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Author Topic: Christ's Ways  (Read 6700 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #364 on: January 16, 2020, 07:01:59 am »
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Titus 2:6 . . Similarly, encourage the young men to be sensible.

Just in case the young women were feeling a bit  persecuted; Paul switches over to the guys and urges them to be just as sensible as the girls; in other words: to love their wives, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, and good; that the word of God not be dishonored.

Chastity is getting to be almost non-existent in America as more and more male celebrities engage in extra-marital affairs. Not all that long ago Governor Kitzhaber here in the state of Oregon was shacking up with a woman right in broad daylight in the governor's mansion and cared not what anybody thought about it. Former US President Clinton messed around with women while he was in office, and former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer was discovered to be seeing expensive escorts which eventuated in his resignation. So Christians really can't depend upon America's leaders to set the example for young men.

Paul urged Titus to "encourage" the young men in his church to be sensible; which is quite a bit different than hounding them or getting on their backs. There's an awful lot of young men out there today with metal pinned in their faces and tattoos on their necks, taking ecstasy, smoking pot, joining gangs, using meth, shoplifting, and missing school because the adults in their lives refuse to let them grow up at their own pace.

Many years ago, before I was even interested in having a family of my own, there was a cartoon in the newspaper comics called Rick-O-Shay. Rick was sheriff in a small town out in the olde west. Well, he had a son that was a bit immature and Rick was concerned the boy was never going to amount to anything and he didn't know what to do about it.

So, while he was complaining about his son to his good friend Hipshot Percussion (a local gunfighter) Hipshot interrupted and gave Rick some very good words of wisdom. He said (in so many words): Instead of frettin' about turning your son into someone you can admire, why not instead try and find out who he is and go with that?

Relentless criticism and ridicule, unreasonable expectations, zero sympathy, and disapproving everything they think, say, or do are the surest ways I know to ruin a young man's attitude and drive him far, far from home and from their parent's religion.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #365 on: January 17, 2020, 08:06:35 am »
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Titus 2:7-8 . . In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that those who oppose us may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say.

Young men today desperately need morally sound role models because you can't just disapprove their life-style and not show them an alternative; and the best way to do that is by your own example; viz: instead of preaching to youngsters with words; preach to them with your lifestyle.


NOTE: It's very important for church officers to practice what they preach because conduct unbecoming reflects on Christ. (cf. 2Sam 12:14)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #366 on: January 18, 2020, 07:13:34 am »
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Titus 2:9-10a . . Bond slaves are to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering;

A bond slave is someone who has sold themselves into slavery for any number of reasons. But the one aspect I would like to dwell on is pilfering because this is a serious problem for employers here in the USA.

The  koiné  Greek word for "pilfering" is nosphizomai (nos-fid'-zom-ahee) which means to squirrel something aside for one's self: viz: embezzle; which Webster's defines as: to appropriate (as property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use.

Embezzling isn't limited to strictly stealing money; no, it's also the misuse of an employer's property such as company cars, office materials and office equipment, and/or shop materials and shop equipment; including water and electricity.

My last job before retiring was as a civilian employee with the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Portland Oregon district. It was a violation of Federal law for us to even take anything out of a dumpster, or use a battery charger to jump-start our cars, or even to so much as pump up a low tire on our cars with the air produced by a government air compressor. We were definitely not supposed to use the government's computers for surfing the web or composing personal e-mails.

Everything on the facility where I worked was US Government property, including the trash, and could not be used in an unofficial capacity without first obtaining special permission. Violators were subject to prosecution for Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.

Unofficial use of office computers alone is costing employers multiplied thousands of hours of wages and benefits paid to employees who are online during the work day for personal reasons. The most outrageous case I heard of at work was a lady downtown in the district office who was caught conducting her Mary Kay cosmetics business via a US Government computer; and on official time no less.

Those are things from which Christ's followers are ordered to cease and desist.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #367 on: January 19, 2020, 07:57:27 am »
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Titus 2:10b . . but showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our savior in every respect.

The koiné   Greek word for "adorn" is kosmeo (kos-meh'-o) which means: to put in proper order; viz: decorate

When women buy a pretty new dress, they usually get things to go with it; things we call accessories; like a purse, shoes, stockings, necklace, earrings, and/or a watch and a bracelet. In the old days, women usually bought some gloves to go with their new dress too-- thus they create an "ensemble" which gives them a complete look rather than an unfinished look as if they just threw the dress on to work around the house or run down to a nearby convenience store.

