Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

09 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Living a Christian Lifestyle

Lifestyle defined: noun the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group. (Source)
The foundation, the first principle, of a lifestyle is
  • Our human nature is corrupted by sin.
  • Adam was the first sinner. Even though Eve committed the sin first, Adam is credited with the curse being on the universe. Sin brings destruction.
    • Romans 5:14 BSB Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:22 NKJV For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
  • Original sin is not that we are punished for Adam’s sin, for we are punished for our own sins. Original is the sin nature that we all have. It is “Me First.”
  • We need to be born again, to have the new nature.
When God created the universe and everything in it, He made it according to His rules and attitudes.
  • The first principle, in my opinion, is truth.
    • Psalm 31:5 CSB Into your hand I entrust my spirit; you have redeemed me, LORD, God of truth.
    • Hebrews 6:18 CSB So that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
  • The second is love. Love is a choice, not necessarily an emotion. The actions of love in public and in private are found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
  • Love and truth are found together: 3 John 1:1 NET From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth.
  • So we have the summary of the Law: Matthew 22:36-40 NIV "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
  • This, in turn, is based on the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are a summary of all God’s laws. Each commandment is a board category (I wrote about this here; scroll down to “Knowing temptation comes in 10 broad areas). Each can be in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. Each is to be followed in public and in private.
In the New Testament
  • There are approximately 1,000 rules for Christians. Here is one list: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NET Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt. But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil.
  • To know God’s rules for Christians in different categories for marriage or lying, we can see
God’s rules don’t change
  • Often people make the statement about God’s ways changing, but
    • God’s character does not change
      • 1 Samuel 15:29 NLT And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!"
      • Numbers 23:19 NLT - God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
      • Hebrews 6:18 NLT - So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
    • He rules His kingdom with His laws that do not change
  • God’s character does not change regarding His laws or promises
    • Malachi 3:6 NRSV For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.
    • James 1:17-18 NRSV Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
What God hates: Galatians 5:19-21 WEB Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.
What God loves: Galatians 5:22-23 WEB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
So living the principles of the Christian life today are the same as they were when Christianity began at Pentecost. The rules, the promises, what God loves, what God hates are the same. We can safely read the Bible and live a Christian life.
We learn God’s will by things we must do, things we must not do, examples of things that pleased God or displeased Him, and principles that we can apply in many ways.

14 November 2018

Ephesians 4:17-23



A1 Scripture
B1 NKJV: This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (Ephesians 4:17-23)
B2 WEL: [17] Therefore I speak this and bear witness in the Lord, that from now on you walk not like other Gentiles walk in the emptiness of their mind. [18] Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. [19] Who being callous gave themselves over to lustful pleasure to do every kind of impurity with insatiable desire. [20] But you haven't learned Christ in this way. [21] If you learned Him and been taught by Him, then, as the truth is in Jesus, [22] Get rid of the former lifestyle, the old man, which is rotten from deceitful lusts. [23] Instead be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (Ephesians 4:17-23
B3 GNB: In the Lord's name, then, I warn you: do not continue to live like the heathen, whose thoughts are worthless and whose minds are in the dark. They have no part in the life that God gives, for they are completely ignorant and stubborn. They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint. That was not what you learned about Christ! You certainly heard about him, and as his followers you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—-the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, (Ephesians 4:17-23)
A2 Outline
B1 Lifestyle and Worldview
C1 Gentiles (unsaved)
D1 Futility of their mind
D2 Understanding is darkened
D3 Alienated from the life of God
D4 All the above from ignorance
E1 Blindness of heart
E2 Callous
E3 Addicted to fleshly pleasures―impurity of all sorts
C2 Gentiles (saved)
D1 Jesus is THE teacher
E1 We are the learners
E2 He the teacher
E3 Jesus tells the truth
C3 The old lifestyle must go, disappear, not be followed anymore, forsaken
D1 Because it is the "old man."
D2 It is rotten.
D3 All from deceitful lusts.
C4 We are to be renewed in the spirit of our mind
A3 Notes
B1 Definitions
C1 Gentiles: non-Israelites (Jews)
C2 Futility of their mind = the mind is our thinking ability, the place where we think. Futility is emptiness, non-thinking ability, "being stupid," etc. Futility is the idea of having no truth, sense of truth, interest in the truth, so that when truth comes along, it is suppressed ("For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18 NKJV). It takes the Holy Spirit's initiative and action to open our minds and hearts to the truth.
C3 Understanding is darkened = understanding is comprehension, the ability to "catch on" to something. The idea of choices have consequences is not foreseen, and so they (we) make stupid choices that lead to unintended, perhaps consequences that are difficult, life threatening, death, pain in ourselves or others. Darkened because God's ways and thoughts are not present in us. When and if we hear about God and His ways, our unregenerate heart rebels and rejects it unless the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds.
C4 Alienated from the life of God = we are under God's curse because of our sin and the sin of the world. We are separated from God and doomed to destruction.
C5 Blindness of heart = What causes all this is humanity's ignorance from a blind heart (a heart that cannot see, understand, know God and His ways), callousness from sinning and suppressing the guilt (justifying ourselves), and addicted to pleasing our various and sundry desires. Sin is very addictive.
C6 The saved Gentiles are different because of Jesus teaching, the Holy Spirit's conviction of our heart, and opening the way to trust into Jesus Christ.
C7 Because we are now new creations, we must live that way. The Bible has the means and rules to do this. The Holy Spirit is our helper, encourager, prodder, rebuker (when needed) to keep going.
B2 Questions and applications
C1 How are you living your life in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds?
C2 Is there a difference in our lives now that we are Christians? Is this something that others can see? Matthew 5:14-16 HCSB You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
C3 Before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit humanity was divided into Jews or Gentiles. Now it is Jews, Gentiles, and Church. The church are all those who believe and trust in Messiah Yeshua for salvation, forgiveness of sins, and restored fellowship with God.
C4 We need reminders from each other and the Scriptures to keep faithful to New Testament doctrine and life. We should be teaching each other, praying for each other, encouraging each other, and reading/studying the Bible each and every day.
C5 A few of the rules that the Lord Jesus has given us in the New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-26 NRSV And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. 23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 25 Beloved, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. (Emphasis is mine).