|Volume 21 Number 8 August 2019||
What is included in good basic morality and Christian living? We must put off the old man with his deeds (Colossians 3:5-9). We must “mortify” (kill) these ‘members, which are upon the earth.’ These things bring about God’s wrath. Of course, we once walked and lived in these things.
We must put on the new man (Colossians 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 (Matthew 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 (Philippians 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 the things of others? “Look not on your own things, but on the things of others” (Philippians 2:4). Christ humbled Himself, served others and was obedient to God to the point of dying on the cross.
What if we are attacked verbally when a disagreement arises? We know “a soft answer turns away anger” (Proverbs 15:1). We should bridle our tongues and speak only good things (James 3:2-12; Ephesians 4:29).
at the Workplace
Without a doubt, we must obey our earthly masters in all things (Colossians 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 Timothy 6:1). Christians must be obedient even towards “forward masters,” because our obedience follows the steps of Christ (1 Peter 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“ (Proverbs 20:10). “Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good” (Proverbs 20:23).
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; Romans 13:6-7; 1 Peter 2:17). We also are obligated to obey the laws—remembering that God is the one who ordains the powers (Romans 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 riots or resistance against law?
Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 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. 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. 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. 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; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 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. 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 8-16)
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. (1 Peter 2:17).
Rejoice in the Lord
Having joy in our God and in the salvation He offers is a theme throughout Scripture (1 Samuel 2:1; Nehemiah 12:43; Psalm 2:11; 5:11; 9:2, 14; 32:11; 100:2; 118:24; 122:1; 126:3; Mark 4:16; Romans 12:12, 15; Galatians 5:22). The Holy Spirit through Paul commands Christians to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). “Joy” and “rejoice” are keywords in the Book of Philippians (1:4, 18; 2:2, 16-18; 3:1, 3; 4:1, 4, 10). It is a noteworthy topic to consider and have as a reference to easily look up in your Bible.
In your Bible beside Philippians 4:4 write, “Command—why? (Luke 1:14, 47).” Turn to Luke 1:14 and write, “Rejoice because Christ has come making salvation possible (Acts 13:32-52).” Turn to this passage in Acts and write, “Salvation for all peoples (Acts 15:3).” Next to Acts 15:3, write, “(1 Peter 1:3-9).” Here, write, “Greatly rejoice because Christ’s resurrection gives us a living hope (Romans 15:13).” Next to Romans 15:13 write, “Joy comes in believing (obeying) Christ (Acts 8:37-39).” In Acts write, “Joy follows repentance and immersion for the forgiveness of sins (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).” Here, note that Paul rejoiced when the Corinthians had Godly sorrow, which produced repentance. Write, “(3 John 3-4)”. In 3 John, write, “Walking in the truth brings joy (Matthew 5:12).” In Matthew write, “When persecuted—rejoice (1 Peter 4:12-16)!” Here, write, “Rejoice in trials because we share in the sufferings of Christ (Acts 5:41-42).” Here, note that the apostles rejoiced and kept right on teaching Jesus. We must do the same! Write, “(Revelation 19:7).” Let us be a joyful people, continuing in love and obedience to the Lamb, our Husband and our Savior!