One God | Salvation | Baptism | Faith
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Touch and Agree? | One Body? | One Liners
Consider: Romans 14:2-3, "For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. " Here "all things" means "all things" and the one who is weak doesn't eat meat. The point that Paul emphasizes is that if God has accepted someone that is good enough. This does not apply to sin however since God never accepts any with sin.
In 1 Corinthians 9:21 Paul said he became, "To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ) that I might gain them that are without law." How did Paul become as one "without law"; he says that he was not without the law of Christ but without the law of the Jews.
Lastly consider: 1 Timothy 4:1-5, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. " in which "every creature of God" means every creature made by God. I heard a commentator say that in this passage "the word of God" meant the Old Testament. When this letter was written to Timothy many of the books of the New Testament were being circulated. If Paul didn't accept their inspiration as divine, should we? He did and so should we. In this statement all but maybe this and a couple of other letters and the book of Revelation were unknown to him or unwritten. Also consider: Colossians 2:16-17, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ. " This was written to Roman Christians so if they were eating only "clean" things in accordance with the law why would anyone, the Jews in particular, condemn them for what they ate?
The confusion arises from this text: 1 Timothy 2:1-2, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. " I have heard people pray using this text in this manner " ... and we pray Lord that you give our leaders wisdom that they might lead us properly since you have ordained them to rule over us." There are several things wrong with this prayer but let's hold it to what Paul said in this instance.
to pray for those in authority that they allow Christians to lead a peaceable life and not
that they should "lead us" in anything. Put another way we are to pray that those in
authority leave us alone to pursue the work of God and that we give thanks that God is
merciful to sinners by giving them a chance to be saved by providing government for them
might choose Him. Who are we to follow? 1 Corinthians 16:15-16, "I beseech you,
brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and [that]
they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints) That ye submit yourselves
unto such, and to every one that helpeth with [us], and laboureth. " and James4:7,
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Consider: 1 Peter 2:13-14, "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. " This establishes the purpose of government as a punisher of evildoers and to exalt those that do good. I have heard this interpreted that if the government says to do a thing you as an individual are freed from responsibility. That which you have just read was written by Peter who had this to say to the Sanhedren which were the rulers of his nation: Acts 5:29, "Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." What did Peter mean then?
In the example above Peter and the Apostles did not obey the authorities when they told them not to preach in Jesus' name but did obey when they were commanded to submit to a beating. Consider: 1 Peter 2:19, "For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully." When Peter says to obey and submit to the government he is speaking of enduring the persecution in a manner that justifies God in His selection of you to bear shame in His name.
If you read Peter you will see that when the Apostles say to "submit" to the government they mean to not resist them. The word used each time as submit in the Greek in reference to the government conotes the same meaning as when one is told not to resist a mugger ie... put yourself in a position of weakness. We as Christians are not to show even the slightest hint of compliance with attitudes of the sinful leaders of the ungodly system in which we are to be in, but not a part!