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Beyond The Four Spiritual Laws

Discussion in 'Christian Newbies' started by Webers_Home, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    The Four Spiritual Laws is the title of an outreach booklet authored in 1952
    by Campus Crusade for Christ founder Dr. Bill Bright.

    The information contained therein is okay as far as it goes; but not an
    adequate instruction manual for new Christians just starting out and
    wondering what's expected of them. Follow me down the rabbit hole and I'll
    show you.


    NOTE: As of today's date, I'm 73 years old; an on-going student of the Bible
    since 1968 via sermons, seminars, lectures, Sunday school classes, radio
    Bible programs, and various authors of a number of Bible-related books.
    Forty-nine years of Bible under my belt hasn't made me an authority; but
    they've at least made me competent enough to compile a pretty useful
    catalogue of Christian beliefs and practices.

    Buen Camino

    /
     
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  2. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    1) Acts 15:19-20 . . Abstain from food tainted by idols, from promiscuity,
    from the meat of strangled animals, and from blood.

    Here's the text of a common Christian prayer.

    "Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from
    thy bounty through Christ, Our Lord. Amen."

    That prayer credits the providence of God for the nourishment on the table.
    Well; in the old Roman world, they sometimes credited the providence of a
    pagan deity for their nourishment. According to 1Cor 10:25-31; this is one
    of those don't ask situations; we'll get to that.

    Promiscuity typically refers to things like adultery, incest, shacking up, one
    night stands, sleeping around, etc.

    Strangulation is a slow, inhumane way to die. If you know that the meat
    you're being served came from an animal that was choked to death,
    consider it food fit only for barbarians. We want nothing to do with animal
    abuse.

    In other words: Christ's followers are forbidden to use blood as a beverage.

    There are cultures that poke holes in cows' necks in order to drink blood
    straight out of the living animal utilizing its own blood pressure like a tap to
    fill their cups; a rather ghastly thirst that might be okay for Edward Cullen's
    family but certainly not for us.

    2) Rom 6:11 . . Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ
    Jesus.

    "dead to sin" in this case doesn't mean Christ's sheep can't, won't, and/or
    don't sin (cf. 1John 1:8-10). It means that sin can no longer give God cause
    to slam them with the sum of all fears.

    Rom 5:12-21 explains, in so many words; that Christ's believing followers
    are accounted as having gone to the cross with him similar to accounting
    them as having tasted the forbidden fruit with Adam. This principle is at the
    very core of Christianity's plan of salvation so it's important to get it.

    In a nutshell: When Jesus went to the cross; he died for the sins of the
    world from first to last. That being the case, then when his believing
    followers went to the cross with him, they died for their sins from first to
    last. As a result: when the books are opened as per Rev 20:11-15, there will
    be nothing on record with which to charge them.


    FYI: Rom 6:11 is an order, and Christ's believing followers are expected to
    obey it.

    3) Rom 6:12 . . Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey
    its evil desires.

    4) Rom 6:13 . . Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments
    of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been
    brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as
    instruments of righteousness.

    If I'm understanding John 5:24-25 correctly; Jesus spoke of a non-physical
    resurrection that his believing followers undergo in this life-- now --before
    they pass on.

    It's a pretty good resurrection too because it doesn't rejuvenate ordinary
    life, rather; it's a step up to eternal life-- a superior kind of life that brings
    with it not only immortality, but also a change from human nature to divine
    nature. (2Pet 1:4)

    Anyway, the point is: Christ's non-physically resurrected followers really
    should make an effort to walk as insiders who live in heaven rather than
    outsiders on their way to the other place. Political theorists like Niccolò
    Machiavelli would not recommend Christ's way of life of course because in
    this world, situation ethics are better; viz: the end justifies the means so
    long as the end, no matter how obtained, benefits the so-called greater
    good.

    Well; to my knowledge, Machiavellian thinking doesn't fly in heaven so it's
    best for those "brought from death to life" to avoid it.

    5) Rom 12:1 . . Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
    God, which is your reasonable service.

    Sacrifices are basically things dedicated to God; i.e. set aside for God's
    purposes and/or utilized in such a way as to make God feel special instead of
    disgusted and/or disappointed.

    A "living" sacrifice is sort of like a gift that keeps on giving in comparison to
    a gift that's only useful for a moment.

    I would say that Rom 12:1 is a flashback to Rom 6:12-13 where it's stated:
    Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do
    not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but
    rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death
    to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of
    righteousness.

    Well; our bodies consist of more than just what's below the neck; they also
    consist of the flabby stuff inside our boney little skulls too.

    6) Rom 12:2 . . And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
    by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
    acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    Christianity, when taken seriously, can't help but radically change the way,
    the what, and the how we think about things in this life and in the next.

    Personal Bible reading is a good place to begin with Rom 12:2; however, the
    will of God isn't meant to be self-taught; it's meant to be instructed by
    teachers empowered by God for that specific purpose. (Rom 12:4-8, 1Cor
    12:1-30)

    "Are all teachers?" (1Cor 12:29)

    No, not all are teachers; which of course precludes self-teaching. Only some
    are teachers and the rest of Christ's believing followers are supposed to be
    students.

    "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists;
    and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the
    work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in
    the unity of the faith." (Eph 4:11-13)

    According to that passage, the goal of gifted teaching is unity. Well, when
    Christians come together with differing perspectives-- debating and
    engaging in perpetual bull sessions that never get to the bottom of anything
    --we're in danger of becoming divided and taking sides as intolerant bigots
    instead of unified. Like it's said: Too many cooks spoil the soup.

    Sermons and Sunday school classes are Christianity's traditional sources of
    teaching. But there's radio programs too, e.g. Thru The Bible with Dr.
    J.Vernon McGee. These days with radio, television, and the internet; gifted
    teaching is wide-spread and readily available.

    In centuries gone past, it was necessary to go where the teachers were in
    order to hear them speak. Nowadays, they come to speak right where we
    are by means of electronic gadgetry.