Well, a Christian who's a Christian in label only is like a pretty dress without accessories. In point of fact, they are quite basic: just a house-dress Christian. In other words; religion without piety is like leaving the house for work in the morning half dressed.


NOTE: This touches on the very thing that hampered Cain's association with God. Cain had religion, that much is evident (Gen 4:3) but he didn't have piety. That much is evident too (Gen 4:7). In other words: Cain had a faith, but it wasn't an "all good faith" like his brother's.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #368 on: January 20, 2020, 08:09:51 am »
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Titus 2:15 . . These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

I'm pretty sure this doesn't mean that pastors should speak with a bullying, imperialistic, intimidating tone of voice. Pastors, after all, are supposed to be shepherds rather than a bull o' the woods bossing a logging crew; so to speak.

The Greek word for "disregard" is periphroneo (per-ee-fron-eh'-o) which basically means to depreciate; viz: to marginalize. i.e. to consider superfluous, expendable, and/or nonessential.

Once a minister has been made to feel that he's weak and ineffective and/or that in the grand scheme of thing he doesn't really matter; then for sure he'll lose heart in his vocation and likely won't give it his best effort. The ministers with whom I've been in contact over the years all agree that one of their most difficult personal obstacles to overcome is discouragement.
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« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 08:17:32 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #369 on: January 21, 2020, 07:34:15 am »
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Titus 3:1 . . Remind your people to submit to the government and its officials. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.

Civil disobedience-- defined as the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws of the state, and/or demands, orders, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power; i.e. non compliance with constituted law and order --is essentially criminal.

Henry David Thoreau insisted that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice.

At first glance, Thoreau's ideas makes good sense. However; it's important to take into account that Thoreau was a secular humanist indifferent to the dictates of a supreme being whose commandments, laws, rules, statutes, and edicts trump all other forms of government. Thoreau's concept of civil disobedience foments anarchy which, according to Rom 13:1-5 and 1Pet 2:13-15, is strictly forbidden for Christ's followers.

I highly recommend that Christ's followers NOT get themselves involved in political activism; viz: movements and/or protests, demonstrations, and marches, etc. You'll just get yourself in trouble with the law and in trouble with God too.

A bad example is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's activism wherein he was arrested upwards of thirty times. His civil disobedience was political, i.e. patterned after Thoreau's philosophy with just enough religion thrown in to give the impression that King was on a mission from God. If you get arrested while following Thoreau's philosophy and/or King's example, you will fully deserve jail time; and don't expect God to applaud. You'll be on your own. (cf. John 15:1-10)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #370 on: January 22, 2020, 07:41:56 am »
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Titus 3:2 . . malign no one, be non-contentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

The Greek word for "malign" is blasphemeo (blas-fay-meh'-o) which means: to vilify, defined by Webtser's as: to lower in estimation or importance, and/or to utter abusive statements against. In other words; blasphemeo is talking about tearing people down and changing people's impression of them; mostly for the worse. There's a lot of that goes on in the world of politics.

It probably goes without saying that the kind of vilification were talking about here is mean-spirited and unwarranted. For example; is it tearing a Ponzi scheme mogul like Bernie Madoff down to say that he's a louse of marginal integrity who can't be trusted with other people's money? No; the man has been proven to be exactly that.

"non-contentious" refers to peaceable; i.e. not ready to fight at the drop of a hat.

"gentle" actually means mild, i.e. temperate: exercising self restraint; viz: controlling one's impulses.

"showing every consideration" is simply making an effort to avoid hurting people's feelings for no good reason. This no doubt includes common courtesy along with keeping a civil tongue in one's head.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #371 on: January 23, 2020, 08:02:06 am »
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Titus 3:8 . .This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds.

To "speak confidently" implies speaking with an assertive, "no buts" attitude; viz: the things a preacher teaches his congregation should not be open to debate and/or perpetual bull sessions that never get to the bottom of anything.

The koiné Greek word for "deeds" is very common throughout the New Testament; more often translated "works" than deeds. We're not talking about Boy Scout kinds of deeds but just simply the spiritual morality of one's day to day conduct; viz: a life that pleases God instead of one that irritates Him to no end.

"Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (Eph 4:30)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #372 on: January 24, 2020, 07:50:59 am »
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Titus 3:9 . . Shun foolish controversies, and genealogies, and strife, and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.

The "law" in question is the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God in the Old Testament. Disputes generally revolve around its interpretation and its correct application. The Lord stipulated the formation of a panel of lawyers to interpret the law for those among His people who lacked the wherewithal to do it for themselves (Deut 17:8-13).

