Week 48   Day 6

 

Paul claimed three people as his 'sons' 

            they were Timothy and Titus

            both young men and fellow workers in the gospel

            who served as pastors in churches Paul had founded

 

The other son was Onesimus

            a slave unprofitable in his owners eyes

            but whose presence Paul found very profitable

            for strengthening his spirit.

 

  

Paul's emphasis on purity of heart and body

            is partly because he was

            ministering to the Gentiles

whose upbringing would have been influenced by Roman standards

            which were less restrictive on matters of morality 

            their values not shaped

            by any knowledge of

            the holy God of Israel 

So the morality standards of the early christian church

were probably a big change for many of them

 

Paul's concern was also for his sons in the Lord 

            that they would not become like

            the people they were trying to convert 

a not uncommon concern in any society

            where standards are set

            according to common practice

                        and the perception is that

                        because everybody is doing it

                        therefore it must be ok.

 

 

Criticism and abuse of the early christians was so severe

that Paul encouraged his adherents to live such exemplary lives

that their adversaries would have no target at which to punch!

 

 

 

 

                           A VERY TOUGH STANDARD

                                   Live your life so that

          no one will have anything evil to say about you.

                                           Titus 1, 2 & 3

 

    1Paul, bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, 4to

Titus, a true son in our common faith:  Grace, mercy and peace.

    5 I left you in Crete to set in order the things that are lacking,

and appoint elders in every city--9a man able, by sound doctrine,

to exhort and convict those who contradict. 

    10Many are insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers,

especially those of the circumcision, 11whose mouths must

be stopped, who teach for the sake of dishonest gain.

    15To those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure;

even their mind and conscience are defiled.  16They profess

to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable,

disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

    1Speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 

2that older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith,

in love, in patience; 3the older women likewise, be reverent

in behaviors, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers

of good things--4that they admonish the young women to love

their husbands, to love their children, 5to be discreet, chaste, 
that the
word of God may not be blasphemed.

    6Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,  7in

all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in

doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8sound

speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent

may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say to you. 

    9Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters,

to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10not

pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn

the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

    1Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be

ready for every good work, 2to speak evil of no one, to be

peaceable, showing humility to all.  3For we were once foolish,

living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.  4But

when the kindness and the love of God appeared, 5not by works

of righteousness which we have done, but according to His

mercy He saved us, 7that having been justified by His grace we

should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 

    8These things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who

have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. 

    15Greet those who love us in the faith.  Grace be with you all.
                This Bible passage was condensed from the NKJV 

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