    7) Rom 12:3 . . I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is
    among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but
    to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of
    faith.

    "soberly" is from the Greek word sophroneo (so-fron-eh'-o) which means to
    be of sound mind, i.e. sane.

    A popular saying going around is this: "You can be anything". No, you can't
    be anything, and it's unreasonable to think otherwise. Know your limits and
    stay within them; don't be setting impossible goals for yourself; especially in
    matters of faith and practice.

    "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members
    do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one
    body, and each member belongs to all the others.

    . . .We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is
    prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him
    serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage;
    if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is
    leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it
    cheerfully." (Rom 12:4-8)

    Some church managers have a really bad habit of recruiting people to teach
    Sunday school who don't have a gift for it in accordance with Rom 12:3-8,
    1Cor 12:1-30, and Eph 4:7-12. Well; if teaching is not your spiritual
    specialty; then the sensible thing to do is turn them down. Stay within your
    limits like Rom 12:3 says, and don't let those managers pressure you into
    submission by making you feel guilty for refusing. Nobody gains points with
    Christ by going off-reservation.

    8) Rom 12:6 . . If God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out
    when you have faith that God is speaking through you.

    The koiné Greek word for "prophesy" in that verse is from propheteia (prof
    ay-ti'-ah) which encompasses predictions. Predictors were common in the
    early church; for example Agabus' predictions at Acts 11:27-28 and Acts
    21:10-11. Hunches don't count as God speaking through you. You have to
    really know it. Don't ask me how to really know it because I don't have the
    gift.

    9) Rom 12:7a . . If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well.

    "serving well" implies serving conscientiously and whole-heartedly rather
    than half-baked and/or hit and miss. So If you're thinking about becoming
    helpful in some way, don't do it unless you're willing to commit to the long
    haul because people need to know that they can depend on you to stay the
    course.

    10) Rom 12:7b . . If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching.

    I had a Sunday school teacher once who worked as a maintenance man in a
    public swimming facility. One Saturday he had to work very late repairing
    some equipment at the pool and had no time to prepare his lesson plan for
    Sunday morning so he just threw something together. It stunk; and my wife
    and I got nothing out of it.

    In contrast, I once knew a pastor who took all week long to prepare his
    Sunday morning sermons; rather than just Saturday night. Now there was a
    guy who knew what it means to "do a good job of teaching".

    /
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  3. breathofdesire

    breathofdesire Active Member

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    Fabulously helpful, thanks. Also I thank your brain for not praying the Bible into your brain, and actually reading it.
     
  4. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    When I was a young christian, and the Lord was just starting to teach me, He once gave me one word, and i wrote a message on it, The pastor who hardly knew me, rang me and asked if I could do a communion message, well seems the Lord had one prepared. In the end of it all, teh guy who did the sound afterwards told me, that was teh first time ever, that people had asked him for recordings of a communion message. So you see, age has nothing to do with any thing in Gods kingdom, God prefers teh unlearned as they have nothing to boast of.

    Well actually we do, Jesus Christ Lord of Lord king of Kings and the one who is the truth and in who you will only ever find teh truth.

    And just when you think you have it all, and God starts to reveal all His knowledge, and you feel like you will explode because our puny minds cant even begin to grasp all that He is, it is than you realise for all teh studying and learning you still know nothing.
     
  5. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    HELP!!

    You said 4 Spiritual Laws.
    Please list the.
     
  6. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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  7. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    11) Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

    You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids.
    Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing
    them all the time and never once giving them an "atta boy" or a single vote
    of confidence. A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef
    up somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of
    thing, then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so.


    NOTE: The kind of encouragement about which that passage speaks, is just
    as much a spiritual gift as tongues, the interpretation of tongues, miracles,
    teaching, healing, faith, evangelism, and prophecy etc.

    12) Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

    There are some people barely making ends meet who nevertheless make an
    effort to include charities in their budgets, while others loaded with dough
    are misers in that they only give what they have to and nothing more. The
    "extra mile" is foreign to their concept of what it means to be generous.

    13) Rom 12:8c . . If God has given you leadership ability, take the
    responsibility seriously.

    A natural aptitude for church management doesn't count. It has to be God
    given; that is: a legitimate Spirit-endowed ability. (cf. Rom 12:3-8, 1Cor
    12:4-11, 1Cor 12:27-30). There are far too many people sitting on church
    boards merely because they're a success in business. Well; if your church is
    a business; then maybe you should think about finding another one.

    14) Rom 12:8d . . If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it
    gladly.

    That would probably correspond to incidents like the one depicted in the
    parable of the man attacked by road agents in Luke 10:30-36. In that
    instance, a passerby had the skills and the wherewithal to provide care for a
    total stranger in need. Personally, I'm not much at first aid and/or
    emergency medical services. But what we're getting at here is that should
    you find yourself in circumstances where you can be of genuine, effective
    assistance; don't lend a hand grudging. It ought to make Christians happy to
    be of assistance instead of getting irritated and grumpy about an unexpected
    inconvenience.

    A solo Pacific Crest Trail hiker named Cheryl Strayed, in her book WILD,
    recounts an evening wherein she was very low on funds and having no luck
    locating a suitable place in the woods to set up her tent before it got really
    dark. Cheryl found her way into a fee campground and set up at the extreme
    end of the facility where she thought no one would mind; but later that night
    the caretakers came by and, in a not-so-friendly tone, insisted that she
    either pay the $12 fee or break camp and leave. The Christian thing to do
    would have been to pay the fee for her instead of forcing a woman to
    wander out into the pitch black forest all alone at night.

    15) Rom 12:9a . . Don't just pretend that you love others.

    Webster's defines "pretense" as fiction, make-believe, and/or simulation.
    Ironically, pretense is foundational to ordinary civility and common courtesy.
    But when it comes to love; Christians should never put on a front. In other
    words: don't lead someone on to believe you care for them when in reality
    you don't. That's not only dishonest; it's cruel.

