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Christ's Rules Of Conduct

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#1
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When Yhvh took the people of Israel under His care after liberating them
from Egyptian slavery, He gave them a code of conduct to follow in their
association with God. The code wasn't imposed upon them against their will;
they fully agreed to it.

Ex 19:4-8 . .You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and
how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if
you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My
own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you
shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

. . . So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them
all these words which The Lord had commanded him. And all the people
answered together and said, "All that The Lord has spoken we will do!"

The downside to the covenant is that it's a legally binding contract. In other
words; once the Jews agreed to it they became obligated to comply lest they
be slammed with any and/or all the covenanted curses listed for breach of
contract at Lev 26:14-39, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:15-68.

Fortunately Christ's code of conduct isn't contractual, nor does it stipulate
curses for non compliance, nor does it require a signature on the bottom
line. In a nutshell, nobody is holding a gun to the heads of Christ's followers
forcing them to comply with his rules. It's all strictly voluntary, and no
signature required on the dotted line. I'll touch on this aspect of Christianity
when we come to it later on.

Hello; and welcome to a grass-roots collection of close to 500 items,
beginning in the book of Acts and concluding in the book of Revelation,
specifying The Lord's rules of conduct for each and every Christian in the
whole world regardless of their denominational affiliation.

1Cor 14:37 . . If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let
him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the
commandments of The Lord.

1Ths 4:1-2 . .We beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by The Lord
Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please
God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments
we gave you by The Lord Jesus.


FYI: None of the material in my posts is plagiarized, rather, it's all copied and
pasted from my own personal hand-made web page; which isn't copyrighted
so if you should go there and see something interesting and would like to
take it with you; it's okay, I don't mind.

/
 
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#2
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1) Acts 15:19-20 . . Abstain from food tainted by idols, from promiscuity,
from the meat of strangled animals, and from blood.

Foods "tainted by idols" refers to foods that were dedicated to heathen
deities in order to obtain their blessings. More on this practice later.

The meat of a strangled animal is different than that of a butchered animal.
Though a strangled animal may be brain dead, it's flesh will be viable for a
bit because the blood in its veins still has usable oxygen in it. This is why the
new rules for CPR recommend concentrating on chest compressions first
while delaying blowing air into somebody's lungs till a little later.

In essence what we're talking about here is eating living flesh versus
ordinary raw meat. Christians may eat all the raw, uncooked meat they want
just so long as they are absolutely certain it's dead beyond recovery.

Though this is one of Christ's rules; it has been a universal rule ever since
Noah came off the ark. (Gen 9:3-4)

Promiscuity can be defined as sexual misconduct; e.g. adultery, incest,
shacking up, one night stands, sleeping around, etc.

2) Rom 6:11 . . Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ
Jesus.

"dead to sin" doesn't mean The Lord's sheep don't sin (cf. 1John 1:8-10). It
means they're no longer in grave peril of sin's ultimate consequences. (John
5:24, Rom 4:25, Rom 5:6-11, Rom 6:3-11, Rom 8:33, 2Cor 5:19)

I've had lots of unbelievers protest that if it were true that The Lord's sheep
are in no peril of sin's ultimate consequences; then they would have a
license to steal. The answer to that is both YES and NO

The big difference is that when The Lord's sheep sin, it's a family matter; but
when outsiders sin; it's a criminal matter. While outsiders face justice for
their sins, the family only faces discipline because their justice was satisfied
at Calvary. (cf. Isa 53:1-12 and Rom 6:3-11)

For example; when my youngest brother and I were kids; we pelted my
dad's old Hudson Hornet with eggs and made a big mess of it. My dad not
only blistered our bottoms but also made us wash it all off. But if somebody
else's kids had pelted my dad's Hudson, he would have called the police. You
see, for my brother and I, the egging was a family matter; but had an
outsider egged my dad's car it would have been a criminal matter and
something to be settled in court rather than in my dad's wood shed; if you
know what I mean.

3) Rom 6:12 . . Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey
its evil desires.

Cain was given pretty much the same instructions. (Gen 4:7)

4) Rom 6:13 . . Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments
of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been
brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as
instruments of righteousness.

5) Rom 12:1 . . Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
God, which is your reasonable service.

