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ADD TO YOUR LEARNING - The Philippine Teaching Ministry
The Philippine Teaching Ministry ADD TO YOUR LEARNING

TAKING GOD SERIOUSLY

God wants to be taken seriously. Here are some passages worth reflecting on.


ON NOT ABUSING YOUR FREEDOM

GAL 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. - Considering that Galatians preaches about Christian freedom, it is appropriate that Paul preach on the nature of that freedom. Our freedom is freedom from sin and not freedom to sin. How strongly did Paul feel about this? Read verse 12.

1 Pet 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. - Written mainly for young disciples. Peter told them to be careful not to abuse their freedom.

1CO 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. - The Corinthian church was getting abusive of the weaker disciples.

ON PURITY/RIGHTEOUSNESS

1JN 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. - While the general feeling is content not to "sin much" the conviction that John advocates is "not to sin at all." This should be our goal. Even if we cannot be perfect, the goal should still be not to sin at all.

RO 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
2CO 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. - The whole passage before it is about holiness.

1 Tim 5:1-2 Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. - Also stress that what deacons and elders are to be, all Christians are to be.

HEB 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Also note these verses to describe holiness: As walking in uprightness (Isa 57:2). As a highway (Isa 35:8). As departing from evil (Ps 34:14; 37:27). As satisfying (Jn 6:35). As crucifying the sinful nature (Gal 5:24). As a new creature (Gal 6:15). As a new self (Eph 4:24; Col 3:10). As a rest (Heb 4:3, 9). As pure, peaceable, gentle (Jas 3:17).

ON BEING CAREFUL TO OBEY

Lev 18:4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. 5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD. - Even after so many details…point is to be careful.

LEV 25:18 " `Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. -Not just for Levites!

DT 5:32 So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.

Dt 6:25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness." - This is good to preach to those who are sacred to be 'legalistic again'. We cannot do things by force. At the same time it is not good to do things because that is the church norm. But we have to preach this verse in the light of personal righteousness. If you are careful to obey, that is what God sees as righteous. The question is not just are you obeying, but are you careful to obey.

DT 7:12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. - Note the condition. This is an IF statement. God is loving but he expects us to do our part.

RO 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. - To stress the importance of unity.

ON READING THE BIBLE

MK 12:24 Jesus replied, "Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? - Jesus was talking to religious people! These Sadducees had studied the Bible most of their life. The average male Jew started reading and memorizing the Torah at age 5.

Is 66:2b "This is the one I esteem:

he who is humble and contrite in spirit,
and trembles at my word. - Consider that his was given to a divided kingdom. There was lack of desire to return to God. Still God lifts up those who follow.

ON LOVING GOD

MK 12:17 Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."
And they were amazed at him. - Are you giving God what he deserves?

Jn 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." - Jesus clearly connects obedience with love. In fact, its not just obeying the commands but knowing them. Besides, what is exciting is that Jesus will show himself to that person.

1CO 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord--a curse be on him. Come, O Lord! - The Greek word used here is the root of the English word "anathema". It has a strong implication. A curse (anathema cf. 12:3; Ro 9:3; Gal 1:8) meant that the person involved was to be delivered over or "devoted to the divine displeasure"; it has the image of being under the wrath and curse of God. [more to come]

© 2004-2008 Rolan Monje. All Rights Reserved.