Exploring Christ's Spiritual Laws

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Webers.Home

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2Tim 2:14 . . Command them in God's name to stop quarrelling over trifles.

In a Sean Connery movie titled "The Name Of The Rose" church
dignitaries assembled a meeting of the minds to reach a resolution on a
theological question which was: Did the Christ own the clothes that he wore
or not?

Well, needless to say, the discussion turned into bickering wherein nothing
was resolved. Tempers flared, shouting ensued, feelings were hurt, and
people were alienated over the issue-- a rather trifling issue; which is
precisely what it means to fiddle while Rome burns down around you.
Christians are often embroiled in arguments over things that in the grand
scheme of things have almost zero importance while all around them are
weightier issues needing attention.

It's interesting that Paul didn't want Timothy's flock instructed to avoid
quarrelling over trifles but to stop quarrelling. I can't help but wonder how
many Christians think to seek absolution for the sin of quarrelling over trifles
when they go to confession.
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Webers.Home

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2Tim 2:15 . . Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who
does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Some folks construe rightly dividing the truth as instructions to keep the Old
Testament completely separate from the New. But that's not even close to
what Paul is instructing.

Paul was a blue collar tradesman: he fabricated portable shelters for a living
(Acts 18:3). The koiné Greek word for "rightly dividing" is orthotomeo (or
thot-om-eh'-o) which means: to make a straight cut-- as opposed to a
crooked cut --or a cut that misses the line and yields a piece of material
that's either too long, too short, or the wrong contour; thus resulting in a
tent whose pieces won't join properly when it comes time to sew them
together. The results? A distorted tent and a black mark for the craftsman.

The intent is not one of severing the Bible in half and treating each as a
separate book; but to be accurate in the whole's interpretations and
applications so that it all fits together perfectly from first to last, like a well
made armoire instead of a hastily constructed rabbit hutch.
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Webers.Home

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2Tim 2:16 . . Avoid worldly, empty chatter; for it will lead to further
impiety.

What he's talking about there are bull sessions wherein people discussing
the Bible haven't a clue what they're talking about; and their perpetual
deliberations-- consisting of sophistry, conjecture, theory, and personal
opinions --never get to the bottom of anything.

Well, the Bible isn't meant to be learned by means of discussion; it's meant
to be learned by instruction, taught by someone enabled by God for that
purpose. (Eph 4:11-14)

"Are all teachers?" (1Cor 12:29)

The answer to that is a great big NO.

Some years ago I was invited to a home Bible study. Before considering his
invitation; I asked the man if his group was led by a competent Bible
teacher. He said "No; we don't have a teacher. The group teaches itself. In
other words: we speak as the Spirit leads us to speak."

They say iron sharpeneth iron. But that doesn't work when both irons are
soft. That's why files are hardened and tempered. Well; that man's group
lacked a file, so to speak; so I declined.
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Webers.Home

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2Tim 2:19 . . Let everyone who names the name of The Lord abstain
From wickedness.

The wickedness he's talking about in this particular instance regards
unskilled use of the Bible; and sophistry, conjecture, wild-eyed posits,
theories, flimsy science, and lines of spiritual rhetoric that sound very
convincing but are nevertheless quite spurious.
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posthuman

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


"dead to sin" in this case doesn't mean Christ's sheep don't sin (cf. 1John
1:8-10). It means that sin can no longer give God cause to slam them with
the sum of all fears.


"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believeth on him
that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation;
but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24)


Note the grammatical tense of the "has" verb in the above verse. It's
present tense rather than future; indicating that people who hear Christ's
word, and believe on God, have everlasting life right now— no delay and no
waiting period.


I'm guessing that where Jesus said "hears my word" he's not just talking
about an auditory experience like listening to music. I'd say that he means
taking what he says seriously enough to move you.