The above indicates that sacrifices don't have to be deceased in order to
qualify as valid offerings. (cf. Gen 22:12, Jgs 11:30-40,1Sam 1:1-28)

6) Rom 12:2 . . And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I heard a story about some students in a seminary who prayed about an
upcoming exam instead of cracking the books and burning the midnight oil.
Apparently they were somehow under the impression that the information
they needed for the exam would somehow drift up out of the duck feathers
where God had it stored in their pillows and be miraculously absorbed by the
gray cells in their brains-- and this while they were fast asleep.

Long story short; they all got an F on their exams; not because the
professor despised their laziness; no, because they simply didn't know the
answers. Moral of the story is: in order to "renew your mind" and to "prove
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" one must take
the initiative to knuckle down and find out; viz: study the Bible via either
books, sermons, the internet, Sunday school classes, seminars, lectures,
and/or radio programs like Thru The Bible and Back To The Bible, et al.

7) Rom 12:3 . . Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your
value by how much faith God has given you.

Christians of little faith have little value; while Christians of great faith have
great value; but should be careful not to let their great value go to their
heads; if you know what I mean.

8) Rom 12:6 . . If God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out
when you have faith that God is speaking through you.

The koiné Greek word for "prophesy" in that verse is from propheteia (prof
ay-ti'-ah) which encompasses predictions. Predictors were common in the
early church; for example Agabus' predictions at Acts 11:27-28 and Acts
21:10-11. Hunches don't count as God speaking through you. You have to
really know it. Don't ask me how to really know it because I don't have the
gift.

9) Rom 12:7a . . If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well.

"serving well" implies serving conscientiously and whole-heartedly rather
than half-baked, and/or hit and miss.

One of my brothers has been a construction foreman for decades and one of
his perpetual complaints is that he never knows from one day to the next
whether some of the men he hires on jobs will show up. In other words:
they aren't reliable-- he can't count on them. What I'm saying is: if you're
thinking about becoming helpful in some way, don't do it unless you're
willing to commit to the long haul because people need to know that they
can depend on you to stay the course.

10) Rom 12:7b . . If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching.

I had a Sunday school teacher once who worked as a maintenance man in a
public swimming facility. One Saturday he had to work very late repairing
some equipment at the pool and had no time to prepare his lesson plan for
Sunday morning so he just threw something together. It stunk; and my wife
and I got nothing out of it.

In contrast, I once knew a pastor who took all week long to prepare his
Sunday morning sermons; rather than just Saturday night. Now there was a
guy who knew what it means to "do a good job of teaching".

/
 
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#3
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11) Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids.
Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing
them all the time and never once giving them an "atta boy" or a single vote
of confidence. A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef
up somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of
thing, then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so.


NOTE: The kind of encouragement about which that passage speaks is just as
much, and just as valuable, as any of the other spiritual gifts, e.g. speaking
in tongues, translating tongues, miracles, teaching, healing, faith,
evangelism, and prophecy etc.

12) Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

There are some people barely making ends meet who nevertheless make an
effort to include charities in their budgets, while others loaded with dough
are misers in that they only give what they have to and nothing more. The
"extra mile" is foreign to their concept of what it means to be generous.

13) Rom 12:8c . . If God has given you leadership ability, take the
responsibility seriously.

A natural aptitude for church management doesn't count. It has to be God
given; that is: a legitimate Spirit-endowed ability. (cf. Rom 12:3-8, 1Cor
12:4-11, 1Cor 12:27-30). There are far too many people sitting on church
boards merely because they're a success in business. Well; if your church is
a business; then maybe you should think about finding another one.

14) Rom 12:8d . . If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it
gladly.

That would probably correspond to incidents like the one depicted in the
parable of the man attacked by road agents in Luke 10:30-36. In that
instance, a passerby had the skills and the wherewithal to provide care for a
total stranger in need. Personally, I'm not much at first aid and/or
emergency medical services. But what we're getting at here is that should
you find yourself in circumstances where you can be of genuine, effective
assistance; don't lend a hand grudging. It ought to make Christians happy to
be of assistance instead of getting irritated and grumpy about an unexpected
inconvenience.

A solo Pacific Crest Trail hiker named Cheryl Strayed, in her book WILD,
recounts an evening wherein she was very low on funds and having no luck
locating a suitable place in the woods to set up her tent before it got really
dark. Cheryl found her way into a fee campground and set up at the extreme
end of the facility where she thought no one would mind; but later that night
the caretakers came by and, in a not-so-friendly tone, insisted that she
either pay the $12 fee or break camp and leave. The Christian thing to do
would have been to pay the fee for her instead of forcing a woman to
wander out into the pitch black forest all alone at night.

