to live alone.

Webster's defines "celibacy" as (1) the state of not being married, (2) abstention from sexual intercourse, and (3) abstention by vow from marriage. Celibacy then, isn't limited to zero sex, but also includes zero marriage; even platonic unions.

Not long ago, a Catholic priest here in Oregon quit the priesthood after serving more than 30 years in order to get married because he couldn't stand being alone anymore. He wasn't especially looking to get naked with somebody, he just wanted a companion; which is exactly how normal guys are designed.

"Yhvh God said: It's not good for Adam to be solitary" (Gen 2:18)

The problem with a vow of celibacy is that although it may hinder a priest from getting married, it does nothing to prevent him from pining for a female companion. 1Cor 7:9 should suffice to silence the mouths of ascetics who preach it's holy to abstain from every form of earthly pleasure; and also the mouths of those who preach it's a sin to marry solely for sex.


NOTE: Typical wedding vows are unconditional, i.e. couples, as a rule, don't promise to love each other in proportion to the amount of love they get from the other. It would be educational for couples to review their vows now and again to see just how conscientious they've been in complying with the unconditional portions of their vows.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on April 14, 2019, 08:39:20 pm
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1Cor 7:5 . . Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

It's not uncommon for wives to withhold intimacy from their husbands as a strategy to manipulate them. God forbid that any woman believing herself to be one of Christ's followers should ever pull a stunt like that! Same goes for the husbands. There is just no excuse for that kind of behavior in marriage. It's deplorable and it's unbecoming.

The koiné word for "defraud" is apostereo (ap-os-ter-eh'-o) which means: to despoil; which Webster's defines as: to strip of belongings, possessions, or value; viz: pillage.

In other words, married people who withhold intimacy from their spouses without a valid reason to do so are nothing less than thieves, and in violation of the 8th commandment.

"Thou shalt not steal." (Ex 20:15)

The temptation in question is of course adultery. In other words; if one spouse denies the other spouse's conjugal rights for too long a time they run the risk of pushing them into another's arms.

I heard a story recently about a rather conniving Christian woman who wanted a divorce from her Christian husband; but seeing as how God only allows death or adultery to dissolve the marital bond; she deliberately denied her husband his conjugal rights in order to force him to think about taking a lover; and when he did; she proceeded to divorce him on the grounds of unfaithfulness. That way, in her mind's eye, she was the victim and he the villain. (chuckle) What people won't do to circumvent the laws of God.
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Where in the devil does this verse speak of marriage and withholding intamacy?

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 15, 2019, 11:02:57 pm
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1Cor 7:10-11a . . Unto the married I command-- yet not I, but The Lord --let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband.

Divorcing a man for any cause other than infidelity is unacceptable (Mat 5:32). However, according to Christ's sabbath teachings, the safety and welfare of human life takes priority over strict observance of religious laws and customs; which tells me that women can, and no doubt should, walk out on abusive husbands and get away from them.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 16, 2019, 06:53:31 pm
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1Cor 7:11b . . and let not the husband put away his wife.

A man doesn't have sufficient scriptural grounds for divorce just by his wife walking out on him. Now should his estranged wife take up with a lover during their separation; that would definitely be sufficient. (Matt 19:9)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on April 16, 2019, 09:30:11 pm
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1Cor 7:11b . . and let not the husband put away his wife.

A man doesn't have sufficient scriptural grounds for divorce just by his wife walking out on him. Now should his estranged wife take up with a lover during their separation; that would definitely be sufficient. (Matt 19:9)
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I like this,,,

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 17, 2019, 04:41:46 pm
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1Cor 7:12-13 . . If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

It's very common for marriages to start off on common ground, and then later on to become religiously divided; like for instance when one of the spouses gets converted at a Luis Palau crusade. As long as the situation doesn't cause intolerable friction in the home, the couple should stay together.

"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy." (1Cor 7:14-15)

According to Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:9, divorce and remarriage are holy only if one of the spouses has been unfaithful. So; if a believing spouse divorces their unbelieving spouse on the grounds of religious differences, and remarries; then as far as the New Testament is concerned, any children produced in a second marriage will be illegitimate.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on April 17, 2019, 07:38:28 pm
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1Cor 7:12-13 . . If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

It's very common for marriages to start off on common ground, and then later on to become religiously divided; like for instance when one of the spouses gets converted at a Luis Palau crusade. As long as the situation doesn't cause intolerable friction in the home, the couple should stay together.

"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy." (1Cor 7:14-15)

According to Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:9, divorce and remarriage are holy only if one of the spouses has been unfaithful. So; if a believing spouse divorces their unbelieving spouse on the grounds of religious differences, and remarries; then as far as the New Testament is concerned, any children produced in a second marriage will be illegitimate.
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Well said , ole timer

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 18, 2019, 10:22:58 pm
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1Cor 7:15 . . But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

In this situation, Christians are neither required, nor encouraged, nor under even the slightest obligation to attempt reconciliation; rather, "let him depart" strictly forbids getting back together with an unbeliever.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 19, 2019, 09:09:58 pm
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1Cor 7:17 . . But as God hath distributed to every man, as The Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.

"distribution" is likely talking about spiritual gifts. All of Christ's believing followers are supposed to have at least one.

"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit, etc." (1Cor 12:5-8)

The "call" is likely the venue where each individual's gift is put to good use for the Lord. I don't think we need to worry about how to find that venue; it'll find us. Thing is, stay in your own zone; don't crash somebody else's party and/or stick your nose into something that's none of your spiritual business.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 20, 2019, 09:59:13 pm
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1Cor 7:18a . . Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised.

It was of course impossible to literally reverse circumcision in Paul's day. However, there did exist a procedure to ceremoniously reverse it. (cf. 1Maccabees 1:15)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 21, 2019, 09:51:07 pm
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1Cor 7:18b . . Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

The circumcision in question is ritual circumcision; specifically the initiation rite into Judaism. Paul's advice is very practical because if a believer undergoes Judaism's circumcision rite, they will obligate God to come down on themselves with the curses listed at Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69 for noncompliance with the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. All one has to do is research the last 3,500 years of the Jews' history, up to and including the Holocaust, to see for themselves that God is serious about those curses.

A fair question one might ask is: If 1Cor 7:18b is a hard and fast rule, then why did Paul circumcise Timothy at Acts 16:1-3? Answer: that wasn't done to initiate Timothy into Judaism, but rather, so that the Jews wouldn't make an issue of Paul associating with an uncircumcised Gentile which, in their minds, would effectively invalidate his message.

A similar problem exists today among Christians fixated on the King James translation of the Bible. They will not listen to a teacher, not even a Spirit-empowered teacher, unless he quotes from the KJV. In their minds; all who use any other version are heretics right from the get-go.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 22, 2019, 07:25:52 pm
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1Cor 7:20 . . Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.

I once knew a really good Catholic man who felt guilty never going out as a missionary to a foreign land to help people less fortunate than himself. Well, I assured him that somebody has to stay back here in the States and hold down a job in order to earn the money needed to finance missions already in place.

The ratio of soldiers in the rear compared to the ones at the front is something like six to one. It takes a massive support base to keep our guys on the line out there facing off with the other guys; all the way from workers in state-side factories manufacturing war materiel, to the sailors, soldiers, and airmen moving men and materiel over land and seas, to the doctors and nurses staffing MASH facilities, to the guys and girls driving supply trucks to the front. We can't all be in the doo-doo. Somebody has to be in the rear with the gear.

So take comfort in knowing that if you're involved in the effort, then you're a part of the effort; and will be rewarded accordingly. (cf. 1Sam 30:1-25 and Matt 20:1-16)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 23, 2019, 08:47:26 pm
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1Cor 7:21-22 . . Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in The Lord while a slave is The Lord's freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ's slave.

Were this the only life, then slavery would be a terrible fate because there would be nothing better to look forward to; viz: Christian slaves should think of their situation as only a temporary set-back. They're missing out on the best that life has to offer for now, but I'm pretty sure they can look forward to Christ making it up to them in the next life.

The situation of Christians behind bars, without possibility of either release or parole, is little different than that of slaves. However, though their time inside may be for life, it isn't permanent. No, their time inside is just a bump in the road: it's not the end of the road.

As I was watching a prison documentary on NetFlix some time ago, one of the inmates interviewed-- an elderly man sweeping with a broom out in the yard --said, in so many words: Guys come in here thinking their life is over. It ain't over, it's just different.

That old guy was a lifer, but he was at peace with his situation-- an amazing attitude for an institutionalized man with no hope of ever again having a normal life on the outside.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 24, 2019, 09:45:13 pm
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1Cor 7:23 . .You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

In other words; selling your body is one thing, while selling your soul is quite another; Christ has first dibs on that so don't even think about it.

The point is; whether bonded or free, every believer is indentured to The Lord. But it is his wish that believers remain free rather than make a habit of indenturing themselves to humans primarily because a free man's labor earns him wages: a portion of which can be donated towards The Lord's work; while a slave earns no wages to donate towards The Lord's work. Also; a free man is at liberty to move about and make himself useful to The Lord, while a slave's movements are pretty much limited to their human master's jurisdiction.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 26, 2019, 08:40:20 pm
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1Cor 7:24 . . Brethren, let each one remain with God in the situation in which he was called.

If you're a slave; don't become a runaway slave. If you're a secretary, don't quit your job and/or abandon your husband to run off and become another Joan of Arc. Stay put; always keeping in mind that whether slave, free, or crusader; will make no difference in your association with God.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 27, 2019, 07:56:40 pm
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1Cor 7:25 . . Now about virgins: I have no command from The Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by The Lord's mercy is trustworthy.

The koiné Greek word for "virgins" is parthenos (par-then'-os) which basically refers to maidens and/or unmarried daughters.

There's an ancient temple in Greece called the Parthenon; which was at one time a sort of shrine to the goddess Athena (a.k.a. Minerva). Apparently it was common for Athena's followers to donate their young girls to her service.

I'm guessing that the Christians in ancient Corinth, influenced by Greek and Roman culture, were curious whether they were supposed to donate their young girls to Christ's service; viz: make nuns of them; which of course would seal them into celibacy and thus preclude the possibility of ever having a man and a family of their own.

Paul's claim to be "trustworthy" is saying that he could be relied upon to speak as Christ and for Christ on certain issues without having to first inquire his mind about them.

That's a pretty advanced degree of inspiration when somebody is 110% confident that their thoughts on a matter are God's thoughts.

Too many Christians are wishy-washy. They have an annoying habit of pontificating their opinions as the God's truth; when in reality they have neither the confidence nor the integrity to stand up and announce themselves trustworthy, i.e. infallible; the meanwhile quick to call others heretics for disagreeing with them.


NOTE: Be circumspect with your choice of words lest the hapless day arrives when you are forced to eat them. Never call someone a heretic because it just may be that your own beliefs are heretical without your knowing. It's okay to be positive, but for God's sake don't be conceited: leave yourself some room for error.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on April 29, 2019, 09:06:15 pm
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1Cor 7:25 . . Now about virgins: I have no command from The Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by The Lord's mercy is trustworthy.

The koiné Greek word for "virgins" is parthenos (par-then'-os) which basically refers to maidens and/or unmarried daughters.

There's an ancient temple in Greece called the Parthenon; which was at one time a sort of shrine to the goddess Athena (a.k.a. Minerva). Apparently it was common for Athena's followers to donate their young girls to her service.

I'm guessing that the Christians in ancient Corinth, influenced by Greek and Roman culture, were curious whether they were supposed to donate their young girls to Christ's service; viz: make nuns of them; which of course would seal them into celibacy and thus preclude the possibility of ever having a man and a family of their own.

Paul's claim to be "trustworthy" is saying that he could be relied upon to speak as Christ and for Christ on certain issues without having to first inquire his mind about them.

That's a pretty advanced degree of inspiration when somebody is 110% confident that their thoughts on a matter are God's thoughts.

Too many Christians are wishy-washy. They have an annoying habit of pontificating their opinions as the God's truth; when in reality they have neither the confidence nor the integrity to stand up and announce themselves trustworthy, i.e. infallible; the meanwhile quick to call others heretics for disagreeing with them.


NOTE: Be circumspect with your choice of words lest the hapless day arrives when you are forced to eat them. Never call someone a heretic because it just may be that your own beliefs are heretical without your knowing. It's okay to be positive, but for God's sake don't be conceited: leave yourself some room for error.
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There you go promoting the Roman Catholic Church again over true Chrisitianity.

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 29, 2019, 09:44:50 pm
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1Cor 7:26-28 . . Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.

The "present crisis" probably relates to circumstances that make it difficult and/or inadvisable to settle down and raise a family, e.g. Jer 16:1-4 and Matt 24:19-22.

However marriage, overall, doesn't displease God; and best of all, the Corinthian Christians didn't have to donate their maidens to Christ as nuns; rather, the girls were perfectly at liberty to settle down with a man.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on April 30, 2019, 07:28:39 pm
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1Cor 7:36 . . If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married.

We have a saying in America that goes like this: So and so married what's her name and made an honest woman out of her. Well, most grown-ups know what that means without me having to say so. The point is: if a Christian man finds himself on the brink of exceeding the limits of propriety with his best girl; it's time to either break up or tie the knot.

And then too there's the so-called biological clock that stalks women during their productive years. It's cruel, unthinkable, and utterly selfish and psychopathic of a man to keep a girl on hold during those years if and when he's fully aware that she's longing to settle down and have a family of her own. A man who does that has no clue what the word "honor" means.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 01, 2019, 10:28:56 pm
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1Cor 7:39 . . A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must be in The Lord.

When people sound-bite a verse like that one out of context, they run the risk of coming to some very false conclusions; and one of those is that Christians can never, under any circumstances, divorce and remarry while their spouses are alive. Well, obviously they can, under certain circumstances (e.g. Matt 5:32).

However, a Christian ex-wife has to be careful not to re-marry outside her faith as that would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. (cf. 2Cor 6:14-18)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 02, 2019, 10:00:53 pm
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1Cor 8:4-13 . .We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

. . . But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

. . . Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

That passage can be said to be a codicil to the 14th chapter of Romans.

Putting this into a modern context is pretty simple; e.g. here in Oregon we have tavern-style restaurants; viz: a section of the tavern is a bar, and another section is dedicated to dining. The bar sections usually host State-sanctioned gambling machines too and typically off-limits to minors.

Suppose you have Christian friends who sincerely feel it's wrong to dine in a tavern-style restaurant because of the alcohol and the gambling. Though you yourself might be comfortable in your own mind that there is no sin in dining at taverns, your friends are not so sure. So if you were to take them to a tavern, they would be committing sin in compromising their conscience; and you would be committing sin by knowingly leading them in a situation that causes them to make that compromise.

"We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in The Lord." (Rom 15:1-2)

A pertinent example is Hooters; where the waitresses are cute buxom girls filled out in all the right places clothed in short shorts, and clingy tops; so that the situation is a double whammy of babes and alcohol. Supposing your Christian buddy sincerely feels it's wrong for Christians to dine at Hooters? Then you would be wrong in taking him there for a burger even if you were convinced in your own mind there is nothing wrong with Hooters because you would be leading your Christian buddy into a situation that's below him and causes him to feel guilty and/or less of himself.

The Bible says that Christians should accommodate others to their edification (edification means to build someone up as opposed to tearing them down), Well, when we please ourselves to their detriment; that's being selfish. Some guys feel that cute buxom girls and yummy gams are a God-send, while other guys regard them as the Devil in disguise. The correct route here is to accommodate the more sensitive conscience.

This is one of those situations that requires that each individual to be convinced in their own mind whether Hooters is wrong for themselves or okay for themselves (Rom 14:5) and God forbid that Christians should criticize a fellow Christian who frequents Hooters because this is indeed one of those gray areas; and just who are you to legislate the rules for others in gray areas (Rom 14:3-4). It's unfortunate that there are some very imperious, domineering Christians out and about who see nothing wrong with bullying others to compromise their convictions just so long as they get their own way and everybody conforms to their way of thinking.

For example: it is my own personal feelings that Luke 22:35-36 makes it okay for Christ's followers to own guns for self defense. Well; a rather opinionated Christian in one of my Sunday school classes sneered at me for feeling that way and proceeded to pontificate that Jesus' instructions were only "preparatory" for the upcoming confrontation with Judas and the crowd that came with him that night to arrest Jesus. Okay; that's fine with me if that's the way he feels about it; but sneering at me for feeling my way about it was not only thoughtless, but improper too.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 03, 2019, 06:20:18 pm
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1Cor 9:13-14 . . Don't you know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

The covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God in the Old Testament doesn't allow Levitical priests to own land where they can provide themselves sustenance by working their own farms. It's God's decree that a number of the sacrifices and offerings that the priesthood's constituents bring are dedicated to not just sustaining a friendly association with God, but also to nourishing the priests. (e.g. Ex 29:31-32, Lev 2:1-10, Lev 7:11-15)

Obviously then, 1Cor 9:13-14 is saying that Christian congregations ought to pitch in and help provide their churches' full-time officers with a decent standard of living. This is not optional; no, it's something that "The Lord has commanded."


