Christ's Law

Olde Tymer

Active member
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Hello;

There's been times during our 26+ years of internet forum activity when we
encountered people wanting to know what they're supposed to do now that they
decided to become a Christian.

A mega Baptist church that we attended back in the decade of the 1970's had a
discipleship program that incorporated an outreach booklet called "The Four
Spiritual Laws" authored in 1952 by Campus Crusade for Christ founder Dr. Bill
Bright.

Those guidelines are helpful as far as they go, but they're pretty elementary and in
our opinion inadequate for taking Christ's believing followers to infinity and beyond,
so to speak.

Some years ago, just for the fun of it, we set out compiling a home-spun catalogue
of Christ's instructions from the new Testament that apply to all his followers
regardless of denominational affiliation. In time we realized that his instructions,
accompanied by a little commentary, would make a pretty good how-to handbook;
so here we are.

* We chose to start in the book of Acts because that's pretty much where Christ's
apostles began telling his believing followers what to do in accord with the Lord's
instructions per Matt 28:19-20.

Buen Camino

Pleasant Journey
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Acts 15:20a . . Abstain from food tainted by idols,

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.

Acts 15:20b . . Abstain from promiscuity

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

"It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual
immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is
holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God."
(1Thess 4:3-5)

Acts 15:20c . . Abstain from the meat of strangled animals.

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.

Acts 15:20d . . Abstain from blood

In other words: Christ's followers are forbidden to imbibe 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.
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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. (cf. Rom 8:31-34 & 2Cor 5:19)


NOTE: "in Christ Jesus" is a position similar to Noah's position in the ark. Getting
into the ark was a simple physical action, whereas getting into Christ Jesus requires
the assistance of a complex supernatural action. More on that later; meanwhile
suffice it to say that as a position in the ark provided Noah safety from the storm,
so their position in Christ Jesus provides his believing followers safety from a storm
looming on the horizon that's much worse.
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Rom 6:12-13 . . 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.

That's essentially the same instructions that God passed on to Cain; to wit:

"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;" (Gen 4:7a)

That's the very first instance in the Bible of the word "sin". The Hebrew word
basically means an offense; as in repeat offender. In other words; not just an
occasional slip-up, but a life style.

"It desires to have you, but you must master it." (Gen 4:7b)

That's the first mention of self control in the Bible. In other words: God created
humanity with the capability to choose bad ways for itself; but that's only half the
story. God also created humanity with the capability to choose good ways for itself;
so He wasn't requiring something impossible from Cain like touching his right elbow
with the thumb of his right hand.
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Rom 12:1 . . Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.

The Greek word for "sacrifice" technically refers to a victim; but it's not always
applied that way. For example speaking well of God, doing good, and sharing are
legitimate sacrifices. (Heb 13:15-16)

The sacrifice required by Rom 12:1 is a living sacrifice rather than deceased so
Christ's followers don't have to martyr themselves in order to fulfill it; but their
bodies do have to be holy in order to be accepted; which means avoiding things
that defile their bodies like indecency, promiscuity, adultery, and LGBT stuff.

The Bible calls those requirements "reasonable". In other words: It isn't asking too
much of Christ's followers to keep themselves pure.


NOTE: One of the tools employed by communism, in its quest to influence the
governance of a foreign country, is moral corruption; which is very effective when it
gets into places like education, entertainment, literature, family values, and/or
religious institutions. That strategy is to be expected from an atheistic foreign
power. (cf. 2Cor 2:11)
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Rom 12:2 . . 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.

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

Sermons and Sunday school classes are Christianity's traditional sources of
teaching. But these days with radio, television, and the internet; competent God
given spiritual leaders are wide-spread and readily available. In centuries gone
past, it was necessary to journey to hear them speak. Nowadays, they speak to the
whole world by means of electronic gadgets.

* Beware using 1John 2:27 as an excuse to circumvent instruction. When Christians
do that, they risk stunting their spiritual growth and causing division.

Eph 4:11-13 . . 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

The Greek word translated "edifying" means to build up as opposed to tearing
down.
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Rom 6:12-13 . . 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.

That's essentially the same instructions that God passed on to Cain; to wit:

"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;" (Gen 4:7a)

That's the very first instance in the Bible of the word "sin". The Hebrew word
basically means an offense; as in repeat offender. In other words; not just an
occasional slip-up, but a life style.

"It desires to have you, but you must master it." (Gen 4:7b)

That's the first mention of self control in the Bible. In other words: God created
humanity with the capability to choose bad ways for itself; but that's only half the
story. God also created humanity with the capability to choose good ways for itself;
so He wasn't requiring something impossible from Cain like touching his right elbow
with the thumb of his right hand.
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Yes having choice is how God made us and that has not changed. We had choice before the fall and after the fall. God created us to freely choose Him without force or coercion to love Him.
 
