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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 #429 on: March 17, 2020, 07:52:39 am »
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Jas 3:1 . . Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly.

I've seen people actually boast of leading a Sunday school class; as if the position were an achievement. Let me warn those people about something. If they accept a position to teach Sunday school for the prestige, their heart is definitely in the wrong place; they are not fully aware of just how serious a responsibility it is to stand in for Christ.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #430 on: March 18, 2020, 08:22:07 am »
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Jas 3:13-18 . .Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter rivalry and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

. . . For where rivalry and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of compassion and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

The "seed whose fruit is righteousness" is oftentimes not sown in peace on internet forums; nor is it sown on internet forums by people who make peace. It's sown by flaming, competitive, assertive, confrontational people-- toxic, impulsive, mean-spirited personalities given to rejoinders, demeaning comments, recriminations and fault finding. And if there's a problem, it's never them; no, you are the problem, and for them; turning the other cheek is no longer in vogue.

Those kinds of people do not like to be wrong, nor can they even think of themselves as wrong, nor are they likely to admit when they're wrong because they're really not all that interested in the truth; but only in defending their version of the truth; viz: their truth is far more important to them than even the God's truth; and should you not accept their truth, then it's because you have no understanding and need to come to your senses. These people are neither wise nor gentle. They'll ride rough-shod over your feelings like a skate-boarder barreling through Autumn leaves on the sidewalk. It's just awful how little they care for the injuries their attitude and their choice of words cause others.

People who take it upon themselves to teach, preach, and/or discuss the Bible ought to be sensible, and they ought to exemplify the Gospel. They can't be doing it for the prestige, showing off, impressing their friends, and/or competing with a rival. They have to be honest and forthright. They have to have a heart, they have to be dedicated and reliable: they cannot be vacillating, they have to practice what they preach, and they cannot be sarcastic, obtuse, difficult, contrary, quarrelsome, snobby, pretentious, demeaning, domineering, despotic, assertive, confrontational, stubborn, militant, pernicious, or pugnacious.

Christians that teach and/or discuss the Bible with others really ought to be someone they can trust, and someone with whom they may speak their minds without fear of reprisals instead of someone in whose presence everybody has to walk on egg shells all the time.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #431 on: March 19, 2020, 08:05:20 am »
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Jas 4:7 . . So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will shun you.

The Devil has the tactical advantage of being completely invisible, and no more solid than the vacuum of space. So the human eye not only can't see the Devil, but human touch can't feel him either. The Devil can't be bumped into, he gives off no odor; he makes no sound, he takes up no space.

The Devil rules in the world of men primarily by punching human nature's buttons. There's your first clue in how to resist the Devil.

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the inclinations of the flesh." (Gal 5:16-17)

Living by the Spirit isn't mysterious. All it really means is doing as God wishes rather than permitting one's self to be manipulated by the impulses, proclivities, predilections, and propensities of human nature. We can't stop those forces of human nature from doing their thing any more than we can stop our lungs from demanding we take breaths. But they can be suppressed if one puts their mind to it.

"Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith." (1Pet 5:9)

The Devil has many allies, not only in the form of spirit beings, but also in the form of ordinary human beings who agree with his ways without their knowledge.

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient." (Eph 2:1-2)

Among the disobedient are Christian teachers, preachers, and ordained ministers (2Cor 11:14-5). It's fairly easy to avoid being hoodwinked by cults; but not so easy to avoid being misled by bona fide Christian churches and whatnot who are covertly working for the Devil. According to Eph 4:14, they can be very convincing.

The point is: since we can't fight the Devil's kingdom on its own terms, then the best defense is submission to Christ's commandments which, if complied with, will go a long ways towards frustrating our adversary.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #432 on: March 20, 2020, 08:17:20 am »
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Jas 4:8-10 . . Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done.

. . . Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before The Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #433 on: March 21, 2020, 07:55:20 am »
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Jas 4:11a . . Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.

The Greek word for "speak evil" is katalaleo (kat-al-al-eh'-o) which means: a traducer, a slanderer.

Webster's defines "slander" as: the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and/or damage another's reputation and/or a false and defamatory oral statement about a person; viz: libel.

Webster's defines "libel" as: 1) a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression, and 2) a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt.

According to Webster's, a statement (or a photograph) need not be untrue to qualify as libel. If the statement, and/or the photograph, is unnecessarily denigrating and/or embarrassing to someone, though it be 100% true, then it qualifies as libel.

There are some things we could say about others that, though true, aren't necessary. For example, if you were to inadvertently see one of the ladies in the office scratching an itch on her derriere; is it really necessary to go blabbing about it all over the office? (cf. Gen 9:20-22)

No; and in point of fact, to do so would be libelous, not to mention possibly in violation of local labor laws banning the fomentation of a hostile workplace; and these days, it could even be construed as sexual misconduct. If that lady ever found out you were blabbing about her derriere she might be so mortified as to make it difficult for her to show up for work.

Words are weapons,
Sharper than knives.

