Posts Tagged ‘ Apostle Paul ’
The position of ambassador, messenger, or envoy requires a loyal and trustworthy person who possesses firm principles and integrity. Integrity implies consistency in actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. Integrity suggests having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in one’s actions.
Out of a heart inspired with the glorious hope set before the consecrated saints of the Gospel dispensation flows the impassioned and eloquent greeting of the Apostle Peter to others of like precious faith. To “the elect according to the foreknowledge of God, and every line of his epistle, even the words of greeting, are full of instruction.
The Epistle to Philemon begins with just a plain address, so some consider it to be a personal, private letter. Then the question might be asked, Why was it included in the Sacred Canon? Not only did the Lord in His providence so overrule matters, but the epistle contains a lot of meaty thought.
That which has come down to man as fables usually has some basis of truth—perhaps 95 percent fable (or error) and 5 percent truth. Accordingly, we will present some lessons that parallel, to a slight degree, the lessons of true Christmas, that is, the spirit of Christmas as planned by the Heavenly Father.
If ye be risen with Christ, seek and set your affections on the things above, not on things on the earth; for your interests are heavenly.
Instead of bemoaning their lot and wishing they had never enlisted in the Lord’s service, or thinking of how they could withdraw from it, these noble men, on the contrary, rejoiced and thanked God that they were accounted worthy to suffer in his name and for his cause. While not disposed to be obtrusive with their prayers and praises, they evidently felt that it would be proper that their fellow prisoners who would know something of their treatment, should know something also of how they received it, and of the grace of God which sustained them.
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Basically the word “spirits” pertains to doctrine, but it is like the word “conversation” in the King James, which we change to “conduct.” Therefore, it is helpful to think of “spirits” as being both the doctrine and the disposition, or character, of the one who is pronouncing the message. The false element professed to be prophets, taking the position that they were speaking the truth. However, the listener had to be cautious. Since John spoke so much about “love” in this epistle, we can add the thought of “conduct” as well. Thus the listener was to test the doctrine of the speaker and observe his character, conversation, and conduct to see if they squared with Scripture and the qualifications of a bona fide Christian. Both the doctrine and the spirit that accompanied the doctrine were to be tested. In fact, testing and careful consideration were essential “because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” We are not to be too trustful of what we hear and of what one professes to be.
‘Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. … Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. … Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.’ So my question is, was St. Paul right in—about engaging in homosexual acts as being against nature?”