Beyond The Four Spiritual Laws

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Rom 12:16a . . Live in harmony with each other.


It isn't necessary to be in 100% agreement with others on everything in order to comply with that command. But it is necessary to practice courtesy, tolerance, and patience, i.e. make every effort to avoid feuding, one-upmanship, and debating. The opposite of harmony is dissonance which can be defined as. a mingling of sounds that strike the ear harshly, e.g. sour notes.

For some people, every disagreement is an act of war to be won at any cost. That's not harmony, that's hostility. It's far and away better for Christians to be diplomatic than to be right all the time.

"For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder." (2Cor 12:19-20)
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Romans 12:16 a..... yes, the rest of the verse says "Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited" Just thought I'd share the rest of it, too.

I Do have somewhat of a 'thing' with your comment ''to practice .... tolerance......" --- meaning, just how much and what are believers supposed to 'tolerate' in the name of Christian 'love'. I'm thinking that the Christian world has turned a blind eye to a lot of God's guidelines as to appease Society. There are those who choose to live an unGodly lifestyle that it Is who they are. We are Not to be hateful or cruel to them, but .......

And there Was a lot of 2 Cor. 12 going on in that church. We Are supposed to be coming together to praise / worship God / build up each other in God's Word.
 
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Webster's defines a Christian as a one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ; viz: one need not actually believe in Christ's teachings in order to qualify as a Christian. They only need to profess they believe.

A forum I was on several years ago stopped all the silly squabbling over who is a true Christian and who isn't by making it a rule that in order to qualify as a Christian people only had to believe themselves a Christian.
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This is your post # 47 -- and I'll refer You back to my response in #56 -- my last sentence. I could believe that I'm a Christian and not truly Be one. So -- on what basis Is a person a Christian.
 
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on what basis Is a person a Christian.
The answer to your question is located in post #47. If the answer you find there is unsatisfactory, then I suggest you start a thread for your question and discuss it with others who no doubt will be only too happy to submit a variety of opinions on the subject.
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Maybe I should rephrase the question. On what basis is a person a born-again believer? On what basis is a person 'saved'?

1 Corinthians 15: 1-3 "Now , brothers, I want to mind you of the Gospel that I preached to you......by this Gospel you are saved. ....vs 4 "that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scripture, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures..."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth on Him, will not perish but have everlasting life."

Romans 10: 9 - 10 "That if you confess with our mouth, Jesus Is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with our mouth that you confess and are saved."

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"

There's really no need to start another thread on this important subject -- there aren't really a variety of answers.

A Christian is a Christ-follower. One who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.

One of those teachings is John 14:6 Jesus is telling us "I am the Way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, but by Me." Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not of yourself , it is a gift of God -- not of works,lest anyone should boast."
 
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In John 3 -- Nicodemus is questioning Jesus about being born-again. He thought it meant that a person has to be born again Physically from his mother's womb. But Jesus explains that physical birth is necessary 1st. Then a person can be born- Spiritually. Which is being 'born-Again'.

A Lot of people believe that God exists. And lots believe in a person called Jesus -- a great religious leader / teacher of That time in history. But 'they' don't believe He rose again bodily. They believe that He did die, but that he stayed dead.

And lots of people Do have a great deal of knowledge About God / Jesus Christ. But they have not applied his death, burial and bodily resurrection Personally. And, yes, Jesus Christ died on the cross for the World, but not especially 'me'. That He died for the really bad people and rose again for them. But that "I" am not really That bad. That "I" can Probably make it to heaven on my 'good works'. Well -- 'we' might see ourselves as being an okay person, but God doesn't. The Ephesians passage says that our good works Won't get us anywhere. Because then we Might think we have something to boast about. The Fact is that Jesus Did everything needed on the cross to satisfy God. All 'we' Need to do is acknowledge that we Do have a Need For salvation. And then accept God's gift of the cross.
 
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Rom 12:16b . . Don't be elitist, but willing to associate with people below you.