The Devil Inside
Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence
INXS

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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #434 on: March 22, 2020, 07:47:15 am »
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Jas 4:11b-12 . . He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

Someone is sure to jump to the conclusion that James is referring to Matt 7:1-5 but this has nothing to do with that. What we’re talking about here is a kangaroo court which Webster’s defines as: (1) a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted, (2) a court characterized by irresponsible, unauthorized, or irregular status or procedures, and (3) judgment or punishment given outside of legal procedure.

One way to speak evil of the law, and judge the law, is to misrepresent the law by construing it to mean things it doesn't say in writing; in other words: to overrule it and/or criticize the law as out of date.

When a group of beer buddies, and/or a coffee clutch of girl friends, get together and rake somebody over the coals behind their back, those buddies and girl friends are conducting a kangaroo court in which the evidence presented is typically hear-say, feelings, thoughts, and impressions. I believe the common colloquialism for that activity is "character assassination."

Typically the accused is never informed of the trial, nor given an opportunity to confront their accusers, nor are they granted the right to an appeal. Sadly, yet all to commonly, once kangaroo courts reach a consensus, the condemned person’s reputation among those kinds of “judges” is ruined forever with no chance of repair.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #435 on: March 23, 2020, 08:29:27 am »
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Jas 4:13-16 . . Come now, you who say: Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.

. . .Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say: If The Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that. But as it is, you boast in your self confidence; all such boasting is evil.

There are two benefits to my association with God that I value very highly. One is the ransom that His son paid to rescue my soul from the death depicted at Rev 20;11-15; viz: the destination spoken of at Isa 66:23-24, Mark 9:43-48, and Luke 16:19-31.

The second benefit that I value very highly is providence; which is the thing that James is getting at. His criticism is directed towards overly ambitious Christians who deliberately neglect to take into consideration God's thoughts about their schemes.

They also neglect to take into consideration the brevity of life. In other words: if you're getting by alright in your present circumstances, don't seek better circumstances. Instead, live out the remaining days of your fragile life where you are now unless circumstances beyond your control force you to relocate and make some changes.

"Piety, with contentment, is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with much grief." (1Tim 6:6-10)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #436 on: March 24, 2020, 07:35:35 am »
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Jas 5:1-3 . . Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days.

Gold doesn't react with oxygen so it won't rust. However, under certain conditions gold will tarnish, e.g. long-term storage in boxes, bins, and or environments containing organic sulfur compounds. In other words; James condemns the rich for stockpiling their gold and never putting any of it to a use beneficial to their fellow man.

The worst case scenario is the hoarding of gold that rightfully belonged to laborers who worked to earn it.

"Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of The Lord of Sabaoth." (Jas 5:4)

James' final comment actually accuses unfair labor practices of murder because they deprive the working man of a living wage; and of course most of the world's working men do not challenge unfair labor practices in court because they simply cannot afford to; and in some countries, they would risk severe political reprisals if they dared.

"You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you." (Jas 5:6)

The "righteous man" in this context refers to people putting in an honest day's work and not being fairly compensated for it and/or employers contriving tricky ways to short change them by deducting trumped up expenses from their pay. There's a lot of that goes on in the garment industry.

It's still true even in our day that only the rich and powerful can afford justice. However; there's a day coming when that imbalance will all come to an end.

"He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor." (Ps 72:4)

"But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;" (Isa 11:4)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #437 on: March 25, 2020, 07:08:47 am »
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Jas 5:7-8 . . Persevere, therefore, brethren, until the coming of The Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; be strong, for the coming of The Lord is at hand.

The  koiné   Greek word for "at hand" is eggizo (eng-id'-zo) which means: to make near; viz: approach

 So then, "at hand" doesn’t necessarily mean The Lord is poised to drop in any second now, but rather, his arrival is approaching and getting nearer by the minute.

Although James' encouragement no doubt applies to all believers, it especially applies to his Jewish countrymen. They have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for God to fulfill the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and to restore David's kingdom as per the voices of the prophets. I'm told that many have given up hope of the promises and the predictions ever coming to pass. But James says don't give up; God is reliable; and He and the kingdom are both worth waiting for no matter how long it takes.

The problem is: according to 2Pet 3:9, The Lord is actually reluctant to return; primarily because of the amount of suffering and loss of life that will occur when he does.

Take for example Rev 16:18-19 where there's predicted a world-wide earthquake preceding The Lord's return so severe on the Richter scale that cities all over the world will collapse at once.

Something like 2,829 lost their lives when the World Trade Center was demolished by a terrorist attack in 2001. Well that was only a small portion of New York City. Just imagine the body count when all of Manhattan comes down at once. along with other major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Mexico City, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, et al. The carnage will be beyond belief. Surely nobody in a right mind is anxious to see all of that start to happen.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #438 on: March 26, 2020, 07:46:13 am »
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Jas 5:9 . . Do not complain against one another, brethren, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

 If there’s a personality clash between you and a fellow believer; God forbid you should drag other people into the middle of it! And keep in mind that God is an eavesdropper. He hears and sees everything we do, think, or say. Don't let Him catch you maliciously shredding a fellow believer's reputation, assassinating their character and/or running them into the ground behind their back. (cf. Matt 18:15)
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