NOTE: I would say that Christians whose officers rarely, if ever, preach the gospel are exempt.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on May 03, 2019, 11:35:30 pm
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1Cor 9:13-14 . . Don't you know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

The covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God in the Old Testament doesn't allow Levitical priests to own land where they can provide themselves sustenance by working their own farms. It's God's decree that a number of the sacrifices and offerings that the priesthood's constituents bring are dedicated to not just sustaining a friendly association with God, but also to nourishing the priests. (e.g. Ex 29:31-32, Lev 2:1-10, Lev 7:11-15)

Obviously then, 1Cor 9:13-14 is saying that Christian congregations ought to pitch in and help provide their churches' full-time officers with a decent standard of living. This is not optional; no, it's something that "The Lord has commanded."


NOTE: I would say that Christians whose officers rarely, if ever, preach the gospel are exempt.
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The Law of Moses did not allow the Levis (priest) to go to war either. That is except for one where Jesus was the commander.

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 04, 2019, 10:00:59 pm
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1Cor 9:24-25 . . Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

The prize that Olympians won back in those days wasn't much. No medals: just a simple garland for the head consisting of a wreath made with wild olive leaves from a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia. In time the leaves dried out and crumbled.

The important thing to note about 1Cor 9:24-25 is that the prize isn't a pass into the kingdom of God. No; the prize is an award rather than a wage; and there is more than one kind; e.g. Phil 4:1, 1Tim 4:8, Jas 1:12, 1Pet 5:4, Rev 14:14.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 05, 2019, 09:00:08 pm
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1Cor 10:6-7 . . Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to play.

The Bible doesn't provide much detail at Ex 32:1-6 as to what went on in camp while Moses was up on the mountain. But one thing we know for sure is that there was a golden calf; and the "eat and drink" to which the apostle refers was a ritual where people sacrificed to the calf and afterwards consumed the sacrifice as an act of communion with it; sort of like an old fashioned Passover.

"to play" in Ex 32:6 is from the Hebrew word tsachaq (tsaw-khak') which means: merriment; viz: pagan songs and dances dedicated to the calf; a kind of worship revelry; the likes of which in the ancient city of Corinth no doubt culminated in a drunken orgy.

Apparently some of the religions in the Roman world were pretty wild and sensual, and as a result; very popular. In comparison; Christianity was dull and boring. Those pagan religions really gave you your money's worth, while Christianity has very little to offer in the way of entertainment, except maybe for Catholicism. The late-night television comedian David Letterman once remarked they put on a pretty good show.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 06, 2019, 10:25:21 pm
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1Cor 10:8 . . Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

That event took place at Num 25:1-9. The fornication he's talking about wasn't believers with believers. It was believers with unbelievers. In other words; Christ's followers need to avoid getting romantic with unbelievers lest unbelievers lead his followers down the primrose path into something shameful and very unbecoming.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 07, 2019, 07:35:03 pm
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1Cor 10:9 . .We should not test The Lord, as some of them did-- and were slain by snakes.

That event took place at Num 21:5-9.

The obvious lesson is that it's risky to complain about the quality, the quantity, the nature, and/or the absence of God's providence.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 08, 2019, 10:30:55 pm
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1Cor 10:10 . . And do not grumble, as some of them did-- and were killed by the destroying angel.

That incident took place at Num 14:2-38. The "grumbling" grew into a pretty large anti-God protest. Anon it became violent and within a hair's breadth of culminating in Joshua's and Caleb's assassination. That was a very grave moment in Israel's history.

Anyway, Moses' people were of the opinion that God had led them out of the frying pan into the fire by assigning them an impossible task; one that would result in everybody's deaths had they attempted to obey His orders; viz: a suicide mission. Joshua and Caleb tried to convince them it wasn't a suicide mission; and that with God on their side; they would not only survive; but easily succeed. They refused to listen; and thus became resolutely insubordinate.

Now; the obvious fatal error in their thinking was simply a lack of belief that God would assist them to conquer the land. In point of fact, they didn't believe God was able to in spite of all His amazing displays of supernatural power in rescuing them from Egyptian slavery; and that's what made their unbelief all the more inexcusable. Most of us today have never seen God in action; we've only heard tell of His exploits; but Moses' people were eyewitnesses.

Putting this in a modern context:

New Christians are often led to believe that accepting Christ will improve their mood and remedy their circumstances. Well; apparently somebody neglected to tell them that they would have to fight for it, i.e. in order to obtain the fruit of the Spirit spoken of at Gal 5:22-23 they would have to knuckle down and live a life pleasing to both God and Christ; viz: comply with their wishes. (John 14:23, John 15:11)

I'm sure you can see how easy it would be for a new Christian to become disillusioned, disappointed, and somewhat bitter at being seemingly tricked into something that turns out to be too good to be true-- then they get to complaining that a number of Christ's commandments are too difficult; nobody can keep them so what's the point in even trying.

Well; that complaint is reasonable, I'll admit; but it's also insubordinate; and worse; it's contagious. If they want to give up trying to comply with The Lord's wishes; fine; but they really ought to keep their discontent with his wishes to themselves in order to avoid kindling large-scale rebellion and discontent in the ranks.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on May 08, 2019, 11:37:23 pm
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1Cor 10:10 . . And do not grumble, as some of them did-- and were killed by the destroying angel.

That incident took place at Num 14:2-38. The "grumbling" grew into a pretty large anti-God protest. Anon it became violent and within a hair's breadth of culminating in Joshua's and Caleb's assassination. That was a very grave moment in Israel's history.

Anyway, Moses' people were of the opinion that God had led them out of the frying pan into the fire by assigning them an impossible task; one that would result in everybody's deaths had they attempted to obey His orders; viz: a suicide mission. Joshua and Caleb tried to convince them it wasn't a suicide mission; and that with God on their side; they would not only survive; but easily succeed. They refused to listen; and thus became resolutely insubordinate.

Now; the obvious fatal error in their thinking was simply a lack of belief that God would assist them to conquer the land. In point of fact, they didn't believe God was able to in spite of all His amazing displays of supernatural power in rescuing them from Egyptian slavery; and that's what made their unbelief all the more inexcusable. Most of us today have never seen God in action; we've only heard tell of His exploits; but Moses' people were eyewitnesses.

Putting this in a modern context:

New Christians are often led to believe that accepting Christ will improve their mood and remedy their circumstances. Well; apparently somebody neglected to tell them that they would have to fight for it, i.e. in order to obtain the fruit of the Spirit spoken of at Gal 5:22-23 they would have to knuckle down and live a life pleasing to both God and Christ; viz: comply with their wishes. (John 14:23, John 15:11)

I'm sure you can see how easy it would be for a new Christian to become disillusioned, disappointed, and somewhat bitter at being seemingly tricked into something that turns out to be too good to be true-- then they get to complaining that a number of Christ's commandments are too difficult; nobody can keep them so what's the point in even trying.

Well; that complaint is reasonable, I'll admit; but it's also insubordinate; and worse; it's contagious. If they want to give up trying to comply with The Lord's wishes; fine; but they really ought to keep their discontent with his wishes to themselves in order to avoid kindling large-scale rebellion and discontent in the ranks.
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good day.

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 09, 2019, 07:26:21 pm
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1Cor 10:11-12 . .These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

Their substandard compliance with God's wishes didn't bring about the return of Moses' people to Egypt; no, "once saved always saved" applied to them as well as to us. However, their conduct did cause them to "fall" that is: fall out of favor with God.

That's a risk even for Christ's followers whose destiny in heaven is a sure thing; iron clad and set in concrete. The good shepherd's sheep will never again be in danger of eternal suffering; but they are always in danger of losing out on the benefits of providence due to conduct unbecoming.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." (Rom 8:35-36)

That's a reference to Psalm 44 which speaks not of damnation, rather, of discipline.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 10, 2019, 07:39:58 pm
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1Cor 10:14 . .Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.

There's that word "flee" again; which in many of its applications in the New Testament means to run for your life. So you can see that idolatry can have very serious consequences.

There's more to idolatry than just bowing and/or praying to sculpture and art. It's possible to be an idolater without even being especially religious.

"Don't be greedy for the good things of this life; for that is idolatry" (Col 3:5)

Greed then, is one of the characteristics of an idolater. In other words: idolatry is a personality issue rather than only a religious issue. Even atheists qualify as idolaters if they have a greedy personality; e.g. Wall Street's investment bankers and commodities traders. Their "golden calf" is profit.

It's okay to want the good things in life: after all; God has given us richly all things to enjoy (1Tim 6:17). It's the insatiable desire for good things that makes people idolaters; in other words avarice; which is never content; no, avarice always wants more, more, more, more, and then some. Nowhere is that more rampant than corporate greed which will walk over the dead bodies of its employees if that's what it takes for a better quarterly report.

I'm not exaggerating. Made-in-China goods merchant WALMART used to take out life insurance policies on its employees-- not for the families; but for itself. In other words; it named itself the beneficiary on those employee life insurance policies so that when one died, they recovered some of the wages and benefits they had to pay the employee while they were alive and working for them.

The policies are called COLI (corporate-owned life insurance) policies. But they're better known in the insurance industry as "dead peasant" and/or "dead janitor" policies. WALMART isn't the only big business doing this sort of thing. An attorney for the Hartford Life Insurance Co. estimates that one-fourth of the Fortune 500 companies have them, which cover the lives of between 5 million and 6 million workers. COLI policies seem to me a ghoulish way to make a buck; but then it should surprise no one that idolaters have no sensibilities to speak of seeing as how they revere not God, but rather the power, the prestige, and the comforts of wealth.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 11, 2019, 10:26:53 pm
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1Cor 10:24 . . Nobody should seek only his own good, but also the good of others.

That's not saying it's wrong to seek your own good; just wrong to seek it at the expense of another's good; viz: selfish ambition might be an acceptable modus operandi in professional sports, politics, and big business; but it's totally unacceptable in one's association with fellow believers. And there is nothing new in that; I mean after all; it's just another way of expressing the so-called golden rule; which states: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matt 7:12)

It's interesting to note that if people weren't so hard-hearted; there would be no need for laws that force people to do right by their fellow man.

I once took a city slicker friend out shooting in the Oregon woods with a cowboy style six-gun. In typical wrangler fashion he yelled yahoo and fired the six-gun up into the air before I could stop him. It then became necessary for me to remind my friend that bullets eventually come down and can quite possibly hit someone off in the distance; maybe even a child.

Drive-by shooters know this, but they're typically psychopathic so it's to be expected they don't care where their bullets go. However, I should hope no Christian reading this is psychopathic; but will think about their words and actions before those words and actions impact an innocent person's life in a way that's not easily repaired.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 12, 2019, 10:29:18 pm
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1Cor 10:25-26 . . Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for the earth is The Lord's, and everything in it.

Seeing as how God owns everything in existence, and answers to no one how He goes about managing it; then what He says goes because nobody can stop Him from making and/or enforcing whatever rules He wishes.

Whether God's rules are loving, moral, just, and/or right and wise is irrelevant. It's as futile to criticize lightening for being so bright, and thunder for being so loud, as it is to criticize God's rules because no matter how much people complain about thunder and lightening; there is nothing they can do to get them abolished.

One of the Greek words translated "lord" in the New Testament is despotes (des-pot'-ace) from which we get our English word despot; defined by Webster's as a ruler with absolute power and authority.

A percentage of the meat sold by vendors in Corinth was either blessed by, or dedicated to, pagan deities. Paul instructed his friends to avoid asking which was which since it doesn't matter to God if the foods Christians ingest are religiously tainted without their knowledge: and since it's The Lord's earth, then if He says it's okay; then it's okay; but again, only if we're unaware of the meat's religious significance.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 13, 2019, 07:02:36 pm
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1Cor 10:27-29 . . If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you "This has been offered in sacrifice" then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake-- the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours.

If you go ahead and dine in someone's home where you know in advance the food is either dedicated to, or blessed by, a pagan deity, or that when they say grace around the table it will be to a god other than your own, or to a sacred personage that you do not accept; then your host is quite possibly going to come to the conclusion that his religion is just as valid as yours if you don't decline.

This is not saying that Catholics and Protestants can't eat together and/or pray together around the table; nor is it saying that Christians and Jews can't eat together and pray together around the table: not when Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are all praying to the same God: just from a different perspective.

I will say this though: if you are a Catholic host, and your guests are either Protestants or Jews; then for heaven's sake DO NOT pray around the table to Christ's mom and/or to one of Catholicism's many patron saints. That is extremely offensive to Protestants and Jews, and totally unnecessary anyway when you can just as easily say grace to the one supreme being common to you all.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on May 13, 2019, 09:19:58 pm
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1Cor 10:27-29 . . If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you "This has been offered in sacrifice" then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake-- the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours.

If you go ahead and dine in someone's home where you know in advance the food is either dedicated to, or blessed by, a pagan deity, or that when they say grace around the table it will be to a god other than your own, or to a sacred personage that you do not accept; then your host is quite possibly going to come to the conclusion that his religion is just as valid as yours if you don't decline.

This is not saying that Catholics and Protestants can't eat together and/or pray together around the table; nor is it saying that Christians and Jews can't eat together and pray together around the table: not when Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are all praying to the same God: just from a different perspective.

I will say this though: if you are a Catholic host, and your guests are either Protestants or Jews; then for heaven's sake DO NOT pray around the table to Christ's mom and/or to one of Catholicism's many patron saints. That is extremely offensive to Protestants and Jews, and totally unnecessary anyway when you can just as easily say grace to the one supreme being common to you all.
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No, as Christian and a Protestant the sin of the Catholics for praying to false Idols is not offensive to me....WHAT about JESUS CHRIST.... don't you think it is offensive to HIM

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 14, 2019, 07:56:27 pm
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1Cor 10:31 . . So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

One of the meanings of the Greek word for glory is "honor" which in this case can be defined as doing something out of respect for someone admired and/or held in high esteem.

A pretty good example of this particular motivation is recorded at Luke 5:4-5. In Peter's opinion, it would be futile to cast a net for fish where Jesus said, but did so anyway; and it turned out to be a very important turning point in Peter's life.

In other words: some of Christ's prescriptions for our lives may not be all that agreeable, but it's best to accommodate him anyway if we value his friendship.

"If you love me, you will obey what I command." (John 14:15)

"All those who love me will do what I say." (John 14:23)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 15, 2019, 09:08:46 pm
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1Cor 10:32-33 . . Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

If only more Christians the world over would just make an effort to be civil-- if only that and nothing else --it would improve the gospel's chances of at least being heard, if not accepted.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 16, 2019, 10:31:56 pm
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1Cor 11:1 . . Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

In the Catholic religion, a "saint" is a role model for others. Well, 1Cor 11:1 lists an exceptional model for everyone regardless of their age, race, gender, and/or religious affiliation.

Christ is very famous 'round the world for exemplifying the virtues of kindness, friendship, and generosity.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 18, 2019, 09:53:24 pm
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1Cor 11:3 . . But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

It never seems to fail that somebody will actually attempt to refute Paul's statement by quoting another of his own statements.

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:26-28)

(chuckle) Paul pitted against Paul; the clash of the titans, only in this event, both titans are one and the same titan. Yes, both genders are one in Christ; but then Jesus and God are one also, yet there is a hierarchy in the Divinity because "the head of Christ is God"
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 20, 2019, 07:20:37 am
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1Cor 11:4-5a . . Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered disrespects his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disrespects her head

That's a little tricky seeing as how the word "head" can refer to a skull and/or a superior; so to clarify this a bit, I'm going to revise some of the above a little.

"Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered disrespects Christ. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disrespects men."

Some of the world's women have made disrespecting men their life's work; and nothing makes them happier than finding ways to chafe one. When they become a Christian, it's imperative they give up that particular ambition.

This issue isn't really a gender issue, it's a progenitor issue.

The woman wasn't made directly from the dust of the ground like the man was. She was made from material amputated from the man's body; which makes him every woman's father. So that when women disrespect men, they are actually disrespecting their paternal ancestor; which is a shameful thing to do in any culture; not just the Christian religion.

Christian women aren't required to cover their hair all the time; only whenever they pray and/or prophesy; especially in the presence of men.

No doubt this is very disagreeable with a certain number of Christian women whose heart's ambition is to assert their independence and demand equality. Well, if they don't want to cover their hair when praying and/or prophesying out of respect for men, then they should at least woman-up and do it out of respect for Christ's feelings about it; after all, he's supposed to be every Christian woman's lord and master. In other words; this is more a test of one's loyalty than a test of their politics.

"If you love me, you will comply with what I command" (John 14:15)

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." (John 14:21)

"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching." (John 14:23-24)

"You are my friends if you do what I command you." (John 15:14)


NOTE: According to 1Cor 14:37 and 1Thess 4:1-2, the apostles' doctrine is Christ's doctrine; it's a domino effect all the way to the top.

