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Thread: Christ's Commandments

  1. #211
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    Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Phil 4:9 . . Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

    I think Paul often spoke from experience. In other words; he didn't just believe what he taught, but he knew what he talking about as someone who tasted the goods.

    You know, sometimes I think that too many Christians are somehow under the impression that the New Testament's epistles are not all that important in matters related to faith and practice. They've made the Sermon On The Mount their religion and they think that's all they need. But if they want the God of peace to be with them instead of off in the distance; then they are simply going to have to revise their estimate. Compliance with the epistles is not optional; no, it's essential.

    "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of The Lord." (1Cor 14:37)

    "We beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by The Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by The Lord Jesus." (1Thess 4:1-2)

    "And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law-- the law that sets you free --and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." (Jas 1:22-25)
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  2. #212
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 2:6-7 . . So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

    That directive, of course, is restricted to the faith as you were taught by Paul and his contemporaries. He and they taught only one faith rather than a buffet of faiths to choose from.

    "There is one faith" (Eph 4:4-5)

    "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints." (Jude 1:3)

    It's neither wise nor humane to encourage somebody rooted and built up in Christian cults to continue in those faiths: e.g. Moonies, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventism, Herbert W. Armstrong, Mormonism, and/or the Watchtower Society, et al.

    Paul emphasized receiving Christ Jesus as "lord". The koiné Greek word is kurios (koo'-ree-os) which means: supreme in authority; viz: one's master-- whether a dictator, despot, monarch, or chief of police; et al.

    Kurios is an ambiguous word that simply indicates someone higher in rank than yourself whether God or anybody else, even a senior citizen. So words like sir, mister, boss, and master can be translated from kurios too. The point is, the Bible's Jesus is in charge of his own sheep; which means he has a right to make some demands upon them; viz: he's the leader; they the followers; or why bother with Psalm 23?

    "The Lord is my shepherd; he leadeth me" (Ps 23:1-2)

    If The Lord is the shepherd, and if he's the leader; then why are some of his "followers" off-reservation doing their own thing instead of in line where they belong?

    "Why do you call me lord and master and do not what I say?" (Luke 6:46)

    "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the fear due me?-- protests Yhvh Almighty." (Mal 1:6)
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  3. #213
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 2:8 . . See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

    What he's talking about there are humanistic versions of Christianity; especially those built upon proprietary traditions rather than "the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us" (2Ths 2:15). Those kinds of Christianity are insidious because they're typically a subtle blend of truth and error. Paul wasn't just being rhetorical; no, the time is now when pew warmers are buying into humanistic versions of Christianity.

    "Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when they will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and seek teachers who will tell them what it is they wish to hear. They will reject the truth and heed fantasies." (2Tim 4:2-4)

    The reason that they will heed what Paul calls "fantasies" is because anything but the truth is far and away more appealing to the human mind. Take for example Stephen Hawking's theory that a cosmos can come into existence sans intelligent design; in other words: sans a creator. Stephen's arguments are clever, sophisticated, and scientific; viz: they make sense; and they are widely accepted by his admirers.

    Christians are privy to the origin of the cosmos-- in all its forms of life, matter, and energy --not by science, but by revelation; which of course die-hard scientists cannot accept due to revelation's lack of so-called empirical evidence; though there's circumstantial evidence aplenty all around in nature and indeed the very heavens in which men like Hawkings are so absorbed.
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  4. #214
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    Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 2:16-17 . .Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

    Some humanistic versions of Christianity incorporate diets, rituals, rites, and holy days of obligation. According to the principles stipulated in the 14th chapter of Romans, those things are optional rather than mandatory. To insist otherwise is to play God and to usurp Christ's sovereign right to make the rules for his own church.

    Col 2:18a . . Don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial.

    Now we're getting into the sphere of asceticism; which Christ has never approved. Asceticism describes a life-style characterized by abstinence from materialism and various sorts of worldly pleasures (e.g. sex, cosmetics, movies, dancing, alcohol, romance novels, soaps, gambling, and the accumulation of material wealth) often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals. Ascetics, by the very nature of their philosophy, insinuate that Christ was wrong to consume wine and/or provide it for a wedding.

    Ascetics think themselves to possess a superior spirituality over and above regular Christians; but Paul popped that bubble soundly.

