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Author Topic: Christ's Ways  (Read 7359 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #325 on: December 09, 2019, 08:10:46 am »
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1Tim 5:17-18 . .The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the scripture says: "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain" and "The laborer is worthy of his hire."

The koiné Greek word for "elder" is presbuteros (pres-boo'-ter-os). It corresponds to aldermen; which Webster's defines as: members of a legislative body. In other words; elders enact and enforce the proprietary rules and bylaws that govern everybody in a local church; including its pastor. In some churches those rules and bylaws are called a covenant; which new members are required to accept. The aldermen are also responsible for settling disputes between church members (1Cor 6:1-5) so that they correspond to "the church" that Christ spoke of at Matt 18:15-18.

Aldermen aren't peculiar to Christianity. Councils pre-existed amongst Moses' people prior to Moses' commission (Ex 3:16). Anon, seventy of Israel's elders were established by God as a supreme council (Num 11:16-17). One's failure to submit to their church's aldermen is grounds for removing their name from the role. (Matt 18:15-18)

Since Christian aldermen sometimes wear more than one hat as preachers and teachers; then it's very possible in a large church for them to have time for nothing else, like for instance holding down a job. For that reason, their constituents should try and compensate them with a decent standard of living. I mean, after all, if their service to a local church is invaluable, then by all means the congregation should do whatever it takes to keep them on staff where they can devote all of their time and energy towards governing (that is; if you feel your church is a worthwhile endeavor).

Let's say for example, that one of your church's aldermen is a retiree trying to survive on Social Security and a diminished 401K. He'll be a lot more effective towards your church's good if the congregation, whatever its size, pitches in to help him make ends meet; and the outside world surely won't blame your church for doing so unless of course they're as callous towards the needs of a senior citizen as the bottom of a soldier's boot.

But beware that the congregation doesn't overcompensate its aldermen to the point where they can afford to drive a Cadillac Escalade, wear a Rolex, and own an expensive home in an up-scale district. That will really make Christianity look bad, and actually work against Christ's best interests.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #326 on: December 10, 2019, 07:56:27 am »
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1Tim 5:19 . . Do not accept an accusation against an elder except before two or three witnesses.

The Old Testament requires a minimum of two witnesses in capital cases (Deut 17:6-7). But the Greek word for "accusation" doesn't specify capital crimes. It can apply to every variety of conduct unbecoming.

The way I see this: it isn't required that two or three witnesses accuse the elder, but that an accuser do so in the hearing of two or three witnesses. The witnesses are not there to testify against the elder; rather, to testify against the accuser in the event it's discovered that he's the perpetrator of a slander.

The Old Testament requires that false accusers be punished with the very same punishment that they expected for their victims. (Deut 19:16-21)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #327 on: December 11, 2019, 08:34:47 am »
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1Tim 5:20 . .Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Once it's discovered that an accuser's allegations are libelous, then it's time to get up in front of the entire congregation and expose him for the cheap goods he really is because nobody's reputation is safe in the hands of someone like that. This is where the testimony of the aforementioned two or three witnesses comes into play.

"I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is a slanderer. With such a man do not even eat. Expel the wicked man from among you." (1Cor 5:11-13)

A roast of this nature can be a very humiliating experience for a church member, and when the others see how it goes, they'll think twice before making spurious allegations against aldermen.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #328 on: December 12, 2019, 08:34:12 am »
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1Tim 5:21 . . I charge thee before God, and The Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

I seriously doubt that very many modern Christian churches are following Paul's instructions in regards to spurious accusations against elders. They probably find it much easier to just gloss over issues rather than comply with the mandated procedure for roasting and expelling. (as if any of this is ever optional)

Another thing that modern churches are very good at these days is covering up an elder's indiscretions when what they really deserve is a public hanging, so to speak. Happens all the time.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." (Matt 23:27-28)

How very true that is of the staff of some of the churches in this day and age.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #329 on: December 13, 2019, 07:05:04 am »
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1Tim 5:22a . . Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily.

The laying on of hands was a commissioning ritual back in the day. (Acts 6:1-6, Acts 13:1-3)

The ruling seems primarily concerned with the avoidance of fast-tracking candidates for aldermen, senior pastors, associate pastors, deacons, and deaconesses; in other words: church officials; whether high ranking or low ranking.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #330 on: December 14, 2019, 07:44:52 am »
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1Tim 5:23 . . No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

In the days prior to the proliferation of antiseptics, antibiotics, inoculations, and a host of other mass-produced treatments; wine was an important remedy for just about everything from indigestion to open wounds. (e.g. Mark 15:23, and Luke 10:34)

Medicine has come a long ways in the last 2,000 years so that even if a little wine would still help whatever ailed Timothy's tummy, there's probably much better over-the-counter, non-alcoholic remedies available for his condition in our day.

Paul mentioned that his friend had other problems too. I have no clue what those might have been; but I have to ask: Why didn't Paul utilize his apostolic gift of healing to cure his friend? My answer is: probably because Timothy's problems didn’t require a miracle. For example Mark 16:13 where Christ' men utilized oil to treat certain people rather than miracles. In other words: when First Aid will do, surgery is unnecessary.

I think that Timothy simply wasn't taking proper care of himself and/or getting enough rest. His diet may have been inadequate too. The old adage-- God helps those who help themselves --is very true in some cases. My view is: if you can fix your own flat tire, then don't expect God to fix it for you. Like when a farmer prays for a good crop, he really needs to say amen with a hoe.