"Whoever listens to you; listens to me. Whoever rejects you; rejects me. And whoever rejects me; rejects the one who sent me." (Luke 10:16)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 21, 2019, 07:30:45 pm
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1Cor 11:5b-6a . . it is just as though her head were shorn. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off;

In other words: if Christian women want to be treated equal to Christian men, then they should go all out to imitate Christian men by first of all getting themselves a man's haircut, and leave their hair short all the time like a masculine lesbian, viz; a dyke.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 23, 2019, 07:40:25 am
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1Cor 11:6b . . If it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

Okay: if Christian women would be somewhat embarrassed to show up in church looking like a man and/or LGBT, then they have only one other option; and that's to show up in church looking like women. But in order to retain their femininity whenever they pray and/or prophesy; they are simply going to have to cover their hair with something or heaven will have no choice but to assume the worst about them.


NOTE: A number of rules regulating Christian women are often viewed as subjugation. But those rules are actually for the purpose of subordination rather than subjugation; i.e. Christianity's gender hierarchy is based upon primogeniture, i.e. the man was created before the woman; plus she was created from the man and for the man; and thus owes the very reason for her existence to a man; and her role is a supporting role rather than a starring role.

That's true Christian doctrine; it's ironic the number of Christian women calling themselves Christ's followers that don't like it and resolutely refuse to abide by it.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 24, 2019, 07:34:02 am
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1Cor 11:7-10 . . A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a token of authority on her head.

There's probably as much disagreement about the identity of the angels in that passage as there is about the sons of God in the 6th chapter of Genesis. Well; whoever these angels are, or whatever they are, they're apparently indignant when they see women in church acting as though they're equals with men.

Christians have simply got to come to grips with the fact that women will never be equal to men in the divine order of things. No, they will always be daddy's little girl. Ergo: women aren't from Venus after all; no, they're actually the daughters of Mars (so to speak).


POSIT: Paul meant that hair coverings are optional when he said: "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God" (1Cor 11:16)

RESPONSE: That is yet another example of people refuting Paul by quoting Paul.

The "custom" he's talking about is women praying and or prophesying bare-headed. Apparently the Jews' synagogues, and all the rest of the Christian churches in the Roman world required their women to attend with something on their heads. Since that was so, then why ever would the Corinthian Christians think that their women were somehow exempt?

"Judge in yourselves: is it proper that a woman pray unto God uncovered?" (1Cor 11:13)

The answer of course is NO; it isn't proper-- it's insolent, inappropriate, and disrespectful; plus it is conduct unbecoming for women professing to revere Christ's right to tell his followers how to be Christians.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 25, 2019, 10:43:40 pm
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1Cor 11:27-30 . .Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

The koiné Greek word for "unworthy" is anaxios (an-ax-ee'-oce) which means: irreverently; which Webster's defines as: lacking proper respect or seriousness. In other words "sacrilege" which is gross irreverence toward a hallowed person, place, or thing.

"sinning against the body and blood of the Lord" is very similar language to 1Cor 6:18, which states: The immoral man sins against his own body. There, as here, we're not talking about suicide and/or homicide; were talking about desecration; which Webster's defines as: to violate the sanctity of, to profane-- viz: to treat with disrespect, i.e. irreverently and/or outrageously.

People sin during the Lord's supper when they fail to take it seriously that the elements represent his body-- not his so-called glorified body; but the one that was crucified; viz; his disfigured, bloodied body.

What do you suppose went on during those three hours of thick darkness around the cross? (Matt 27:45) Well; the abuse that the Romans inflicted on Christ was merely a warm up for the main event. When the darkness came; that's when God stepped into the ring; and the gloves came off. When the darkness lifted, people saw a Jesus so beaten and bloodied beyond recognition that they could scarcely tell he was the same man.

"There were many who were appalled at him-- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man, and his form marred beyond human likeness." (Isa 52:14)

"Jehovah was pleased to crush him, putting him to grief" (Isa 53:10)

I have to wonder how ever a father could do something like that to his own son; especially for a world that wouldn't even appreciate that the injuries God inflicted upon His own son were for their benefit.

"A man ought to examine himself" is an imperative to make double sure that one's heart is in the right place when consuming the elements (a.k.a. species). Some people gulp them down as if they were nothing more than a snack of hot wings and cold beer during a Super Bowl game instead of a sacred reminder of what God's son endured to ransom their souls from a second death in the lake of brimstone depicted at Rev 20:11-15. Those people have to expect that a very indignant father is going to come down on them for that-- maybe not with sickness, maybe not with death, and maybe not right away; but eventually with something; and really, who can blame Him?


NOTE: Observance of the  Lord's supper isn't a mandatory requirement; so if you are a bit nervous about going about it in the wrong way, then don't take chances; play it safe and refrain.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 27, 2019, 08:02:35 am
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1Cor 11:33-34 . . My brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

The command doesn't frown upon things like church banquets, men's' breakfasts, ladies' luncheons, and/or potlucks per se. What it's criticizing is a lack of congregational unity. Here's comments leading up to that verse.

"Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

. . .Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat The Lord's Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you." (1Cor 11:17-22)

Their lack of love and unity during church functions was nothing short of hypocrisy seeing as how The Lord's supper speaks of sacrifice rather than selfishness, elitism, and hoarding. In other words; seeing as how Christians all share in Christ's blood equally-- and all deserve hell equally --then everyone should be given equal treatment at church regardless of age, gender, skin color, intelligence, income level, nationality, what side of the tracks they live on, or social status.

None of Christ's body parts are untouchable; nor are any of them expendable. God forbid that there should be some sort of caste system in a gathering of people for whom Christ suffered and died equally for each one. That just wouldn't be right: it would be an insult to the principles underlying The Lord's supper.

"Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying: Drink from it, all of you." (Matt 26:27)

 If Christians are all drinking from the same cup, then they should all be, at the very least, eating the same food and not be overly concerned about where they sit and/or who they sit next to and/or who they're seen with. And they should also make double sure that everyone gets enough to eat and that no one gets left out and nobody gets more than his fair share. And they should all sit down together at the same time. I just hate it when people don't wait for each other. Some get back to the table and start in gulping, slurping, clattering, and clanking while others from their table are still in line.

And they should also take into consideration the possibility that a number of their congregation are in assistance programs like TANF and SNAP. In other words; don't just bring enough food from home for yourself; but, if you're able, bring enough for those among you who can't bring anything at all. And for heaven's sake, don't bring a side dish of gourmet food along just for yourself. Leave your special gourmet stuff at home. There's just no excuse for flaunting your "sophistication" around church thus giving everyone the impression that everyone else's tastes are below yours.

You know; why am I even saying these things? In point of fact, why even did Paul? I mean: shouldn't Christians be eo ipso sources of the milk of human kindness without somebody shaming them and lecturing them into being humane with their fellow believers and taking thought for their feelings? Why must so many Christians be practically strong-armed into being civil with one another?
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 28, 2019, 08:33:14 am
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1Cor 14:1a . . Pursue charity

The koiné Greek word for "charity" in that command is agape (ag-ah'-pay) which basically means love, e.g. affection, benevolence, kindness, compassion, empathy, tenderness, understanding, devotion, caring, thoughtfulness, generosity, and a host of other things like that. Love will cause you to look out for someone's best interests without them even having to ask you to.

The word for "pursue" is dioko (dee-o'-ko) which in many places in the New Testament means persecute. Well; it hardly seems a good idea to persecute love. I think what the command is wanting to get across to Christians is that they're supposed to go after and obtain love with a determined attitude like a hunter, or a stalker, or someone who just won't take "no" for an answer; like the woman who hounded the Lord at Mark 7:25-28.

Love is the heart and soul of all of Christ's commandments. Christians without love haven't even got to first base yet. I think it's very safe to say that without love; one won't be loyal because love and loyalty go together like a horse and a carriage.

You know, when you love somebody, you will do all in your power to do what's best for them. Nobody has to crack the whip on people who truly love because their affections compel them.

People with a tin woodman's soul don't understand what I'm talking about because there's a cold piece of steel inside them where a heart is supposed to be. Well; thank God there's a remedy for that.

"If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you." (Rom 8:11)

At first glance that passage appears to be speaking of the body's future resurrection, and it probably is; but it's also talking about the here and now regarding the power of a supernatural benefit package called the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:19-25)

The fruit of the Spirit wasn't a new revelation in the days of the apostles. It was predicted many years before them in the Old Testament.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws." (Ezek 36:26-28)

An "heart of flesh" would normally be regarded in modern Sunday school classes as a bad thing. There in Ezekiel, flesh is juxtaposed with stone to indicate that God is talking about tenderness; which can be defined as gentleness, kindness, sensitivity, and deep affection; i.e. the warm, softer emotions.

A heart of stone is cold and dead, like those massive granite monoliths in Yosemite Valley. They feel not the slightest bit of pity for climbers who lose their grip and fall. Nope, those big rocks just go on like nothing ever happened; silent, indifferent, unconcerned, non grieving, non compassionate, and non sympathetic; i.e. they feel nothing: nothing at all.

"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion" (Col 3:12)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 30, 2019, 11:00:14 pm
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1Cor 14:1b . . eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.

An actual spiritual gift is an ability that comes from God, and there are quite few of them, e.g.

• The word of wisdom (1Cor 12:8)
• The word of knowledge (1Cor 12:8)
• Faith (1Cor 12:9)
• Healing (1Cor 12:9)
• Miracles (1Cor 12:10)
• Prophecy (1Cor 12:10)
• Distinguishing spirits (1Cor 12:10)
• Languages (1Cor 12:10)
• Interpreting languages (1Cor 12:10)
• Helps (1Cor 12:28)
• Administration (1Cor 12:28)
• Ministering (Rom 12:7)
• Teaching (Rom 12:7)
• Encouragement (Rom 12:8)
• Charity (Rom 12:8)
• Leadership (Rom 12:8)
• Compassion (Rom 12:8)
• Evangelism (Eph 4:11)
• Pastoring (Eph 4:11)

The New Testament Greek word for "prophesy" is propheteuo (prof-ate-yoo'-o) which essentially means to speak under inspiration. That definition is very similar to the Old Testament Hebrew word for "prophet" which is nabiy' (naw-bee'). That word describes an inspired person of either gender; e.g. Abel was a prophet (Luke 11:50-51) Abraham was a prophet (Gen 20:7) Moses was a prophet (Deut 18:18) Miriam was a prophet (Ex 15:20) Deborah was a prophet (Judg 4:4) and Huldah was a prophet (2Kgs 22:14).

Inspired people need not be highly educated; for example Amos was just a simple farm boy whom God drafted into service right out of the blue. (Amos 7:14-15)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on May 31, 2019, 10:53:12 pm
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1Cor 14:13 . . anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.

If Acts 2:1-12 is the model; then a genuine Spirit-endowed tongue should be an honest to gosh real-life language instead of incoherent blabber that's intelligible to no one, not even the speaker.

"Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

. . . Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs— we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"

Mozart composed some amazing music; but had he not arranged the components sensibly, it would likely grate on people's nerves instead of entertaining them; sort of like when an orchestra verifies the pitch of its instruments just prior to a performance. The discordant din that the orchestra makes is a cacophony instead of a rhapsody.

"Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?" (1Cor 14:7)

Modern tonguers typically don't compose anything pleasant to the ear. At least if they would chirp like birds their speech would be a discernable song instead of an unintelligible warble.

I was informed by a Charismatic friend that he prayed in a tongue because he couldn't express his deepest feelings any other way. Mind you this was an American adult of almost fifty years old; educated in America and spoke, wrote, and read English-- his native language his entire life. So I asked him how it is that his command of the English was so poor that he could only express his thoughts in a language that not even he himself could either identify or understand?

"If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind." (1Cor 14:13-15)

In other words: there are Christians out and about blabbering incoherently because they choose to, rather than because they have to. With just a simple act of their own will they could easily switch to something composed with real words.

Why on earth would a grown-up prefer incoherent blabbering? Isn't that the way small children communicate? Well, I can excuse small children because they're uneducated. But shouldn't supposed educated adults be just a bit more mature with their language and grammar than small children?

The true gift of tongues is very handy for communicating with foreigners. But in our day and age, Charismatics typically don't communicate with anybody, either foreign or domestic . As a result, Charismatics are looked upon with the same disdain as the kooks that hurl themselves on the floor, faint, scream, writhe, shout, and dance with rattlesnakes.

Well; not too many sensible people care to accommodate kooks, so if you're serious about influencing people for Christ, I highly recommend sticking to an intelligible language. Here in my country, English is a good choice because most people can understand it without requiring the services of a translator.

And for heaven's sake, please don't allow yourself to be drawn to participating in a tongues meeting.

"So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand, or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?" (1Cor 14:23)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 01, 2019, 10:34:32 pm
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1Cor 14:22a . .Tongues are for a sign

The sign isn't intended for the benefit of believers, but rather, for non-believers.

"Not to them that believe, but to them that believe not." (1Cor 14:22b)

The purpose of any tongue is communication.

"Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air." (1Cor 14:9)

So if a tonguer is speaking a language nobody understands, they've actually created a barrier to communication; viz: a regression to the tower of Babel; and you can see for yourself how destructive that was to unity (Gen 11:1-9). Webster's defines "regression" as: movement backward to a previous, and especially worse or more primitive state or condition; viz: backwards thinking.

Since tongues are for the benefit of unbelievers, then it's de facto that a tongue should be a valid language that the unbeliever himself speaks and understands (cf. Acts 2:4-11). Somebody who exercises a tongue for any other reason has missed the point; and they're behaving like a little kid with a toy.

"Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults." (1Cor 14:20)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 02, 2019, 08:19:56 am
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1Cor 14:27-28 . . If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

Tonguers are not permitted to speak all at the same time like a mob of howling political protesters. One of the reasons why I get so annoyed by talk shows like Today's Talk with Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kodb, and ABC's The View is because everyone talks all at once like a bunch of undisciplined dogs barking and yapping in a kennel. And the way they interrupt each other back and forth before the other can even finish a sentence is one of the very things we teach children not to do. You'd think those supposedly mature adults grew up without supervision the way they conduct themselves in a conversation.

NO! tonguers are to take turns; speaking one at a time, rather than an entire congregation of tonguers barking and yapping like dogs in a kennel whenever they "feel the Spirit" moving them. And if there's no one to interpret, tonguers are not permitted to speak at all. If Christians the world over followed those rules, it would put the charismatics out of business right quick.


FYI: These directives regulating the exercise of tongues in a church meeting were written by the apostle Paul-- a duly authorized agent speaking on behalf of Christianity's Christ.

"If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." (1Cor 14:37)

Therefore, when Christians proceed to defy the rules regulating the exercise of tongues, they are in shameful rebellion against the very lord and master of Christianity; and yet, ironically, many tongue violators still have the chutzpah to pass themselves off as the Lord's Spirit-filled followers. However; a follower can be defined as someone who gets in step and/or falls in line rather than going off-reservation to do their own thing.

"Rebellion is as the sin of divination; and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry." (1Sam 15:23)

"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth" (1John 1:6)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 04, 2019, 08:11:25 am
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1Cor 14:29-31 . .Two, or three, prophets should speak, and everyone else should weigh carefully what is said. If a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.

Though God endows certain Spirit-selected people in church with the gift of prophecy (1Cor 12:4-11) it is not He who endows them with the impulse to talk out of turn. Self control is their responsibility; not His.

"The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." (1Cor 14:32)

Actual prophets channel God's thoughts; viz: they speak as the voice of God. People with opinions don't speak as the voice of God at all; they speak as themselves. True prophets are revelators; people with opinions are little more than a nuisance; and if not kept in check they will quickly derail a Sunday school class and drag it off onto a perpetual bull session that never gets to the bottom of anything.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 05, 2019, 07:22:07 am
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1Cor 14:34 . . Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak; but must be in submission (i.e. subordinate to the men)

It could be argued, with some merit, that this rule applies only to tongues and prophecy; but Paul goes further with this rule in a letter to his friend Timothy.

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve." (1Tim 2:11-13)

It's important to note that this is neither a gender issue nor an issue related to competence; it's an issue related to primogeniture. For that reason it's an insubordinate act of contempt for authority when Christian women lead Christian men in a Christian congregation.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 06, 2019, 08:01:46 am
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1Cor 14:35 . . If women have questions, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

What's an inquiring wife to do if her husband is spiritually inept? I'd suggest that women married to spiritually inept Christian men, and/or women married to non-Christian men, and/or unmarried women; seek assistance from one of the ladies in church known to be somewhat of a Bible expert.

But for safety's sake, she shouldn't seek assistance from another woman's husband; even if he's the pastor, or a deacon, or an elder; it's not only disobedient, but that's also how rumors (and other things) get started.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 07, 2019, 07:29:40 am
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1Cor 14:37-38 . . If anybody thinks he's a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command.

If your Sunday school, or your catechism class, is being chaired by somebody who disagrees with the Lord's commands regulating women's subordination, or the use and abuse of tongues, and/or the speaking of prophecy; then believe me you have a serious problem because it indicates that your leader is humanistic rather than inspired.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 08, 2019, 08:37:46 am
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1Cor 14:38 . . But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

In other words: if a Bible teacher refuses to accept the apostle Paul as a duly authorized agent speaking for Christ; then his believing followers are under orders to ignore that person's opinion of themselves that they're a prophet and/or spiritually gifted.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 09, 2019, 07:38:48 am
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1Cor 14:39 . .Therefore, brethren, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

That rule applies only to people who actually have the gifts of tongues and/or prophesy because according to Rom 12:4-6, 1Cor 12:10, 1Cor 12:29-30, and 1Cor 14:5 not everyone does.