    16) Rom 12:9b . . Hate what is wrong.

    Hating evil is second nature to God-fearing people.

    Ps 97:10 . .You who love Yhvh: hate evil!

    Job 1:1 . . In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This
    man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.

    Prv 8:13 . .The fear of The Lord is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and
    the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I hate.

    Matt 5:6 . . Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
    righteousness.

    /
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  8. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what's going on these days.
    Maybe because I learned from books?

    YOU started a thread and said there were 4 spiritual laws.
    Then you DIDN'T list them.

    I ask you for them and you send me to a link?
    You can't just tell me and all those who are reading along???
     
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  9. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    I didn't list Dr. Bright's four spiritual laws because this thread is not about
    them. This thread goes beyond them. It's so stated in the title.

    /
     
  10. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    17) Rom 12:9c . . Stand on the side of the good.

    Christian CEOs on the boards of multi-national corporations have my
    sympathy. Good luck complying with item #17.

    I recently watched a very interesting documentary on NetFlix that analyzed
    corporations; and they found that corporations, as a personality, typically
    exhibit all five of the psychopathic behaviors listed below.

    • Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.

    • Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.

    • Reckless disregard for the safety of others.

    • Deceit and dissembling; viz: repeated lying, suppressing information,
    stretching the truth, and conning others for profit.

    • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.

    One of corporate America's more shameful management practices is the
    exploitation of foreign poverty, cheap labor, defenseless employees, minimal
    safety requirements, and hardly any environmental regulations in order to
    keep costs down and the bottom lines of quarterly reports up. It's all about
    profits with corporations; while the human suffering exploited to obtain them
    is collateral damage, so to speak; and nowhere has that been more
    prevalent than the manufacture of textiles and garments.

    Another of corporations' rather annoying behaviors is their lack of
    patriotism. They have a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders which
    supersedes any wish they may have to pay their fair share of the tax burden
    imposed on their fellow citizens. Thus they contribute relatively little towards
    the Federal Government's ability to pay its bills in comparison to regular
    people.

    A popular corporate tax-saving dodge, which is perfectly legal, is the moving
    of their corporate headquarters offshore to countries where tax rates on
    profits are much lower than here in the USA; where they have a permanent
    haven just so long as they don't bring those profits into the country; which is
    really a shame because those profits could otherwise be invested here at
    home to create more jobs for Americans and thus strengthen the economy.

    18) Rom 12:10a . . Love each other with genuine affection

    Real affection is easy to imitate, but not so easy to duplicate. Going through
    the motions is just not the same as feeling the feelings.

    There are people in this world who are affection-challenged. They can't even
    feel anything for their own children, let alone other people. For them,
    parenting is a nightmare rather than a dream come true. Their children are a
    burden rather than a blessing. Children ruin those parents' lives instead of
    brightening them up and making their lives more worth the living.

    When affection-challenged people decide to follow Christ, they're up against
    it because Christianity is a faith that works by love rather than by law.

    Though someone were to comply with every rule that I've posted on this
    thread thus far and yet be affection-challenged, they're as Paul described in
    his first epistle to the Corinthians as resounding gongs and clanging
    cymbals. Those are percussion instruments; they don't carry a tune or a
    melody; they just make noise.

    However, affection-challenged people aren't entirely hopeless because
    Christianity isn't a do-it-yourself religion; it's a supernatural religion.

    "If the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who
    raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through
    His spirit, who lives in you." (Rom 8:11

    Some might argue that verse is talking about the future. Well; their
    argument is okay as far as it goes, but doesn't go far enough. It's futile to
    resurrect a mortal body because it would be still be mortal; i.e. vulnerable to
    disease, aging, and death. No, the "life" that Rom 8:11 is talking about is a
    benefit package defined as the fruit of the Spirit; spoken of in Gal 5:19-25.
    One of the benefits in that package is love.

    A heads up to affection-challenged people: The fruit of the Spirit comes with
    some negative side effects. Though its love will make you a better human
    being, it will also make you pretty miserable at times too because love gets
    into your heart and makes you sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic. If
    you've never felt those kinds of feelings before, then they would be
    overwhelming were they to come upon you in full power. Fortunately the
    fruit of the Spirit doesn't come on people all at once; instead, love sort of
    grows on people a little at a time; sort of like gradually bringing a frog up to
    the boiling point by starting him out in cold water.

    Of course the process is lethal to the frog; but I'm only using the doomed
    amphibian as an analogy rather than a reality. The fruit of the Spirit is life
    rather than death. So the fruit gradually brings people up from a cold dead
    heart to a warm living heart.

    19) Rom 12:10b . . Honor others over yourselves.

    Most alpha achievers would have trouble with that one. I mean. why be a
    winner if not to feel superior to everyone else and accumulate bragging
    rights and accolades? The alpha achiever's motto is: It's not enough to
    succeed; everyone else must fail.

    Feelings of value are important to everyone's sense of well being, but the
    alpha achiever feels only himself to be of any real value; in his mind's eye,
    those "below" him are of little worth, i.e. expendable and/or a dime a dozen.
    (cf. Est 6:6, Matt 27:26, Mark 12:38 39, and 3John9)

    /
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  11. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    20) Rom 12:11 . . Never be halfhearted in your work, but serve the Lord
    enthusiastically.

    Webster's defines 'halfhearted" as feeling or showing a lack of interest. The
    koinë Greek word for "work" is spoude (spoo-day') which refers to
    movement in regards to speed; viz: velocity. In other words; item #20 is
    talking about dragging one's feet rather than getting with the program and
    expediting whatever it is you're assigned to do.

    21) Rom 12:12a . . Be glad for all God is planning for you.

    Christians unsure of their afterlife destination cannot, in all honesty and a
    good conscience, comply with item #21.

