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Author Topic: Christ's Ways  (Read 7327 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #416 on: March 05, 2020, 07:37:21 am »
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Heb 13:17 . . Heed those who lead you, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

Christianity is not a democracy. No; it is a theocracy with a monarch at its head-- a monarch who regards dissent and disobedience as heresy and insurrection.

"Has The Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of The Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry." (1Sam 15:22-23)

If perchance Christ's believing followers should find themselves under church leadership that they cannot-- in all good conscience --respect, follow, and obey; and/or simply cannot give their whole-hearted, unreserved support; then it's time to abandon ship and move on rather than remain and rack up negative points against themselves that will most certainly erode their reward when they stand before the King for their personal evaluation.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #417 on: March 06, 2020, 07:41:02 am »
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Heb 13:22 . . I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.

The letter to Hebrews doesn't seem brief to me, but according to the author it's a concise version of his thoughts, i.e. it's to the point; free of elaboration and/or unnecessary details.

Christ's teachings as per the epistles are sometimes regarded as recommendations; viz: as advice, rather than law. That's not the way his thoughts are supposed to be taken; no, not at all. The writer of Hebrews didn't say his word is a collection of suggestions, rather, as exhortation; which Webster's defines as language intended to incite and encourage. In other words: the teachings in Hebrews are meant to be taken seriously rather than with a grain of salt; if you know what I mean.

Exhortation is taken from the Greek word paraklesis (par-ak'-lay-sis) which is an ambiguous word that not only means exhortation, but also solace; which Webster's defines as a source of relief and/or consolation; viz: encouragement. In other words; the letter to Hebrews is for the reader's own good; in more ways than just rules and laws.

It's interesting how various people perceive the Bible. Some see it as a threat to human safety and dignity; while others see it as a source of friendship and mentoring.

"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being rescued and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life." (2Cor 2:14-17)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #418 on: March 07, 2020, 08:15:39 am »
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Jas 1:2-4 . . Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

It is so frustrating to open a package supposedly containing all the parts needed to assemble a complicated device only to discover that some of the pieces are missing. Well, a lot of Christians are like that. They might be really good at church attendance, while at work committing theft by using their employer's computers for personal purposes without authorization and/or in the habit of breaking the law by J-walking and driving too fast, drifting through STOP signs without bringing their vehicle to a complete halt; and given to outbursts of road rage. That's not a complete Christian; no, that's a half-baked Christian.

Not all tests of faith are intended for behavior modification; but rather, for proof-testing. Take for example Abraham's test in the 22nd chapter of Genesis; which he passed to God's 110% satisfaction.

Other testing is the kind that engineers do with things like machines, toys, cribs, printers, flashlights, guns, tools, pumps, motors, cars, etc. Before putting a new idea into production, they subject it to a series of tests to determine if it will perform under the circumstances for which it is designed. Nowadays, not all testing is destructive testing, but rather via computer models. But the purpose is the same: to reveal any weaknesses in the design and function of the part; which are then addressed and rectified.

"Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith" (Prov 25:4)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #419 on: March 08, 2020, 09:13:55 am »
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Jas 1:5 . . If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Within the context of James' epistle, the phrase "any of you" pertains to the recipients of his letter; viz: the Diaspora-- specifically those among the Diaspora whose religion is Christianity. So then, the phrase "gives to all men" has to be interpreted with that in mind; which means that "all men" doesn't pertain to just any and all men on earth.

"But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from The Lord : he is a vacillating man, unstable in all he does.( ● Jas 1:6-8)

Christians should never begin a prayer by saying "God; if you're out there".

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is" (Heb 11:6)

Note the words "impossible" and "must" in that verse. A vacillating Christian who's not sure there's a God out there is an unbelieving Christian, and can just forget a reply from the Bible's God-- the instant the words of a vacillating prayer leaves somebody's lips it goes directly to the dead-letter office.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #420 on: March 09, 2020, 07:38:03 am »
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Jas 1:9 . . Let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position;

According to 1Cor 1:26-29, relatively few prominent people make it to safety when they cross over to the other side.