For example: it's quite possible for someone to sit through an entire week
long Billy Graham crusade and go away feeling entertained but not so much
enlightened; while others lives are changed; i.e. some hear and some,
though they hear, don't listen.
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this verse is amazing -- throughout the chapter, "dead" is in past tense. this is a finished thing

and it is the first imperative statement in all of Romans -- 6 chapters in, the apostle finally tells us to 'do' something -- and that thing we must do is to recognize something that has already been done. you who have believed have died with Christ. finis. completed. secured. it is not, 'put yourself to death' -- it is, you have died, acknowledge it. live in keeping with it. your life is hid in Him ((re: Col. 3:3)) -- it is a work He has already accomplished through your faith, which He graciously has given

so often we think, i must fight the fight. i must accomplish; i must do. but your redemption is His work, as Moses said to the children of Israel at the sea of reeds: the LORD will fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

don't let go of your peace; cling to it. He did not fail to purchase you with His blood: consider yourself dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus . . !!


now guess why i have the avatar i do, lol
 

Webers.Home

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2Tim 2:22 . . Flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love
and peace, with those who call on The Lord from a pure heart.

Hippies pursued love and peace but failed because they could obtain neither
except by means of promiscuity and mood-enhancing drugs like marijuana
and LSD.

A "pure" heart is one that's unadulterated; in other words: it's not an
amalgam of good and bad; viz: it's a heart that's whole-heartedly devoted to
pleasing God rather than half-hearted.

Righteousness, Love, Peace, and Purity are all blessing-worthy attributes.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Matt 5:6)

"Blessed are the compassionate" (Matt 5:7)

"Blessed are the pure in heart" (Matt 5:8)

"Blessed are the peaceable" Matt 5:9)

The Greek word for "blessed" means fortunate. In other words; people
lacking those attributes are unfortunate; i.e. in a regrettable state of mind.
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Webers.Home

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2Tim 2:23 . . But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that
they produce debating.

Not all speculation is forbidden; only the kind that's absurd and uneducated;
i.e. way out in the Kuiper Belt, so to speak.

I seriously doubt that 2Tim 2:23 is addressing one's IQ, but rather, the
propensity of some to shoot from the lip without really knowing what they're
talking about and/or having the slightest basis for their perspective.
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Webers.Home

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2Tim 2:24a . . The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome

Sometimes it's best to follow Han Solo's advice and "let the Wookie win
one". In other words; when one is wise; two are happy. Be the wise one and
pick your fights carefully. Don't expend your energies on hot button topics;
they'll just lead to anger, demeaning comments, and flaming remarks.

Especially avoid getting into discussions with obtuse individuals driven by a
rather annoying propensity to disagree with everything you say simply
because they love to argue. I call them the "yes, but" people. Those kind
refuse to believe that anybody really knows the truth; least of all you.
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Webers.Home

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2Tim 2:24b-26 . . The Lord's servant must . . be kind to all, apt to teach,
patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in
opposition, if perhaps God may grant them a change of heart leading to the
knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from
the snare of the Devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

The all in "be kind to all" really should be taken to mean all in Christian
congregations rather than all in the world. The reason being, according to
Eph 4:11-16, Christ doesn't dispense his teachers for the world's benefit,
rather, for his body's benefit.

For that reason; Christ's teachers need to treat the people in church who
oppose them as they would patients in a mental hospital who lack the
faculties to know what they're doing and/or to think for themselves; hence
the instructions to be kind, gentle, and patient.
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Webers.Home

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2Tim 3:12-15 . .You, however, continue in the things you have learned and
become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that
from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give
you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The "sacred writings" upon which Timothy cut his teeth are of course the Old
Testament's collection; which Paul affirms is useful to Christians.

"Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction that
we, through patience and the encouragement of the scriptures, might have
hope." (Rom 15:4)

NOTE: The Greek word for "hope" in that passage is elpis (el-pece') which
means: to anticipate (usually with pleasure and confidence). In other words:
elpis hope doesn't entail crossing your fingers and praying for the best while
in the back of your mind dreading the worst. No; elpis hope entails having
something to look forward to with the bold unreserved expectation of
obtaining it.
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Webers.Home

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2Tim 4:1-2 . . I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ
Jesus-- who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and
His kingdom --preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Preaching and teaching are areas where pastors must take the reins. They
can't wait until their boards take a vote on it. No, the pastor's vote is the
only one that counts because left to themselves, congregations (and boards)
are just like any other flock of dim-witted sheep: they're prone to wander.