    22) Rom 12:12b . . Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.

    Patience in trouble requires a hang-in-there, tough-it-out attitude; i.e.
    perseverance, which can be defined as continued effort to do, or achieve,
    something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

    I've heard of people giving up on religion due to adverse circumstances
    which they felt were undeserving. But life goes on whether one is pious or
    not.

    "Adversity that comes into your life is no different from what others
    experience." (1Cor 10:13)

    "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward." (Job 5:7)

    I guess some people figure that life should be a bed of roses for Christians;
    but alas, such is not the case.

    "To be, or not to be, that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to
    suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a
    sea of troubles, and by opposing end them: to die, to sleep no more; and by
    a sleep, to say we end the heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks that
    flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished." (Hamlet. Act
    III, Scene I)

    Wishing one's self dead in order to escape troubles doesn't comply with
    patience; and wishing one's self was never born is futile.

    "Why didn't I die at birth as I came from the womb? Why did my mother let
    me live? Why did she nurse me at her breasts? For if I had died at birth, I
    would be at peace now, asleep and at rest." (Job 3:11-13)

    A Christian buddy of mine died in his mid forties. Sometimes I envy his
    untimely death because he doesn't have to go through old age like I'm
    doing. I've had lots of troubles in my lifetime: the sudden passing of my
    favorite nephew, betrayed by people I thought were BFFs, dumped by girl
    friends, financial reversal, appendicitis, thyroid failure, total knee
    replacements, cataract surgery, loss of kidney function, loss of teeth, lay
    offs, etc. None of those misfortunes have been as destructive to my peace of
    mind as the aging process.

    Fortunately I'm not demented nor suffering from onset Alzheimer's, but
    nevertheless, I'm disintegrating, little by little and day by day; and there's
    no remedy. The aging process is like Arnold Swarzenegger's relentless movie
    character; the Terminator, of whom it is said: feels neither pain nor pity, nor
    remorse nor fear; it cannot be reasoned with nor can it be bargained with,
    and it absolutely will not stop-- ever --until you are dead.

    I don't really mind getting old, nor mind dying: what I do mind is falling
    apart along the way. But others have fallen apart before me, others are
    falling apart along with me, and others will fall apart after me. My own
    personal Terminator is nothing new or unusual; so I'm riding it out like
    people in hurricane zones ride out the storms that come their way year after
    year. I don't know if anyone ever gets comfortable with the aging process;
    but at least they can take comfort in knowing we only have to go through it
    once.

    23) Rom 12:13a . . Share with God's people who are in need.

    The Jews are God's people in accordance with an unconditional covenant
    that He made with Abraham. (Gen 17:7-8)


    NOTE: Nazi Germany was very nearly 99% Christian. Had they all complied
    with Rom 12:13a, the effects of the Holocaust would've no doubt been
    greatly reduced.

    24) Rom 12:13b . . Practice hospitality.

    Webster's defines hospitable as: (1) given to generous and cordial reception
    of guests, (2) promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome, (3)
    offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.

    In other words; a hospitable person is civil, courteous, thoughtful, easy on
    one's nerves, helpful, approachable, accommodating, and relaxing to be
    with.

    25) Rom 12:14 . . Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

    The koiné Greek word for "persecute" is dioko (dee-o'-ko) which means to
    pursue; viz: to hound. In other words; a persecuting personality is one
    whose mission in life is to ruin somebody's day at every opportunity; and
    they are pretty good at finding ways to do it. Christians are under orders to
    remain calm with people like that; continue to be hospitable and do not
    reciprocate evil for evil.

    /
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  12. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    26) Rom 12:15 . .When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are
    sad, share their sorrow.

    A number of factors play a role in the making of an insensitive clod; one of
    which is defective areas of the brain called amygdalae. In brief, the
    amygdalae control, to a large extent, our emotions; i.e. our feelings,
    especially relative to empathy.

    Normal amygdalae make it possible to commiserate; which can be roughly
    defined as feeling sympathy and/or compassion as opposed to just going
    thru the motions. For example: I heard somewhere that half of us go to
    funerals to honor folk we couldn't be bothered with when they were alive
    and then lie through out teeth when we tell the family "I'm sorry for your
    loss."

    Defective amygdalae are usually a genetic problem; i.e. people with them
    were born that way. So, they are going to have a pretty difficult time of it
    when it comes to sharing in the happiness and/or the sorrow of others.

    "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?" (Jer 13:23)

    The answer to both those questions is of course NO; like they say: you can't
    get blood out of a turnip. So then, how is it reasonable to expect empathy
    challenged Christians to share the happiness of happy people and/or the
    sorrows of sad people?

    Well; it isn't reasonable, but neither is it hopeless seeing as how a portion of
    the fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal 5:22). In other words: there's a
    supernatural remedy for psychopathic personality disorders. (cf. Ezek 36:26)


    BTW: It's surprising the number of Christians that I've encountered, even
    Sunday school teachers, who honestly believe that feelings have no role
    whatsoever in the practice of Christianity. As a result, they go about the
    business of their Christian life as insensitive mannequins: heartless, cold,
    and metallic; sort of like the Tin Woodsman of the Wizard of Oz-- without a
    heart, he couldn't feel the passionate emotions he once felt for the love of
    his life. Without a heart; the poor, pitiful man was barely a sentient being.

    27) Rom 12:16a . . Live in harmony with each other.

    It isn't necessary to be in 100% agreement with others on everything in
    order to comply with that command. But it is necessary to practice courtesy,
    tolerance, and patience, i.e. make every effort to avoid feuding,
    one-upmanship, and debating. The opposite of harmony is dissonance which
    can be defined as. a mingling of sounds that strike the ear harshly, e.g. sour
    notes.

    For some people, every disagreement is an act of war to be won at any cost.
    That's not harmony, that's hostility. It's far and away better for Christians to
    be diplomatic than to be right all the time.