15) Rom 12:9a . . Don't just pretend that you love others.

Webster's defines "pretense" as fiction, make-believe, and/or simulation.
Ironically, pretense is foundational to ordinary civility and common courtesy.
But when it comes to love; Christians should never put on a front. In other
words: don't lead someone on to believe you care for them when in reality
you don't. That's not only dishonest; it's cruel.

16) Rom 12:9b . . Hate what is wrong.

Hating evil is second nature to God-fearing people.

Ps 97:10 . .You who love Yhvh: hate evil!

Job 1:1 . . In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This
man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.

Prv 8:13 . .The fear of The Lord is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and
the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I hate.

/
 
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#4
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17) Rom 12:9c . . Stand on the side of the good.

Christian CEOs on the boards of multi-national corporations have my
sympathy. Good luck complying with item #17.

I recently watched a very interesting documentary on NetFlix that analyzed
corporations; and they found that corporations, as a personality, typically
exhibit all five of the psychopathic behaviors listed below.

• Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.

• Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.

• Reckless disregard for the safety of others.

• Deceit and dissembling; viz: repeated lying, suppressing information,
stretching the truth, and conning others for profit.

• Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.

One of corporate America's more shameful management practices is the
exploitation of foreign poverty, cheap labor, defenseless employees, minimal
safety requirements, and hardly any environmental regulations in order to
keep costs down and the bottom lines of quarterly reports up. It's all about
profits with corporations; while the human suffering exploited to obtain them
is collateral damage, so to speak; and nowhere has that been more
prevalent than the manufacture of textiles and garments.

Another of corporations' rather annoying behaviors is their lack of
patriotism. They have a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders which
supersedes any wish they may have to pay their fair share of the tax burden
imposed on their fellow citizens. Thus they contribute relatively little towards
the Federal Government's ability to pay its bills in comparison to regular
people.

A popular corporate tax-saving dodge, which is perfectly legal, is the moving
of their corporate headquarters offshore to countries where tax rates on
profits are much lower than here in the USA; where they have a permanent
haven just so long as they don't bring those profits into the country; which is
really a shame because those profits could otherwise be invested here at
home to create more jobs for Americans and thus strengthen the economy.

18) Rom 12:10a . . Love each other with genuine affection

Real affection is easy to imitate, but not so easy to duplicate. Going through
the motions, is just not the same as feeling the feelings.

19) Rom 12:10b . . Honor others over yourselves.

Most alpha achievers would have trouble with that one. I mean. why be a
winner if not to feel superior to everyone else and accumulate bragging
rights and accolades? The alpha achiever's motto is: It's not enough to
succeed: everyone else must fail.

Feelings of value are important to everyone's sense of well being, but the
alpha achiever feels only himself to be of any real value; in his mind's eye,
those "below" him are of little worth, i.e. expendable and/or a dime a dozen.
(cf. Est 6:6, Matt 27:26, Mark 12:38 39, and 3John9)

/
 
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#5
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20) Rom 12:11 . . Never be halfhearted in your work, but serve The Lord
enthusiastically.

Webster's defines 'halfhearted" as feeling or showing a lack of interest. The
koinë Greek word for "work" is spoude (spoo-day') which refers to
movement in regards to speed; i.e. velocity. In other words; item #20 is
talking about dragging one's feet rather than getting with the program and
expediting whatever it is you're assigned to do.

A really good role model in this regard is Isaac's wife Rebecca; a most
energetic chore girl. (Gen 24:10-20)

21) Rom 12:12a . . Be glad for all God is planning for you.

Christians unsure of their afterlife destination cannot, in all honesty and a
good conscience, comply with item #21.

22) Rom 12:12b . . Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.

Patience is something every so-called mature adult is supposed to have but
relatively few seem able to produce. What we're talking about here is
"composure" which Webster's defines as calmness: especially of mind,
manner, or appearance.

Composure is pretty easy to maintain when nothing is bothering us; but not
so easy when we're upset, frightened, worried, nervous, angry, irritated,
annoyed, over-worked, dead tired, under pressure, stressed, chafed,
interrupted, ignored, cut off in traffic, in deep credit card debt, a sudden
death in the family, behind in your mortgage, your car payments and/or
your student loan; injured, life changing news like your job outsourced to
China or you've got cancer, involved in a school shooting, and/or your
spouse announces they've met someone and wants a divorce. People tend to
come unglued at times like that.