So then; it's okay to speak in a tongue, and it's okay to prophesy, but both must be done not only according to the rules, but also with intelligence and grown-up behavior.

"Let all things be done decorously and in proper order." (1Cor 14:40)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 10, 2019, 08:15:37 am
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1Cor 15:34 . . Come to your senses and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don't have the knowledge of God.

That directive is in connection with some of the Corinthians' insistence that dead people stay dead and never recover.

"Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?" (1Cor 15:12)

Apparently some of the Corinthians couldn't see that Christ's resurrection is evidence that it's possible for dead people to recover. A measure of that blindness exists even today among people who insist that Christ's crucified dead body didn't recover. They insist he rose from the dead with another body: a so-called glorified body; and some even insist that Christ returned from the dead as a spirit being rather than a human being, and others postulate that his post crucifixion appearances were done as an angel disguised in a fully functioning human avatar. But if any of that were true, then Christ's prediction at John 2:19-22 would be easily invalidated.

According to 1Cor 15:51-53 and 1Thes 4:13-17, the natural remains of Christ's followers will first revive as they were and then be transformed into something very wonderful during a flight up to meet the Lord in the air.

There is really no sensible reason to not believe that Christ underwent the very same process, i.e. his crucified remains were first returned to life just as he predicted; and then forty days later, at some point during the flight up to heaven as per Acts 1:9, his revived mortal body underwent transformation into an immortal superhuman body.

According to 1Cor 15:34, people who believe Christ's crucified dead body is still dead aren't fully conscious; viz: they're like someone in a stupor; i.e. dazed.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 11, 2019, 08:16:39 am
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1Cor 15:56-58 . .The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is The Commandments; but thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing discourage you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of The Lord, because you know that your labor in The Lord isn't futile.

Though Mother Teresa put up a very convincing public image during those five decades of missionary activity in India, her private letters to spiritual counselors reveal that the poor woman was never really sure that Christianity's God even exists; and if He did exist, she was plagued with dread that He didn't particularly like her and might be quite disposed to condemn her. Though she never said so in public, there were was hardly ever a time when she didn't truly wonder if God wanted her in India in the first place.

Had Teresa's personality not been the D-9 Caterpillar tractor that it was, I think the celebrity nun would have given up in India after only one year. But as anyone who knew her will vouch, Teresa wasn't a quitter; no, she was a little bulldog, a survivor; and poverty was her dream venue. However, bull-doggedness is not what Paul is talking about in 1Cor 15:56-58; no, quite the contrary.

Just imagine if somebody had it in the back of their mind that they might be giving The Lord unreserved quantities of their time, talent, and resources in a thankless endeavor only to end up being condemned anyway as per Matt 7:22-23. Well, Paul assured the Corinthians that Christ's work on the cross, and in the grave, guaranteed that wouldn't happen to them— their resurrection to a better life was in the bag; therefore they needn't fear that in the end their work for The Lord will be judged all for nothing.

Ironically; and at the time of his writing, the Corinthians were not all that spiritual. (1Cor 3:1-3). However; though their work in The Lord was being performed by Christians whose spirituality was basically substandard, they were still useful; which tells me that it isn't necessary to be a super saint before one can begin serving Christ. Just serve him as best you can and pay no attention to your location on the curve: keeping in mind that loyalty and reliability count more than quantity.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 12, 2019, 08:18:54 am
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1Cor 16:1-3 . . Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.

The "God's people" to whom Paul referred were Jewish Christians whose church was located at Jerusalem. They were having it pretty rough in the early days of Christianity.

Lest somebody should get the wrong idea, that wasn't a tithe. Christ left it up to each individual in Corinth the amount that they felt like donating towards the Jews' relief effort.

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2Cor 9:7)

Tithes are not gifts; no, tithes are demanded rather than donated out of the goodness of one's heart. I don't give the government my taxes; no, they take them from me by force of law; viz: I pay taxes against my will, both reluctantly and under compulsion; and I have absolutely no voice in the parentage of my income that they take. When it comes to taxes: I am not cheerful; no, I am grudging. Well; that is not Christian giving. No; Christians have a faith that works by love, not by law. (Gal 5:6)

It would be interesting to take a poll among America's churches just to see, out of curiosity, how many have a program for assisting Jewish Christians over in the modern State of Israel.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on June 12, 2019, 04:05:11 pm
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1Cor 16:1-3 . . Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.

The "God's people" to whom Paul referred were Jewish Christians whose church was located at Jerusalem. They were having it pretty rough in the early days of Christianity.

Lest somebody should get the wrong idea, that wasn't a tithe. Christ left it up to each individual in Corinth the amount that they felt like donating towards the Jews' relief effort.

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2Cor 9:7)

Tithes are not gifts; no, tithes are demanded rather than donated out of the goodness of one's heart. I don't give the government my taxes; no, they take them from me by force of law; viz: I pay taxes against my will, both reluctantly and under compulsion; and I have absolutely no voice in the parentage of my income that they take. When it comes to taxes: I am not cheerful; no, I am grudging. Well; that is not Christian giving. No; Christians have a faith that works by love, not by law. (Gal 5:6)

It would be interesting to take a poll among America's churches just to see, out of curiosity, how many have a program for assisting Jewish Christians over in the modern State of Israel.
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kinda of got of  the scripture message.... I hate it when somebody take one or two verses and tries to convey that to the people within the walls of the Church so they will bend to the will of the church leaders.

You are way out of line here.

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 13, 2019, 08:24:53 am
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1Cor 16:13a . . Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be men of courage; be strong.

The koiné Greek word for "men of courage" is andrizomai (an-drid'-zom-ahee) which basically means to act manly; defined by Webster's as: (1) having qualities generally associated with a man; viz: strength and virility, and (2) appropriate in character to a man.

Well; we sure don't want the Christian women in church to become so-called strong women; i.e. she-males. Masculinity is definitely not appropriate in character to Christian women. We want them to stand firm in the faith in a womanly way, viz: feminine rather than masculine.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 14, 2019, 07:58:44 am
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1Cor 16:14 . . Do everything in love.

In context; "everything" probably refers to managing a church.

If church officers aren't sure how to be in charge and at the same time be civil, then they might take some time to study 1Cor 13:1-8 with a commentary and/or read "How To Win Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

Well; Carnegie's instructions are okay as far as they go, but though he can teach people how to go thru the motions, he cannot give people a heart; viz: he can teach people how to act, but he cannot empower people how to feel.

Love is something that shouldn't be an effort. It's supposed to come naturally to Christians due to the power of God promised to His people way back in the Old Testament.

"I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you and bring it about that you will walk in My statutes and you will keep My ordinances and do them." (Ezek 36:26-27)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 15, 2019, 08:42:03 am
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1Cor 16:15-18 . .You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it. I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.

Paul and his associates depended pretty heavily upon the hospitality of local believers for accommodations and daily necessities. Congregations do well to follow the examples of Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus either by opening their homes to missionaries or by funding their stay in a motel and providing them with a rental car.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 16, 2019, 07:28:26 am
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1Cor 16:20 . . Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Kissing was a common form of greeting in the old world; and still is in the Middle East and certain parts of Europe; but here in America-- a super-sized racial/cultural/ethnic amalgam of customs from all over the globe --it's wise to dispense your kisses with discretion. Some of us don't even like to be hugged, let alone bussed; and if you should perchance try to make physical contact with an autistic Christian, you're liable to cause them a panic attack; so go easy on the touchy-feely stuff.

The people to whom Paul referred as "one another" are one's fellow born-again Christians. We're not required to kiss unbelievers. You can be courteous to them, yes (cf. Matt 5:47) but reserve especially warm greetings for your siblings; viz: those who've undergone a second birth as per John 1:12-13 and John 3:3-8, and thus share your adoption into God's home as per Rom 8:15-17.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 17, 2019, 08:29:19 am
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1Cor 16:22 . . If anyone love not The Lord, let him be accursed.

One's love of The Lord is evidenced by loyalty.

"If you love me, you will comply with what I command." (John 14:15)

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." (John 14:21)

"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching." (John 14:23-24)

Does a Muslim have to be a terrorist to be accursed? No; they only have to be a loyal follower of Muhammad ibn `Abdullāh instead of a loyal follower of Jesus Christ; same goes for Atheists, Nonreligious, Baha'i, Buddhists, Chinese Universalists, Confucianists, Jains, Kabbalah mystics, Shintoists, Spiritists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Jews, Sikhs, and Hindus-- they're all accursed and there is nothing to be gained in arguing about it.

How many people am I talking about? Well, as of mid 2014, worldwide there were:

550,000 Scientologists
1,500,000 Mormons
8,200,000 Jehovah's Witnesses
7,794,000 Baha'i
515,951,000 Buddhists
451,292,000 Chinese Folk Religionists
8,424,000 Confucianists
974,597,000 Hindus
5,567,000 Jains
14,142,000 Jews
1,673,590 Muslims
2,819,000 Shintoists
24,918,000 Sikhs
14,183,000 Spiritists
8,660,000 Taoists
196,000 Zoroastrians
828,594,000 Nonreligious
692,111,000 Agnostics
136,483,000 Atheists.

The grand total of just those categories alone is 5,369,071,000

If those figures are in the ball park, and if classical Christianity is the reality; then a minimum of at least 75% of the earth's 2014 population of 7.2 billion people didn't love The Lord.


NOTE: Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are Christians, yes, but not in the classical sense.

Joseph Smith's movement is a spin-off; in other words: there's some classical Christianity in Mormonism, but comprises only a portion of Mormonism. The rest of it is extreme, to say the least.

Neither do Jehovah's Witnesses qualify as Christians in the classical sense. Charles Taze Russell's movement is a spin-off too. There's some classical Christianity in the Watchtower Society's doctrines, but comprises only a portion of Russell's doctrines; and his slant on it is very peculiar.


BTW: A book that I personally consider an essential volume in every Christian's library is called: "Kingdom Of The Cults" by Walter Martin.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 18, 2019, 07:50:05 am
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2Cor 2:5-10 . . The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

The cause for which Paul wrote that section was a guy in the Corinthian church sleeping with his stepmother (1Cor 5:1). Paul had commanded the congregation to not only hold the man's feet to the fire, but also to ostracize him.

Some time had passed since then, and the man was apparently regretting his actions, and broken off the illicit relationship with his kin, so it was time to let him back into the group. No doubt the humiliation of it all had a tremendous impact upon his attitude-- probably upon the congregation's too because at first their attitude wasn't all that good about it either. (cf. 1Cor 5:2)

Here in America scolding and ostracizing a church member would probably just make them indignant rather than repentant.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 19, 2019, 07:07:18 am
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2Cor 2:9-11 . . If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive --I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

One of the opposition's tactics is to create disunity in a church. Sure enough when that happens-- as when one portion of the congregation believes in judging and ostracizing while the other doesn't --people start taking sides and the church will end up divided into cliques and factions. According to the lord and master of New Testament Christianity, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Paul mentioned that his extension of forgiveness was "in the sight of Christ". There exists some controversy as to the exact meaning but I think it's just saying that Paul's forgiveness of that man was done in accordance with Christ's approval; to the end that the Corinthians all go along with it, i.e. stand together as one.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 20, 2019, 08:48:35 pm
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2Cor 5:20-21 . . We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

There's two different aspects to reconciliation. One is a criminal justice kind of reconciliation (Rom 5:6-11, Rom 6:3-11, 1John 2:2) and the other is a fellowship kind of reconciliation. (Gen 4:1-7, Gen 5:22-24, Gen 6:9, Gen 17:1, 1John 1:3-7)

For example, a man and his wife may not be speaking to each other; and sleeping in separate beds; but they're still married: they're just not getting along; in other words, they're out of fellowship with one another. It's God's wishes that His own walk with Him in fellowship while they're waiting for their departure; and the Corinthians weren't doing very well at it.

In order to restore diplomatic relations between themselves and their Father above, that congregation had to knuckle down and deal with sin in their midst in accordance with their master's wishes rather than their own. Compare Josh 7:2-26 where Moses' people couldn't win anymore battles until they first dealt with a sin in their midst.

It's ironic that a fully functioning Christian church like the one at Corinth was in need of reconciliation with God. How many Christian churches are just like that today? They pride themselves in being Spirit-filled congregations, yet their congregational attitude is completely out of touch with Christ. Yes, Christian congregations are oftentimes out of touch and need to come to their senses and reconnect or else they risk becoming like the church at Laodicea where the central figure of Christianity is depicted outside the building banging on the door trying to get someone's attention to let him in. (cf. Rev 3:14-22)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 21, 2019, 09:31:49 am
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2Cor 6:1-2 . . As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain; for He says: In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.

There's a saving relative to the sum of all fears.

A saving relative to providence and support.

A saving relative to regeneration,

A saving relative to hope, and

A saving relative to resurrection.

When people fail to discuss those five savings separately and distinctly, they inevitable embroil themselves in futile debating that never gets to the bottom of anything.

The saving relative to the sum of all fears is of course obtained entirely thru faith via the kindness and generosity of God, viz; it's a gift, totally free of charge and no strings attached; no works required. In point of fact, it has to be obtained that way or nobody would make it to safety when they passed on-- all would be lost.

On the other hand; works are very key in the saving relative to providence and support.

"No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned." (John 15:1-7)

Nobody really wants to be a stick of ol' dried up yard debris, but that's what happens when Christ's followers go off-reservation and follow their own noses.

Anyway, the Corinthian church was in danger of losing out on God's providence and support due to their leniency with sinful members in their midst. Were that to continue, then they'd still be a Christian church alright, but it would be a christless Christian church.

"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth." (1John 1:6)

The Greek word for "fellowship" is koinonia (koy-nohn-ee'-ah) which basically refers to partnership and/or participation.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 22, 2019, 07:38:16 am
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2Cor 6:14-18 . . Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

. . . for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith The Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith The Lord Almighty.

That commandment clearly forbids intermarriage between Christians and non-Christians. Failure to comply is not only grossly disobedient, but it's unwise and can have tragic results; for example:

"When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose." (Gen 6:1-2)

If we assume that the "sons of God" were believers and the "daughters of men" were not; then it would appear that back in Noah's day, believing men threw caution to the wind and built themselves harems of unbelieving women. What happened to those believing men when it came time for the Flood? Well, for one thing; they had lost their piety.

"The Lord then said to Noah: Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation." (Gen 7:1)

None of the other sons of God in that day were righteous; hence they weren't invited aboard the ark. All of those men-- whose wives were chosen based solely upon sex appeal sans any spiritual prudence whatsoever --perished in the Flood right along with everybody else.

Another incident is located at Nehemiah 13:23-31; which led to the break-up of homes. Were Nehemiah to do so in our day, the media would crucify him for cruelty to children. But Nehemiah wasn't the one at fault. God's people had entered into illegal marriages; consequently their families became collateral damage.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on June 22, 2019, 07:37:40 pm
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2Cor 6:14-18 . . Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

. . . for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith The Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith The Lord Almighty.

That commandment clearly forbids intermarriage between Christians and non-Christians. Failure to comply is not only grossly disobedient, but it's unwise and can have tragic results; for example:

"When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose." (Gen 6:1-2)

If we assume that the "sons of God" were believers and the "daughters of men" were not; then it would appear that back in Noah's day, believing men threw caution to the wind and built themselves harems of unbelieving women. What happened to those believing men when it came time for the Flood? Well, for one thing; they had lost their piety.

"The Lord then said to Noah: Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation." (Gen 7:1)

None of the other sons of God in that day were righteous; hence they weren't invited aboard the ark. All of those men-- whose wives were chosen based solely upon sex appeal sans any spiritual prudence whatsoever --perished in the Flood right along with everybody else.

Another incident is located at Nehemiah 13:23-31; which led to the break-up of homes. Were Nehemiah to do so in our day, the media would crucify him for cruelty to children. But Nehemiah wasn't the one at fault. God's people had entered into illegal marriages; consequently their families became collateral damage.
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Oh my
Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 23, 2019, 09:29:35 am
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2Cor 7:1 . . Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of deference to God's wishes.

Webster's defines "deference" as affected and/or ingratiating regard for another's wishes. Deference is the opposite of resistance, rebellion, defiance, indifference, stubbornness, and/or going your own way.

Contaminations of one's body would include things like drug addiction, alcoholism, adultery, promiscuity, gluttony, eating blood, etc.

Contaminations of the spirit likely refers to things that influence one's thinking and/or have an effect upon their personality.

The promises are those listed at 2Cor 6:14-18.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 24, 2019, 08:56:52 am
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2Cor 8:11-15 . . If the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.

NOTE: "if the willingness is there" tells me that church officers should not pressure and/or shame their people into giving, viz: break down their resistance; like talking people into buying cars and vacuum cleaners, so to speak.

