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Author Topic: Christ's Ways  (Read 7329 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #338 on: December 22, 2019, 08:14:25 am »
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1Tim 6:13-14 . . I charge you in the sight of God-- who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession --to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Greek word for "commandment" in that passage is entole (en-tol-ay') which means: an injunction, i.e. an authoritative prescription. It's difficult to tell if Paul had a specific instruction in mind or if he intended Timothy to accept his entire epistle as the law of Christ. If the latter is the case, then the NLT's version is the better one; which reads like this:

"And I command you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey his commands with all purity. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ returns."

The koiné word for "without spot/purity" is aspilos (as'-pee-los) which means: unblemished.

It takes a pretty concentrated, uncompromising effort for a man to finish up a life of Christian service with an unblemished record. He's really got to mind his p's and q's the meanwhile maintaining graciousness; which consists of being honest, trustworthy, reliable, affable, tactful, genial, sociable, generous, charitable, altruistic, cheerful, reasonable, sensitive, thoughtful, patient, peaceable, kind, considerate, temperate, tolerant, approachable, helpful, supportive, unselfish, compassionate, sympathetic, mild, not easily provoked, humble, and courteous; plus characterized by a lack of stubbornness, assertiveness, despotism, conceit, and arrogance.


NOTE: The epistles of Titus, 1Timothy, 2Timothy, and to some extent 1Peter, are sometimes referred to as "pastoral" because they contain a large number of instructions related to the function of ordained Christian ministers.

Had Martin Luther King Jr complied with those instructions instead of going off-reservation into political activism and civil disobedience, he might've lived to a ripe old age. As it is, King died a martyr to a worldly cause instead of Christ's. That aspect of his ministry will no doubt go up in smoke as wood, hay, and stubble as per 1Cor 3:5-15. (cf. John 15:1-8)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #339 on: December 23, 2019, 07:45:56 am »
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1Tim 6:17-19 . . Command those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Command them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

Webster's defines "conceit" as an excessive appreciation of one's own worth and/or virtue. It's is all too common for the rich and famous to exhibit a masters-of-the-universe demeanor, so to speak. In other words: conceited people think of themselves as self-reliant; they don't need God for anything; no, they can get by just fine without Him. In their mind's eye, only the weak need religion.

"that which is life indeed" refers to the divine nature about which Peter wrote at 2Pet 1:4, which is of far greater lasting value than earthly wealth.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #340 on: December 24, 2019, 07:48:05 am »
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1Tim 6:20-21 . . Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from impious chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.

"impious chatter" is likely referring to informal discursive group discussions, i.e. bull sessions and brain storming; conducted by people with a head full of opinions who likely haven't a clue what they're talking about.

"opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge" could be referring to unproven scientific theories in chemistry, astronomy, geology, archeology, medicine, genetics, paleontology, anthropology, history, literature, physics, engineering, mathematics, etc.

People throw that kind of stuff up to Christians all the time in attempts to debunk their religion and prove that it deserves no more credibility than myth, superstition, and/or religious fantasy.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #341 on: December 25, 2019, 08:43:08 am »
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2Tim 1:8a . . Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord (cf. 1Pet 4:16-19)

Christianity is rooted in Jesus Christ. So when people identify themselves as Christians they're saying that they're his followers and that they accept his teachings as the God's truth; while at the same time categorizing themselves as kooks and religious fanatics; and thus open to mockery and unkind gossip.

It's tough, but we have to bite the bullet lest when we meet Jesus, he gives us the same look he gave Peter on the night of the Lord's arrest. (Luke 22:61-62)

Mark 8:38 . . If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.
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« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 08:49:44 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #342 on: December 26, 2019, 07:48:51 am »
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2Tim 1:8b . . Don't be ashamed of me his prisoner; but Join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

Peter distanced himself from Christ on the night of his arrest, no doubt fearing that if he were to admit to being one of the Lord's associates, he'd be arrested too. It appears Paul was concerned that Timothy, who was normally a loyal associate, would do the same to him while he was behind bars.

The power of God is involved in one's suffering for the gospel when He sets you up for it.