What is this "high position" that James wrote about? Well, I can think of no higher position than being legal kin to the Bible's God and a family member around the table in His own home. In my book, that beats an invitation to the White House any day of the year.

The  koiné Greek word for "glory" in Jas 1:9 is kauchaomai (kow-khah'-om-ahee) which means: to vaunt; which Webster's defines as: to make a vain display of one's own worth or attainments; viz: to brag; to call attention to with pride and often boastfully.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #421 on: March 10, 2020, 07:42:15 am »
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Jas 1:10 . . The rich should glory in that he is made low:

Jesus once remarked that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

The rich generally get above-average respect from the world due to their riches, but God isn't influenced by wealth. No, with God wealth gets no red carpets, no comps, and no VIP preferences; everyone is a commoner.

When the rich come before God with hat in hand and their heads down low instead of held up high, then they have done something worthy of an attaboy because that is a really, really big accomplishment for pampered people accustomed to better.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #422 on: March 11, 2020, 09:08:24 am »
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Jas 1:13 . . No one who wants to do wrong should ever say: God is tempting me. God cannot be tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else to do wrong either.

Human nature has a dastardly propensity to blame others for its own faults. A prime example is right in the beginning of the Bible in the book of Genesis. Adam blamed the woman God gave him for his part in eating the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:12) and she in turn blamed the Serpent for her part in the act. (Gen 3:13)

However, though God tempts no one to evil, He does put certain ones through the ringer to see what they're made of-- even His own friends --to test and/or prove their loyalty; e.g. Abraham (Gen 22:1-12) and His own kin too, e.g. Jesus (Matt 4:1)

Criminals often gripe about entrapment when the cops catch them red handed in a sting. But if the crooks were truly righteous, entrapment wouldn't work on them.

Another popular excuse is enabling. For example some folks insist it's God fault that Adam and Eve tasted the forbidden tree because He put it in the garden where they could find it.

Former US President Clinton was once asked in an interview why he messed around with Monica Lewinski. He answered: Because I could. In other words: Ms Lewinski wasn't a temptation; no, she was available, i.e. an opportunity.

And alcoholics blame their habit on genetic predilection.

I once heard it said that locks were invented to keep an honest man honest. (chuckle) I think there's a lot of truth in that statement.

"Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters." (Jas 1:14-16)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #423 on: March 12, 2020, 08:25:43 am »
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Jas 1:19 . . Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;

I can't help but wonder how many Christian parents have children whom-- in teaching them good manners --they taught that it's impolite to interrupt when others are speaking, but yet allow themselves liberty to practice just the opposite.

Anger per se isn't evil; I mean after all, The Lord himself wasn't immune to anger (Mark 3:5). And neither is the Bible's God immune to anger. (Ex 4:14, Num 11:1, Rom 1:18, Rom 2:8)

Non-sinful anger can be a valuable tool if it's administered intelligently. However, human anger is often spontaneous, impulsive, unfair, unjustified, inappropriate, irrational, unnecessary, controlling, violent, emotional, petulant, selfish, and reactive.

"Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (Jas 1:20)
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patrick jane

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #424 on: March 12, 2020, 09:11:11 am »
Old Tymer - you have threads in the Christian Threads section too you know.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #425 on: March 13, 2020, 08:02:42 am »
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Jas 1:21 . .Get rid of all moral filth, and the evil that is so prevalent; and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

"moral filth and evil" in this case pertains especially to the wrong kind of anger; which only leads to more and more actions the likes of which The Lord cannot approve.

Christians are sometimes victims of a sort of knee-jerk reflex whenever they encounter a word like "save". The koiné Greek word for it is sozo (sode'-zo) which is another ambiguous word that can mean save, rescue, protect, and/or spare.