    2Cor 12:19-20 . . For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I
    want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that
    there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander,
    gossip, arrogance and disorder.

    28) Rom 12:16b . . Don't be elitist, but willing to associate with people
    below you.

    One Sunday morning the owner of a boatyard where I was employed just
    happened to be going east at the same time as me on a freeway in San
    Diego. I saw him coming up on the left in my side mirror. I and my VW
    beetle were in the middle lane and he and his Chevy pickup were in the fast
    lane. As the boatyard owner came up alongside me, he kept his head turned
    to the left as if he was intently looking at something alongside the highway
    as he went past.

    You know what was over there on the left side of the freeway? Nothing. It
    was a 30-foot embankment of bare earth; an impenetrable wall of China. He
    was deliberately averting his gaze so he wouldn't have to wave to me. And
    guess what? Mr. Boatyard was on the board of a large Wesleyan church in
    Spring Valley that he and I both attended on Sunday mornings.

    In another incident, I went to a Church singles' group meeting in a private
    home where everyone was seated on the carpet chatting when I arrived. All
    the really cool people had gravitated together in little clusters and left this
    rather geeky fellow sitting all by himself with no one to talk to. Well; I
    wasn't all that cool myself so I sat with the geek and as we conversed, I
    began to realize that in spite of his appearance, he was actually a pretty
    bright guy.

    I've noticed that elevators are a world of equality. They do not care about
    people's appearance: whether they look smart or stupid, fashionable or
    common, or whether they're beautiful, average, or ugly; whether they're old
    or young, or whether they are boy or girl; whether they are black, white,
    red, or yellow. People are either in the car or off the car: that's all that
    matters to an elevator.

    29) Rom 12:16c . . Don't be wise in your own conceit.

    Webster's defines "conceit" as excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth
    or virtue. In other words we're talking about hubris; which often indicates a
    loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence,
    accomplishments or capabilities.

    Conceit is uncivil, untrainable, and intolerable. It truly believes nobody
    beneath its dignity could possibly have anything to tell that it doesn't already
    know, and if it doesn't already know, then that's because the information
    possessed by those beneath its dignity isn't worth knowing.

    Those kinds of people will interrupt you right in the middle of your sentence
    and begin talking about their own perspective as if your voice is nowhere to
    be heard in the whole room. You know why they do that? Because they
    sincerely believe that nothing you are in the midst of saying is nearly as
    important as what they have to say. In other words: you, and your
    thoughts, are superfluous.

    Conceited folk are generally very picky about their influences too; in other
    words, even if somebody is a Spirit-gifted Bible teacher, but are neither
    published, accredited, or properly educated, then forget it. That Spirit-gifted
    somebody is eo ipso undeserving of conceit's intellectual attention right out
    of the box.

    Conceit is not only stuck on itself; but very critical of others too. I've seen it
    to happen time and again that when a Spirit-gifted Bible teacher comes
    across with a personality like Elijah's or John the Baptist's that conceit
    summarily brushes them off as "unloving" no matter even if they speak as
    the very voice of God. In other words; conceit disdains to be taught; rather,
    conceit seeks to be accommodated.

    I think most people in church are aware that conceit is unacceptable.

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

    Conceit is a psychological disorder, so people can't just turn it off at will. But
    unless something radical is done to correct their conceit; people will have to
    face the sum of all fears.

    Matt 18:3 . .Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like
    children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    /
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  13. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    30) Rom 12:17a . . Never reciprocate evil with evil to anyone.

    That is a really tough command to follow; for example: when someone
    makes a demeaning comment about us, the urge to bounce back with a
    retort in kind is very difficult to resist.

    31) Rom 12:17b . . Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

    The koiné Greek word for "right" is a bit ambiguous. It can mean: honorable,
    decent, sensible, mature, conforming to social norms of decency and
    propriety, beautiful, virtuous, honest, having worth, fitting, and/or
    appropriate. Those are all good qualities and should be practiced not only
    inside church, but outside church too.

    32) Rom 12:18 . . If possible, so far as it in your power, be at peace with all
    men.

    Assertive, defensive, fault-finding, imperious, judgmental, confrontational,
    bossy, hard-nosed, implacable, moody, thin skinned, vindictive, spiteful
    people are not going to heaven. Why? Because heaven is a place of peace
    (Matt 5:9). Disagreeable people who fight at the drop of a hat simply don't
    fit in heaven and besides, not only would they be a fish out of water; but it
    wouldn't be fair to the others to let difficult people in to heaven where they
    would surely turn it into the same kind of hell to live in that they've made
    the earth.

    33) Rom 12:19 . . Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave it to the
    wrath of God, for it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay; testifies the
    Lord.

    The focus is upon one's "own" revenge; in other words: if the matter can't
    be settled legally; let it go rather than take it upon yourself to be
    prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner. Those who seek justice outside the
    justice system are no less criminals than the people they seek to punish.

    34) Rom 12:20 . . If your personal enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is
    thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his
    head.

    Way back when the television show SURVIVOR was in its second or third
    season on television, two of the women fell out of sorts and one vowed that
    even if the other were lying in the street near death from thirst, she'd walk
    right past and not give her so much as a drop of water.

    Bad form. Christians have to remain civil and not permit detestable people
    to dictate the way we treat our fellow men. It is far better for the Lord's
    people to exemplify humanitarian principles rather than nurse a grudge.

    35) Rom 12:21 . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    They say "fight fire with fire". Well, that might work in some circumstances;
    but Christians should never permit themselves to fight evil with evil. Two
    wrongs never make a right.

    I just have to wonder-- in a land that prides itself in the principle of the
    accused being assumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law --why
    Osama Bin Laden wasn't captured alive and given a fair trial before the
    Obama administration executed him. I mean; after all; several of Germany's
    big name war criminals were given fair trials; and so was Saddam Hussein,
    wasn't he? Far from being "brought to justice" Mr. Bin Laden was
    assassinated lynch-mob style. Thus, America overcame evil with evil; which
    is a clear violation of the Lord's wishes as per Rom 12:21; and to think some
    Americans actually pride themselves in being a so-called Christian nation.

