12.10.2013

The Christian Ethos

Jonathan d. Payne
THE CHRISTIAN ETHOS - Jonathan D. Payne

(All passages in this post are KJV)


Love

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:34

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." 1 John 4:7

It is a command of God, and a holy connection not only with each other, but with our Lord and Savior, our God, and the Holy Spirit. It is to be the hallmark of who we are And whose we are (John 13:35).

We at times claim we to be the arbiters of truth, as you have often seen me write, and in this vein we seek to admonish, upbraid and correct each other. This is not the love you claim, but glorifies the flesh. To those who deliberately walk in apostasy or error, we do rebuke and make clear the spirit in which such things are done. For it is not God’s spirit.

But to the brethren there is to be love.

A love that covers a multitude of sins (and errors). A love that seeks for others to understand, not our words and the filtering of God’s truths through our own understandings, but of God’s own words in His book of Life called the Bible. Within it’s pages are the truths, principles and tenets of our faith that will lead us back home. If we will but let it do so.

And that path is a path of love.

Truth

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" Ephesians 1:13

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." James 1:18

There are those who say that truth is the MOST important aspect of our walk of faith. Jesus Christ has declared that He is the way, the truth and the life (and light) and as He is the cornerstone and foundation of our faith, the truth is definitely apart of that.

But whose truth do we declare?

Many will say “God’s truth” and this is how it should be. But we see within the Bible many passages that say we must know the truth in order to be set free. That we must rightly divide (understand through search and studying) the word of truth in order for us, the workers in God’s vineyard, not to be ashamed of our lack of knowledge of that selfsame truth.

We must believe the truth, trust the truth, and most importantly, live the truth. It is truly the gospel (God’s spell) of our salvation. It is the begetting of our lives in Christ. That begetting (or being born in the spirit) is from the living of that truth.

Many years ago, God gave me a saying and I use it often in life “truth is not relative; only our position to it”. We need to have the truth within us, a living, breathing testimony of God and His words of life etched within our hearts, souls and minds.

We must be the truth.

Unity

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1

"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3

"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" Ephesians 4:13

Unity is a bond of peace, and of faith, and the measure of our stature in Christ. It brings the promise of peace and harmony. It is an extension of love one towards another. It is the evidence of our faith made visible.

Being in a state of unity, or union, within the body of Christ, is a real and tangible power. Truly it says where two or more are gathered in His (God’s) name that whatsoever they touch (pray about, agree upon, or petition before the throne of God) will be bound in heaven and earth.

If righteous before God it will be done.

Why do you think Satan works hard to bring dissension and discord to the body of Christ? It nullifies or dilutes the power we bring in our unity. It holds back understanding and knowledge through the agency of bickering and fighting, and the need to be right at any cost.

There can be disagreement, even anger, but the Word of God warns us not to sin while angry and not let the sun go down upon it (extend for too long). When we are of one spirit, God’s spirit, there will be reconciliation and a desire to be in unity before God. This is a movement of the Holy Spirit within the heart to bring God’s kids back into His presence.

Unity is the definition of being of one mind, spirit and flesh before God. The body is made up of many parts, yet is one body still.

So is the body of Christ.

Peace

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

"Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back." Isaiah 38:17

There is a human peace, and then there is God’s peace. In the human sense when we seek peace at any cost, we may find ourselves wounded, hurt and bitter, because instead of standing firm upon the rock of Christ, we allow the waves of dissension engulf us and set us adrift. God’s peace, through Christ, does not do this.

It forgives, enfolds in love and brings a wholeness of spirit that is very real, to us and to others.

We can feel this peace in the bonds of our love and unity within the body of Christ. If we can not sense or find this peace, then we must examine the spirit we are dealing with, for it is not of God. When we have this gift of Christ we need not clamor for attention, fight for justice among our brothers and sisters in Christ, nor feel unworthy.

It is afterall, a peace that passes all understanding.

It is an assurance that we are with God, and following our Lord and Savior. It is an indicator that we have received of Him, and from Him. Why? Because even when challenged, when we walk with God, we are in an assurance of His truth, and of His words, nothing can take that from us.

That truly is peace.

Plus in that peace, we learn to give peace, and to not cause strife ourselves. If we do so, with intent or in response to some unkind word or deed, then we have taken on a spirit that is not of God, for God’s spirit is in peace.

Is there righteous indignation? Of course. But this is speaking to a state of being and not an isolated act or intent. This is a repose of the spirit, if you will, that means we are peaceful by nature, thought, intent and act. That our first response is a loving peaceful one that promotes God and not ourselves.

We must choose to reflect Christ.

Discipleship

"And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice." John 10:4

"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." Luke 9:23

Discipleship is the meaning of our walk of faith. It is what we do after we have received Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives — we follow Him. And like any disciple the goal is to be like the Master. To live as He lives, to do as He does, and to go where He goes.

We are indeed children of God, and servants in His vineyard, but we are also disciples to Christ. We follow His path, as He is the ONLY way back to our heavenly home. He is the path and the blazer of that path. In Him we become complete and whole before God.

And we do the work He did.

We must be “instant in season” and examples of God in our lives. We must show the fruits of the spirit and walk in a trust that is so utterly centered upon Him, that it is evident to all who see us, know us, speak to us or simply even just pass us by.

Truly we are to be a Holy Nation, a Royal Priesthood and Peculiar (different) People. If we are not these things, then our faith is vain. If we are out in the world and none can see that we are different, different in speech, actions, what we wear and the things we do, then again, our faith is vain.

Our discipleship should be evident.

If we are to follow after Christ, then we must do all that He has set before us to do. We know that we will be an offense to the world, as Christ said “the world hates me because I show it that it is wrong”. We too, by our example, words and actions, will convict the world that it is truly “wrong” and there will be a response to that.

If we try to fit in, we lose our place in heaven.

No one can serve to master, slaves to sin, and son(daughter)ship in Christ to eternal life. The two are not compatible. We must choose whom we will serve and diligently walk that path. We must be willing to suffer at the hands of the world without a need to “fit in” or be “validated” by those in it. Christ said offenses will come and that there will be even those who will kill us in the synagogue (church) and think they are doing God’s work.

A sobering thought. Choose wisely.

Inheritance

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Romans 8:14-17

"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6

So what does our walk of faith lead? Home. Back to the throne of God. All of us are Prodigal Sons and Daughters, wayward in our journeyings and needful to return home to our father. And there will be rejoicing and joy we enter into our father’s rest.

As the above verses truly say it all, as it were, there is not much more to share. We must remember who we are, as well as, whose we are. We must walk this path back home to gain our inheritance in Christ, with Christ.

And we can do all things in Christ, which strengthens us!

Be blessed, be loved and be at peace. May the light of God's glory and presence fire the brilliance of your souls. You are greatly loved.

****Jonathan D. Payne as well as being my best friend is a Christian writer, author and blogger based in Colorado USA.*****

0 comments:

Post a Comment