CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR 1

CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR TOWARDS OTHER CHRISTIANS AND NEIGHBORS

What is included in good basic morality and Christian living?  We must put off the old man with his deeds (Col. 3:5-9).  We must put off the old man with his deeds and ‘mortify’ (kill) these ‘members, which are upon the earth.’  These things bring about Gods wrath.  Of course we once walked and lived in these things.

We must put on the new man (Col. 3:10-14).  The new man is after the image of the Lord.  These are all parts of the love of God, the divine nature.

If we are truly living the Christian life, how will we treat others?  The “Golden Rule” tells us to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us (Matt. 7:12).  In James 1:19-20, we are told to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  In all relationships, we are told to put on the mind of Christ (Php. 2:1-8).

Do we have humility of mind and do we esteem others better than ourselves?  Do we look out for our own things, or do we look out for things of others?  “Look not on your own things, but on the things of others” (Php. 2:4).  Christ humbled himself, served others, and was obedient to God to the point of dying on the cross.

What if someone attacks us verbally when a disagreement arises?  We know “A soft answer turns away anger” (Pro. 15:1).  We should bridle our tongues, and speak only good things (James 3:2-12; Eph. 4:29).

CHRISTIANS BEHAVIOR AT THE WORK PLACE

Without a doubt, we must obey our earthly masters in all things (Col. 3:22-24).  This should not be done with eyeservice; God sees us all the time.  We should work heartily to serve the Lord, not men, and the Lord will give an eternal reward for this.  Not obeying our bosses can cause the name of God and his doctrine to be blasphemed (1 Tim 6:1).  Christians must even obey “froward masters,” because our obedience is following the steps of Christ (1 Pet. 2:18-21).  If the Christian is the shop owner, he has a particular responsibility.  “Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD (Pro. 20:10). Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good (Pro. 20:1023).

CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR WITHIN THE CITY, STATE AND NATION

We have a responsibility to pay taxes at the city, state and national level (Mark 12:13-17; Rom. 13:6-7; 1 Pet. 2:17).  We also are obligated to obey the laws—remembering that God is the one who ordains the powers (Rom. 13:1-7).  Titus 1:6 tells us that an elder’s children should not be accused of riot or unruly behavior, and adults have a responsibility to teach and live by that same rule.  Would any true Christian participate in strikes, riots or resistance against law?

  • Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.  9. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.  10. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.  11. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.  12. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;  13. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.  14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,  15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.  16. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage (Jude 1:8-16).
  • Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king (1 Pet. 2:17). 

–Beth Johnson

REFLECTIONS ON THE IAGOS OF THE WORLD

Who would imagine that when I first read Shakespeare’s OTHELLO more than fifty years ago I would ever meet someone like the satanic Iago who could profoundly affect my life in much the same way?  After all, Iago, the epitome of evil, was only a fictional stage character meant to be contrasted with the gentle Othello for the sake of the audience.  I read in horror as little by little Iago laid his plans for the inexplicable destruction of his friend while gullible, naive onlookers helped to “throw the stones.” Iago’s guile and duplicity were successful in destroying Othello and others at the same time.

One would think that people such as Iago do not actually exist in today’s world, but they do.  They hiss out their mischievous slanders, lay their plots, and then quietly watch while the victim’s life runs amuck–all the while counting on the fact that, because of the very nature of the victim’s spirit, there will be no retaliation.   In Act I, scene iii, of Othello, Iago says,

“The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.
I have’t, it is engendered: hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.”

At another time Iago speaks of Othello,

“Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge 
  Had stomach for them all.”

You and I both know that slander can destroy a man’s life, and that the only “good” that comes of it is the delicious feeling in the “gut” of the slanderer.

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, 
Is the immediate jewel of their souls: 
Who steals my purse steals trash; ‘t is something, nothing; 
‘T was mine, ‘t is his, and has been slave to thousands; 
But he that filches from me my good name 
Robs me of that which not enriches him 
And makes me poor indeed.”

Nevertheless, “The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief.” 

What a blessing for my soul mate that he was able to smile through it all; I see that, “He hath a daily beauty in his life.”  Unfortunate for me, I had not previously been able to smile about it.  But rather, my sympathies lay toward a just recompense of reward.

“O Heaven, that such companions thou ‘didst unfold, 
And put in every honest hand a whip 
To lash the rascals naked through the world!”

But our LORD says, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).

Do Not Be Anxious

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  26. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  29. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  31. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  32. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matt. 6:25-34).

Retaliation?

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.  41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.  42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away (Matt. 5:38-42).

Love Your Enemies

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5:43-48).

It Is Well With My Soul

There are two powerful figures of speech (similes) in the first stanza, which capture the Christian’s understanding. If our hearts are humble, we can say we accept whatever the LORD has for us. Our Creator knows best.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say (orig. know),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

hymnstudiesblog

horatio spafford

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

“But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me” (Ps. 49:15)

INTRO.:  A song which gives us hope by reminding us that God will redeem our souls from the power of the grave and receive us is “It Is Well With My Soul” (#626 in Hymns for Worship Revised, #561 in Sacred Selections for the Church).  The text was written by Horatio Gates Spafford, who was born on Oct. 20, 1828, in North Troy, NY, the son of Gazetteer author Horatio Gates Spafford Sr. and Elizabeth Clark Hewitt Spafford.  After an early life in New York, he moved while still a young man to Chicago, IL, where he married Anna Larsen of Stavanger, Norway, on September 5, 1861.  The Spaffords were well known in 1860s Chicago.  Establishing a most successful legal practice, he was…

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Zeal for Our Father’s House

If only we can determine to always be a blessing to God’s people and not a shame. Our actions really do reflect on family, church and our Heavenly Father himself.

for the invisible

Zeal for Our Father's House

John 2:13-17

And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Studying through the book of John today, someone shared with me some thoughts about these verses that were new to me, and encouraging!

Why was Jesus offended that ones were buying and selling in the temple? This was His Father’s house. Anything that belonged to the Father should…

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RETHINKING THE GREAT COMMISSION

Baptism does not make one a disciple of Christ.  In John 4:1-3, we see that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John.  Note that the verse does not say that Jesus made disciples by baptizing them.

In Matthew 28:19, we are commanded first to make disciples (KJV mistakenly translates this teach) and then we are commanded to baptize them.  Who are the ‘them’ but “them disciples?”  Luke 6:40 tells us we make disciples by converting them to want to be like the one Master—Jesus Christ.

Continue reading RETHINKING THE GREAT COMMISSION