Posted By Thomas Perez. July 16th, 2011 at 11:06pm. Copyright 2011.
Have You Ever Asked Yourself, “How Should One Live Their Christian Life?
A Christian should live their life with the highest dignity of morality, ethics, and standard. With a conscience free from sin, or as some would put it, the thought of sin and iniquity. Moreover, with this knowledge of forgiveness; I believe that at the same time all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord. I also believe that separation from worldly and sinful habitual pleasures, practices, and association is commanded of God (2 Tim 3:1-5, 2 John 8-11, 1 John 2:15-17, 2 Cor 6:14, 7:1, Rom 12:1-2). There is no harm in this, doctrinally or in practicality.
All believers are sanctified positionally in Christ at the moment salvation is realized and thus become holy because of Him. I also believe that we are commanded to live a holy sanctified life in Christ separated from the world, flesh, and Devil (note: depending on where you believe the Devil is now – bound or loose, I only mention the Devil in passing). We are to grow in our Christian walk. I also believe that we are continually being sanctified within our individual Christian walk as we continually grow in Christ (John 17:17, Heb 13:12, Gal 5:16, Rom 8:14, 2 Cor 5:17, 1 Pet 1:15-16, 2:2-3,James 1:12, 21-22, 4:7). With this said, let us look at some topics & what appears to be in opposition to a holy life.
Spiritualist, Astrology, Charmers, divinations, enchanters, witches, wizards (of the black or white light)
Ex 22:18, Lev 19:31, 20:6, Deut 18:10-12, Rev 21:8
Dan 2:27, 4:7, 5:7, 11, Mic 5:12
Drugs, Sorceries (Gk word for drugs is ‘pharmakeia’ it is associated with sorcery)
Isa 47:9, 12, Acts 8:9-11, Rev 21:8, Deut 18:23
I Sam 16:7, – the Lord looketh at the heart. Pro 4:23-27, 6:25, 10:10, 20:12, Isa 33:15-16, Phil 4:8, I Jn 2:14-15, Luke 10:23-24 – Are we truly blessed with what we look at?
Harlots – Prostitution
Lev 19:28-29, 21:7, 14, Hos 4:14, Deut 23:17, Pro 4:25, 5:3-7, 6:24-25, 7:6-27, 9:13-15, 23:27, 6:32, Matt 5:27-28, I Cor 6:16-18, Jere 3:3
Adultery: What it consists of…
Matt 5:28, 15:19, 19:9, Mk 7:21, 10:11, Ex 20:14, Deut 5:18, Matt 19:18, Rom 13:9, Gal 5:9, Lev 13, 20:10, Mal 3:3, I Cor 6:9-10, Heb 13:4
Unlawful Sexual Practices:
Ex 22:19, Lev 15, their cleansing vs. 13-28. Lev 18 & 19
Gen 18:20 – 19:1-28, Lev 18:22, 26:13, 20:23, I Cor 6:9 – effeminate (KJV), I Tim 1:8-10
There are many such other vices: lying, manipulation, theft, drinking in excess, etc, etc. In reference to this and many other Scriptural citations, examples, and stories of defeat; should we consider these ‘things’, if practiced today, as sin or merely illusional thoughts of a conscience thinking that such activities are sinful? Have we truly obtained true liberty in Christ if we were to denounce these activities as just illusional sins of the mind?
How does all this work according to our belief structure? How are we to practice our restored freewill, given back to us freely by Christ? (Note: for more information on restored freewill, please read my other postings).
Allow me to quote ‘Article 5, section 3’ concerning my ‘Statement of Faith’: I believe (and I just don’t speak for myself) that eventually all will be saved in the ages to come, as to the time – only God knoweth. Though salvation is a free gift obtainable now, (through the blood of Christ Jesus), many do not believe its message of love given freely, constantly living in habitual sin. Or even worse yet, denying the sin nature of self & man. For man doth knoweth the right and the wrong, the good and the bad. Though the concepts are different according to various cultures, societies, & customs, the underlying Godly principles are not. For such, principles are placed in the Scriptures for our protection, spiritual, physical, and economic health. However upon this, I believe that there are also recompenses to pay for such lack of faith & said deeds (sins). It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. For all must give an account to God for the deeds done in the body whether they be good or bad.
