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Author Topic: Christ's Ways  (Read 6911 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #208 on: August 27, 2019, 08:35:10 am »
Phil 2:12 . . As you have always obeyed-- work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

Some people's interpretation of that passage pretty much echoes Santa Claus' holiday practices. For example the lyrics from the classic jingle: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

You better watch out, you better not cry,
Better not pout, I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list, and checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty and nice:
Santa Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake,
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!

There's no grace in that song-- none at all --no generosity, no altruism, no kindness, no charity, no love, no peace, no understanding, no sympathy, no patience, no tolerance, no courtesy, no compassion, no forgiveness, viz: there are no gifts in Santa's bag; only merit awards for those who prove themselves worthy enough to deserve them.

But we know from other passages that an exemption from the sum of all fears isn't a merit award, rather; it's a totally free-of-charge rescue from the wrath of God by means of the ransom that Christ himself paid with his own life's blood rather than out of the sinner's pockets, so to speak. In point of fact the Greek word soteria, from which is translated "salvation" means rescue, i.e. remove from peril.

But now once the sinner is removed from the peril of the sum of all fears, he's expected to begin developing a life of piety (a.k.a. holiness) which serves an altogether different purpose in the plan of salvation than escaping the wrath of God.

The phrase "fear and trembling" was one of Paul's favorite colloquialisms; for example:

"For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling." (1Cor 2:3-4)

And another:

"Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to The Lord, and not to men" (Eph 6:5-8)

"fear, and in trembling" doesn't mean Paul recommends shivering in terror and anxiety like a frightened gerbil; but that a believer's attitude should be free of pride, arrogance, and conceit, i.e. free of a superiority complex and/or a master-race mentality; for example:

Paul was very courteous to the Corinthians, and made himself of no reputation at all, even though he was one of The Lord's hand-picked apostles and they were a bunch of pagan heathens at the time who deserved nothing but the cold shoulder. Paul's attitude rubbed off on the Corinthians because they in turn deferred to Paul's associates with fear and trembling just as he had treated them all at one time.

"I had boasted to [Titus] about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling." (2Cor 7:14-15)

So then, what we're talking about here with "fear and trembling" is honor, respect, submission, deference, and reverence rather than terror and anxiety; and it's actually one of the Beatitudes.

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


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