A Christian is defined as one who professes the faith of Yeshua Christ. Many who carry this title do not put much thought in the way that they dress, speak,behave in front of others, or treat one another. As we wear the label of a follower of Christ, it is our job to show forth the righteousness and love of God to unbelievers, lest we be labeled a hypocrite. Or worse yet, by our own motives, words, and actions lead people astray.
Though Christians are often imperfect, the way they handle themselves after they miss the mark should be an example of how the word of God tells us to behave and act.
2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Some get confused on what rightly dividing the truth here means, but the word used was “orthotomeo” and it mean to cut a straight line. So Paul was essentially telling Timothy to study the word of God; and was encouraging him to use the scriptures within their right context.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.” This clarifies why using scripture within their right context is so important.
We can read in James 3:1 how teachers are held to a higher standard. Whether you teach toddlers, children, teenagers, men, women, or a mixture of both; you fall into this category.
Teachers should show forth a character that is moral and Christ-like.
In Titus 1:6-7, we are told of the role of a male overseer/bishop is to be the man of one wife, having faithful children that do not have a history of being unruly. They must not be self pleasing, easily angered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain;
Some may question why a Bishop's children must be well behaved. This is because scripture states that a man is the head of his household. By having obedient children, he shows the congregation that he is respected of his wife and children, and that he is in control of his household.
The older generation should be an example to the younger teaching them godly manners. If you would not do or say it with God in the room, then you should not do it in front of others. Our fruits should show that we are a follower of Christ.
The older men: Titus 2:2, “The aged men should be sober,sensible, temperate, sound in faith, in love and in patience:”
The older women: Titus 2:3-5, “The aged women likewise, that reverent in behavior, not slanders, not given to wine, teachers of good things; that they teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that God's work may not be blasphemed.”
The young men: Titus 2:6-8, “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say about you.”
As we have read from scripture we should show fruits of a godly character. In the life that we live and in the work that we do. Those of us who are older are expected to be examples to the younger generation, showing them what upholding righteousness is.
It is not good to our relationship with God when we sin in the flesh. This is why repentance is
necessary. We read in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know you not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”
1 Corinthians 6:15-17, “Know you not that your members are the body of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know you not that he which is joined to an harlot is of one body? For two, says He, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is of one Spirit.”
Because the Holy Spirit resides within us, we must keep our temple clean from substances and deeds that corrupt the body. When we behave in ungodly manners then we open spiritual doors that we really do not want to open.
1 Peter 3:2-4, “While they behold your chaste (celibate, virgin) conversation coupled with fear. Do not let your adorning be external, the braiding of your hair, or the putting on of gold jewelry, or of the clothing you wear; but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable beauty, of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in God's sight is very precious.”
1 Timothy 2:9, “Likewise also, that women should adorn themselves with respectable apparel, with modesty, and self-control. Not with braided hair, or gold, or pearl, or costly attire.”
Our conversations should be clean and proper. We should not be talking filthiness and of things that should remain in the bedroom between husbands and wives.
We should be dressing in a way that represents a godly character. As a child of God, we should not be wearing clothing that is too revealing or too tight. We should not spend as much time on our outward appearance, as we do our inward appearance.
1 Thessalonians 4:11, “Aspire to live quietly and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your own hands as we have instructed you.”
Lamentations 3:26, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
We need to mind our own business and not be a busy body in everyone else's. In the same manner, we need to remain in prayer and not be on the phone line, chat rooms, social media, etc and telling everyone else about our business.
We all need to rant sometimes but everyone in our contact list and friends list does not need to hear about it. The most important thing you can do is to pray and to wait quietly on the Lord.
James 2:3-8: We should not be a respecter of persons. We should show just as much love, appreciation, and attention to the man of Christ who is homeless and probably has not showered in days, as we do to the member who comes in smelling nice and looking clean.
RESTORING A BROTHER/SISTER
We have all seen memes and quotes on social media and other platforms that say, “I'd rather attend a church with messed up people seeking God, than religious people who think they are his enforcers.”
When we look at the scriptures, we see that churches under the apostle Paul, were enforcers. They threw people out of the church congregation for being sexually immoral and heretics. They did not keep company with those who deliberately and willfully sinned. They would warn them but after the second warning, the repeated offenders were to be put out from among them.
Titus 3:10-11, “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself.”
Another man made doctrine that is contrary to the biblical scriptures is the idea that churches should allow all sins to operate within the church. This teaching is also in error. Yes, only those who are spiritually sick need Yeshua and He did come for the lost, but a church operated by willful sin is not a congregation truly seeking after Christ.
According to scripture, it is not judging to hold one another accountable for their behavior in the body of Christ. Many scriptures tell us to lovingly correct a brother or sister to keep them from destruction.
Galatians 6:1, Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
James 5:19-20, My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back,remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Scripture even says that if the person keeps sinning and refuses to be restored, to cast him from the church.
1 Corinthians 5:13-14, “What business of mine is it to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
1 Timothy 5:2, Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.
And Titus 3:10-11 (listed above)
MIND OF CHRIST
1 John 2:4-6, “One who says, “I know him”, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, God's love has most assuredly been perfected in him. This is how we know that we are in him: he who says he remains in him (Christ) ought himself also to walk just like he walked.”
Ephesians 5:2-5, “Walk in love, even as Messiah also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance. But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be mentioned among you, as becoming holy ones; nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not appropriate; but rather giving of thanks. Know this for sure, that no sexual immoral person, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Messiah and God.”
Galatians 5:14, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, be careful that you do not consume one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won't fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
We should remain in Christ at all times. We are to be separated from the world and not of the world.
Luke 17:1-4, “It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he be cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day turning to you again, saying, I repent: you shall forgive him.”
Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came to him and asked, Lord how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Til seven times? Yeshua said to him, I say not unto you, until seven times: but until seventy times seven.”
Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men of their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men of their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you of your trespasses.”
If we see forgiveness as such a huge gift to be given to someone, then knowing how much we have been forgiven by God through Christ Jesus; how much more should we forgive? Many are surprised to learn that God doesn't only ask you to forgive, He requires it of you.
2 Corinthians 5:10, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.”
When you truly and wholeheartedly submit your life to Christ, you won't be willingly straddling the fence of hot and cold. You will be all in.
Your attitude changes, your heart and desires change, the way you dress and talk changes; you will radiate the love of God. This does not mean that you will not from time to time have impure thoughts cross your mind or you won't ever be tempted, because you will. But how you handle those situations speaks to your spiritual growth in Christ Yeshua.
It is most often that you will be tempted with a fleshly desire you once enjoyed while in the world. This may continue over the course of your life, but keep putting it under. Scripture says to resist the devil and he will flee, James 4:7.