Years ago I attended a Church singles' group meeting in a private home where everyone was seated on the carpet chatting when I arrived. All the really cool people had gravitated together in little clusters and left this rather geeky fellow sitting all by himself with no one to talk to. Well; I wasn't all that cool myself so I sat with the geek and as we conversed, I began to realize that in spite of his appearance, he was actually a pretty bright guy.

I've noticed that elevators are a world of equality. They do not care about people's appearance: whether they look smart or stupid, fashionable or common, or whether they're beautiful, average, or ugly; whether they're old or young, or whether they are boy or girl; whether they are black, white, red, or yellow. People are either in the car or off the car: that's all that matters to an elevator.
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Post #67 addendum.

One Sunday morning the owner of a boatyard where I was employed just happened to be going east at the same time as me on a freeway in San Diego. I saw him coming up on the left in my side mirror. I and my VW beetle were in the middle lane and he and his Chevy pickup were in the fast lane. As the boatyard owner came up alongside me, he kept his head turned to the left as if he was intently looking at something alongside the highway as he went past.

You know what was over there on the left side of the freeway? Nothing. It was a 30-foot embankment of bare earth; an impenetrable wall of China. He was deliberately averting his gaze so he wouldn't have to wave to me. And guess what? Mr. Boatyard was on the board of a large Wesleyan church in Spring Valley that he and I both attended on Sunday mornings.
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You know what was over there on the left side of the freeway? Nothing. It was a 30-foot embankment of bare earth; an impenetrable wall of China. He was deliberately averting his gaze so he wouldn't have to wave to me. And guess what? Mr. Boatyard was on the board of a large Wesleyan church in Spring Valley that he and I both attended on Sunday mornings.

Did you ever think maybe he had something on his mind and just did not see you?? how can you be 100% certain that he saw you and did not want to wave?
 
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I'm not really an advocate of the "four" spiritual laws. I think we should do our best to obey everything we are asked to do.
I am not an advocate for looking to yourself in doing the best you can in following Him. I tried to do that when I had made a commitment to make Jesus Lord of my life and failed miserably constantly. I would call on Him for help and when He does, I go right back to doing the best I can to show my appreciation towards Him It took Him a while … like in 1994 to set me free from that yo yo double-minded Christian living to rely on Him all the time for following Him. He had set me free from that commitment, the covenant I had made with my mouth not to cuss, and any and all promises that I cannot keep by my religious flesh to rest in Him & His promises to me that I shall follow Him as my Good Shepherd by faith in Him alone.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.


So He set me free from all yokes of bondage to deny myself as being able to follow Him, to pick up the cross daily in being dead religiously but alive in Christ, whereby He is asking me to trust Him as my Good Shepherd in following Him.

Most believers will speak of their commitments and promises and they receive praises and compliments from men in keeping them, but when we cease and desist in speaking of ourselves in what we are doing for Christ and instead, declare our faith in Him and His promises to us in what He had done, is doing, and will do for us, sinners and religious Christians can see our hope, faith, confidence, and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for all things to rest in Him. That pleases God when we believe Him for all things more than our self proclaim efforts to please Him.

I believed I had borne more fruit when He has set me free in 1994 from commitments, promises, and covenants that I have made as I have gotten to know Him and the power of His resurrection as He helps me to follow Him in this valley of death.
 
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Rom 12:16c . . Don't be wise in your own conceit.

Webster's defines "conceit" as excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth or virtue. In other words we're talking about hubris; which often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence, accomplishments or capabilities.

Conceit is uncivil, untrainable, and intolerable. It truly believes nobody beneath its dignity could possibly have anything to tell that it doesn't already know; and if it doesn't already know, then that's because the information possessed by those beneath its dignity isn't worth knowing.