1Pet 4:12 . . Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are
suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

A "painful trial" can be likened to a process to which assayers subject
samples of gold to evaluate its worth as a precious metal. If somebody can
maintain their composure under the conditions I listed above, I'd have to say
that they are a high-value gold. As for the rest of us; we would no doubt
benefit from a dose of the fruit of the Spirit; hence the enjoinder to "always
be prayerful".

Gal 5:22 . .The fruit of the Spirit is patience; et al.

23) Rom 12:13a . . Share with God's people who are in need.

I'm guessing that "God's people" pertains to Jews. (Matt 25:31-46 and Rom
15:25-27)

24) Rom 12:13b . . Practice hospitality.

Webster's defines hospitable as: (1) given to generous and cordial reception
of guests, (2) promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome, (3)
offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.

In other words; a hospitable person is civil, courteous, thoughtful, easy on
one's nerves, helpful, approachable, accommodating, and relaxing to be
with.

25) Rom 12:14 . . Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

The koiné Greek word for "persecute" is dioko (dee-o'-ko) which means to
pursue; i.e. to hound. In other words; a persecuting personality is one
whose mission in life is to ruin somebody's day at every opportunity; and
they are pretty good at finding ways to do it. Christians are under orders to
remain calm with toxic people and not let them discourage the practice
of hospitality.

/
 
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#6
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26) Rom 12:15 . .When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are
sad, share their sorrow.

When you're blue about something, the last thing you need is for somebody
to come along and tell you: Don't be that way; snap out of it! Well; it's not
too hard to figure out where their loyalties lie is it?

If you know what a party pooper is, then you know what a funeral pooper is
- they try to brighten up a sad situation when what they really should do is
bite their tongues and let people grieve through their loss.

27) 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 make every effort
to avoid feuding, one-upmanship, and debating. 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 that to
be defensive.

2Cor 12:19-20 . . 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.

28) Rom 12:16b . . Don't be elitist, but willing to associate with people
below you.

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.

In another incident, I went to a Church singles' group meeting in a private
home where everyone was seated on the floor chatting when I arrived. All
the really cool people had gravitated together 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; but he and I
were marginalized because the others didn't want to be seen with us

29) 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.

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 both 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.

/
 
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#7
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30) 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.

31) 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.

32) Rom 12:18 . . If possible, so far as it in your power, be at peace with all
men.

Assertive, defensive, fault-finding, imperious, judgmental, confrontational,
bossy, hard-nosed, implacable, moody, thin skinned, vindictive, spiteful
people are not going to heaven. Why? Because heaven is a place of peace
(Matt 5:9). 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 hell to live in that they've made
the Earth.

33) 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. Those who seek justice outside the
justice system are no less criminals than the people they seek to punish.

34) 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 on television, 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 The Lord's
people to exemplify humanitarian principles rather than nurse a grudge.

35) Rom 12:21 . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

They say "fight fire with fire". Well, that might work in some circumstances;
but Christians should never permit themselves to fight evil with evil. Two
wrongs never make a right.

I just have to wonder-- in a land that prides itself in the principle of the
accused being assumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law --why
Osama Bin Laden wasn't captured alive and given a fair trial before the
Obama administration executed him. I mean; after all; several of Germany's
big name war criminals were given fair trials; and so was Saddam Hussein,
wasn't he? Far from being "brought to justice" Mr. Bin Laden was
assassinated lynch-mob style. Thus, America overcame evil with evil; which
is a clear violation of The Lord's wishes as per Rom 12:21 and to think some
Americans actually pride themselves in being a so-called Christian nation.

/
 
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#9
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36) Rom 13:1-5 . . Everyone must submit himself to the governing
authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.
The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he
who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted,
and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

. . . For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do
wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do
what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you
good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for
nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the
wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only
because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

There are Christians who honestly believe that capital punishment is wrong,
but according to the passage above, and the one below, capital punishment
is divine.

Gen 9:4-6 . . And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I
will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I
will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the
blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has
God made man.

Rom 13:1-5 is a fair warning to Christians that should they break the law; to
expect neither favoritism nor immunity. So then, if you can't do the time,
then don't do the crime. Christians that commit capital crimes should expect
their heads to roll just like any other capital criminal's head; and that goes
for lesser crimes too, e.g. J-walking, illegal U-turns, feeding parking meters,
drifting through stop signs without coming to a complete halt, exceeding the
speed limit, unsafe lane changes, road rage, disturbing the peace, littering,
trespassing, shoplifting, civil disobedience, animal abuse, etc.