That directive is an excellent passage for debunking the so-called Faith Promise; which is a popular scheme for tricking church members to pledge money they don't have while expecting God's providence will somehow provide it. That is not the Lord's wish. By means of Paul, the Lord says to give out of what you already have, not what you hope to have later; I mean: it is not His wish to copy ENRON's mark-to-market accounting practices and/or futures trading with pork bellies and soy beans.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 25, 2019, 07:44:37 am
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2Cor 9:7 . . Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.

Towards what end is the giving spoken of in the New Testament? To finance ambitious building programs? Well; Christians back then met in homes. Did their contributions go towards obtaining more homes to meet in? No.

Within the context of the New Testament, giving in the early church was charitable. It met needs rather than expenses; and those needs were typically congregational rather than universal; viz: their charity went towards those amongst themselves and/or other congregations that were hungry, sick, injured, homeless, alone, helpless, missionaries, full-time-church officers, orphans, widows, abandoned, and/or persecuted, etc.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 26, 2019, 08:41:30 am
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2Cor 10:7 . . If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should reconsider that we belong to Christ just as much as he.

It's amazing that any Christian's ego would be so inflated as to think themselves holier than an apostle, however, there are some people out there with a pretty bad case of conceit who are up to it. I can just hear the sneer in their voices as they think to themselves: "What's so special about him? He puts his pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else." That's the voice of one of the most destructive human passions there is: malicious rivalry. It got Abel murdered (1John 3:12) and it got Christ crucified. (Matt 27:15-18)

"And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words" (Mark 12:13)

Just look at that! The Lord's enemies actually stalked him, hoping he would slip up and say something they could use against him. Who were the "they" in that passage? None other than Judaism's religious elite: the best of the best among Moses' people.

"And as he taught them, he said: Is it not written: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of robbers. The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching" (Mark 11:17-18)

"Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. But not during the feast-- they said --or there may be a riot among the people." (Matt 26:3-5)

You've got to wonder how it came about that holy men ordained to represent God, and to speak for God, ever became so Machiavellian.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 27, 2019, 08:13:08 am
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2Cor 13:5 . . Examine yourselves, whether you're in the faith; test your own selves. Don't you know of your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you're all reprobates?

The only proof-positive way for individuals to know for sure whether Christ is in them is by getting it from the horse's mouth.

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Rom 8:15)

The koiné Greek word for "testifies" means to corroborate; defined by Webster's as: to support or help prove (a statement, theory, etc.) by providing information or evidence.

This kind of support usually isn't public: it's private. In other words: it's one-on-one, spirit to spirit, heart to heart. Needless to say then, this kind of corroboration is supernatural rather than academic which is why Paul said to test "your own selves" rather than others because no one but you and God together can do this for you.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 28, 2019, 08:47:29 am
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Gal 1:8 . . But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

The koiné Greek word for "accursed" in that passage is anathema (an-ath' em-ah) which has to do with banishment and/or disassociation, viz: do not think of these people as fellow Christians.

An application of this, within the epistle to Galatians, is 5:4 where it says:

"You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace."

Whenever Paul spoke of "the law" he was usually referring to the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. So, in a nutshell; the anathema clearly applies to people who insist that it's necessary to comply with the Ten Commandments to get to heaven.

More groups worthy of anathema are those who insist that Christ's crucified dead body wasn't restored to life; for example Jehovah's Witnesses. Another group is the Latter Day Saints-- a.k.a. Mormons --whose version of the gospel is embellished with some very strange notions. And then there's Muslims, whose holy book, the Koran, says that Jesus wasn't put to death on the cross. The JWs currently number around 8.2 million, the Mormons around 16.3 million, and the Muslims around 1.2 billion.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 29, 2019, 08:45:08 am
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Gal 5:1 . . Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

The yoke of bondage about which Paul wrote is no doubt the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; which is described by Acts 15:10 as "neither our fathers, nor are we, able to bear"

A very serious problem with that covenant is that it allows no atonements for willful disobedience.

"Anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes The Lord, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised The Lord's word and broken His commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him." (Num 15:30-31)

"Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out." (Deut 27:26)

"If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment." (Heb 10:26-27)

The pronoun "we" in that passage refers to the author's fellow Jews whose association with God is regulated by the first covenant, viz: the yoke of bondage. Christians don't associate with God by means of that covenant; nor are they expected to.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on June 30, 2019, 07:34:05 am
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Gal 5:2-3 . . Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

The koiné Greek word for "man" in the above passage is anthropos (anth' ro-pos) a common word in the New Testament for humans of either gender. The specific word for males is arrhen (ar'-hrane) and/or arsen (ar' sane).

Modern females undergo conversion to Judaism by means of a ritual bath called Mikveh; which, for them, is equivalent to male circumcision. The exact process by which females in the Old Testament underwent conversion-- e.g. Ruth --is unknown.

I think it safe to assume that the circumcision Paul warned against was a nondescript label that included not only the male kind but also by whatever means that females in his day underwent conversion to Judaism.

Seeing as how the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy doesn't specify a God-given procedure for female conversion to Judaism, then I'd guess that just about any method would be sufficient so long as the ritual is conducted by someone authorized to do so.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 01, 2019, 09:28:49 am
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Gal 5:13a . . You, my brethren, were called to be free. But do not use your liberty to indulge the base nature;

A number of years ago, I raised my hand in Sunday school and asked the teacher for an explanation of "the flesh". Well; before he could answer, his wife chimed in uninvited and, in a confident tone, went on to give me and the class a rather confusing spiritual definition. The teacher embellished her comments with a few of his own and by the time they wrapped, I figured neither of them knew what they were talking about.

Well; in time I discovered that "the flesh" is just simply humanity's base nature, a.k.a. human nature; and most everyone instinctively knows what that is without me having to explain; so I won't.

Christ's followers are sometimes accused of practicing a religion that gives people a license to steal, so to speak. Well; that is very true to a certain extent because his followers do have immunity from any, and all, of the curses that the Old Testament imposes on scofflaws as per Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69. However, God prefers that people dead to Old Testament law not allow human nature be the dominant force in their lives. (cf. Rom 6:1-13 and Col 3:1-17)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 02, 2019, 08:02:40 am
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Gal 5:16 . . I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the base nature.

Some years ago, in a boatyard where I was employed on Shelter Island in San Diego, I was listening to a young Christian boast of his dedication to Christ. So I asked him: What about the command to walk in the Spirit? How are you doing with that one?

Well, the brash, pleased-with-himself youngster admitted he didn't even know what that meant, let alone how to do it. (chuckle) In regards to "dedication" Mr. Super Saint hadn't even got to first base yet. (judging by the fact that was on a third marriage last time I checked, I'd have to say he never did get the hang of it.)

Anyway, there's nothing mystical about this. Walking in the Spirit is just simply doing what God wants rather than letting your natural impulses and/or your own thinking control your conduct all the time.

For example: the instructions: "Abstain from food tainted by idols, from promiscuity, from the meat of strangled animals, and from blood." When a Christian complies with those instructions; they're walking in the Spirit; but when they're ignoring those instructions and eating whatever they want and sleeping around without regard for God's feelings about it; then they're fulfilling the lusts of the base nature. It's just that simple.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 03, 2019, 08:32:41 am
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Gal 5:25-26 . . Since we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Webster's defines "conceit" as: excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth or virtue.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having strong core values and/or believing in yourself, but if you should find yourself somewhat indignant and/or resentful when others don't believe in you, or when they think very little of your core values; then watch out because that's a symptom of conceit, and it will hinder you from obeying The Lord's orders in regard to getting along with fellow believers.

The koiné word for "envy" is phthoneo (fthon-eh'-o) which means: hostile toward a rival, or towards someone believed to enjoy an advantage. In other words; we're talking about a competitive spirit-- not the good-natured, friendly kind but a malicious kind of competitive spirit that resents others doing better than itself, or more popular than itself, or more recognized than itself, or more admired than itself; viz; it's all about self.

Rivalry is a very destructive passion. It got Abel slain by his own brother, and it got Christ slain by his own people. Rivalry makes otherwise sensible people behave contrary to their own better judgment, and gets them embroiled in oftentimes unnecessary vendettas; e.g. gender rivalry and racial rivalry. Now those two there are very destructive social influences.

If none of the above describes you; consider yourself fortunate.

The koiné word for "provoke" is prokaleomai (prok-al-eh'-om-ahee) which means to challenge; viz: to get in somebody's face in an obnoxious, assertive, confrontational manner; which is a kind of behavior that prevents people from deserving identification with God's kin.

"Blessed are the peaceable: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matt 5:9)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 04, 2019, 07:50:54 am
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Gal 6:1a . . Brethren, even if a man is caught in the very act of any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;

None of what I'm about to say down below applies to church visitors; only to members on the roles; i.e. the congregation. In other words; we sure wouldn't want churches hanging signs out front saying:

Ř LBGT
Ř Swindlers
Ř Fornicators
Ř Murderers
Ř Envious
Ř Gossips
Ř Slanderers
Ř Arrogant
Ř Deceivers
Ř Faithless
Ř Boasters
Ř Heartless
Ř Ruthless
Ř Juvenile Delinquents

No, we want all those kinds of people to come in. It is my personal feelings that Sunday services should be a neutral zone where people indulging in every category of sin imaginable are welcome; everyone on that list, all of them including, but not limited to: witches, drug addicts, outlaw bikers, Wall Street barracudas, sexual predators, wife beaters, cheap politicians, vandals, felons, dead beats, tax cheats, fugitives, neighbors from hell, etc. It has been my feelings for some time now that Sunday services should be thought of as mission fields because, really, that's what they are: especially on Easter.

Now as for the members on the roles . . .

The restoration process is specifically the turf of "spiritual" Christians. In churches where people are conceited, assertive, confrontational, embroiled in petty rivalries, debating, quarrelling, and maybe even jostling for notoriety; the spiritual ones are obviously going to be as scarce as California Condors.

A spirit of gentleness precludes the use of bullying, intimidation, rage. yelling, demeaning comments, ugly remarks, brow beating, and such. Those kinds of behaviors aren't gentle, no, they're cruel.

The koiné Greek word for "trespass" is interesting. It can refer to willful misconduct and/or unintentional misconduct.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 05, 2019, 08:15:27 am
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Gal 6:1b . . each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.

The Greek word for "tempted" is somewhat ambiguous. It primarily means to test; but can also mean endeavor, scrutinize, entice, and/or discipline.

I think what the restorers are being cautioned against is going about a right thing in a wrong way so that they themselves wind up taken to task for conduct unbecoming. In some people's minds, the end justifies the means so long as it benefits the so-called greater good. But that's Machiavellian thinking rather than Christian thinking.

In other words: the restorers need to tread lightly because if they go after an offender like a lynch mob; then they themselves should expect to be seen by others as a toxic menace and a threat to unity.

Confronting somebody in a holier-than-thou attitude is unacceptable too. Just because someone has been taken in fault does not make the jury somehow superior human specimens.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." (Phil 2:3)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 07, 2019, 08:08:32 am
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Gal 6:1-2 . . Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.

It's human nature to shun people with problems so they don't drag us into a world of inconvenience and/or negativity. But that is not what I call fulfilling the law of Christ; which reads thusly:

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)

The love that is defined by "As I have loved you" is a kind of love willing to suffer inconvenience, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and disgrace for the sake of another. Christ's love isn't a fault-finding attitude; it's a supportive virtue: it doesn't only feel your pain, it gets involved in your pain.

Church can be the loneliest place on earth when nobody cares enough about you to get involved in your pain; but instead would just as soon not know about it. Sadly, there is about as much love for one another in modern churches as there is amongst an audience of strangers at the movies. I sincerely believe that a lot of that indifference has to do with modern churches just simply being too big, too busy, and too expensive.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 08, 2019, 08:08:12 am
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Gal 6:6 . . And let the one who is taught the word, share all good things with him who teaches.

That verse is commonly interpreted as referring to providing a teacher with material necessities. Well; it can mean that; but the Greek words for "share" and "good things" are ambiguous.

I suggest that Gal 6:6 refers to feed-back; i.e. to tell the teacher how and/or in what ways the things you've learned from him have been a help to you.

Some teachers just like to hear themselves talk; while others would like what they say to be useful. Feed-back can be very encouraging to the latter.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 09, 2019, 09:45:18 am
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Gal 6:7a . . Don't be deceived into thinking God is a silly old fool.

A silly old fool is a senior citizen that people know they can mistreat and/or take advantage of without fear of complaint, resistance, or reprisal.

People in our day and age are easily persuaded that God is harmless and that the Old Testament's version of God is no longer someone to fear since Jesus came along. But as God was capable of withholding blessing back then; He still is.

"A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his flesh, will, of the flesh reap corruption; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." (Gal 7b-8)

The koiné Greek word for "corruption" is phthora (fthor-ah') which means: decay; viz: decadence; which is saying that when Christians make a habit of indulging the propensities of their base nature; God withholds the fruit of the Spirit as per Gal 5:22-23; which consists of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

"If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.

. . .So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Rom 8:11-13)

To "live" then has to do with the fruit of the Spirit; without which Christians revert back to their old selves.

There's a parallel to this back in the book of Genesis in the story of the forbidden fruit. God warned Adam that he would die if he ate some of that fruit. The interesting thing is; God didn't' have to assassinate Adam in order to make good on the warning; no, God simply cut off Adam's access to the tree of life and let nature take its course.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 10, 2019, 07:41:43 am
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Gal 6:10 . . While we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Those who are of the "household of the faith" are actually kin; viz: siblings; and like they say: charity begins at home.

Some churches have what they call a deacon's fund; to assist members who are down and out and/or in dire straits. Contributing to that fund easily qualifies as sowing to the Spirit; and what I would call a "wise" investment.

And don't overlook your church's senior citizens. Some may be getting up in years and finding it difficult to even maintain their own homes and yards anymore. Chores may not seem like much of a holy calling; but pitch in anyway if for no other reason than that it's neighborly.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 11, 2019, 10:11:59 am
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Gal 6:11-16 . .Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For those who are circumcised do not even keep the commandments themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh.

. . . But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither is circumcision anything, nor un-circumcision, but a new creation. (cf. Acts 15:5-32)

Some Christians truly believe it's possible to be an adherent of both Judaism and Christianity at the same time (e.g. Messianic Judaism). No, that's against the rules. Judaism must be abandoned if one is to take up Christianity because human sacrifice is illegal under the terms and conditions of the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. If you try to take up both religions at the same time, each will invalidate the other.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 12, 2019, 07:59:24 am
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Eph 2:11-22 . .Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called uncircumcised by those who call themselves the circumcision-- that done in the body by the hands of men --remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

. . . But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household

Christians are prone to forget; and one of the things they forget is that their religion didn't begin with the Roman Catholic Church; no, it began with Abraham; and the purpose of Gentiles hearing the gospel is not so they can replace the Jews as God's chosen people, but rather, so they can join them and share in their blessings.

"If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, don't boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You don't support the root, but the root supports you." (Rom 11:17-18)

"Salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:22)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 13, 2019, 08:30:00 am
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Eph 4:1 . . As a prisoner for The Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

What if Christ's followers neglect to live a life worthy of their calling? Will they be lost? No; they have eternal life, which is a kind of life that cannot die; therefore, it's impervious to the wages of sin.

"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom 6:23)

People with eternal life have 100% immunity from prosecution.

"I assure you, those who heed my message, and trust in God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." (John 5:24)

The reason they will never be condemned for their sins is because Christ was raised again for their justification. (Rom 4:25). The Greek word is dikaiosis (dik-ah'-yo-sis) which essentially means acquittal-- a legal term that can be roughly defined as the act of adjudicating that a person is not guilty, i.e. an acquittal is a legal declaration of innocence.

According to 1John 1:8-10, Christ's followers are never 100% sinless in this life; but that's no longer a legal issue for his sheep seeing as how according to 2Cor 5:19 God is no longer keeping a record of their sins as an indictment to hold against them at the great white throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 14, 2019, 09:12:17 am
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Eph 4:2 . . Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, putting up with another in love.

NOTE: That's an interesting command because no doubt it's not asking us to do something that Christ doesn't do every day: endure his sheep's stupidity, their lack of civility, and their natural preference for impiety.

Humility is one of those virtues that people love to talk about; but rarely ever seem to exemplify.

The  koiné Greek word is a tongue twister. It's tapeinophrosune (tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay) which means: humiliation of mind, viz: modesty; defined by Webster's as: free from conceit and/or vanity.

Conceit is defined as: excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue; viz: a too-high opinion of one's self; i.e. a superiority complex.

Vanity is defined as: inflated pride in oneself or in one's appearance; viz: narcissism and/or self adoration.

Cosmetics and figure-shaping undergarments don't really qualify as the kind of vanity that Paul is talking about; which is a kind of vanity that goes way beyond just trying to look your best.

Sinful vanity is an ugly creature. It's self aggrandizing. Vanity isn't gentle either, on the contrary, vanity can be quite cruel, thoughtless, competitive, given to rivalry, indifferent, and insensitive; and vanity abhors associating with people whose station in life is decidedly below its own; and God forbid someone below themselves should have the nerve to correct either their conduct or their knowledge.