    "These people claim to be so humble, but their sinful minds have made them conceited. They are not connected to Christ, the head of the body." (Col 2:18c-19)

    (chuckle) Paul depicted ascetics as kind of like the headless horseman in the Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.
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  5. #215
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 2:18b . . And don't let anyone say you must worship angels, even though they say they have had visions about this.

    I have actually encountered Christians who claim to have patron ghosts: spirits with whom they communicate and that help them in daily life. I do not dispute their claim seeing as how the existence of familiar spirits is validated by Lev 20:6 et al; but Christ rules against letting them influence your thinking; even as Jehovah condemns to death any among His people who dabble in that sort of thing.

    Apparitions are very effective. Just look at the number of Christians whose religious beliefs are influenced by appearances like Our Lady of Fatima and the Miracle of the Tilma (Our Lady of Guadalupe). That only goes to show how true it is that people tend to believe only what they can see with their own two eyes. In the end, that "show me" attitude will result in humanity's ruin as they watch a statue come to life and start giving orders to execute people who refuse to worship it. (Rev 13:13-15)

    Heed what Rev 13:13-15 says; and be warned. Its lesson is obvious: miracles and/or apparitions cannot be trusted to validate one's religious beliefs. In point of fact; numbers of people passing themselves off as Christians are going to Hell and eternal suffering in spite of their ability to perform miracles. (Matt 7:22-23)

    Paul said he would never listen to even a real live genuine holy angel of God from Heaven unless the angel preached the very same message as the one he himself preached (Gal 1:6-9). As anyone familiar with Virgin sightings knows, they never preach the same message as Paul's; no they preach things like world peace, devotion to Jesus' mom, immaculate hearts, and rosaries.
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  6. #216
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 3:1-2 . . Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

    Christianity is a lethal religion. It puts its believers to death on the cross with Christ as joint principals in the purpose of his crucifixion. They are encouraged to think of that as a reality; and not only that, but also to account their resurrection to immortality a done deal, i.e. it's in the bag because they are joint principals in that too. (Rom 6:3-11, Gal 2:20)
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  7. #217
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 3:5a . . Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature

    The earthly nature of Christ's believing followers was judged, sentenced, and executed on his cross but they won't be rid of it till they pass on because man's earthly nature is part and parcel of his earthly human body.

    "Nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh" (Rom 7:18)

    However, if Christ's followers want to take advantage of God's kindly patronage and providence, they have got to take the bull by the horns. This has been an axiom since the very beginning.

    "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." (Gen 4:6-7)

    "And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (1John 1:5-7)

    The Christian way of life is literally an on-going perpetual fight against nature.

    "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

    . . .What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin." (Rom 7:21-25)

    At this point, the epistle lists a catalogue of behaviors that aren't practiced in heaven; and since Christ's sheep are destined for that place; they need to start living now like they will be living then.
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  8. #218
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 3:5b-11 . . sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

    Webster's defines "malice" as: desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another. Behaviors like deliberate chafing, needling, ridicule, mockery, taunts, demeaning comments, ugly words that tear people down rather than build them up, denigrating labels, biting sarcasm, fault-finding, carping criticism, thoughtless remarks, petty ill will, spite, vindictiveness, and stalking are all malicious behaviors that no one in heaven ever practices because heaven is a place of peace.

    The koiné Greek word for "filthy conversation" is aischrologia (ahee-skhrol-og-ee'-ah) and means: vile conversation.

    Webster's defines "vile" as: (1) morally despicable or abhorrent, (2) physically repulsive; viz: foul and/or odious, (3) of little worth or account; viz: common, vulgar, (4) tending to degrade, demean, and/or denigrate, (5) disgustingly and/or utterly bad; viz: obnoxious, contemptible, unacceptable, disagreeable, and (6) base; viz: crude, churlish, unrefined.

    Col 3:9-10 . . Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

    It's interesting that the Colossian believers were lying to each other, and no doubt would have continued to lie if Paul had not commanded them to stop it.

    The koiné Greek word for "renewed" is anakainoo (an-ak-ahee-no'-o) which means: to renovate; defined by Webster's as: (1) to restore to a former better state (as by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding), and (2) to restore to life, vigor, or activity: revive. This renovation process takes place only by means of conscientious Bible study combined with uncompromising personal evaluations. (Rom 12:1-2)
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  9. #219
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 3:12 . .Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

    Apparently the Colossian believers were neither compassionate, nor kind, nor humble, nor gentle, nor patient, and would have continued to be that way had not Paul commanded them otherwise.