What else might be taken from 1Tim 5:23? Well; I would say do NOT rely upon so-called faith healing. Too many children are being lost these days to treatable conditions because their parents are putting so much trust in their church's interpretation of passages like Jas 5:14-15. If Paul recommended a remedy for Timothy's tummy; don't you think he would recommend a remedy for your child's treatable condition? Yes; of course he would. In many, many cases; people don't need a miracle; they just need a doctor.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #331 on: December 15, 2019, 08:06:12 am »
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1Tim 6:1-2 . . Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine may not be spoken against. And let those who have believers as their masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved.

I've heard that Masons practice favoritism; but Christians should never impose upon a fellow believer in that manner. Give your Christian employer the respect and subordination due his position; and give him a full day's work for a full days' pay. People are watching, and they pick up on things like disparity.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #332 on: December 16, 2019, 07:57:06 am »
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1Tim 6:2 . .Teach and preach these principles.

Pastors should ensure their congregations are taught these things even when they don't care to hear them; and should never let the indifference of their flocks smother the voice of God.

"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus-- who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom --preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

. . . For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but desiring to have their ears pleased, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own longings; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to fiction."

A competent pastor can't be blamed when members of his congregation drift away to cults; but he can at least make an effort to ensure they have some truth under their belts before they go because if perchance they become disillusioned with the cult, they'll have something solid to fall back on.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #333 on: December 17, 2019, 07:11:15 am »
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1Tim 6:3-6 . . If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness; he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved minds and deprived of the truth.

I'm pretty sure that the "conceit" Paul wrote about is relative to know-it-alls. Such people are often self-taught; and with them there is no such thing as a second opinion: only their own. And like the man said; they tend to be quarrelsome, i.e. perpetual debaters, constantly arguing and never getting to the bottom of anything. For them, opposition to, and/or disagreement with, their core values is an expression of hatred and disrespect for their value as a person.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #334 on: December 18, 2019, 08:31:10 am »
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1Tim 6:8 . . And having food and raiment let us be content therewith.

According to 1Tim 1:1-3, this epistle wasn't written to a church, rather, it was written to one of Paul's contemporaries-- a fellow church officer --so when he uses a pronoun like "us" I think it's safe to assume, unless indicated otherwise, that he's not speaking to a congregation.

Paul's instructions are handy for steering church officers away from wanting too much out of life.

"Piety with contentment is great gain." (1Tim 6:6)

The Greek word for contentment is sometimes translated "sufficient". In other words, when good is adequate, better isn't necessary. Good is easier on budgets than better too. So then: if a church officer can get by with things that are less than best, then he shouldn't waste time and energy concerning himself with improving his situation.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #335 on: December 19, 2019, 09:13:09 am »
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1Tim 6:11 . . But you-- O man of God --flee these things and pursue righteousness, piety, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.

German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) believed that Christian virtues, especially compassion, are an impediment to achieving greatness; which is just another way of saying that nice guys finish last.

The  Greek word for "flee" is pheugo (fyoo'-go) which means: not to walk away; but rather, to run away; as if for your life. (cf. 1Cor 6:18)


FAQ: What is a man of God?

A: Well; first off we should point out that the Greek word for "man" in that passage is anthropos (anth'-ro-pos) which refers to h.sapiens; viz: human beings, of either gender, not just males; so it would be far more useful to translate that phrase "person of God".

Men of God are typically inspired individuals; for example: Moses was a man of God (Deut 33:1) and David was a man of God. (Neh 12:24)

Numerous passages in the Old Testament identify men of God as prophets. In that respect; Abraham was a man of God (Gen 20:7) and a whole bunch of other people too, including women; e.g. Miriam (Ex 15:20) Deborah (Judg 4:4) Asahiah (2Kgs 22:14) and Huldah. (2Chron 24:32)

Obviously then, if your church's officers aren't inspired; then they aren't men of God; they're just church managers on a career path.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #336 on: December 20, 2019, 08:23:52 am »
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1Tim 6:12a . . Fight the good fight of the faith.

The first koine Greek word for "fight" in that verse is agonizomai (ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee) which means: to struggle; literally to compete for a prize. This is the kind of conflict played out in competitive sports.

The second word for "fight" is agon (ag-one') which means: a place of assembly; viz: the field of completion; e.g. arenas, coliseums, and/or stadiums.

The object of a Christian's struggle is not so much conquest, but rather, a prize. In Paul's day athletes won wreaths. In our day, they win medals and lucrative contracts for product endorsements.

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable." (1Cor 9:24-26)

In Paul's day, there were no second-place winners; only first. When the competition is that fierce, athletes really go all out. So Paul is saying that Christians should battle for their reward as if there were only one gold to go around; in other words; really put their hearts into it.

However, in order to be adjudged a good fight, the contestants, win or lose, have to go by the book.

"When someone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules." (2Tim 2:5)
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« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 08:47:03 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #337 on: December 21, 2019, 07:43:51 am »
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1Tim 6:12b . .Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good profession in the presence of many witnesses.

All of Christ's believing followers are called to eternal life. Note the grammatical tense of the "have" verb in the passages below. It's in the present tense; not future; indicating that Christ's believing followers have eternal life right now-- no delay, and no waiting period.

"He who believes in the Son has eternal life" (John 3:36)

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life." (John 6:47)

"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)

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1John 5:13)

So then, why would Paul encourage Timothy to take hold of eternal life if he already had it?

Well; having it, and making use of it, are two very different things. By telling his friend to lay hold of eternal life, Paul was telling him to lay hold of the divine nature spoken of at 2Pet 1:4.

So then, how does one lay hold of the divine nature? Well; it's here where conduct plays a very important role in the lives of Christ's believing followers.

"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)

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." (Gal 6:7-8)


NOTE: Seeing as how eternal life is a quality of life that's immune to death, then when Christ's believing followers live according to the sinful nature, they don't lose their eternal life; they just lose the use of it.
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