"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him." (Phil 1:29)

Suffering for the Gospel doesn't necessarily include martyrdom. The more common forms of suffering are privation, humiliation, threats, hunger, loss of friends and family, ostracizing, ridicule, mockery, harsh criticism, judgmental remarks, insults, intimidation, name calling, demeaning comments, ugly insinuations, slander, teasing, harassment, bullying, unfairness, prejudice, intolerance, disassociation, and betrayal; in other words, the kinds of stuff that really get you right down in the gut.
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Bladerunner

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #343 on: December 26, 2019, 07:20:15 pm »
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2Tim 1:8b . . Don't be ashamed of me his prisoner; but Join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

Peter distanced himself from Christ on the night of his arrest, no doubt fearing that if he were to admit to being one of the Lord's associates, he'd be arrested too. It appears Paul was concerned that Timothy, who was normally a loyal associate, would do the same to him while he was behind bars.

The power of God is involved in one's suffering for the gospel when He sets you up for it.

"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him." (Phil 1:29)

Suffering for the Gospel doesn't necessarily include martyrdom. The more common forms of suffering are privation, humiliation, threats, hunger, loss of friends and family, ostracizing, ridicule, mockery, harsh criticism, judgmental remarks, insults, intimidation, name calling, demeaning comments, ugly insinuations, slander, teasing, harassment, bullying, unfairness, prejudice, intolerance, disassociation, and betrayal; in other words, the kinds of stuff that really get you right down in the gut.
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"I think you have a typo in your first paragraph...but wanted to make sure.
"Peter distanced himself from Christ on the night of his arrest, no doubt fearing that if he were to admit to being one of the Lord's associates, he'd be arrested too. It appears Paul was concerned that Timothy, who was normally a loyal associate, would do the same to him while he was behind bars."
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #344 on: December 27, 2019, 08:13:56 am »
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2Tim 1:13 . . Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me.

The Greek word for "hold fast" is echo (ekh'-o) which means: to clutch, cling, or adhere to.

The word for "pattern" is hupotuposis (hoop-ot-oop'-o-sis) which means: a sketch; viz: a blueprint and/or a schematic diagram.

When Noah was commissioned to build the ark, he wasn't left clueless as to what it was supposed to look like. God gave him a design to work with. And when Moses was tasked to construct the tabernacle, he too was given a design. In other words, Moses and Noah both made everything according to God-given specifications; viz: Christianity is a God-given religion; He has not left its design to human ingenuity.

What this boils down to is that modern churches have been handed down from Paul, and to a certain extent from Peter, a God-given pattern for their operations. When they depart from His pattern, then they are no longer following Christ; rather, they are attempting to lead him.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #345 on: December 28, 2019, 07:29:36 am »
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2Tim 1:14 . . With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us; carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.

This probably refers to congregations whose spiritual welfare is the responsibility of church officers. The officers found in dereliction of duty are known as non vigilant watchdogs and self-seeking, incompetent shepherds; for example:

"Israel's watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain." (Isa 56:10-11)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #346 on: December 29, 2019, 08:40:19 am »
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2Tim 2:2 . . And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

Paul's instructions were given to Timothy "in the presence of many witnesses" indicating that his instructions were never intended to be privileged information for the eyes-only of an elite category of super saints. The things he taught were transferred publicly rather than deep inside a secret chamber whose access was restricted to a special clique.

I also suspect that Paul sand-bagged Timothy. By instructing him in the hearing of witnesses, Timothy could never fall back on the tiresome old excuse of saying "I didn't know I was supposed to do that." Well, witnesses would certainly testify that he did know what he was supposed to do because they themselves heard Paul instruct him with their own ears.

It's a wise church that fully understands a pastor's duties and responsibilities just in case a time comes when they need to hold his feet to the fire; especially a complacent pastor or one that's gotten mixed up in political activism and civil disobedience. If a church doesn't know what a pastor's sacred obligations are, then there's no way they can know whether or not they're getting their money's worth. In my opinion, an ignorant church is a private pond stocked with hatchery fish.

Paul's directive in this matter was also a practical consideration as nobody resides forever on this earthen globe. Pastors die; that's just a fact of life. And they also get diseases like dementia, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. It's a wise pastor busy training his replacements so that all his knowledge and experience isn't lost to future church generations. Abraham was commended for this very thing.