Though Christ has reconciled the world unto Himself and hast paid the full price of all sin (believers & non-believers) – the actions of the unbeliever, who has been given the free gift, would indicate on that day as to what he or she did with it. As the Evangel, we should continue to steer people in the right path. And this includes the preaching against sin, immorality, greed, lust, hate, etc, for if we do not these things; how can one learn to do that which is righteous? And as we do, we should always preach the death, burial, & resurrection of Christ. – for that is the true Gospel.
Based on the studies & research I have discovered and performed, I believe the judgments of God to be punitive, as in corrective, a chastisement. For the Scriptures reveal our God to be a Refiners Fire. The very idea of refinement is to make something clean, whole, pure, etc. Such is the fate of those who reject the free faith given them. The duration of such, I can not tell, nor can I tell the method (fires, His presence, etc) though I tend to favor the latter (presence) only God knoweth. These are the fires of purification.
One might accuse me of purgatorial teachings, but that is simply not the case. The false doctrine of purgatory along with the doctrine of hell fire are intermingled and pagan in origin. What I’m speaking of here is a purification by God Himself, where He pronounces everyone whole, & pure on account of the work of Christ, not the faith of Christ – of which you & I enjoy now. I could go on to quote Scriptural and historical documentation concerning such beliefs (including Reformers I.e. Luther, etc). Such quotations and studies can be found by clinking the menu category ‘Studies on Universal Salvation’
However let me also stress that this belief is an opinion of mine & others who have come before (Pre – Nicene fathers, etc), and after. But it is one that I can hope for & have faith in.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 11:1. A person may have faith in the doctrine of endless punishment & torment, but he cannot hope for it. A person cannot only believe in the doctrine of Ultimate Reconciliation, but he/she can hope for its truth with all their hearts; therefore that is the right faith, according to my conscience.
Yet I still see, hear, read, and observe the lifestyles of many within the Body of Christ justifying such activities based on the truths above. This is what Peter, Clement, and Origin feared; and with good reason. For they knew all to well the foolishness of men, who might use their God given Christian liberty as an excuse for sin. Perhaps this is why the all inclusive concept of Ultimate Reconciliation was kept under the covers – not too many are capable of digesting its precious truths without inheriting vain pitfalls. Even though it (UR) has now been revealed as a doctrine of the ancient Church, it is also revealed that many feared its truth would be turned as an excuse for some to habitually commit sin without any real expectation of punishment or chastisement. This can not be further from the truth as stated above.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Pro 23:7). A man is defined by his actions, not his words. A tree is known by its fruit. And what is this fruit that we are suppose to demonstrate? The demonstration of such fruit is found in the many virtues & characteristics of the Holy Spirit, such as: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal 5:22) Should any of the above vices live in or co-inside in harmony with these virtues? Can they? Jesus said you can not serve two masters, Paul often distinguished between the Spirit and the flesh, James called it the doubled minded individual, forgetting what manner of man he was. We are to be doers of the Word, not just hearers (James 1:21-27). The Spirit and the flesh are contrary to one another (Gal 5:17).
The whole theme of Galatians is Christian liberty, especially its Practical Exhortations, 5:1—6:18. The Galatians are exhorted to stand in their Christian liberty, 5:1-12, a liberty that is not license, but obedience 5:13-18. The works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit are described that the Galatians may avoid the former and yield to the latter, 5:19-26. The right way of treating the erring and weak is pointed out, and also the relation of what one sows to what one reaps, 5:1-10.
For a further understanding of Homosexuality, see my study Homosexuality and the Law of Expediency Under the same category “Other Topics Pertaining to Our Faith.”