    /
     
  14. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    36) Rom 13:1-5 . . Everyone must submit himself to the governing
    authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.
    The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he
    who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted,
    and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

    . . . For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do
    wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do
    what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you
    good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for
    nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the
    wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only
    because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

    There are Christians out there sincerely believing that capital punishment is
    wrong; and how can they be faulted when of late Pope Francis himself has
    been saying it's wrong. But according to the passage above, and the one
    below, capital punishment is divine.

    Gen 9:4-6 . . And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I
    will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I
    will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the
    blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has
    God made man.

    Murder deserves the death penalty not so much because it's morally wrong,
    but because it disparages the image of God. In other words: murder is an
    act of blaspheme.

    Rom 13:1-5 is a fair warning to Christians that should they break the law; to
    expect neither favoritism nor immunity. So then, if you can't do the time,
    then don't do the crime.

    Christians that commit capital crimes should expect their heads to roll just
    like any other capital criminal's head; and that goes for lesser crimes too,
    e.g. J-walking, illegal U-turns, feeding parking meters, drifting through stop
    signs without coming to a complete halt, exceeding the speed limit, unsafe
    lane changes, road rage, disturbing the peace, littering, trespassing,
    shoplifting, civil disobedience, animal abuse, etc.

    God has given governments the right to play God; any Christian who
    opposes government's right to play God, is playing the Devil. God forbid!
    Christians ought not to be scofflaws; no, they really ought to be the most
    law-abiding citizens on Earth.

    37) Rom 13:6 . . Pay your taxes

    While it's true that tax dollars often get wasted on fraud, graft, pork, bail
    outs, ear marks, and such things; by and large taxes are essential if we're to
    expect services like schools, parks, national defense, law enforcement, fire
    protection, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, foster care, endowments,
    reparations, flood control, TANF, and the maintenance of infrastructure, etc.

    38) Rom 13:7 . . Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay
    taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then
    honor.

    There is abroad today throughout America a wave of hate and disrespect for
    U.S. President Donald Trump the intensity and hysteria of which is unlike
    anything I've ever seen in my 73 years on this planet. I should hope that
    none of Christ's followers get caught up in it. We don't have to like Mr.
    Trump, but we do have to honor him.

    39) Rom 13:8 . . Owe no man anything.

    Some have construed item #39 to mean that it's a sin to have a mortgage, a
    car payment, and/or a credit card balance. However, the koiné Greek word
    for "owe" is opheilo (of-i'-lo) an ambiguous word with a number of
    meanings, one of which is to fail in duty; viz: fail to meet your obligations.
    In today's world; debt is pert near impossible to avoid; but debt is okay for
    Christians just so long as they pay their bills on time. Christ is neither
    pleased nor honored when his followers are known as deadbeats.

    /
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  15. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    40) Rom 13:12 . . Put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of
    light.

    Among the first things that God created for the cosmos was light (Gen 1:3).
    He didn't have to create darkness because darkness as per Gen 1:2 was just
    simply the default condition in the absence of light.

    At that time, God made a distinct difference between light and darkness
    (Gen 1:4). I think it is very notable that God labeled the light "good" but He
    didn't label the darkness good.

    I believe Gen 1:4 set the stage; in other words: from that point on in the
    Bible darkness typically represents something harmful and/or distasteful;
    while light always represents something tasteful and/or beneficial. So then
    we could label the deeds of darkness as deeds unbecoming Christ's
    followers, and we could label the armor of light as deeds befitting his
    followers. In other words: deeds befitting Christ's followers are their first line
    of defense in a world gone mad with evil.

    41) Rom 13:13 . . Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing
    and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and
    envy.

    In the beginning, God labeled the light "day" and the darkness He labeled
    "night" (Gen 1:5) ergo: accordingly, day is good while night is bad. So then;
    things done in the day are good things, while things done in the night are,
    by default, bad things. Day and Night, and Darkness and Light, are
    interesting figures of speech and can be seen in use at quite a few locations
    in the Bible; for example:

    John 3:19-21 . .This is the judgment; that the light is come into the world,
    and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.
    For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light,
    lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to
    the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

    Envy can be a good dog or a bad dog, and when it's a bad dog, it's the
    combined meanness of a Pit Bull Terrier and a Rottweiler because envy fuels
    some very bitter rivalries. Wanting to be equal with others is one thing, but
    striving to be better than others is a horse of another color. Christians have
    got to be careful of that. This isn't optional by the way; no: it's required.

    What I find interesting about Christ's commandments is that his followers
    have to be told how to "properly conduct" themselves; viz: it's never
    assumed they can be trusted to instinctively and/or intuitively know how.

    42) Rom 13:14 . . .Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ

    Clothing one's self with a personage was a colloquialism many years ago
    which would correspond in our day to "emulation" which Webster's defines
    as trying to be like someone or something you admire. They say that
    imitation is the highest flattery. Well; if you'd like to flatter the Lord; adopt
    his principles and put them into practice. In other words: become Christ's
    understudy. You can do no better for a role model.

    Q: How does one go about measuring up to Christ?

    A: Well, up to this point, we've listed 42 ways. In other words; complying
    with Christ's commandments is really the best and only practical way to go
    about it.

    /
     
  16. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    43) Rom 14:1 . . Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment
    on disputable matters.

    A strong faith consists of the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance,
    and conviction. A weak faith can be defined as vacillating; viz: one that's not
    all that sure whether something is wrong for a Christian; or even that
    something is right; in other words, a weak faith lacks the elements of
    knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction.