But since Christians are outside the covenant's jurisdiction, then they can get by without those lawyers to interpret it for them; and besides; when you consider there are nine Justices on the US Supreme Court who seldom agree unanimously on anything, how much chance do you reckon a panel of seventy has of reaching a consensus?

At least one of the "foolish controversies and genealogies" I would highly recommend that believers avoid is Rome's roster of so-called apostolic successors. Don't even go there. It's unprofitable, futile, and pointless to strive over something like that. Pick your battles, and make sure your conflicts accomplish something truly useful for Christ. The Vatican has much bigger problems within its walls and its dogmas than that one.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #373 on: January 25, 2020, 07:43:55 am »
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Titus 3:10-11 . . A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

The  koiné  Greek word for "heretic" is hairetikos (hahee-ret-ee-kos') which means: a schismatic; which is someone in your very own church who causes dissent, rebellion, division, discord, and disharmony.

Webster's defines a heretic as: 1) a dissenter from established church dogma; especially one who disavows a revealed truth, and 2) one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine; viz: a nonconformist.

I'm a former Catholics turned Protestant. However, I don't fit the definition of a heretic. I'm what's known in Christian circles as an apostate; viz: a defector; which Webster's defines as people who forsakes one's cause, party, or nation for another often because of a change in ideology.

Heretics don't usually defect; but remain inside to foster insurrection: to undermine hierarchy, to bring about reform, to weaken, and to cause division. Every church has its fair share of heretics and they can be very disruptive in a Sunday school class.

The Greek word for "reject" is paraiteomai (par-ahee-teh'-om-ahee) which means: to beg off; viz: deprecate, decline, and shun. In other words, don't give heretics the time of day, nor be seen with them attending church.

Some religions, e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses, practice total shunning; viz: not only in church, but outside too; even in homes and families. That's pretty extreme and I really don't think Paul means we should go that far with it.
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« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 07:45:45 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #374 on: January 26, 2020, 08:52:49 am »
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Titus 3:14 . . And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

"good works for necessary uses" implies necessities; e.g. food, water, shelter, companionship, assistance, etc.

The pronoun "ours" obviously excludes the heretics. They don't need to maintain good works since they're essentially tares rather than wheat and nothing they do in Christ's name is merit-worthy.

"Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Master, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them : I never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity." (Matt 7:22-23)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #375 on: January 27, 2020, 07:56:43 am »
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Titus 3:15 . . Greet them that love us in the faith.

Heretics are of course excluded from the group that Paul labeled "them that love us in the faith". It would be a sin to require believers to say hello to them for Paul; since his orders are to shun heretics. He didn't want to know them anymore. They were not his favorite kinds of Christians.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #376 on: January 28, 2020, 07:02:46 am »
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Philemon 1:1-25

In the little communiqué to his friend Philemon, Paul went to bat for a runaway slave named Onesimus. By all rights, Philemon could legally, under Roman law, put Onesimus to death; but as Onesimus' fellow believer, and his sibling around the table in God's home, Philemon was bound by a higher sense of duty and association.

Onesimus ran away prior to his conversion to Christianity. Had he been a Christian, he would have been mindful of Eph 6:5-8, Col 3:22-25, 1Tim 6:1- 2, and Titus 2:9-10a and not run away.

Now that Onesimus was a fellow believer, Philemon was obligated to comply with Eph 6:9a, and Col 4:1.

You know, I keep using words like "obligated" but though that word is appropriate, it shouldn't have to be emphasized because Christianity is supposed to be a religion of devotion rather than obligation to duty.

"By love serve one another." (Gal 5:13)

Israel's covenanted law requires people to love others as themselves; but Jesus commands his followers to love their fellow believers with the same degree of love with which he himself loves them.

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.: (John 15:12)

That being the case, it must have been very easy for Philemon to let bygones be bygones and welcome Onesimus back into his home.

When Onesimus became Philemon's fellow believer, the nature of their association took on a whole other dimension; viz: every one of the commands that I've posted up till now, in regards to believers associating with one another, came into play at the moment of Onesimus' conversion.

He and Philemon would never again relate to one another the same as before Onesimus' conversion. Where once Onesimus and Philemon were merely fellow men; in Christ they became siblings, and both will one day sit side by side, shoulder to shoulder as equals around the table in God's home.

"For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; not now as a slave, but above a slave, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in The Lord?" (Philem 1:15-16)

 As a conscientious Christian, Onesimus no doubt became a real asset because it wouldn't be necessary for Philemon to ever again beat an honest day's work out of him.

"All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them." (1Tim 6:1-2)
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