Bible verses about
(From Forerunner Commentary)
Jesus gives this command in five of His thirty-three miracles. His warning is sternly given, as in Greek it is a scolding phrase linked to strong emotion like anger. It adds extra force and implies danger in disobedience. Here, it suggests that the two men need to improve in doing right.
We should not always go easy on new converts about living a strict, upright life. God's standards must be upheld, guarded, and not watered down, whereas today's society tolerates sin and weakens standards that are deemed "too hard" to keep. While ministers must follow God's command in Isaiah 58:1 to, "Cry aloud, spare not; . . . tell My people their transgression," they must be careful not to offend or burden new converts with requirements that, because of their weak understanding, they cannot fulfill completely. Nevertheless, new members need to know God's holy standards. If His Spirit is working in their hearts and minds, they will not be driven away by them.
At first, Christ's warning to keep quiet may seem to contradict the Christian duty to tell the world about His works (Mark 16:15). In this case, He has something else in mind. His command is first to protect against the impedance of His ministry (Mark 1:45) and imperiling Himself.
In addition, He wants to keep the healed men from being puffed up with pride, as well as to give proof of their healing in their conduct, not by words. Nothing proves faith in Christ as well as righteous conduct that comes from a true change of heart. However, though these men had faith enough for healing, they did not have enough to follow His commands. A Christian must make sure that His faith is not a temporary faith that lacks obedience, but one based on love for God. As Christ says in John 14:23-24, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word."
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Two Blind Men (Part Two)
2 Corinthians 6:14-17
This series of verses is not an appeal for us to break all of our worldly associations. Recall that Paul urges the Christian partner in a divided marriage to strive to maintain the relationship as long as possible. This, instead, is an appeal to avoid too close associations. He says not to go into the world, but come out of it (see Revelation 18:4). We should not deliberately make close associations with the peoples of the world. It is all right to do business with them and to work with them, but avoid becoming harnessed together with them.
The statement, "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters," seems to hinge on whether or not we are allowing ourselves to become yoked into these associations. God does not want us in these close associations with the world because it almost inevitably leads to compromise with His standards. It jeopardizes the consistency of the Christian's witness for God because there is a spiritual force in the world that undermines the Christian because the unbeliever does not share the Christian's standards, sympathies, or goals in life.
Is it unfair that God should ask this of us? Remember, He has bought us with a price (I Corinthians 6:20). The price was the life of His Son, which obligates us to a life of purity and holiness. Once we accept that sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin, we belong to Him. He is our Master, and He says, "Come out of the world and be separate." That is a demand that He puts on us.
Does God ever ask us for something that is not for our good? Of course not! And how is this for our good? Because He knows that it is likely that His people, though they have the Spirit of God, will have an extremely difficult time resisting the spiritual force that wants to lead them to compromise on the standards of His Kingdom. He thus obligates us to purity of life, to holiness, to separation from evil. We owe our allegiance to Him alone, and we cannot allow ourselves not to be a fit vessel for Him to live in.
There is no surer way to go backward in our spirituality, to blunt our feelings about sin, to dull our spiritual discernment until we can scarcely tell evil from good, and to dry up the source of our spiritual strength than by needless mingling with the world. We should stress the word "needless" because Paul writes in I Corinthians 5:9-10 that to avoid all contact with the immoral, one would have to go out of the world. There is nothing in the New Testament to indicate separating oneself by moving into a commune of believers or living alone like a hermit.
John W. Ritenbaugh
New Covenant Priesthood (Part 2)
We are frequently admonished to "search" the Scripture to seek out the truth that God reveals by His Spirit. We are urged to know what we believe and why. God wants us to have faith and conviction to the point of even giving up our lives in obedience to Him and His truth.
We must carefully examine God's Word and learn what is true. And having found it, we should adhere to it always, not yielding an inch of ground when supposedly new teaching comes around from the mouth of smooth talkers. Not all church members have stood firm, as we know from experience. Some, making poor choices about what "truth" they will adhere to, have been blown off course, sailing away from their original destination—the Kingdom of God. They will, of course, end up in a different port.
This may be what Paul is referring to in Ephesians 4:14—that some members of the church in Ephesus were not following Christ's path. They had become liberal and lax, no longer having the conviction to the truth fixed in their hearts and minds. The doctrines and truth they once held were no longer resolute in their minds. Their faith was weakening, and in consequence, they began to yield to every new opinion and submit to the guidance of every new teacher.
So, as it is brought out in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "There is nothing new under the sun." What has happened in the past happens in the present.
We must really know the truth of God, believe it, and be fully convinced of it in true faith. In addition, we have to have our glorious destination as our goal and steer a steady course toward it.
When faced with the prevailing wind, a sailor can "beat to windward," a technique that involves a maneuver called "tacking." Tacking, also called "coming about," is turning the boat at an angle to run against the wind so that one travels sideways in order to make forward progress. It takes some work and skill, but one can actually proceed on course to his destination.
It is a matter of control. Instead of being blown freely in the direction of the prevailing wind, one can gain control of his direction. Once again, it is the set of our sails, not the prevailing wind that determines our course. We have a Captain who knows the seas and the winds and how to get us to His port.
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