Patience is a jewel. It's defined as: the power, or capacity, to endure without complaint something difficult or disagreeable. Patient people seem to have a predilection for retaining their composure while under stress. These make the best leaders because they don't get flustered when everything around them is disintegrating into chaos.

Patience is very useful when it comes to "putting up" with certain kinds of chafing Christians who seem to have a knack for getting on people's nerves.

During my forty years working as a professional welder, I encountered numerous fellow employees whose skills and performance were excellent; but nobody could work with them. They were just too difficult.

Heaven forbid that Christ's followers should ever be "difficult". It is rather to be desired that they be civil, courteous, thoughtful, sociable, agreeable, helpful, approachable, accommodating, affable, rational, reasonable, temperate, and self-controlled. Christians around whom everybody has to walk on egg shells all the time, are in sore need of a personality make-over if they're to ever have any realistic expectation of associating with God as His kin.

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matt 5:9)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on July 14, 2019, 08:53:32 pm
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Eph 4:2 . . Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, putting up with another in love.

NOTE: That's an interesting command because no doubt it's not asking us to do something that Christ doesn't do every day: endure his sheep's stupidity, their lack of civility, and their natural preference for impiety.

Humility is one of those virtues that people love to talk about; but rarely ever seem to exemplify.

The  koiné Greek word is a tongue twister. It's tapeinophrosune (tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay) which means: humiliation of mind, viz: modesty; defined by Webster's as: free from conceit and/or vanity.

Conceit is defined as: excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue; viz: a too-high opinion of one's self; i.e. a superiority complex.

Vanity is defined as: inflated pride in oneself or in one's appearance; viz: narcissism and/or self adoration.

Cosmetics and figure-shaping undergarments don't really qualify as the kind of vanity that Paul is talking about; which is a kind of vanity that goes way beyond just trying to look your best.

Sinful vanity is an ugly creature. It's self aggrandizing. Vanity isn't gentle either, on the contrary, vanity can be quite cruel, thoughtless, competitive, given to rivalry, indifferent, and insensitive; and vanity abhors associating with people whose station in life is decidedly below its own; and God forbid someone below themselves should have the nerve to correct either their conduct or their knowledge.

Patience is a jewel. It's defined as: the power, or capacity, to endure without complaint something difficult or disagreeable. Patient people seem to have a predilection for retaining their composure while under stress. These make the best leaders because they don't get flustered when everything around them is disintegrating into chaos.

Patience is very useful when it comes to "putting up" with certain kinds of chafing Christians who seem to have a knack for getting on people's nerves.

During my forty years working as a professional welder, I encountered numerous fellow employees whose skills and performance were excellent; but nobody could work with them. They were just too difficult.

Heaven forbid that Christ's followers should ever be "difficult". It is rather to be desired that they be civil, courteous, thoughtful, sociable, agreeable, helpful, approachable, accommodating, affable, rational, reasonable, temperate, and self-controlled. Christians around whom everybody has to walk on egg shells all the time, are in sore need of a personality make-over if they're to ever have any realistic expectation of associating with God as His kin.

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matt 5:9)
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don't be so sensitive?

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 15, 2019, 08:00:58 am
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Eph 4:3 . . Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Peace is what everybody wants but seem thoroughly unable to attain-- either by force or by diplomacy --even in Christian churches; where you'd think that at least there you'd find peace seeing as how it's related to one of Christ's beatitudes (Matt 5:9). It's also a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 16, 2019, 07:27:20 am
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Eph 4:17-19 . . So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the pagans do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

Sensuality and the life of God are diametrically opposed to each other. The one is carnal and the other is spiritual, the one is human and the other is divine. The one does whatever comes to mind below, and the other does whatever comes to mind above.

Paul said that pagans live as they do because of the hardening of their hearts which doesn't always refer to ones emotions-- those can be roughly defined as one's bowels (e.g. 2Cor 6:12, Phil 1:8, Phil 2:1, Col 3:12, et al).

Hardening of the heart takes place at the core of one's being; the very marrow of their bones; for example the heart of the Pharaoh who opposed Moses and Aaron in the book of Exodus.

Some things are said to be scratch-resistant, fire-resistant, mold-resistance, UV-resistant, rust-resistant, and so forth. Well; a hard heart is God-resistant, really God-resistant. If the highway to Hell could be said paved with sensuality, then the substrate upon which the pavement is laid could be depicted as hard hearts; for example:

"But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which The Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from The Lord of hosts." (Zech 7:11-12).
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 17, 2019, 08:09:12 am
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Eph 4:20-24 . .Surely you heard of Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

When God completed the six days of creation, He went on sabbatical (Gen 2:1-3). The six days were all bounded by an evening and a morning. The seventh wasn't bounded; i.e. it hasn't ended, indicating that God has yet to resume creating things for the current cosmos. So then, the new self spoken of in the passage above isn't for the current cosmos, rather, it's a self created for a cosmos yet to come. (Isa 65:17, 2Pet 3:13, Rev 21:1)

 The koiné Greek word for "desire" is epithumia (ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah) which means: a longing.

Epithumia by itself doesn't indicate sinful desires. The very same word describes The Lord's personal longing to dine in the company of his apostles just prior to being crucified. (Luke 22:15)

The kind of longings in view are "deceitful" which is from the koiné Greek word apate (ap-at'-ay) and means delusion, which Webster's defines as: a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self, or persons or objects outside the self, that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary-- in other words: deceitful longings are delusional longings.

For example: the old saying "The grass is greener on the other side" which of course is an unreasonable expectation. Some people sincerely believe that they would be happier if only they had more money. Well; sad to say, money can be guaranteed to buy you neither love nor happiness.

Delusional longings get people to chasing after brass rings that may or may not satisfy; viz: sometimes the dream is better than the reality. Meanwhile, their life clock is winding down while they're in pursuit of those brass rings and they are steadily becoming more and more secular and unspiritual. Paul "insists" that Christ's followers avoid squandering their time and energy chasing after delusional longings; viz: keep their feet on the ground and their heads out of the clouds.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 18, 2019, 08:48:56 am
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Eph 4:25 . .Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

The Greek word for "neighbor" is somewhat ambiguous. It normally relates to one's fellow man regardless of age, race, gender, or religious preference.

I think in this case, the application is similar except for religious preference because not everyone is identified with Christ's body. Membership is exclusive; viz: only people who've undergone a special, supernatural initiation process are admitted.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (1Cor 12:13, cf. John 4:10-14 and John 7:37-39)

Christ's body constitutes a church (Eph 1:22-23). However, this particular church isn't a denomination, or an agency, or a society that we might find listed in the Yellow Pages of a phone book.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 19, 2019, 08:41:21 am
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Eph 4:26a . . In your anger do not sin.

Anger isn't eo ipso evil. It's how one handles their anger that matters. Anger can be a very useful tool when it's applied by somebody who knows what they're doing. For example:

"And when Jesus had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man: Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." (Mark 3:5)

Everybody gets angry from time to time; just don't let it drive you to doing something contrary to your better judgment, e.g. violence, profanity, malice, cruelty, uncivil behavior, emotional outbursts, hysteria, etc.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 20, 2019, 08:34:27 am
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Eph 4:26b-27 . . Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil a foothold.

Some people treat their anger like a prized possession: they don't want to lose it. They actually prefer to stay angry rather than "get over it" and/or calm down.

Ol' Smutty Face is no slouch. You just start holding a grudge and you and the Devil will be roped together on the Eiger where your common goal won't be the summit of a mountain in Switzerland; but worse: disunity in the body. So no fuming!
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 21, 2019, 09:56:37 am
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Eph 4:28 . . He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

Isn't is just amazing that early Christian church members were active  criminals? Yes, right there in the Ephesian church were thieves. Ironically Paul didn't order the Ephesian Christians to not steal, no, of all things; he ordered them to stop stealing; and not only to stop stealing, but to stop stealing for a living!

You'd think church would be the one place on earth where you'd be safe from crime, but not so. Back in the 1970's I sang bass in the choir of a monster Baptist church in San Diego. The 90+ member choir would meet in a rehearsal room and the ladies would all leave their purses in there when we moved out to be seated in the loft. The room had a very sturdy door and was always securely locked when we left the room.

Well, one Sunday morning when we returned to the room, that Fort Knox door and its lock were smashed open and all the ladies' purses were rifled. No other door in the hallway was damaged so the theft wasn't random. The culprit knew that the ladies were leaving their purses in there during services; viz: whoever it was attended that church on Sunday mornings and was familiar with its operation.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 22, 2019, 07:09:24 am
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Eph 4:29 . . Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

"helpful" is from the koiné word oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which means: to build up (as opposed to tearing down).

 "foul or abusive" is from the koiné Greek word sapros (sap-ros') which means: rotten, i.e. worthless (literally or morally) viz: inappropriate.

The foul and abusive category no doubt includes not only profanity, but also biting sarcasm, cruel remarks, thoughtless comments, chafing, relentless fault-finding, sneering, ridicule, mockery, and unnecessary criticism.

Language that's good, helpful, and encouraging is essential if one is to be serious about exemplifying the fifth beatitude.

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." (Matt 5:7)

Speaking of humanity as a corporate body, the Bible says:

"Their throat is an open sepulcher" (Rom 3:13a)

It's not advisable to open a sepulcher seeing as how the contents are no doubt going to be quite odious and in a state of decay; especially in locales where the remains weren't cremated or treated with formaldehyde.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 23, 2019, 08:11:33 am
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Eph 4:30 . . Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The koiné Greek word for "grieve" is lupeo (loo-peh'-o) which means: to distress; to make sad; for example:

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the Earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the Earth, and He was grieved in His heart." (Gen 6:5-6)

So then, we can safely conclude that the Holy Spirit of God is grieved by wickedness; especially when every intent of the thoughts of one's heart are only evil continually.

Seals aren't always a mark or a tattoo or an impression made in wax with a signet ring. Sometimes a seal is merely a vocal validation. For example:

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt 3:16-17)

In other words: God vouched for Jesus' credibility by sending His spirit to mark him out, and also by a solemn pronouncement. By that method; God himself personally sealed Jesus' mission; viz: signed off on it; so to speak.

"On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval." (John 6:27)

Christ's followers are singled out by the Spirit too; but not with a visible bird or an audible voice, but rather; by the Spirit's occupation inside their very bodies. (John 7:37-39, 1Cor 3:16)

Christ's followers can't see the Spirit for themselves of course; but God can see it and that's really all that matters anyway in the long run.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 24, 2019, 08:19:56 am
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Eph 4:31 . . Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.

It wasn't The Lord's wish that Ephesian Christians avoid all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice; no; on the contrary, he wanted the Ephesians to "get rid" of them.

"bitterness" is from the koiné word pikria (pik-ree'-ah) which means: acrid, poisonous, and/or toxic (literally or figuratively)

Christians like that are nothing in the world but deadly reptiles.

"the poison of asps is under their lips" (Rom 3:13b)

"rage" is from the koiné word thumos (thoo-mos') which means: passion (as if breathing hard). Passion is just the opposite of reason; and as everyone knows, emotions are incoherent; so it's to be expected an emotional person is not acting rationally. This is a kind of conduct that Paul says brings sorrow to God's Spirit.

"anger" is from the koiné word orge (or-gay') which means: desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), i.e. (by analogy,) violent passion, ire, (by implication: punishment)

People overcome by orge typically want some satisfaction; even to the point of at least your ruin; if not your death.

"harsh words" is from the koiné word krauge (krow-gay') which means: outcry.

Out-crying is what protestors do; in other words: assertive, in-your-face confrontational complaints and/or demands..

"slander" is from the koiné word blasphemia (blas-fay-me'-ah) which means: to vilify. Webster's defines "vilify" as: (1) to lower in estimation or importance, and (2) to utter slanderous and abusive statements against; viz: defame, discredit, and/or denigrate.

A statement need not be false in order to qualify as slander; it need only to be unnecessary; viz: you'll often hear people say: Well, I was only telling the truth. Were they? No, that's a ruse. In reality, they're insensitive; and they don't care who gets hurt by their thoughtless remarks.

The Lord notices the words people say, and he also takes note of the spirit in which they say them.

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." (Matt 12:36)

"malicious behavior" is from the koiné word kakia (kak-ee'-ah) which means: badness, i.e. (subjectively) depravity, or (actively) malignity, or (passively) trouble:

Malice usually includes the element of "spite" which Webster's defines as: petty ill will, or hatred, with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart. Compare that to the koiné word for "persecute" in the eighth Beatitude which means, literally: to pursue; viz: to stalk, to hound, to harass.

Webster's defines "thwart" as: (1) to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle; viz: contravene, and (2) to oppose successfully; viz: to defeat the hopes or aspirations of; in other words: to deliberately get in someone's way; block, discourage.

Boy I'll tell you, that Ephesian church was as rough-hewn and crude as the old logging community of Stump Town (now Portland) out here in the Oregon of the 1800's. They cussed, they brawled, they bad-mouthed, they held grudges, they were thieves, they were arrogant, they somehow had the idea that Jews were below them, they were immodest, conceited, vain, and impatient, they walked unworthy of their calling, and they were splintered into cliques.


NOTE: I've heard more than one expositor boast that the Ephesian believers represent "the church" at its spiritual peak; but I thoroughly disagree. Yes, there were some outstanding individuals, but by and large that congregation's spiritual condition was decadent, deplorable, despicable, and unbecoming.

Paul began his letter to the Ephesians by saying that he made mention of them in his prayers; asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, might give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation; and also that the eyes of their heart might be enlightened. (Eph 1:17-19)

Well, it seems to me that kind of prayer isn't for advanced Christians, rather, for Christians just starting out. From thence, Paul went on to explain some of Christianity's most treasured doctrines, which I assume the Ephesians had no knowledge of till Paul wrote to them.

I'll grant that the letter to the Ephesians is lofty, but I will not grant that the Ephesians themselves were lofty: not from how Paul lectured them.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 25, 2019, 10:21:25 am
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Eph 4:32 . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

(chuckle) that resembles a line from one of Bill And Ted's adventure movies: "Be excellent to each other"

Within the context of the letter Paul wrote and sent to the Christians residing in the ancient city of Ephesus; the objects "one another" and "each other" are exclusive; viz: the comments refer only to one's fellow Bible-believing Christians rather than the world at large. So if you're unwilling to be kind and compassionate to outsiders; at least be so with people at church so as to help prevent church from becoming a hostile worship environment.

The  koiné Greek word for "kind" is chrestos (khrase-tos') which means: employed; viz: useful.

Chrestos is found in only seven places in the New Testament, and without exception implies being beneficial to others for their own good rather than using people to benefit your own self.

The word for "compassionate" is eusplagchnos (yoo'-splangkh-nos) which means: sympathetic.

Webster's defines sympathy as: 1) an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other, 2) inclination to think or feel alike: emotional or intellectual accord, 3) feeling of loyalty: tendency to favor or support, 4) the act, or capacity, of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another, 5) sensitivity, and 6) heart; as in "have a heart".

Eusplagchnos would make a good substitute for a word found in one of The Lord's beatitudes. 

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." (Matt 5:7)

"merciful" is from the koiné Greek word eleemon (el-eh-ay'-mone) which means pretty much the same thing as eusplagchnos: compassionate and sympathetic.

In my dad's final months of battling with a terminal cancer back in the late 1960's, he was in a great deal of pain and discomfort which made it difficult for him to sleep. In fact, he couldn't sleep in a bed at all. He sat on a small stool and rested face-down with his forehead on a coffee table in the front room.

One day, as we were driving to our week-end ritual of coffee and donuts on a Saturday morning, he complained that his third wife (call her Rosa) seemed indifferent to his condition. He remarked that he didn't want sympathy, just some understanding. Well, I was both perplexed and amused; and asked him: Dad, how can Rosa possibly appreciate your feelings without being sympathetic?

Dad was stumped. The problem was, he never knew his own father; and his mother abandoned him with relatives when he was just a toddler. My dad was a tough, self reliant old ex-Navy farm boy who himself was thoroughly unable to sympathize with anybody. In his prime, Dad was a brutal man, given to outbursts of rage and purple epithets. He was defensive, combative, thoughtless, and quite cruel to animals too. In my dad's mind, sympathy was for panty-waists not for "real men" but there he was in old age, dying of a terminal cancer; and starving for compassion-- something he'd yearned all his life but could never admit.

It used to be that Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts were trained to be useful to others as just simply a matter of good deeds and good citizenship. I don't know, maybe they still are; but I've known lots of churchians who were totally useless to others because they're infected with an ugly spirit of conceit, rivalry, and indifference. Far from being kind and compassionate; those Christians are actually sociopathic and don't even know it.

The word "forgiving" is charizomai (khar-id'-zom-ahee) which essentially means: to grant as a favor; viz: gratuitously, i.e. courtesy.