Ambiguous words are not only a nuisance at times; but worse, they can be misleading. James isn't talking about saving yourself from Hell and eternal suffering by eliminating "all moral filth". No, that part of a believer's association with God is past tense rather than future (John 5:24, Rom 6:3, Rom 6:6, Gal 2:20, Col 3:3, 1Thes 1:10, 1Thes 5:9, 2Tim 1:9, Titus 3:5).

"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are . . hatred, contentions, and outbursts of wrath" (Gal 5:19-21)

People whose anger easily flares up are slaves to their anger and enjoy far less peace than somebody whose anger is under control: thus peaceable souls succumb to temptation with much less frequency than angry ones.

There's a guy up here in Oregon who founded a bread factory with his brother that became very successful. You might know it as Dave's Killer Bread. Well; Dave has rage issues. He was paroled from prison not all that long ago and his life was on easy street until he lost his temper and got in a bucket of trouble with law enforcement.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #426 on: March 14, 2020, 07:31:08 am »
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Jas 1:22 . . Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Some Christians need to hone-up on their spiritual grooming habits.

"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 1:23-25)


NOTE: Jesus attached a really big blessing to compliance. (John 14:21-23)

I believe that "the perfect law that gives freedom" is the whole Bible from cover to cover; as Paul said:

"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Rom 15:4).

He also told his friend Timothy that all Scripture is inspired by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2Tim 3:16-17)

Back in those days "all Scripture" was pretty much limited to the Old Testament. Today it includes the New Testament canon.

People who make a life-long habit of studying the Bible from cover to cover for its spiritual content can't help but be improved by it a least a little bit. The easiest, and the best way I know to do this is by listening to a ½ hour program on radio called Thru The Bible; hosted by a now-deceased minister named J.Vernon McGee. His program takes five years to go through the entire Bible practically verse by verse. The program loops; viz: when McGee gets to the end; the program starts all over again. His method is pretty cool. When he gets done with an Old Testament book, he starts one in the New Testament, and vice versa. Program information is online at https://www.ttb.org
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #427 on: March 15, 2020, 07:16:37 am »
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Jas 2:1 . . My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ-- The Lord of glory --with respect of persons.

The Greek word for "respect of persons" is prosopolepsia (pros-o-pol-ape-see’-ah) which means: partiality.

Webster’s defines "partiality" as: partisan, prejudiced, biased, and/or granting one person more value as a human being than another in regards to particulars like age, race, gender, looks, size, education, intellect, bank account, career, clothing, popularity, neighborhood, and social status.

"For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in  flashy clothing and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is low-income and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor"
--well, doesn’t this kind of discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?" (Jas 2:2-4)

When I first began attending church as an adult back in the decade of the 1970's, my wardrobe consisted entirely of shirts and trousers that I bought on the cheap at Value Village-- a popular second hand store on the west coast the same as Salvation Army and Goodwill.

I never told anybody where I shopped, although I've no doubt that some of the folk I encountered in church could tell that my fashions were a tad out of date because there were some upper income people attending that looked a whole lot nicer than me; but I figured: what the hay; I had as much right to attend in my previously-owned clothing as they did in their untainted high-end threads. Some of them had gold watches too while I sported a simple Timex with an imitation leather strap; and I drove an aging 1968 VW Beetle that needed paint. You know, looking back on that era, I sometimes wonder how many people avoided me without my knowing it because of all that.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #428 on: March 16, 2020, 07:46:35 am »
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Jas 2:12 . . So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.

The law of liberty is different than the law of the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. That law is depicted in the New Testament as a law of bondage rather than freedom. (Gal 5:1)

Within the context of James' epistle, the law of liberty-- a.k.a. Christ's law (Rom 8:2) --judges Christians by how they treat other people in accord with how Christ wants them to be treated in his name.


NOTE: There are Christians out there who are so uncivil, so uncompromising, so implacable so militant, so irritable, and so lacking the milk of human kindness, that they would actually be doing Christ service by not identifying themselves with him. Compare Mark 3:11-12 where Jesus commanded some evil spirits to keep their mouth shut about his identity.
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