God has given government the right to play God; any Christian who opposes
government's right to play God, is playing the Devil. God forbid! Christians
really ought to be the most law-abiding people on Earth; but unfortunately,
many are shamefully guilty of conduct unbecoming.

1Pet 2:13-15 . . Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority
instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to
governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to
commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you
should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.

37) Rom 13:6a . . Pay your taxes

While it's true that tax dollars often get wasted on fraud, graft, pork, bail
outs, ear marks, and such things; by and large taxes are essential if we're to
expect services like schools, parks, national defense, law enforcement, fire
protection, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, foster care, endowments,
reparations, flood control,
TANF, and the maintenance of infrastructure, etc.

Taxes are also used to pay the wages of civil servants.

Rom 13:6b . . for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time
to governing.

38) Rom 13:7 . . Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay
taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then
honor.

There is currently throughout America a wave of hate, discontent, and
disrespect for current U.S. President Donald Trump the intensity and
hysteria of which is unlike anything I've ever seen in my 73 years on this
planet. I should hope that none of Christ's followers get caught up in it. We
don't have to particularly like Mr. Trump, but we do have to honor his
position. Don't be a Mordecai-- Esther's uncle is not a suitable role mode for
Christ's followers.

39) Rom 13:8 . . Owe no man anything.

Some have construed item #39 to mean that it's a sin to have a mortgage, a
car payment, and/or a credit card balance. However, the koiné Greek word
for "owe" is opheilo (of-i'-lo) an ambiguous word with a number of
meanings, one of which is to fail in duty; viz: fail to meet your obligations.
In today's world; debt is pert near impossible to avoid; but debt is okay for
Christians just so long as they pay their bills on time. Christ is neither
pleased nor honored when his followers are known as deadbeats.

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40) Rom 13:12 . . Put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of
light.

Among the first things that God created for the cosmos was light (Gen 1:3).
He didn't have to create darkness because darkness as per Gen 1:2 is just
simply the default condition in the absence of light.

At that time, God made a distinct difference between light and darkness
(Gen 1:4). I think it is very notable that God labeled the light "good" but He
didn't label the darkness good.

I believe Gen 1:4 set the stage; in other words: from that point on in the
Bible darkness typically represents something harmful and/or distasteful;
while light always represents something tasteful and/or beneficial. So then
we could label the deeds of darkness as deeds unbecoming Christ's
followers, and we could label the armor of light as deeds befitting his
followers. In other words: deeds befitting Christ's followers are their first line
of defense in a world gone mad with evil.

41) Rom 13:13 . . Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and
drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and
envy.

In the beginning, God labeled the light "day" and the darkness He labeled
"night" (Gen 1:5) ergo: accordingly, day is good while night is bad. So then;
things done in the day are good things, while things done in the night are,
by default, bad things. Day and Night, and Darkness and Light, are
interesting figures of speech and can be seen in use at quite a few locations
in the Bible; for example:

John 3:19-21 . .This is the judgment; that the light is come into the world,
and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.
For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to
the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

Envy can be a good dog or a bad dog, and when it's a bad dog, it's the
combined meanness of a Pit Bull Terrier and a Rottweiler because envy fuels
some very bitter rivalries. Wanting to be equal with others is one thing, but
striving to be better than others is a horse of another color. Christians have
got to be careful of that. This isn't optional by the way; no: it's required.

What I find interesting about Christ's commandments is that his followers
have to be told how to "properly conduct" themselves; viz: it's never
assumed they can be trusted to instinctively and/or intuitively know how.

42) Rom 13:14 . . .Clothe yourselves with The Lord Jesus Christ

Clothing one's self with a personage was a colloquialism many years ago
which would correspond in our day to "emulation" which Webster's defines
as trying to be like someone or something you admire. They say that
imitation is the highest flattery. Well; if you'd like to flatter The Lord; adopt
his principles and put them into practice. In other words: become Christ's
understudy. You can do no better for a role model.

Q: How does one go about measuring up to Christ?

A: Well, up to this point, we've listed 42 ways. In other words; complying
with Christ's commandments is really the best and only practical way to go
about it.

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