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Thread: Christ's Commandments

  1. #526
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Pet 5:6 . . Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time

    Humility is defined by Webster's as ranking low in a hierarchy or scale; for example:

    "Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 18:4)

    "greatest' is a category. In other words: there is more than one great person in heaven certainly. But Jesus taught it is better that you be made great than to make yourself great; for example:

    When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both shall come and say to you "Give place to this man" and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.

    But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you; "Friend, move up higher" then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted. (Luke 14:8-11)

    Speaking critically of the religious luminaries of his days; Jesus once said:

    The scribes and the Pharisees do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries, and lengthen the tassels of their garments. And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men: Rabbi. (Matt 23:2-7)
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  2. #527
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Pet 5:7 . . casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He is concerned about you.

    That command is very difficult for a person afflicted with Reactive Attachment Disorder; which is basically the inability to believe that even one person in the whole universe cares a whit about your welfare. RAD is characterized by the inability to trust. For example: when a RAD victim reads 1Pet 5:7, they instinctively believe it may be true for others, but has absolutely no application to themselves. RAD is a very effective faith-inhibitor.

    However, even just vocalizing your anxieties can be very therapeutic; while holding it all in can be destructive to your nerves. I think I'd rather talk to an imaginary playmate than to no one at all.
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  3. #528
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Pet 5:8-9 . . Be discreet, stay alert. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour; whom resist, steadfast in the faith

    The word "discreet" is translated from the Greek word nepho (nay'-fo) which basically means to abstain from wine. Well; you know the first thing to go when too much alcohol gets in your system is judgment; especially what's known as better judgment; viz: there are things that people do when under the influence that they would never do when sober. Alcohol loosens people up, slackens their inhibitions, makes them let their guard down, makes them careless, clumsy, inefficient, and certainly less intelligent even when their normal IQ is in the hundreds.

    Lest someone get the wrong idea; Peter isn't forbidding drink; rather, getting tipsy. If you're one of those rare people with good self control, alcohol poses no threat to your spiritual condition, But if you're one of the many with an unbreakable habit of always exceeding their limit; then I'd have to say that, relative to God's favor vs satanic predation, total abstinence is really the only sensible option.

    "the faith" isn't only a collection of beliefs, but includes a collection of practices, i.e. behaviors; since according to James, faith without practices is a half-baked faith.

    "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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  4. #529
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    2Pet 3:8-10 . . Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with The Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of The Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

    Humans have but a short time in the grand scheme of things to accomplish their ambitions before death catches up with them and puts a cap to all their hopes and dreams.

    "Who, breathing his last, returns to the earth; that day all his planning comes to nothing." (Ps 145:4)

    But God is under no such time constraints. He exists in eternity; viz: God always was, He always is, and He always will be. As such, God is at liberty to take as much time as He pleases to work things out.

    It's theorized by a number of scientists and laymen alike that a big bang initiated the cosmos. Well for sure a big bang will end it; and that's not a theory: that's a divine prediction.

    The Bible says The Lord's return will be of a sudden (Luke 17:24, Rev 22:20) but sudden is not the same as soon.

    "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2Pet 3:11-12)

    I've noticed that some people endeavor to leave themselves a legacy in the form of all sorts of man-made structures like highways, buildings, libraries, museums, stadiums, bridges, dams, etc. Those structures are neither permanent nor eternal. One day; they'll all disappear in a great roaring fire ball.
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  5. #530
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    2Pet 3:14 . .Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless

    Some of the brethren haven't a clue what it is to be in peace; their temperaments won't permit. But that's something they really need to work on because temperamental behavior will not be permitted in the new cosmos. (Matt 5:9)

    The koiné Greek word for "looking forward" is prosdokao (pros-dok-ah'-o) which means: to anticipate; viz: to await; for example:

    When I was a small boy living in Santee California back in the late 1940's, I used to climb one of the olive trees in the front yard so I could see down the road in the direction that my dad came home every evening in a black 1933 Model A Ford. I always climbed the tree ahead of time so I could begin watching for my dad and spot him coming a long ways off, and then I'd get down and sprint out to the end of our dirt driveway and jump on the running board of that old Ford and ride it back to the house with my dad.