    Paul's basis for these commands is the Colossians' standing as "God's chosen people, holy and dearly beloved" I mean: is it appropriate for people in that kind of a relationship with God to act like devils?

    You know, judging from the descriptions of some of the first century churches, I get the impression that were we to go back in time to visit one, we'd be walking into a snake pit.
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 3:13-14 . . Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as The Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

    Love can be roughly defined as affection; which itself can be roughly defined as tenderness. One of The Lord's constant rubs with his religious opponents was their virtually 100% lack of tenderness; which effectively invalidated their rituals.

    "Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice." (Matt 9:13)

    Some folk honestly believe that Christ's statement, taken from Hosea 6:6, practically repealed the entire God-given book of Leviticus. But that's not what either Hosea or Jesus were saying. They meant that God much prefers that people be civil to each other rather than religious to their fingertips.

    In other words; an insensitive person's lack of things like compassion, sympathy, patience, tolerance, affableness, helpfulness, pity, courtesy, humility, peace, love, and understanding, causes God to reject their worship just as thoroughly and bluntly as He rejected Cain's. I really think that God is insulted when cold-hearted, implacable people come to church actually thinking He's glad to see them show up for some hang time.
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 3:15a . . Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

    The world is not impressed when believers are at war with themselves. There is a very subtle hint to that effect at Gen 13:1-7. How do you suppose Abram's and Lot's squabbling looked to the pagans? When God's people can't get along, outsiders become disgusted with them and they sure won't be influenced for God in a good way when The Lord's people are fighting amongst themselves like that.

    Years ago, when I was a young welder just starting out on my own, I rented a small room in a daylight basement from a man who was the senior pastor of a medium-sized Seventh Day Adventist church in the Portland Oregon area. He and his wife radiated the luster of polished spirituality whenever I spoke with them out in the yard, but in my location under the floor of the house, I could overhear their bitter quarrels upstairs behind closed doors. Was I favorably inclined to attend his church? No.

    A church without peace is a church deprived of the Spirit.

    "The fruit of the Spirit is peace." (Gal 5:22-23)

    NOTE: Christ's followers are also called to hope (Eph 4:4), fellowship (1Cor 1:9), blessing (1Pet 3:9), grace (Gal 1:6), liberty (Gal 5:13), kingdom and glory (1Thess 2:12), holiness (1Thess 4:7), eternal life (1Tim 6:12), suffering (1Pet 2:21), and eternal glory (1Pet 5:10)
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  13. #222
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 3:15b . . And be thankful.

    In an America accustomed to entitlements, bail-outs, reparations, stimulus packages, federally funded school lunches, FEMA, SNAP, TANF, and an abundance of perks, free-bees, and social programs; it's very unusual to find thankful citizens. Most are arrogant and demanding; taking their blessings for granted.

    I was particularly annoyed back in January 2010 by a Haitian man's angry complaint in the news that America wasn't responding fast enough to his country's needs created by their earthquake. That man is a perfect example of someone who has no appreciation for charity; but rather, sees charity as an entitlement rather than a blessing.

    My #1 nephew was a Seneca man who took the spiritual values of his Iroquois ancestors very seriously. Some Christians would no doubt think of my nephew as a heathen, but he was far more thankful for his blessings-- due to the influences of Hiawatha and Handsome Lake --then many of the intellectual pew warmers that I've encountered in the several churches I've attended over the years.
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  14. #223
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    Col 3:16 . . Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom

    In order to fully comply with that directive, it's essential that the word of Christ first dwell in you richly before attempting to teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. The koiné Greek word for "richly" is plousios (ploo-see'-oce) which means: copiously. Webster's defines copious as: yielding something abundantly. In other words: fruitful. This is not an easy command to obey because it first requires walking the walk before talking the talk.

    "For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and yields crops useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned." (Heb 6:7-8)

    Hindrances to fruitfulness are listed in the parable of the sower at Matt 13:3-23, Mark 4:3-20, and Luke 8:5-15.

    Fruitless Christians are eo ipso disqualified to teach and admonish their fellow Christians because they just simply lack the wisdom to do so. In other words; the wisdom we're talking about here is life experience rather than academic training.
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