Those kinds of people will interrupt you right in the middle of your sentence and begin talking about their own perspective as if your voice is nowhere to be heard in the whole room. You know why they do that? Because they sincerely believe that nothing you are in the midst of saying is nearly as important as what they have to say. In other words: you, and your thoughts, are superfluous.

Conceited folk are generally very picky about their influences too; in other words, even if somebody is a Spirit-gifted Bible teacher, but are neither published, accredited, or properly educated, then forget it. That Spirit-gifted somebody is eo ipso undeserving of conceit's intellectual attention right out of the box.

Conceit is not only stuck on itself; but very critical of others too. I've seen it to happen time and again that when a Spirit-gifted Bible teacher comes across with a personality like Elijah's or John the Baptist's that conceit summarily brushes them off as "unloving" no matter even if they speak as the very voice of God. In other words; conceit disdains to be taught; rather, conceit seeks to be accommodated.

I think most people in church are aware that conceit is unacceptable.

Matt 5:3 . . Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Conceit is a psychological disorder, so people can't just turn it off at will. But unless something radical is done to correct their conceit; people will have to face the sum of all fears.

Matt 18:3 . .Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
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Rom 12:16c . . Don't be wise in your own conceit.


Webster's defines "conceit" as excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth or virtue. In other words we're talking about hubris; which often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence, accomplishments or capabilities.

Conceit is uncivil, untrainable, and intolerable. It truly believes nobody beneath its dignity could possibly have anything to tell that it doesn't already know; and if it doesn't already know, then that's because the information possessed by those beneath its dignity isn't worth knowing.

Those kinds of people will interrupt you right in the middle of your sentence and begin talking about their own perspective as if your voice is nowhere to be heard in the whole room. You know why they do that? Because they sincerely believe that nothing you are in the midst of saying is nearly as important as what they have to say. In other words: you, and your thoughts, are superfluous.

Conceited folk are generally very picky about their influences too; in other words, even if somebody is a Spirit-gifted Bible teacher, but are neither published, accredited, or properly educated, then forget it. That Spirit-gifted somebody is eo ipso undeserving of conceit's intellectual attention right out of the box.

Conceit is not only stuck on itself; but very critical of others too. I've seen it to happen time and again that when a Spirit-gifted Bible teacher comes across with a personality like Elijah's or John the Baptist's that conceit summarily brushes them off as "unloving" no matter even if they speak as the very voice of God. In other words; conceit disdains to be taught; rather, conceit seeks to be accommodated.

I think most people in church are aware that conceit is unacceptable.

● Matt 5:3 . . Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Conceit is a psychological disorder, so people can't just turn it off at will. But unless something radical is done to correct their conceit; people will have to face the sum of all fears.

● Matt 18:3 . .Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
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So when one speaks of their commitments or their promises or their dedication to the Lord, they are being wise in their own conceit?

Are they not critical of others by judging them by their commitments and promises? Some even go so far as to say 'They are not a Christian' or "They were never saved" or "They were never believers in the first place".

I do not think most people in church are aware that conceit is unacceptable if they follow the crowd without discerning what they are saying nor doing.

Indeed, little children has to be taught to be religious in looking to themselves to make such commitments and promises to Christ, but all Jesus meant was that do what only a child can do.. trust the Lord at His word and believe Him.

I have heard a Christian man say that no children should make a commitment to Christ because ever since he made it, the devil has been trying to make him break it ever since, and that living the christian life is hard. And yet...

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

If we have to believe in Him as our Saviour for Him to save us; then we need to believe in Him as our Good Shepherd for Him to help us to follow Him. Not every believers knows that discipleship is separate from salvation in how to live by faith in Him as our Good Shepherd to help us to follow Him. There is a doublemindedness that can happen to many Christians in these latter days and when they speak of doing the best they can, that is not looking to Him in relying on Him all the time for the power we need for following Him.

So we either live by keeping that commitment to Him or we live by faith in Him and all His promises to us that He will help us to follow Him because we cannot do both if we wish to avoid doublemindedness in our walk with Him.
 