    Prosdokao is like that. It fully expects the arrival of a future event; and the future event Peter spoke of in previous verses is not only The Lord's return; but also the utter annihilation of the current cosmos to be replaced by one in which only righteousness exists. Today, righteousness and unrighteousness exist side by side, but in the future, it won't be like that.
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    2Pet 3:17 . .You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness,

    What might be the error of unprincipled men? Well, they are utterly mindless of the impending termination of the cosmos. It doesn't concern them in the slightest; nor does any other portion of the Day Of The Lord; which begins with the rapture, followed by three and a half years of fragile world peace and prosperity, followed by three and a half years of horrific events and conditions the likes of which the world has never seen or experienced, followed by The Lord's personal return to rule the world for a millennium, followed by the utter annihilation of the current cosmos, followed by the Great White Throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15, and followed by the creation of a brand new cosmos where only righteousness is permitted to exist.

    Christ's believing followers need to keep in mind at all times that they are merely pilgrims on this Earth rather than permanent residents. We're passing through the current cosmos on our way to a land far and away better than the one we inhabit now. So don't get too attached to this world, nor diverted by its distractions; because the current Earth's days are numbered and we've much bigger fish to fry.
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  7. #532
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    2Pet 3:18 . . But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    The above quote from the apostle Peter's second epistle isn't addressed to just any John Q and Jane Doe looky-loo. It's specifically addressed to Christ's believing followers. (2Pet 1:1)

    The two pursuits that the apostle Peter ordered are worthwhile for Christ's believing followers because whatever growth in grace they obtain is a permanent growth; and whatever knowledge of God they gain, they keep too: throughout eternity.

    Why become more and more gracious? Because the people in heaven are gracious. Yes; they are nothing like the churlish race of cruel hominids infesting the world that you and I live in. If you should perchance go to heaven as an ungracious churl yourself; then you will be in for culture shock because people in heaven are truly civilized and would make even Emily Post seem as rough-hewn as a third-generation Oregon logger.

    It's for that very reason that I sincerely believe every new arrival in heaven has to first attend a sort of finishing school where they are forged into decent human beings before being permitted to associate with the others. We pick up a lot of bad, anti-social habits down here on the planet and those habits have to be broken because God's home is a place of peace. It isn't conducive to peace to have thoughtless morons running loose annoying people and committing senseless acts of unkindness.
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  8. #533
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1John 3:6-8 . .Whoever abides in him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who sins is of the Devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.

    John started off by saying: "whoever abides in him does not sin".

    This is tricky because according to 1John 1:8-10 even the apostle John sinned; and surely no one would suggest that John didn't abide in Christ; nor dare say that he had neither seen Christ nor known him.

    In a nutshell: "He who sins is of the Devil" refers to people whose religion and/or whose spiritual ideology is something other than Christianity. Those outside of Christianity are practicing unrighteousness; while those inside Christianity are practicing righteousness. Bottom line: the practice of Christianity is the right thing to do while the practice of all other religions and/or spiritual ideologies is the wrong thing to do.
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  9. #534
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1John 3:18 . . My little children, let us not love only in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

    What is truth? (John 18:38)

    Pilate's question was meaningful in his day because ancient philosophers perpetually discussed and debated the nature of truth without ever achieving a universal agreement about it.

    Well; one of Webster's definitions of "truth" is: a state of being the case; viz: fact; which Webster's defines as the quality of being actual. In other words: truth is the way it is; viz: truth is reality as opposed to speculation, fantasy, opinion, deception, falsehood, error, inaccuracy, inexactness, dishonesty, theory, imagination, invention, misrepresentation, and half-truth, etc.

    The trick to loving in truth is first of all knowing the truth.

    I was once asked by an atheist why Christians need so many rules when their whole religion is summed up by just one: the Golden Rule.

    Well, the world's idea of the so-called golden rule is one thing; which may not may not conform to God's idea; hence the following commandment.

    "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom 12:2)

    There are no short-cuts to the truth. The good path is according to Eph 4:11-15; viz: by teachers and preachers. I do not recommend the self taught route. People who go that way usually end up with disinformation lodged in their heads that is not easily corrected. Beware.