"For I have chosen Abraham, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of The Lord." (Gen 18:18-20)

A good example of the result of neglecting to train reliable men in "all the things you have heard me say" is the church of Laodicea described in Rev 3:14-20.

 According to Col 2:1-2 and Col 4:13-16; the Laodicean Christians were at one time solid believers. But between the time of Paul's writing his letter to the Colossians, and John writing the 3rd chapter of Revelation, the congregation meeting in Nymphas' home somehow went dark. It was still Christian in name, yes; but it no longer followed Christ.

The Laodicean church had all the trappings of a Christian church; except for one salient feature: the Christ of Christianity wasn't even a member let alone the captain of its industry. It was literally a christless Christian church. He's depicted outside the building banging on the door trying to get somebody's attention to let him in. Not a single member of that church followed him, not one; no, not even the senior pastor.

"If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me." (John 14:23-24)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #347 on: December 30, 2019, 07:53:43 am »
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2Tim 2:3-7 . . Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs-- he wants to please his commanding officer.

A soldier's primary responsibility is to accomplish the mission assigned by their commanders. They don't give themselves leave to abandon their posts to go off on their own personal agenda doing other stuff. Desertion and dereliction of duty are courts martial offenses.

These days; successful activism depends to a larger and larger extent upon the participation of evangelical Christians; hence the smart organizers make recruiting them and their ministers a priority; and their numbers typically end up in a poll somewhere; thus activists utilize religion as a sort of stamp of approval for their causes; like the way professional athletes lend their names to endorse NIKE sports apparel.
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« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 08:00:45 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #348 on: December 31, 2019, 07:42:48 am »
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2Tim 2:8 . . Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel

There are Bible-toting missionaries out there going door to door all over the world teaching that Jesus Christ's crucified dead body wasn't restored to life; they're saying it's still dead, and his remains are squirreled away somewhere on Earth in a condition and a location known only to God.

That is NOT the kind of gospel that Christ wants to hear preached about himself.

Others are adamantly opposed to any ideas that even so much as suggest that Jesus Christ is David's biological progeny. That too is NOT the kind of gospel that Christ wants to hear preached about himself. In point of fact, it is very easy to prove that Jesus Christ is not only David's biological progeny, but Adam's too.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #349 on: January 01, 2020, 08:57:46 am »
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2Tim 2:14 . . Command them in God's name to stop quarrelling over trifles.

In a Sean Connery movie titled "The Name Of The Rose" church dignitaries assembled a meeting of the minds to reach a resolution on a theological question which was: Did the Christ own the clothes that he wore or not?

Well, needless to say, the discussion turned into bickering wherein nothing was resolved. Tempers flared, shouting ensued, feelings were hurt, and people were alienated over the issue-- a rather trifling issue; which is precisely what it means to fiddle while Rome burns down around you.

Christians are often embroiled in arguments over things that in the grand scheme of things have almost zero importance while all around them are weightier matters begging their attention.

It's interesting that Paul didn't want Timothy's flock instructed to avoid quarrelling over trifles, rather, to stop quarrelling. I can't help but wonder how many Christians think to seek absolution for the sin of quarrelling over trifles when they go to confession.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #350 on: January 02, 2020, 06:49:20 am »
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2Tim 2:15 . . Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Some folks construe rightly dividing the truth as instructions to keep the Old Testament completely separate from the New. But that's not even close to what Paul is instructing.

He was a blue collar tradesman: Paul fabricated portable shelters for a living (Acts 18:3). The Greek word for "rightly dividing" is orthotomeo (or-thot-om-eh'-o) which means: to make a straight cut-- as opposed to a crooked cut --or a cut that misses the line and yields a piece of material that's either too long, too short, or the wrong contour; thus resulting in a tent whose pieces won't join properly when it comes time to sew them together. The results? A distorted tent and a black mark for the craftsman.

The intent is not one of severing the Bible in half and treating each as a separate book; but to be accurate in the whole's interpretations and applications so that it all fits together perfectly from first to last, like a well made armoire instead of a hastily constructed rabbit hutch.
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