Jul 17, 2014

So hard to be good (Paul's rules)

So Hard to be Good.
Paul's rules.

Being a Christian means following rules.
Getting mad, hating, or causing dissension bars you, the Christian, from having a place in the kingdom of heaven.
Listen to what the apostle Paul says--
Galatians 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

Behave like angels.
The fruit of the spirit enables you to be almost perfect.
Uh, it does really?  

Paul is serious about the strict rules--
Ephesians 5:3 [A]mong you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Don't act for your personal good, either.
Instead you should act for what's good for others-- 
1 Corinthians 10:24 "No one should seek their own good, but the good of others."

That's a tough rule to follow. 

Furthermore, it isn't your business to judge non-Christians.
1 Corinthians 5:12 [I]t is none of my business to judge outsiders. God will judge them. But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship? As the scripture says, "Remove the evil person from your group."

Paul says you're wrong to judge those outside the church. 

Jesus expresses an even broader principle against judging others.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release [give up resentment], and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released. 

That rule is as hard as Paul's is.
Follow every authority and the local and federal laws, because God wants you to.
Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."

You certainly have to be obedient.
Elsewhere, it also says--
1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

Toe the mark so as to keep your salvation.
You won't stumble, because the spirit of God guides you--
1 John 3:9 Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God's seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. 

Those who lack the spirit of God aren't saved.
Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 

Be super good.
 Galatians 5:22 [T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. 

Suppose you sin anyway.
Pray for forgiveness--
1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 

Sin again and you aren't saved.
 Keep breaking a rule, and you belong to the unsaved group.
1 John 3:6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. ... 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 

 But Paul backpedals.
Romans 7:18 I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Paul's expression is monotonous there. Perhaps the sin living in him is responsible.  

Yet Paul complains that it isn't easy to behave well all the time.
He's a free man in Jesus Christ, yet confesses that his sinful nature won't leave him alone.
He isn't free of it.
Romans 5:21 I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am!

You can tell who has salvation.
The New Testament says--
1 John 3:10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 

Being a Christian sounds difficult, what with rules to follow and your sinful nature still out to get you.
The spirit guides, still it's hard to behave well.
The result is equivocation.

No comments:

Post a Comment