    "Some of Paul's comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture— and the result is disaster for them." (2Pet 3:16)

    Anyway, point being: love in accordance with truth may at times seem very unloving to the world because it doesn't know the truth, nor does it care to know. I think a fair percentage of the world would agree with Pilate that truth is uncertain and unknowable.
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1John 4:1 . . Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    The koiné Greek word for "spirits" is pneuma (pnyoo'-mah) which means, among other things; a current of air; viz: winds and breezes. Probably what John is talking about are spiritual influences; viz: spurious doctrines. (Eph 4:14)

    The common Greek word translated "prophet" is prophetes (prof-ay'-tace) which essentially identifies a foreteller; i.e. someone who claims to predict the future.

    Jesus said that false prophets are known by their fruits (Matt 7:15-20). For example: the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has predicted Christ's return and Armageddon several times in the past and been wrong every time. Well; if their predictions are wrong, then we have to assume that their teachings are highly suspect no matter how reasonable they may sound.
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1John 4:20-21 . . If someone says "I love God," and hates his brother, he's a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

    The love that's being spoken of in that verse is specific. It's not the love of one's fellow man; but rather, the love of one's kin; but not one's biological kin. The kin in this respect are The Father's children rather than in respect to one's natural father's children; viz: Christians have a natural family and they have a supernatural family.

    I think that what John is trying to get across is that hatred for The Father's children betrays one's lack of consideration for The Father's feelings.
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1John 5:16-17 . . If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

    The most common sins unto death are those classified as capital crimes; viz: those for which the death penalty is the right thing to do. It would be a miscarriage of justice to pray somebody out of that jam. If the courts and the laws of the land have decided that they must die; then they must die; and that's that.

    If a fellow believer is on death row for a capital offense; it's best to stay out of it and let God and the courts handle it. Christians on death row should be encouraged to man-up (or woman-up, as the case may be) and face the music rather than expect sympathy from either their church or their Christian friends. Christians who pray for the release of believers on death row for capital crimes are not only attempting to obstruct justice, but also in shameful rebellion against Almighty God's sovereign wishes.

    "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil." (Rom 13:3-4)
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1John 5:21 . . Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

    The koiné Greek word for "idols" is eidolon (i'-do-lon) which means: an image (for worship) viz: by implication, a heathen god.

    Religious art such as paintings and sculptures don't really qualify as idols until somebody gets a little too carried away; for example:

    There's a statue of Ste. Peter in Rome whose big toe has been eroded over the years by the lips of people kissing it. I would have to say that easily qualifies as idolatry. I've no objection to paintings, statues, and stained glass, but when people kneel to, pray to, speak to, and/or kiss those items, then I believe they've trespassed into forbidden territory, and broken the very first of the Ten Commandments.

    "Be strictly on your guard not to act corruptly by fashioning an idol for yourselves to represent any figure, whether it be the form of a man or of a woman" (Deut 4:15-16)

    Using that as a guideline, I would have to say that praying to, and/or looking to, patron saints for providence and protection easily qualifies as both polytheism and idolatry; as well as marginalizes God and diminishes one's affections for Him. If somebody loves The Lord their God with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind, and all their strength, as per Mark 12:30, there will be nothing left for patron saints, artworks and/or statuary; and so idolatry would never be an issue.

    NOTE: Idolatry back in Paul's day oftentimes included immoral activities with temple prostitutes. We sure wouldn't want Christ's believing followers involved in that sort of thing.
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    2John 1:5-6 . . And now I beseech you, lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

    The precise identity of the "lady" of this epistle is impossible to know for sure. Some have construed it to be Christ's mom, and yet others as a local church to which John mailed his letter, while others believe it refers to the church as per Matt 16:18. I tend to think it was a local church since 2John 1:13 indicates the lady had a sister; viz: a sister church.

    1John 3:18 directs the lady to love in deed and in truth. What is truth? It's Christ's commandments.

    So then, the bottom line is: though Christians obsess and chirp about love till the cows come home, the bald fact is that if they are not complying with Christ's commandments, then they are loveless Christians-- just stage actors playing a role.
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    Yes it says in Galatians 3 "All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law"

    But it seems to me you're saying that Christ's commands are the law of Moses and as such those who fail to obey Christ's commands are under a curse, which Paul describes as justification by the law. I would disagree with you on such a fundamental concept of the gospel.

    Rom 10:4 "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes."

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