Tag Archive: humility


Guidelines for the Family of God

As Christians, we are a family. We all have room for improvement in how we treat others.  God has not designed a dysfunctional family. He desires that His family have healthy, loving interactions. To that end, His Word gives us some concrete guidelines:

LOVE:

‘And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.’ (1 Peter 4:8)

MEEKNESS:

‘[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Philippians 2:3-4)

TEAM SPIRIT:

‘ . . . be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.’ (Philippians 2:2)

FORGIVENESS:

‘Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matthew 18:21-22)

DISCRETION:

‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.’ (Matthew 18:15-17)

GRACE:

‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.’ (Galatians 6:1-2)

COMPASSION

‘Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.’ (James 5:19-20)

RESPECT:

‘Rebuke not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.’ (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

PATIENCE:

‘ . . . walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Ephesians 4:1-3)

HUMILITY:

‘Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.’  (1 Peter 5:5)

‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant . . . ‘ (Philippians 2:5-7)

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The Gift Of Eternal Life

To be a Christian is to acknowledge that there is ONE supreme God, who is the Creator of all things. It is to choose to submit to HIS rules, and learn HIS ways. As we learn about His rules, we come to see that we have broken them. Because we have broken them, we cannot have a part in His Kingdom. BUT . . . a way has been made, for those who are sincere about following in His ways.

‘Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead*.’ (Acts 17:22-31)

* This is speaking about Jesus Christ

This supreme God, sent His ONLY begotten son, into the world. When Jesus came, He taught us to uphold God’s laws, and that love is the spirit behind all of God’s laws. If we will truly love God more than anything, and love our neighbor as ourselves, we will be living in harmony with his Law.

However, there is still the problem of our past sins. Once you began to sin, you broke your connection to God. There is only ONE way to renew the connection to God that was broken when you first broke His Law. And here is the way He made . . . Jesus Christ, being both man (by His mother) and God (by His Father [God]), lived a PERFECT life. Because He was perfect, He was able to pay the penalty for OUR sins, so that we could be reconciled to the Father God.

The Bible tells us EVERYONE sins that is not born again of God. Therefore, telling you that you are a sinner is not me making a judgment against you. It is simply stating a fact.  EVERYONE eventually sins. Sin is breaking God’s Law.

God’s Law says that we must not lie. Have you EVER, even once, told a lie–even a small one?

God’s Law says we must not steal. Have you EVER stolen anything (even a pencil)?

God’s Law says we must have no other gods before Him . . . and that we must never make or worship an idol, or other god. Have you EVER done that?

God’s Law says we must not desire things that belong to someone else. Have you EVER done that?

God’s Law says to honor your mother and father. Have you ALWAYS done that? ALWAYS been respectful? ALWAYS obeyed them?

God’s Law says that we are to worship God on the seventh day of the week, and do no unnecessary work that day. Have you kept this law of the ‘Sabbath’?

(There are other laws too . . . to not murder, to not commit adultery, to not take His name in vain.)

The Father has determined that Jesus is the ONLY way that we can be reconciled to Him, because Jesus is the only one who has ever been worthy to pay the price for our sins.  You can never be connected to God again, unless you come to Him in humility and repentance, through belief in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, you are eternally separated from Him by your sins.

‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. . . Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. . . I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved . . . ‘ (Jesus, John 10:1,7,9)

‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (Jesus, John 14:6)

‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12)

In order for His payment to cover your sins, you have to come to God, in humility, asking forgiveness for your sins (times you’ve broken His Law). You must believe that Jesus paid the price for your sins, having died for them. Then you must commit yourself to live according to HIS ways . . . to have communion with Him through prayer . . . to be transformed to become like Him, through reading His Word (the Bible) . . . and not to be a ‘hearer’ only, but a ‘doer’ of His Word.

You must understand, that if you later turn away from doing His way, then it was all in vain.  If you stumble, He will pick you up and forgive you if you repent, but you must not turn back to a life of sin. The commitment to walk in His ways must be a lifelong commitment, because it is not until we have ‘endured to the end’ that we can say ‘I am saved’.

As someone recently told me: ‘I know many devoted Christian people who preach about God and try to convert everyone, yet they sin so much it’s unbelievable.  I bet they ask Jesus to forgive them for their sins daily just because Jesus said he will. They are the ones that happen to do drugs, gossip, lie, etc.  I know many of them and it’s pathetic really, because they stand there and preach as if they are so holy.’

This is something I CONSTANTLY address. These people may THINK they are Christians, but they aren’t, because they’ve apparently never repented. Without repentance, you (anyone) can’t become a Christian. And we aren’t to use (abuse) the grace (and forgiveness) of God, as a license for sin.

‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.’ (Matthew 7:13-14)

‘Then said one unto him, Lord, are there FEW that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for MANY, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ (Luke 13:23-24)

‘If ye love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.’ (Jesus, John 14:15)

‘Follow peace with all [men], AND HOLINESS, without which no man shall see the Lord‘ (Hebrews 12:14)

This may sound really difficult, but if you are sincere in the commitment you make to God, you will receive the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will give you the power to live a holy life.  The Holy Spirit will teach you, and guide you into righteousness.  As long as you will submit to the inner leading of the Holy Spirit, you’ll do fine.  If you stumble, the Holy Spirit will show you, and lead you to repent.  The difficult part, truth be told, is having the will to turn away from sin.  But if you have truly experienced a godly sorrow over your sins, and sincerely repented . . . if you understand how close you were to eternal punishment . . . if you realize the tremendous gift that Jesus Christ has given you, and what it cost Him . . . if you can comprehend the awesomeness of having a second chance . . . you WILL have the will to turn away from sin.  You will hate sin and realize it is your mortal enemy.  You will want nothing more to do with it.

As someone else recently said:  ‘[Becoming a Christian] doesn’t instantly make someone perfect. It takes a lot of work on God’s part to refine you and convict you of sin, so it doesn’t go away instantly. That is a common misconception.’

I agree, but only in part.  And let me explain why:  I believe IF preachers would tell the truth, then church goers would realize that they need to turn AWAY from sin when they become Christians. If they realized that, some would decide not to become Christians. And those who did would turn from sin.

It takes a lot of work on God’s part, because He works on them all week long, then when they meet on Sundays, they’re told rubbish like ‘we all sin every day’ and other lies that make it sound like it’s not our responsibility to stop sinning . . . like somehow, someday, God is magically going to do the work for us! And, without reading their own Bibles many of them believe this, because it’s what they want to hear. Then when someone comes along and tells them the truth, and uses the Bible to show them, they get angry!!

But that’s ok.  It just helps us to sort out the true Christians from the pseudo Christians who haven’t ever been truly converted.  True Christians seek to know what pleases God, so that they can live that way.  They are meek and humble when corrected.  They have the gentle temperament of sheep.

Pseudo Christians, on the other hand, argue, rationalize, and justify.  They aren’t interested in doing God’s will.  They stubbornly cling to their ‘right’ to do their own will.  They spend more time in the Word looking for verses that seem to provide loopholes, than reading it to be transformed.  Pseudo Christians have the contrary temperament of goats.

‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.’  (1 John 3:1-10)

‘Also on the tenth [day] of this seventh month [there shall be] a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict* your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.  And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it [is] a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

For whatsoever soul [it be] that shall not be afflicted* in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

And whatsoever soul [it be] that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

Ye shall do no manner of work: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.  It [shall be] unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict* your souls: in the ninth [day] of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.’

(Leviticus 23:27-32)

*afflict oneself = to humble oneself

In the midst of the description of the Lord’s feasts, is the description of the Day of Atonement.  Interestingly, this day carried warnings that the other feast days didn’t:

‘For whatsoever soul [it be] that shall not be afflicted* in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

And whatsoever soul [it be] that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.’  (Lev. 23:29-30)

This ties in with Paul taught:

‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.’  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The Day of Atonement foreshadows the salvation that comes to us, by Jesus Christ. As this passage shows, we are to come to God on bended knee–not proudly, with our head held high.  We do not come to God by being ‘good enough’.  Our own works could never save us. We have no right to come to Him, believing in our own goodness.  It is only when we are afflicted . . . humbled by the weight of our sins . . . that we are able to come to Him with the right attitude.

The idea that all we have to do is believe in Jesus and we’re saved, is missing the most important things:  humility and repentance!

The predominant theme among ‘Christian’ evangelism today: that we are good, and God was lonely and made us for companionship, and that He’s totally accepting of us just the way we are, is baloney!  God loves us, not because of any goodness we have, but because His goodness surpasses understanding.  Nevertheless, He requires that we approach Him with the right attitude.

As these verses foreshadow, all those who do not approach Him in humility and repentance will be cut off.  Likewise, he who trusts in his own works to justify him with God, will find himself cut off.

4.” “What are the highest values in Christian faith? Love, sacrifice, humility, and compassion for others, which includes longsuffering.

What are the highest values in Islam? The highest is fighting for Allah especially if you die in the process.

As far as an ordinary Muslim is concerned, his highest value is doubtless going to Paradise and enjoying all the sensual delights promised to him. Although virtues are of importance in Islam, you never hear that love or patience, longsuffering or goodness, or faithfulness or truthfulness are of the highest value. Prayer and good works in keeping the Five Pillars are most important. Prayer and good works are very important in Christianity also, but they are a means to an end, not the end in itself.

The Bible teaches us that all the qualities of love are the top priority in a Christian’s life because this mirrors the character of God (1 Cor 13:1-7).

What is the Islamists’ highest goal? It is without doubt to be martyred in a physical battle for Allah in extending his sovereignty or the rule of his law on the Earth.

What is the Christian’s highest goal? God tells us what His purpose is for us, and that ought to be our highest goal. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Now Jesus is “in the express image of the Father” (Hebrews 1:3). This means that to be conformed to the likeness of Christ is to be conformed to the likeness of God, and this is God’s purpose for us. It ought to be our highest goal in this life and in the life to come.” (Islam Rising, Jim Murk, p200)”

Quoted from: http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-encyclopedia-westerners-need-to-know-list.htm