Webster's defines gratuitous as: 1) given unearned or without recompense, 2) not involving a return benefit or compensation or consideration, 3) costing nothing: free, 4) not called for by the circumstances: unwarranted, 5) complimentary, 6) gratis, and 7) voluntary. In other words; charizomai seeks no reciprocation; it never says "you owe me one"

Sailors are oft heard to say that the sea is very unforgiving: meaning it allows no room for error or weakness. Christians ought not be like the sea. We ought to be the most forgiving people on the planet; and not because we expect others to reciprocate; but just because we enjoy being gratuitous. For some Christians though, courtesy is an effort.

Eph 4:31-32 isn't easy. What we're looking at there is not just good citizenship; no, what we're looking at is something divine in both its nature and its behavior.

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." (Phil 2:1-2)

The koiné Greek word for "bowels" is splagchnon (splangkh'-non) which means: an intestine. Your gut is the very place where you "feel" pity and/or sympathy for others-- that is; if you're capable of those kinds of feelings; not everyone is.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 26, 2019, 08:06:05 am
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Eph 5:1 . . Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children

One's dad is probably the most important role model a kid can have, that is, if he's a good man; otherwise, he'll just be another bad influence. It's pretty kool when a kid can look at its dad and honestly say, from the bottom of its heart: "Dad; when I grow up, I want to be just like you".

In this case, the imitator isn't a pretender; no, he's not a stand-up comic mimicking a famous celebrity. What we're talking about here is duplication; in other words: God's children shouldn't just act like Him, they should reproduce Him; so that when the angels observe God's child at work or at play, they can say: "Yep; that kid sure takes after his old man; he's a chip off the olde block"
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 27, 2019, 08:36:20 am
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Eph 5:2 . . Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Christ's love went way beyond just being friendly and helpful. His was a sacrificial kind of love; in other words: it's protective and supportive at the cost of deep expense to himself-- but not just as a humanitarian. Christ's life of love was an act of worship, e.g. Rom 12:1-2, which read:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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." (cf. Matt 4:10)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 28, 2019, 08:00:05 am
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Eph 5:3a . . Among you; there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality

I've lost count of the number of celebrities I've seen on television talk shows shacking up with people and boasting about their babies while in reality those children are illegitimate and nothing to be proud of at all.

When my sister got knocked up by a sailor boyfriend back in the late 1950's at the age of seventeen, our parents whisked her off to an aunt out of state to avoid the disgrace. My sister gave up her baby to adoption right out of the womb and nobody back home was any the wiser; but today, who really cares anymore?


FYI: The illegitimacy rate in the USA during 2013 was almost 41% of total births and it's no longer illegitimacy; now it's labeled Non-marital Childbearing. (chuckle) a rose by any name is still the same flower.

My wife once belonged to a woman's group in a mega-church we attended back in 1980. One of the ladies was married to an assistant pastor whose duties included counseling married couples. She told my wife you wouldn't believe the amount of adultery that goes on among married church members, and she wasn't talking about your average rank and file pew warmers either; no, her husband counseled church members a whole lot higher up than that.

That church was very impressive and had something like 4,000 members on the books. It's budget was over $16,000 per week. (The buying power of $16,000 in 1980 was comparable to the buying power of roughly $48,800 in 2019).

To look at that church with its buildings, its property, it's programs, its membership numbers, its music, its missionary outreach, and its whopping budget; you would think it housed the holiest collection of saints on earth. But no; behind the scenes, behind the façade, behind the curtain, behind the pulpit; there was moral decadence. (cf. Matt 23:27-28)

"And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there." (Ecc 3:16)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 29, 2019, 08:02:31 am
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Eph 5:3b . . nor any kind of impurity, or of greed

It's so easy to assume that naughty fantasies and porn-like behavior are the impurities that Paul is talking about; but any behavior associated with sin is an impurity. So then, maybe you're an usher in church; but are you dishonest? And maybe you sing in the choir, but are you a malicious gossip? And maybe you attend mid-week prayer meetings; but do you deny your children even common courtesy and their fundamental human rights? And maybe you teach Sunday school, but do you go over the speed limit, feed parking meters, J-walk, and drift through stop signs? And maybe you even stand in the pulpit; but do you have a drinking problem?

Webster's defines "greed" as avarice; which is an excessive, or insatiable, desire for wealth or gain. Wanting money per se isn't sin. It's wanting money simply for the sake of accumulating it that's bad. Ben Franklin once said a penny saved, is a penny earned; but to greedy people a penny saved is a penny stockpiled. Were you to ask a greedy person to name the dollar figure and/or the amount of real estate that would satisfy them, they would likely respond: "more"
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 30, 2019, 08:07:19 am
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Eph 5:4 . . Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

"out of place" is a pretty good way to put it; sort of like a fish out of water, viz: heavenly people are civil up there, and really ought to be down here.

The  koiné  Greek word for "foolish talk" is morologia (mo-rol-og-ee'-ah) which means silliness; viz: buffoonery.

Webster's defines a buffoon as: 1) a ludicrous figure; viz: a clown, and 2) a gross, and usually ill-educated stupid person; viz: an ignoramus. I think I would put gross high on the list of undesirable buffoon-type behaviors. It's okay for kids to be gross, but thoroughly unbecoming for a mature adult.

The word for "coarse joking" is eutrapelia (yoo-trap-el-ee'-ah) which means witticism in a vulgar sense; viz: ribaldry. Double entendres would probably fall into that category along with suggestive remarks.

The word for "thanksgiving" is eucharistia (yoo-khar-is-tee'-ah) which means: gratitude; viz: grateful language.

You know "thank you" is not a dirty word. Christ's people should never take the attitude that just because somebody is doing their job that they don't deserve recognition.

One of my favorite romantic comedies is "No Reservations" starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. Prior to filming, Catherine took a job waiting tables to get a feel for working in a restaurant.

On several occasions, patrons didn't even look up at her nor speak in a cordial, courteous tone when they ordered. It struck her as remarkable that some of the people whom she was serving totally took her for granted and displayed not the slightest inclination to even so much as acknowledge her as a fellow human being, let alone express any gratitude for her taking care of them.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on July 31, 2019, 11:16:21 am
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Eph 5:5-7 . . For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-- such a man is an idolater --has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with futile words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be numbered among them.

Christ's believing followers are joint heirs with him in his Father's estate. (Eph 1:11, Rom 8:16-17)

A joint-heir is different than a regular heir. Regular heirs are apportioned an individual percentage of their benefactor's estate. But joint-heirs inherit, not a percentage, but the entire estate, as community property. According to Peter, this is already set up and beneficiaries are safe to feel confident they won't lose it. (1Pet 1:3-5)

Christ's believing followers are in no danger of the sum of all fears.

"I assure you; those who listen to my message, and believe in God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." (John 5:24, cf. Heb 8:6-12)

"For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ; who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him." (1Thess 5:9-10)

"He has rescued us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of His dear son." (Col 1:13)

In addition, none of the sins committed by Christ's believing followers go on an indictment against them.

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2Cor 5:19, cf. Jer 31:31-34)

The Greek word in that passage for "imputing" is logizomai (log-id'-zom-ahee) which means to keep an inventory; in other words: an indictment.

At the great white throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15, the dead's personnel files will be opened. Well, were one of Christ's believing followers to appear before God at that event, their file would contain not one single sin: zero; viz: nothing with which to charge them.

"Blessed is the man whose sin The Lord will never count against him." (Rom 4:8)

So then, in light of the fact that Jesus' believing followers are citizens of the kingdom, and joint heirs with Christ in his Father's estate; then things like immorality, impurity, and greed are 110% inappropriate for them, i.e. those behaviors are unbecoming for a people whose status is so far above any on Earth.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 01, 2019, 08:05:39 am
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Eph 5:8-9 . . For you were once darkness, but now you are light in The Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)

Some Christians just can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that when somebody pins the Christian label on themselves, they're expected to act like one.

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matt 5:16)

"Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? God forbid! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (Rom 6:1-2)

"Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2Tim 2:19)

"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." (1John 1:6)


NOTE: An example of the dread opposite of Matt 5:16 is David's tryst with Bathsheba that resulted in the death of her husband. Nathan the prophet informed David that his conduct reflected on The Lord so that instead of bringing glory to God, his conduct brought disgrace. (2Sam 12:14)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 02, 2019, 08:47:49 am
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Eph 5:10 . . Find out what pleases The Lord.

People depending upon their intuition to know what pleases The Lord are of course doomed to failure because the information isn't available like that, no, it's something that has to be found out, i.e. researched; which involves learning by means of books, sermons, lectures, seminars, radio Bible teachers, Sunday school classes, and personal Bible study.

This particular process of discovery has to include the Old Testament in order to avoid the possibility of missing something important.

"For whatever things were written before were written for our learning" (Rom 15:4)

"Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." (1Cor 10:11)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 03, 2019, 07:49:17 am
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Eph 5:11-12 . . Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of what the disobedient do in secret.

For an example of this directive: Genesis is mute about the despicable things that the Sodomites lusted to do to the two men lodging at Lot's house. It's as if the author drew a curtain over Sodom and said: This is just too shocking. I'm not going to spell out what the people of Sodom had in mind that night. You will just have to use your imagination.

Jude simply, and concisely, says that they were utterly unchaste; even to the point of having their way with innocent visitors. (Jude 1:7)

I think it's fair to ask just exactly how one might "expose" shameful deeds without at least identifying them and/or describing them to some degree.

The koiné Greek word for "shameful" is aischron (ahee-skhron') which means indecorum; defined by Webster's as: impropriety. In other words, despicable acts should never be described explicitly in polite company, nor in the presence of children; which quite obviously precludes the use of a pulpit for explicit descriptions since congregations are an amalgam of men, women, wives, husbands, dads, moms, and underage children.

I don't think The Lord's directive forbids any and all mention of despicable acts. In other words, his directive doesn't say that I cannot tell polite company that the Bible condemns gays, lesbians, bestiality, and pedophiles, etc. just so long as I don't start describing, in all their lurid detail, the revolting things they do to, and with, each other and/or with, and to, animals.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 04, 2019, 09:23:03 am
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Eph 5:14 . .Wake up, O sleeper! . . rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

The word "rise" is translated from the Greek anistemi (an-is'-tay-mee) which basically means to stand up (literally or figuratively -- transitive or intransitive)

A corpse cannot stand up on its own, viz: once people die, they're stuck-- the jaws of death are very strong and very tight --people, as a rule, cannot will themselves back to life. So I think it's pretty safe to assume Eph 5:14 isn't talking about the kind of death that populates cemeteries.

Death is sometimes depicted as sleep, e.g. Matt 9:24, John 11:11, 1Cor 15:51, and 1Thess 4:14. So the command to "rise from the dead" is appropriate for Christians who honestly think obedience to their master's commandments is not all that important.

"Brothers, we have an obligation-- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die" (Rom 8:12-13)

Christianity is not only a faith to believe, but it's also a faith to live by; as James wrote:

"Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (Jas 2:17)

Dead faith is still faith, but it's not a healthy faith, viz: dead faith lacks vigor and vitality.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on August 04, 2019, 07:25:35 pm
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Eph 5:14 . .Wake up, O sleeper! . . rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

The word "rise" is translated from the Greek anistemi (an-is'-tay-mee) which basically means to stand up (literally or figuratively -- transitive or intransitive)

A corpse cannot stand up on its own, viz: once people die, they're stuck-- the jaws of death are very strong and very tight --people, as a rule, cannot will themselves back to life. So I think it's pretty safe to assume Eph 5:14 isn't talking about the kind of death that populates cemeteries.

Death is sometimes depicted as sleep, e.g. Matt 9:24, John 11:11, 1Cor 15:51, and 1Thess 4:14. So the command to "rise from the dead" is appropriate for Christians who honestly think obedience to their master's commandments is not all that important.

"Brothers, we have an obligation-- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die" (Rom 8:12-13)

Christianity is not only a faith to believe, but it's also a faith to live by; as James wrote:

"Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (Jas 2:17)

Dead faith is still faith, but it's not a healthy faith, viz: dead faith lacks vigor and vitality.
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wow.


Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 05, 2019, 07:57:31 am
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Eph 5:15 . . So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise.

"Wise" of course meaning to live your life in such a way that it counts for Christ instead of only counting for yourself and/or counting for the world. For example: if you get pulled into the worlds of corporate management, political activism and/or civil disobedience; I can just about guarantee that your life is not counting for Christ because those are really big distractions and sometimes its players have to play dirty to be effective.

The "fools" then can justly be described as people who live with little regard for scruples; defined by Webster's as an ethical consideration or principle that inhibits action. For example, the pioneer of FaceBook stole the idea. Though the theft was legal, it was unethical.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 06, 2019, 07:58:26 am
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Eph 5:17 . .Therefore do not be uninformed, but understand what The Lord's will is.

In other words: Christians are not supposed to fly by the seat of their pants, but rather, fly by instruments: viz: fly intelligently; and that entails reading a driver's manual before attempting to operate a car, so to speak.

Moses instructed his people that there is no need to go on a special "golden fleece" quest to discover what The Lord's will is; either out in space nor across the ocean in a foreign land. No, The Lord's will is easily accessible between the covers of even the cheapest second-hand Bible on the shelves of a thrift store.

However; no Bible-- no matter how cheap, nor how expensive, nor what version-- is of any real use if it's not studied. But even systematic Bible study is quite thwarted when the information isn't heeded.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-- he will be blessed in what he does." (Jas 1:22-25)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 07, 2019, 08:42:20 am
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Eph 5:18 . . Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

Webster's defines "debauchery" as extreme indulgence in bodily pleasures; e.g. sex, drugs, and alcohol. In this case alcohol. People that can stop with one drink are very fortunate. For many, that one drink is only the beginning of the road to AA.

I've heard of studies indicating that some people have a genetic weakness for alcohol, viz: a natural-born predilection. Nevertheless, drunkenness is sin and Christians are under orders to subdue it.

"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you." (Col 3:5)

Eph 5:18 doesn't forbid drinking; only getting drunk. Why do people get plastered anyway? Isn't it to make themselves feel good and better able to cope with life's difficulties? Alcohol therefore could be said to be a sedative, i.e. an antidote to one's existence.

"Liquor is for the dying, and wine for those in deep depression. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more." (Prov 31:6-7)

Some of us seem born with a melancholy disposition but that's really not the same. Real depression literally drives people to suicide. I know because I've been there.

So in that respect, pills and alcohol are a crutch. I'm not saying a crutch is a bad thing; I mean, after all, God created Eve as a crutch for Adam so then if all crutches are bad, then women are bad too. No, crutches per se are not bad; it's one's choice of crutch that matters; e.g. cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol, valium, Prozac, overeating, etc.

God's Spirit is supposed to be a crutch for believers; but His effectiveness as a crutch is found only in something called the fruit of the Spirit.

"The fruit of the Spirit is joy, peace, and self control." (Gal 5:22-23)

Two elements of the Spirit's fruit that have a powerful influence on a believer's well-being in life are Joy and Peace; which are obtained out of a bottle for only a short time; and are actually chemically dependent rather than supernaturally dependent.

But joy and peace require initiative.

"If you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live" (Rom 8:13)

In other words; Christ's followers should expect to neither obtain, nor to retain, the Spirit's joy and peace when their conduct is unbecoming.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 08, 2019, 08:05:03 am
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Eph 5:19 . . Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs: singing and making melody with your heart to The Lord

That verse is actually pretty good justification for a church choir; but I really think it should also be used to justify hymn books in the pews too so the congregation can sing together. And make very sure the object of your music is Christ and/or his Father rather than other kinds of celestial personages; e.g. saints and angels.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 09, 2019, 09:06:40 am
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Eph 5:20 . . Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Moses' people were so accustomed to God's providence that they began to take it for granted, and would get upset with Him when He failed to produce. Be on your guard; don't let that happen.

"We should not test the Lord, as some of them did-- and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel.

. . .These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (1 Cor 10:9-12)

"in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" indicates that any and all providence that comes our way is due to Christ's work on the cross. It was his sacrifice for the sins of the world that makes it possible for God to come alongside and bless rather than curse. We don't ever want to forget that.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 10, 2019, 08:12:13 am
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Eph 5:21 . . Submit to one another out of respect for Christ.

The koiné Greek word for "submit" is hupotasso (hoop-ot-as'-so) which means: to subordinate (as a verb) which is just the opposite of dominance, equality, and/or rivalry and competition.

A workable synonym for the kind of submission we're talking about here is "deference" which Webster's defines as: (1) respect and esteem due a superior or an elder, and (2) affected, or ingratiating, regard for another's wishes; viz: honor.

This isn't about a pecking order. What we're talking about here is a Christian social skill; it's about regarding others as not equal to yourself, but actually better than yourself; and it pleases Christ to do so; besides being just plain all around good manners.

"Whoever humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 18:3-4)

Little children in that day were minors who had little or no social status at all to speak of. If somebody abused a minor; it was just too bad since there were no Child Services bureaus to defend them. Minors were typically among the ruled rather than among those who do the ruling; and they got like zero-to-none respect from their elders.

In other words, an imperious Christian-- one that's assertive, bossy, take charge, demanding, argumentative, quarrelsome, impudent, conceited, domineering, confrontational, manipulative, reactive, independent, non negotiable, opinionated, obstinately or intolerantly devoted to their own opinions and prejudices, stubborn, and insistent upon their own way --is definitely a failure at subordinating themselves to their fellow Christians in a manner consistent with the Lord's instructions.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 11, 2019, 09:50:18 am
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Eph 5:22 . .Wives, submit to your husbands as to The Lord.