Some might argue that some of my citations are from Old Testament, in which it (the law) really doesn’t apply today. Some may also quote Hebrews 9:15, to justify their belief that sin is not relevant for today, because it doesn’t exist. Here is the quote; “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Before that is addressed, let us consider the book of Hebrews.
The book of Hebrews is addressed to the Jewish authorities of the day, Jewish believers of the counsel, & laymen (Jews), of course not in ref to the scattered tribes – since they had not the law per-Se, only to those who converted from the old covenant. But what of the rest of us? Answer: We were/are grafted in, as the scattered tribes were/are. Since we were grafted in, must we give an account of our lives? – You bet – we all must give an account for the deeds done in the body, whether it be good or bad. But as the Scriptures saith, Jesus is with us forever more – therefore, if Jesus is with us forever more, then the Comforter is with us forever more to.
Another word for Comforter is Advocate; lit., Noun, parakletos “called to one’s side,” i.e., to one’s aid is primarily a verbal adjective, and suggests the capability or adaptability for giving aid. It was used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate; then, generally, one who pleads another’s cause, an intercessor, advocate, as in 1 John 2:1, of the Lord Jesus. In the widest sense, it signifies a “succorer, comforter.” Christ was this to His disciples, by the implication of His word “another (allos, “another of the same sort,” not heteros, “different”) Comforter, “when speaking of the Holy Spirit, John 14:16. In John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7 He calls Him “the Comforter.” “Comforter” or “Consoler” corresponds to the name “Menahem,” given by the Hebrews to the Messiah.
Another word in Greek is parakaleo – verb; It has the same variety of meanings as Noun, Matt. 2:18; 1 Thess. 3:2,7; 4:18. In 2 Cor. 13:11, it signifies “to be comforted” But why do we need a Comforter / Advocate? Answer: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world – are we not the world today? His ministry is the same, for He is the same yesterday, today, & forever (Heb 13:8).
Final Thought & Exaltation:
Jesus did not come to condemn the law, but to fulfill it. And upon doing so, lead many to the crux of the matter; the heart (Matt 5:27-28)!
With a brief summary and benediction Paul ends his letter to the Galatians in this manner, 6: 15-18, indicating that neither circumcision avails anything, nor does un-circumcision, but a new creature. Since we are a new creation, let us act upon this call as the new man dictates II Cor 5:17, walking worthy; unto all good works, Col 1:10, knowing that we should be holy I Pet 1:15-16, even as we are holy Eph 1:4, as we follow the example of Christ I Pet 2:21.
“Go and sin no more” Become all things for the sake of the Gospel. Let not your good be spoken of as evil. And be an example of the believer’s in all word, conversation, spirit, faith, and purity (I Cor 9:23, Rom 14:16, I Tim 4:12) And especially I Cor 8:9-13…Read & understand, there are still some things that are not to kosher, regardless of your present spiritual development or doctrinal position.
So the next time you think something is o.k. in the eyes of Christ as compared to His life, just ask yourself this question; “Is this flattering to God”? Is He down with it (as they say in the streets). Is it going to bring glory to Him or shame, reproach, and ridicule. Do not sit in the seat of the scornful because eventually their influence will carry you over to a lifestyle where you might find Christ having to chastise you sooner or later. One might immediately object to this and proclaim “Hey, Jesus sat with the scornful, etc”. While that may be true, His heart was always seeking the will of His Father. For He did not partake of their sin, though He was often with them (sinners). What I’ am presenting here is the potential folly that may befall those who constantly hang with the in-crowd. If they were so ‘in’, why are you so different from them in reference to your faith? Instead of letting them influence you, you should be influencing them.
If you don’t see a difference from them to you, then you should seriously consider your conscience and your personal relationship and walk with Jesus. And remember God is not just a theistic God, He is a personal God; He is Omnipresent, He knows the number of your hairs.
Do not disappoint Him, for He is our Parent, Father, and God. But most of all, in all this, He is our Saviour – always willing to forgive & forget. Can’t we at least repay Him and begrudge Him not of our oil (life).