Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Walking Billboard for God, Although You May Have the Best of Intentions, Is a Person a Christian Just Because They Say They Are? posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 3, verses 16-17.

I have heard that some religions have interpreted this passage to say that Christians shouldn’t get their ears pierced or get tattoos but that isn’t what this passage means to me.  This passage is telling me that I’m a Christian 24/7 (24 hours a day/7 days a week) and God dwells in me all the time.
My actions, thoughts, words and deeds make me a walking billboard for God.  A billboard works as an advertisement to draw people toward a particular business.  If the sign were sloppy, had misspellings or poor grammar, the billboard would reflect poorly on the owner of the business.
Now, if I go out and get drunk, take drugs, am rude to others or use God’s Name in vain, it’s like I’ve used bad grammar on my billboard which would reflect poorly on God who dwells in me.  I need to make sure that I’m attempting to live in a manner that makes me a good example of how God works in my life.
Here is a related passage:
*I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.  Galatians, Chapter 2, verse 20.

I wrote to you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?  Do not ye judge them that are within?  But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.  1 Corinthians, Chapter 5:9-13. 

I think God talks to us through Paul like a parent talks to their teenager about people who might be poor influences on them.  A parent might say something like, “I think it’s very important for you to be cautious about what type of people you hang around with at school.  Now, I want you to be polite to everyone, because we aren’t to be judgmental of others, but we are supposed to be aware of the lifestyle choices others make.
“Although you may have the best of intentions, sometimes other people’s bad habits rub off on us even without our being aware of it.  So, it’s important that you don’t hang with kids that you think do drugs, drink, and party or are rude and crude.  I know it’s hard because some of the kids who make poor choices are the ones who seem the most popular.  I hope you know that I’m only telling you this because I love you.  I just don’t want to see you get involved with the wrong type of people.”  Well, I think God often guides us like a loving parent, as well.
Here is a related passage:
*Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath Light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  2 Corinthians, Chapter 6:14-15.

And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.  A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man whether thou shalt save thy wife?  1 Corinthians, Chapter 7, verses 13-16.

God gives His approval for staying in a good marriage with a non-Christian spouse, because you might be able to lead your spouse to Christianity through your relationship with God.  On the other hand, I think it says that if you’re in an unhealthy relationship, whether the person does or doesn’t profess to be a Christian, God absolves us from our marital commitment.
Now, some may think this passage doesn’t apply to them because God only absolves them if their partner is a non-Christian.  Do you really think a person is a Christian just because they say they are?  Don’t you think they are supposed to be a “Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is Christian,” by really living a life that reflects their belief in Jesus?
So, if a spouse drinks up all the money in the house and there’s no money to pay for food or clothes for the children, do you really think God considers this person a Christian?  If a spouse is so involved in drugs or other vices and causes constant turmoil in the family, do you really think God considers this person a Christian?  If a spouse has a hard day at work and hits the kids or you, do you really think God considers this person a Christian just because they profess to be one?
I think that God is saying the “till death do you part” portion of your marriage vow doesn’t apply because God said, A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.”  Sure, God would like all marriages to work out and doesn’t want people to leave just because they feel they may have missed out on all the fun that they think their single friends are having.  That isn’t what this is discussing.
God loves the non-Christian, the alcoholic, the drug addict and the abusive person, all of which can turn their lives around and become Christian.  This would have to be more than just saying they are a Christian.  They would have to really live their lives as a Christian.
Sometimes we just aren’t the ones who can bring these people to God.  Male or female, we have to be able to assess whether we are in a healthy environment for ourselves and our children.  If we aren’t, we are absolved from the “till death do you part” commitment, because being in an unhealthy or life-threatening environment isn’t what God would want for any of us.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

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