The koiné word for "submit" in this verse is the very same for submit in Eph 5:21, and never means that wives take orders from their husbands like in some sort of despotic monarchy. We haven't changed the subject; in point of fact we're actually being redundant because what we're talking about here is deference rather than obedience. An attitude of deference is mandatory for Christians on both sides of the gender aisle-- both men and women.

We should emphasize that these instructions are only for Spirit-filled couples. They're not for the average rank and file pew-warming couple, nor for the world's couples at large.

First of all; Spirit-filled wives walk in the fruit of the Spirit; which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control. That alone filters out most wives. And they also speak to themselves with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; making music in their hearts to The Lord rather than going around with a grumpy disposition all the time with a cross look on their face.

Spirit-filled wives don't strive for equality, nor do they compete with their husbands as rivals for supremacy, nor do they have to be right all the time. And most importantly, a Spirit-filled wife treads lightly on her husband's feelings.

 A wife that's independent, quarrelsome, complaining, fault-finding, chafing, hostile, violent, carping, dominating, manipulating, critical, thin-skinned, defensive, assertive, aggressive, thoughtless, insensitive, loud, stubborn, difficult, cruel, gender-biased, confrontational, always clamoring about empowerment, and harboring a "I am woman! Hear me roar!" mentality is not The Lord's concept of deference.

A deferent wife is diplomatic: she's gracious, cordial, affable, approachable, temperate, genial, sociable, ready to turn the other cheek, generous, charitable, altruistic, tactful, sensitive, sympathetic; and above all coherent, reasonable, and rational rather than incoherent, emotional, and reactive.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 12, 2019, 08:29:38 am
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Eph 5:23-24 . . For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Christians, no less, have tried to circumvent that requirement by quoting Paul to refute Paul; for example:

"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:26-28)

But if we were to make Gal 3:26-28 a rule in family affairs; then Christian marriages would be same-sex unions; and that, to say the least, is quite unacceptable.

If a Christian wife cannot treat her husband with the respect due him in accordance with Eph 5:21 then she should at least try to treat him with respect in accordance with Eph 5:23-24; in other words; treat her husband the way she would treat Christ were he the one sharing a home with her.

Though both husband and wife are equals as believers, and equally Christ's subjects, they are definitely not equals as man and wife though they be one flesh; just as Christ and his Father are not equals though they be one God. A Christian wife who humiliates her husband in any way literally humiliates Christ when she does so; and gives herself away that she's neither walking in the Spirit, nor filled with the Spirit, nor loyal to the lord and master of Christianity.

It's said that familiarity breeds contempt; and I'm afraid that a good number of Christians have gotten so accustomed to thinking of Christ as a sibling that they've forgotten he's primarily a monarch who expects the realm to comply with his edicts rather than challenge them.


NOTE: Men and women have very different needs as regards to respect. Shaunti Feldhahn, author of "For Women Only" relates a survey taken among segregated groups of men and women with this question: Given a choice; would you rather be disrespected, or would you rather be alone and unloved in the world? The majority of the ladies chose disrespect rather than living alone and unloved in the world while the majority of the men chose to live alone and unloved rather than be disrespected.

A young bride just starting out, with a head full of feminism and a heart infected with contempt for males; not caring how important respect is to men, will have no trouble turning her husband's marriage into a living hell for him without even half trying.

So then, what's one thing that every Spirit-filled wife can do to please Christ? Simple. Respect her husband. And don't respect him only if he earns your respect: no, respect him all the time just as you'd respect Christ all the time were he your husband. A wife cannot expect a husband to love her unconditionally when she won't make an effort to respect him unconditionally.

A very disturbing display of disrespect took place in my own home. My wife and I used to baby-sit for a couple at church whenever they were away. When they came over one night to pick up their kids, my son and theirs were playing a really good Nintendo game. The daddy informed the kids it was time to go, and in customary kid-fashion they ignored him and kept playing their game. So he became gruff and ordered them out to the car.

His wife then proceeded to come down on him like the wrath of God and exclaimed: You're yelling at the kids in front of our hosts! You're hurting their feelings!

Well, guess what? Mrs. Self Righteous was scolding her husband in front of us and hurting his feelings. If you could have seen the look on his face you'd know that her husband was not going to get over the effects of his wife's public scolding for a long while to come; if ever.

You know, kids get used to their parents demeaning them in front of others. To kids, it's just a fact of life. However, I seriously doubt there's a husband on earth who can get used to a wife treating him like a child.

"A wise woman builds her home; a foolish woman tears her home down with her own hands." (Prov 14:1)

"So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise." (Eph 5:15)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 13, 2019, 10:12:30 am
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Eph 5:25-27 . . Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Christ's love for the church is expressed in the grammatical past tense, which indicates he loved his own even before they existed in real life; which makes sense seeing as how the Bible says that Christ was the lamb slain before the cosmos was completed; and the names of the people in his church were already on record. (1Pet 1:19-20 and Rev 13:8 cf. Eph 1:4 and Rev 17:8)

Though Christ went to the cross for the whole world's benefit, it was the church that he had in mind all along. (1Tim 4:10)

I suppose any number of sermons could be written based upon Eph 5:25-27 but we need to keep moving.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 14, 2019, 08:19:28 am
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Eph 5:28-33a . . In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- for we are members of his body.

. . ."For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery-- but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,

That, of course, is a practical application of the so-called golden rule; which first shows up in the Bible at Lev 19:18, applied at Lev 19:34, and reiterated at Matt 7:12 and Luke 6:31.

The very opposite of the golden rule would be for a husband to do unto his wife the very things that he does do not enjoy being done to himself; either by word or by deed.

I'm not a qualified marriage counselor, but in my unprofessional opinion, were couples to practice the golden rule in their association with each other, it would go a long ways towards preventing their homes from becoming the semblance of a cold war.

There are toxic wives out there who do not deserve their husband's affections; and in fact have done all in their power to destroy them. Nevertheless, it is his Christian duty to continue looking after her, and to treat her well as if his very life depended upon it in spite of the fact that she may be someone he'd prefer avoiding


NOTE: If a man finds it impossible within himself to practice the golden rule with a witch, then maybe he should reconsider getting himself shackled to one. Choose wisely.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 15, 2019, 08:56:11 am
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Eph 5:33b . . and the wife must respect her husband.

We're not talking about admiration here. The Greek verb for "respect" is phobeo (fob-eh'-o) which essentially refers to fright; and is used just that way in numerous places throughout the New Testament.

Some translators render phobeo as "reverence" which Webster's defines as honor or respect; felt or shown; which means that wives don't especially have to like their husbands in order to respect them. A show of respect will do in lieu of felt respect. In other words: the Christian wife would do well to stifle the disgust she feels for her husband and be civil.

I overheard a female caller on radio imperiously announcing to Dr. Laura that she couldn't respect her husband. So Dr. Laura asked her why. The caller responded: Because he hasn't earned my respect. So Laura asked the caller: Have you earned your husband's love? The caller retorted: I don't have to earn his love. It's a husband's duty to love his wife just as she is.

So Laura pointed out that the caller was practicing a double standard. She demanded that her husband love her unconditionally, while refusing to respect him unconditionally. And on top of that; had the chutzpah to dictate the rules of engagement regardless of how her husband might feel about it; thus making herself not only impossible to like, but also quite difficult to live with.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 16, 2019, 07:50:02 am
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Eph 6:1 . . Children, obey your parents in The Lord, for this is right.

The koiné Greek word for "obey" in that verse is interesting. It's hupakouo (hoop-ak-oo'-o) which means to pay attention; viz: to heed; to mind.

The primary reason given for children minding their parents is simply that it's the right thing to do.

The parents of the command are "in The Lord" in other words, this rule doesn't pertain to kids with secular parents; which is a good loop hole because there may come times for kids to disobey their parents out of loyalty to a higher power. (cf. Matt 4:10, Matt 10:37)

Incidentally, have you noticed how little respect that parents get from their insolent progeny in modern television sit-coms, Hollywood movies, and advertising? It's a reflection of modern American culture's attitude towards doing what's right. Kids today are encouraged to do what's wrong in their homes instead of doing what's right. Modern entertainment trains children how to be demonic instead of divine.

Kids that mind their parents are usually much the happier for it. The brats and the rebellious typically end up living in a home from hell; i.e. dysfunctional.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 17, 2019, 07:03:17 am
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Eph 6:2-3 . . Honor your father and mother-- which is the first commandment with a promise --that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

The promise doesn't guarantee long life; it promises that, should you perchance survive to a ripe old age, they'll be good years. In other words; though a demon seed may live long and prosper, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll have a pleasant time of it. Things like happiness, peace, love, understanding, and contentment may end up eluding them every step of the way.

The koiné Greek word for "honor" in Eph 6:2 is timao (tim-ah'-o) which means to prize, viz: to fix a valuation upon; to revere, to think highly of.

The very same word is used at Matt 15:4-6 where Jesus related the fifth commandment to caring for one's dependent parents. Compare that to 1Tim 5:4 where it's said:

"If a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God."

I should point out that one's parents need not be deserving of honor. They only need to be one's parents; whether good parents or bad parents makes no difference.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 18, 2019, 08:41:20 am
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Eph 6:4 . . Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of The Lord.

We're not talking about religious training here-- the focus is upon a daddy's parenting style. Despotism, tyranny, and unfairness are not The Lord's way of raising kids; but rather; his way is the manner of a shepherd; and "good" shepherds aren't cruel to their flocks.

Maybe you don't burn your kids with cigarettes, pour Tabasco sauce in their eyes, or lock them in a hall closet without food and water for two days; but do you ignore their opinions, demean them with denigrating labels, ridicule them, threaten their lives, work them as slaves without compensation, deny them things just so you won't appear to indulge them, and/or say "no" to their requests for no good reason than that you don't want to seem weak and under their control?

Do you routinely abuse their human rights, and/or relegate them to the level of livestock rather than bona fide human beings with feelings and a mind of their own? Do you nurture within them a feeling of importance, of belonging in your home, or do you make them feel like an invasive species and/or an uninvited guest? Kids pick up on things like that.

But aren't there moms out there exasperating their kids? Of course! Mothers can be just as tyrannical, just as despotic, and just as unfair as dads.

I believe it is a Spirit-filled dad's sacred filial duty to defend his children from their own mother's abuses should the need arise. Not many dads are willing to do that because it means risking having the wife turn against him; so quite a few dads opt to sacrifice the children in order to keep momma happy.

In my opinion, throwing one's own children to the wolves in order to avoid living in the same house with a moody woman has to be one of the worst possible sins a man can ever commit in his own home. It's just downright cowardly; and tells the kids they can't trust the one man in the whole world upon whom they should be able to rely in times of distress.


FYI: The Bible predicts that towards the end, parents will become callous with their babies.

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For people shall be . . .without natural affection" (2Tim 3:1-3)

The koiné Greek word for "without natural affection" is  astorgos (as'-tor-gos) which means: hard-hearted towards kindred; viz: lacking in sympathetic understanding i.e. unfeeling, pitiless, thoughtless, insensitive, cruel, and inhumane.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 19, 2019, 07:58:30 am
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Eph 6:5-6 . . Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

The koiné Greek word for "slaves" is doulos (doo'-los) which is an ambiguous word that can mean slaves by voluntary or involuntary means. The first would be something like an indentured slave; which Webster's defines as a contract binding one person to work for another for a given period of time. Jacob is a good biblical example of indentured slavery. He sold fourteen years of his life to uncle Laban in exchange for Rachel's hand in marriage. (Gen 29:18, Gen 29:27)

The practical application applies to giving one's employer an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. But pay is not really the primary issue. Subordination is the primary issue, and has been in this epistle since 5:21. Believers may not like the idea, but they are not independent agents with Christ; no, he owns you: bought and paid for as flesh on the line.

"You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1Cor 6:19-20)

I once worked with two Christian men in a welding shop who demanded a sit-down with the superintendent to air some grievances. I took it upon myself to remind them that Peter directed Christians to endure what they thought of as unfair treatment from employers (1Pet 2:18-25). Well, they ignored both me and Peter because they felt insulted to be treated like children by management and wouldn't rest until they told them so.

What you have there is a case of rabid male pride overruling The Lord's wishes. Not good. Peter was given the keys of the kingdom (Matt 16:19). If Christians believe that to be true, then for them, scorning Peter is all the same as their scorning Christ-- it's a domino effect all the way to the top.

"Whoever listens to you; listens to me. Whoever rejects you; rejects me. And whoever rejects me; rejects the one who sent me." (Luke 10:16)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 20, 2019, 08:00:46 am
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Eph 6:7-8 . . Slaves, serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving The Lord instead of men.

If believers wish to hear The Lord say "Well done thou good and faithful servant" then fighting with management is simply out of the question. No, don't fight, instead: bite the bullet.

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake." (Phil 1:29)

"Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently?

. . . But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not reciprocate; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously." (1Pet 2:18-24)

Now there's a good, practical application of turning the other cheek.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 21, 2019, 08:19:09 am
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Eph 6:9a . . And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven,

The "masters" in that verse are believing masters; Paul's letters were written and sent to churches rather than to the world at large.

If there is one political maxim that seems to ring true in every generation, it's that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's in the human heart to abuse authority and to oppress and exploit people rather than manage them to everyone's advantage.

Believing masters, and believing slaves, are siblings in God's family (Gal 3:28). Therefore, Christ's law is to be exemplified by both the slave and by his master.

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12-13)

A slave master willing to sacrifice his life to protect his slaves would be a very unusual master; but that is the very attitude of a Spirit-filled master towards his believing slaves; and should be the attitude of a Spirit-filled supervisor towards his believing employees: which is the attitude of a good shepherd rather than that of a self-serving predator.

The believing master's rank doesn't mitigate his accountability; he has no advantage over the believing slave. Both must give an accounting of themselves, and neither the master nor the slave will be given the slightest preferential treatment. No, they will be recompensed on the merits of their faithfulness; rather than their positions.

"There is no favoritism with Him." (Eph 6:9b)
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 22, 2019, 07:26:48 am
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Phil 1:27 . . Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel

"let your conversation" is from the Greek word politeuomai (pol-it-yoo'-om-ahee) which means to behave as a citizen. It appears to me that Paul is talking about something akin to the lyrics below:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

-- John Donne --

In other words: politeuomai speaks of a unified community rather than random independent individuals.

"as it becometh the gospel of Christ" likely has reference to the Lord's wishes that his followers be as united together in purpose as he is with his Father. (John 10:30, John 17:22)

Phil 1:28 . . And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Adversity's goal is to thwart and/or discourage. This is not to say that Christ's followers are forbidden to be at all intimidated by adversity. It's all in how they cope with it.

Take for instance king Hezekiah in the 18th and 19th chapters of the book of 2Kings. When Sennacherib's army threatened to take Jerusalem, Hezekiah got scared but he also got to praying. Even had his prayers been futile, it was still the right thing to do.

Ezra also encountered adversity when he returned to Israel to oversee reconstruction of the Temple but stood tall and prayed his way through all of it.

When churches are effective for Christ, they have to expect bumps in the road; but bumps in the road aren't the end of the road; they're just inconvenient.
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Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Bladerunner on August 22, 2019, 09:32:44 pm
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Phil 1:27 . . Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel

"let your conversation" is from the Greek word politeuomai (pol-it-yoo'-om-ahee) which means to behave as a citizen. It appears to me that Paul is talking about something akin to the lyrics below:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

-- John Donne --

In other words: politeuomai speaks of a unified community rather than random independent individuals.

"as it becometh the gospel of Christ" likely has reference to the Lord's wishes that his followers be as united together in purpose as he is with his Father. (John 10:30, John 17:22)

Phil 1:28 . . And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Adversity's goal is to thwart and/or discourage. This is not to say that Christ's followers are forbidden to be at all intimidated by adversity. It's all in how they cope with it.

Take for instance king Hezekiah in the 18th and 19th chapters of the book of 2Kings. When Sennacherib's army threatened to take Jerusalem, Hezekiah got scared but he also got to praying. Even had his prayers been futile, it was still the right thing to do.

Ezra also encountered adversity when he returned to Israel to oversee reconstruction of the Temple but stood tall and prayed his way through all of it.

When churches are effective for Christ, they have to expect bumps in the road; but bumps in the road aren't the end of the road; they're just inconvenient.
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keep it up

Blade
Title: Re: Christ's Ways
Post by: Olde Tymer on August 23, 2019, 09:27:25 am
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Phil 2:1-2 . . If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

"unity" is a buzz word among ecumenicals; but Christ's directive in no way pertains to ecumenicals whose core belief it is that no one's wrong, and everyone's a Christian if they say so. No, The Lord's directive only pertains to a very narrow cross section of Christians whom he labeled: "those you have given me" (John 17:9). It is they for whom The Lord prayed for unity. (John 17:11, John 17:21-22)
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