    Disputable matters are matters of opinion rather than matters of fact.
    Opinions are often subjective, biased, and arbitrary, rather than objective,
    unbiased, and by-the book. Opinions inevitably invite perpetual debating
    that never really gets to the bottom of anything; which, in matters of
    spiritual significance is strictly forbidden within the context of the 14th
    chapter of Romans; because debatable matters are not matters of doctrine;
    but rather; matters of conscience.

    We're not talking about black and white doctrines and principles here. Those
    are not open to debate. We're talking about gray areas.

    "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is black and white; while issues like video
    games, music, fashions, foods, cosmetics, movies, self defense, gambling,
    swim suits, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, fasting, religious art, crucifixes,
    couture, and holy days of obligation are debatable. In regards to those
    areas; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind rather than
    somebody else's mind.

    Those are things about which each has to decide for themselves according to
    the dictates of their own conscience; and God forbid they should impose
    their personal dictates upon others and thus become dictatorial because
    that's playing God and usurping the Lord's sovereign prerogative to make
    the rules for his own church.

    44) Rom 14:2-4 . . One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but
    another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats
    everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does
    not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has
    accepted him.

    If you sincerely believe that fast food, GMO, high fructose corn syrup, non
    organic produce, processed foods, grain-fed beef, raw oysters, sushi, and/or
    anything fried in lard is sinful; well; more power to you; but God forbid you
    should condemn others who disagree because to my knowledge the Lord has
    issued no hard and fast rules regulating Christian nourishment other than
    those listed at Acts 15:19-20.

    So then; whether or not to eat grass-fed beef or grain-fed beef is your call;
    although in my judicious estimation; you run a much higher risk of
    contracting E.coli 0157-H7 by eating grain-fed beef. But the choice to run
    that risk is yours alone; not mine. The important point to note is that either
    way, God will accept one's diet just so long as they are convinced in their
    own mind it's not a sinful diet.

    /
     
  17. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    45) Rom 14:5 . . One man considers one day more sacred than another;
    another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced
    in his own mind.

    Common Christian holy days are the Lord's Day (Sunday), Solemnity of Mary
    the Mother of God, the Epiphany, Solemnity of Saint Joseph Husband of the
    Blessed Virgin Mary, the Ascension Trinity Sunday, Solemnity of Saints Peter
    and Paul, Good Friday, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints,
    the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the
    Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas), and the Sabbath. Some would
    probably include Easter and Ash Wednesday.

    If your denomination, or your church of choice, rules that days like the
    above are sacred, then for you they are. Whether God himself really and
    truly rules them as sacred is irrelevant. What matters is whether you are
    convinced He does.

    46) Rom 14:13a . .Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

    Within the context of the 14th of Romans, "passing judgment" pertains to
    condemning others for refusal to accept and/or comply with your gray-area
    beliefs and practices.

    47) Rom 14:13b . . Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling
    block or obstacle in your brother's way.

    The koiné Greek word translated "stumbling block" means a stub. For
    example: one year I cut down a troublesome bush in my front yard and left
    a bit of a stump sticking up out of the ground that later damaged my lawn
    mower when I accidentally ran over it while cutting the grass; which had
    grown tall enough to conceal the stump. In that respect, stumbling blocks
    are hazards not easily detected.

    Within the context of the 14th of Romans, I would equate stumbling blocks
    to the clever sophistry that silver-tongued orators employ to persuade
    people to do things contrary to their convictions and their conscience. In
    other words; there are people out there with the skills to make a lie sound
    like the God's truth. (cf. Eph 4:11-14)

    48) Rom 14:14-16 . . I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of the
    Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone
    believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another Christian
    is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't
    let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be
    condemned for doing something you know is alright.

    You may believe that there is nothing wrong with eating non-Kosher foods;
    but your dinner companion might feel very strongly about it. Well; sure, you
    can get by with eating non-Kosher foods; but Rom 14:14-16 is saying don't.
    In other words; it is Christ's wishes that you restrain yourself from eating
    non-Kosher foods in front of your companion out of respect for their feelings
    about it.

    I would go so far as to say that rule applies to alcohol. If your dinner
    companion is a recovering alcoholic, then for God's sake don't order drinks
    at your table. It's not only thoughtless and offensive; but you might
    inadvertently succeed in bumping your friend off the wagon.

    49) Rom 14:19 . . Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to
    peace and to mutual edification.

    The koiné Greek word for "edification" is oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which is
    a word related to the building trades; and in this instance would be related
    to structural improvements like a new wing, or a bedroom, or another floor;
    and in many instances adds square footage to an already-existing structure
    and/or improves its appearance, its value, and it's utility. Edification then,
    builds up instead of tearing down.

    Webster's defines "peace" as a state in which there is no war or fighting; viz:
    harmony and mutual concord.

    2Cor 12:19-20 . . For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I
    want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that
    there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander,
    gossip, arrogance and disorder.

    50) Rom 14:20-21 . . Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.
    All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes
    someone else to stumble.

    The critters that God lists in Israel's covenanted law as unsuitable for food
    aren't intrinsically unsuitable. They're only unsuitable for Israel because
    that's how God wants it for His people. But outside the covenant; and for
    everybody else: everything is suitable for food; all flora and all fauna.

    Gen 9:3 . . Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I
    gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

    Acts 10:15 . .The voice spoke to him a second time; "Do not call anything
    impure that God has made clean."

    51) Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain things make no difference,
    but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be
    considerate of the doubts and fears of those who believe certain things are
    wrong.

    God forbid that any of Christ's followers should talk their fellow Christians
    into doing something that bothers their conscience because then both they
    and the talker will be in the wrong even if the talker is right.

    /
     
  18. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    52) Rom 14:22a . . So whatever you personally believe in debatable areas
    keep between yourself and God.

    53) Rom 14:22b-23 . . Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by
    what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats,
    because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from
    faith is sin.

    In other words, it's possible to be wrong even when you're right because it's
    a sin to forge ahead when one's conscience is not sure it's okay to do so.