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So we either live by keeping that commitment to Him or we live by faith in Him and all His promises to us that He will help us to follow Him because we cannot do both if we wish to avoid doublemindedness in our walk with Him.
Interesting perspective, but then again, maybe we can ONLY do it because we live by faith.

1 Jn 5:3; For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.

When the Bible speaks of being double-minded, it's usually about sin or faith.

Jas 4:8; Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, double-minded ones.

Jas 1:6; But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7; For do not let that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord;
Jas 1:8; he is a double-minded man, not dependable in all his ways.
 
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Interesting perspective, but then again, maybe we can ONLY do it because we live by faith.

1 Jn 5:3; For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.

When the Bible speaks of being double-minded, it's usually about sin or faith.

Jas 4:8; Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, double-minded ones.

Jas 1:6; But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7; For do not let that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord;
Jas 1:8; he is a double-minded man, not dependable in all his ways.
The sin of unbelief can exist in a doubleminded state of a saved believer when they don't believe in Jesus Christ for all things, but just some of His promises.

If God promises something and asks you to believe Him, then we can't turn around and make that same promise, because by that action, we are saying that we do not believe Him that He will do it, and so we will do it.

Psalm 50:16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? 17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.....22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. 23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Sinners that hears of a believer's commitment & dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ, sees only the believer in what he is doing, but when a sinner hears a believer's faith in Jesus Christ & all His promises to us, they see the hope in Him for all things.
 
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Rom 12:17a . . Never reciprocate evil with evil to anyone.

That is a really tough command to follow; for example: when someone makes a demeaning comment about us, the urge to bounce back with a retort in kind is very difficult to resist.
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Rom 12:17a . . Never reciprocate evil with evil to anyone.


That is a really tough command to follow; for example: when someone makes a demeaning comment about us, the urge to bounce back with a retort in kind is very difficult to resist.
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That is why trusting Jesus Christ in us to help us to respond the way He wants us to is key as we are to suffer abuse as following His example in loving our enemies in return so that one day they may believe in Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

1 Timothy 4:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

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Rom 12:17b . . Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

The koiné Greek word for "right" is a bit ambiguous. It can mean: honorable, decent, sensible, mature, conforming to social norms of decency and propriety, beautiful, virtuous, honest, having worth, fitting, and/or appropriate. Those are all good qualities and should be practiced not only inside church, but outside church too.
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Rom 12:18 . . If possible, so far as it in your power, be at peace with all men.

Assertive, defensive, demanding, fault-finding, imperious, judgmental, confrontational, argumentative, bossy, spirited, hard-nosed, implacable, moody, thin skinned, vindictive, abrasive, spiteful people are not allowed in heaven. Why? Because heaven is a place of peace (Matt 5:9, Rom 14:17).

Disagreeable people who fight at the drop of a hat simply don't fit in heaven and besides, not only would they be a fish out of water; but it wouldn't be fair to the others to let difficult people in to heaven where they would surely turn it into the same kind of hellish world to live in that they've made the Earth.

Christians should not be difficult. Of all people, they should be the easiest to get along with.
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Rom 12:19 . . Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay; testifies The Lord.

The focus is upon one's "own" revenge; in other words: if the matter can't be settled legally; let it go rather than take it upon yourself to be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner; i.e. a vigilante. Those who seek justice outside the justice system are no less criminals than the people they seek to punish.
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Rom 12:20 . . If your personal enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

Way back when the television show SURVIVOR was in its second or third season, two of the women fell out of sorts and one vowed that even if the other were lying in the street near death from thirst, she'd walk right past and not give her so much as a drop of water.

Bad form. Christians have to remain civil and not permit detestable people to dictate the way we treat our fellow men. It is far better for Christ's followers to exemplify humanitarian principles than satisfy a grudge. I'll admit it's galling to have to be courteous with people that mistreat us; but what can I say? It's Christ's wishes.

"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?" (Matt 5:46-47)
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