Live abundantly, joyfully as a witness spreading the gospel by how you live.
Amen all men will know you are y disciples by how you love one another. Then there is also loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbor as you do yourself.
 
Amen all men will know you are y disciples by how you love one another. Then there is also loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbor as you do yourself.
Yes! In reading the OP, I felt right away the author was making it too complicated.

I don't know if you read what I wrote on the other thread some months back. In short, the Gospel is divinely simple. People tend to try to complicate the hell (or heaven) out of it. Love God. Love others. Nuff said.

Of course, we like to pretend we don't understand what love is. Our lord showed us the way; sacrifice for others.
 
Yes! In reading the OP, I felt right away the author was making it too complicated.

I don't know if you read what I wrote on the other thread some months back. In short, the Gospel is divinely simple. People tend to try to complicate the hell (or heaven) out of it. Love God. Love others. Nuff said.

Of course, we like to pretend we don't understand what love is. Our lord showed us the way; sacrifice for others.
Amen my friend !!!
 
We are not saved by living holy enough, we are saved by faith in Christ's Cross, his suffering for our sins.

You can try to love others as much as you want, but it will never meet God's holy perfection.

You can spend your whole life trying to love people out of your flesh and your mind, and wake up forever damned in hell.

Transfer your trust from your own good works, to Christ's suffering on the Cross to save the worst sinners of all!

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
(Rom. 3:19-24 NKJ)


DBY Romans 3:24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

NJB Romans 3:24 and all are justified by the free gift of his grace through being set free in Christ Jesus.

NKJ Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

NLT Romans 3:24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

YLT Romans 3:24 being declared righteous freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

BGT Romans 3:24 δικαιούμενοι δωρεὰν τῇ αὐτοῦ χάριτι διὰ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ·

ATGNT Romans 3:24 just-cause grant the self grace through the from-loose-cause-ing the in anoint-ed Jesus

ROT Romans 3:24 Being declared righteous freely by his favour through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:--

ANT Romans 3:24 being justified° freely by His grace through the redemption°, the one in Christ Jesus,

GLB Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus,

KNX Romans 3:24 And justification comes to us as a free gift from his grace, through our redemption in Christ Jesus.

MLV Romans 3:24 All those who believe, being freely made righteous in his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,

MOF Romans 3:24 but they are justified for nothing by his grace through the ransom provided in Christ Jesus,

OCL Romans 3:24 Being justified gratuitously in His grace, through the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus

TYN Romans 3:24 but are iustified frely by his grace through the redemcion that is in Christ Iesus
 
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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 a Greek word that basically means to be of sound mind, i.e. sane,
sensible, rational.

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 decline. 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.
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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 Greek word for "prophesy" in that verse encompasses predictions, which were
common in the early church; for example Agabus at Acts 11:27-28 and Acts 21:10-11.

Hunches don't count because it's required that prophets sincerely believe
themselves infallible and speaking for God ex cathedra, i.e. by means of inspiration.
(2Pet 1:20-21)
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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, grudging, and/or hit and miss.

One of my brothers has been a construction foreman for decades and one of his
perpetual complaints is that he never knows from one day to the next whether
some of the men he hires on jobs will show up. In other words: they aren't reliable,
he can't count on them.

What I'm saying is: 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.
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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 put it off till Saturday night. Now there was a guy
who knew what it means to do a good job of teaching; viz: a conscientious job.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
(1Cor 10:31)

One of the meanings of the Greek word for glory is "honor" which in this case can
be defined as doing something out of respect for someone admired and/or held in
high esteem.
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Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

Developing children benefit from encouragement in a big way. Thoughtless grown
ups can destroy a young child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the time and
never once giving them an "attaboy" 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 to do so. It has to be honest though because leaving people with a
false impression of themselves is all the same as treachery, and sets them up for
disappointment.

"Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet." (Prov 29:5)
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Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

"generously" is translated from a Greek word basically meaning simplicity, which
can be construed as innocence and/or naivete. In other words; sharing one's wealth
without expecting reciprocity and/or gaining an advantage. To the pragmatic mind,
that kind of generosity is a poor investment, i.e. it's like throwing money out the
window.

For example: contributions to a political candidate's campaign fund typically aren't
motivated by generosity, whereas contributions to a charitable agency like
Samaritan's Purse and/or a local rescue mission are because folks benefiting from
those contributions are so powerless, and so disadvantaged, that there's nothing
worthwhile to be gained by offering them assistance.
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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 commercial enterprise; then maybe
you should think about finding another one.

God-given leadership ability is spoken of as a "responsibility". In other words; it
should never be taken as an achievement. I just hate it when City, State, and
Federal government officials celebrate their positions as something they won as if
taking the gold in a spelling bee and/or a gymnastic event.

"The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: He that ruleth over men
must be just, ruling in the fear of God." (2Sam 23:3)

Too many of the men and women in power do not rule in the fear of God; and
rather than morally upright with their fellow man's best interests at heart, they are
often Machiavellian instead.
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