    I once knew a Christian who felt guilty just setting foot inside a BlockBuster
    video store. Was he silly for feeling that way? Not in his mind; and it's your
    own personal moral compass that counts in gray areas. Some Christians
    can't permit themselves to dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol; while
    others see nothing wrong with it. If those two kinds of Christians should
    perchance dine out together, it's the more sensitive conscience that
    determines where to eat.

    In other words; it makes good spiritual sense to avoid insisting upon your
    freedoms and rights sometimes in order to prevent dragging your fellow
    Christians into something that makes them feel guilty and/or uncomfortable.

    54) Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain things make no difference,
    but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be
    considerate of the doubts and fears of those who believe certain things are
    wrong.

    I think this would be a good place to interject a note pertaining to the
    statement below:

    John 13:35 . . By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you
    love one another.

    For many of us who grew up in dysfunctional families, broken homes, foster
    systems and/or orphanages et al; the concept of love doesn't resonate in our
    thinking; viz: it just goes in one ear and right out the other because we
    quite literally have no points of reference in our minds to aid comprehending
    what the Lord means by love; and this is what makes his commandments
    interspersed throughout the epistles so valuable-- many of them not only
    show us how to recognize love when we encounter it; but also how to
    exemplify it in our own lives so that those of us who were deprived of love
    growing up are not left to figure it out on our own.

    55) Rom 15:7 . . Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in
    order to bring praise to God.

    That's a bit tricky but I think it just means believers should acknowledge one
    another as Christians, and treat one another as Christians, though they may
    differ in opinion about what constitutes a true Christian.

    For example: it's not unusual to hear a Christian pontificate that real
    Christians would never watch R-rated movies, gamble, wear a speedo or a
    string bikini, use cosmetics, smoke marijuana, expose cleavage or wear skin
    tight yoga pants in public, stop for a beer on the way home from work, have
    a glass of wine before bedtime, listen to RAP music, ditch church and Sunday
    school for years at a time, or go in a bar or a nightclub where there's topless
    female dancers up on a stage twining themselves around a pole while leering
    men stuff currency into the hems of their skimpy little costumes.

    Too many Christians have the opinion that unless others believe and behave
    the very same way they believe and behave, then those others are not
    Christians. Well; the easiest way to settle this is to follow Webster's
    definition that a Christian is simply someone who professes a belief in the
    teachings of Jesus Christ. That's it: no more, no less, and no qualifiers. They
    don't even have to practice the Lord's teachings; they only have to profess
    to believe in them.

    An internet forum I was on in the past made it even easier. In order to
    qualify as a Christian on that forum; one only had to believe they were a
    Christian; viz: they didn't have to prove they were a Christian; no, they only
    had to be convinced in their own minds that they were a Christian. If we all
    followed that rule it would put a stop to a lot of unnecessary quarreling and
    bad feelings.

    /
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  19. pia

    pia Well-Known Member

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    @Webers_Home . Hi there......I seem to recall something about :' Judge not, lest you be judged"....Hmmm, where was that now ? Great post, thanks.......Pia
     
  20. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    -
    56) Rom 15:27 . . For if the Gentiles have shared in the Israelite's spiritual
    blessings, they owe it to the Israelites to share with them their material
    blessings.

    Within the context of Rom 15:25-27, the Israelites to whom Paul refers are
    not those who believe and practice Judaism; but those who believe and
    practice Christianity. It is unbecoming for Christians to support religions that
    undermine their Master.

    57) Rom 16:17-18 . . I urge you, brothers, beware of those who cause
    divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you
    have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our
    Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they
    deceive the minds of naïve people.

    One of the Lord's very effective opponents isn't a person; but rather, it's a
    persuasive teaching method called sophistry; which Webster's defines as a
    reason or an argument that sounds correct but is actually false; viz: subtly
    deceptive reasoning or argumentation. Sophistry is so rational, so appealing,
    makes such good sense, and is so convincing that even its users are easily
    fooled by it.

    Sophistry in religion is found in true-sounding beliefs based upon false
    premises. According to Eph 4:11-14 the very reason that Christ hand-picks
    some of his followers to speak for him is so that the rest of his followers may
    have access to true premises upon which to base their beliefs. Some
    Christians are of the opinion that they can get by without the assistance of
    Christ's hand-picked teachers just by reading the Bible on their own; but it is
    not the Lord's wishes that his followers be self-taught.

    58) 1Cor 1:10 . . I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus
    Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no
    divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and
    thought.

    I think it would be interesting to analyze the incident that prompted Paul to
    issue that order.

    1Cor 1:11-12 . . My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed
    me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this; one of you says
    "I follow Paul" and another says "I follow Apollos" and another says "I follow
    Cephas" and still another says "I follow Christ".

    The "divisions" that Paul addressed were apparently related to the sins of
    rivalry and elitism-- some even going so far as to allege that their baptism
    was superior to the "second-rate" baptisms experienced by others.

    Modern examples of that kind of elitism today might go like this: one might
    brag "I was saved at a Louis Palau crusade" while, not to be outdone,
    another might retort "That's nothing; I was saved at a Billy Graham crusade"
    or "My pastor got his degree at Dallas Theological Seminary" while another
    may counter by saying "So? My pastor got his doctorate at Yale Divinity
    School" or "I listen to Thru The Bible with J.Vernon McGee every day on the
    radio" while another may retort by saying "He's okay for some people; but
    Back To The Bible with Woodrow Kroll is where it's really at." or "I use
    nothing but the King James version of the Bible" while another may scoff
    with "People serious about Bible study use a Scofield Reference Bible in the
    NIV." or "I can read and write Greek" while another might retort: "You
    should try learning Hebrew sometime. Now there's a challenge." And then
    there's the hermeneutics know-it-alls who insist that the truth of a passage
    can only be seen in context and no other way

    Those kinds of petty rivalries generate unnecessary bad feelings amongst
    Christians, and should be avoided.

    /
     
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