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but
wanting to have their ears rubbed, they will accumulate for themselves
teachers in accordance with their own desires; and will turn away their ears
from the truth, and will turn aside to fiction." (2Tim 4:3-4)

Gently caressing your pet's ears sometimes soothes them and has a marked
calming effect; especially when they're itching from mites and fleas. The
truth actually does hurt sometimes-- with or without mites and fleas.
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2Tim 4:5a . . Be discreet

Webster's defines "discreet" as: using good judgment, caution, and
prudence.

Human nature can be so inconsistent. Though most adults have fairly good
judgment, they oftentimes do things that are contrary to their better
judgment and make foolish choices (especially on Black Friday) because they
don't always use their heads but instead yield to their feelings; and
everybody knows that one's feelings, by and large, are mostly incoherent.
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2Tim 4:5b . . endure hardship

Some of the aspects of hardship are adversity, mischance, misfortune;
danger, hazard, peril; affliction, trial, tribulation; drudgery, toil, travail;
discomfort, and distress. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are a part of
that too. Nobody really cares to sympathize with somebody when they're at
the top of the food chain. Pastors comfort others, but who comforts the
pastors? Hardly anybody; though maybe his wife; if she's the type.

The lives of Christ's pastors are not supposed to be a piece of cake. If
they're doing their jobs in a way that pleases The Lord, pastors will have
some struggles. Hardship comes with the turf; it's a given when Christ's
pastors serve him faithfully and effectively.

The reason being that a pastor is essentially a shepherd. Well; according to
Jacob, that job was a rough career path back in the day.

"Thus I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the frost by night, and my
sleep fled from my eyes." (Gen 31:40)

Part of the reason that tending sheep was rough in Jacob's day is because a
shepherd was essentially a security guard, constantly keeping an eye out for
rustlers and predators. That part alone was a 24-7 task; not to mention
monitoring the herd so none of them wandered off; as sheep are prone to
do. It's no wonder Jacob lost a lot of sleep outside in the fields; and when
you throw in exposure to the elements; a shepherd's life was really not one
to be desired.
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2Tim 4:5c . . do the work of an evangelist

The koiné Greek word for "evangelist" is euaggelistes (yoo-ang-ghel-is
tace') which means: a preacher of the gospel.

Here in America, we typically think of evangelists as guys like Billy Graham
and Louis Palau. But according to Paul, pastors are supposed to be
evangelists within the walls of their own churches rather than on the road.

My ex-Catholic wife begged and cajoled her Catholic father to accompany
her to a Baptist church back in the 1970's before we met. On that particular
Sunday, of all days, the pastor spoke about money; especially giving it to
support his church and its programs.

My father-in-law was disgusted, and commented afterwards: Baptists are no
different than Catholics; all they care about is money. He never went back.
Had that pastor spoken about Christ instead of money, my father-in-law
might have returned.

The same goes for tongue services, political activism, and people dancing
with rattlesnakes, shouting, shrieking, rolling on the floor and fainting in the
aisles. That kind of stuff is entertaining but certainly not conducive to
fulfilling Christ's command to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matt 28:18-20)

Sunday morning services are a mission field right here at home. A sharp
pastor will make sure that visitors leave his church with a full hour of real
gospel preaching to think about.

Paul described pastoral evangelism as: fulfilling their ministry. (2Tim 4:5)
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Titus 2:2 . . Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in
faith, in love, in perseverance.

The koiné Greek word for "older men" is presbutes (pres-boo'-tace) which
means: an old man. Presbutes is different than presbuteros, which refers to
church officers; e.g. deacons (1Tim 5:17).

I used to get my watches serviced by an aging repairman at a local mall
until the day finally came when I could no longer tolerate his manners. He
was around seventy-five years old, cantankerous as can be, and perpetually
cross. I often felt like asking him if he ever gave any thought to his future.
You know, heaven is a place of peace. A hateful man like that repairman
would not only never fit in there, but it wouldn't be fair to the others to
permit him in their world.

"Cantankerous" can be defined as: habitually ill-humored, irritable,
disagreeable, bearish, cankered, cranky, cross-grained, dour, morose, sour;
crabby, cross, crusty, huffy, petulant, prickly, snappish; dyspeptic, ill
conditioned, thin-skinned, complaining, and ill-natured.

A Christian man in old age really ought to be a sweet, mellow guy: a pal and
a big brother for the younger ones rather than somebody they'd prefer do
the world a favor by stepping in front of a bus.
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