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What Is Love?

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by WebersHome, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1Tim 5:3-4 . . Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, her kin should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

    A widow in real need would be one who is unable to work and has no one of her own to look out after her. Here in modern America that situation isn't nearly as serious as it is in third world countries where there are no government assistance programs for senior citizens. So you can see that in those circumstances a widow's church may be the only thing between her and grinding poverty.

    A widow's Christian offspring have a sacred obligation to provide for their aging ancestors.

    1Tim 5:8 . .Those who won't care for their own kin, especially those living in the same household, have disregarded what we believe. Such people are worse than infidels.
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  2. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1Tim 5:5-7 . .The widow who is really in need, and left all alone, puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame.

    The New Testament Greek word for "pleasure" means voluptuous; which Webster's defines as luxury and/or sensual gratification.

    People who live only for the best that life has to offer generally regard religion as a ball and chain holding them back from living their lives to the fullest. Well; not everyone has access to either the means or the wherewithal to live life to the fullest. For some, life offers no options other than a tin shack, a dirt floor, and a bowl of white rice; if that.

    Basic necessities aren't the issue here, rather, the goal to satisfy one's appetite for the best that life has to offer. It's said that one cannot serve God and money, well neither can one serve God and one's inherent cravings. True, it's difficult to stop one's self from craving the best that life has to offer; but one can choose whether to let the satisfaction of those cravings be the dominant force in their life.

    Mark 4:18-19 . . Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the concerns of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
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  3. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1Tim 5:9-10 . . No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble, and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

    There are unprincipled individuals out there who love nothing better than taking advantage of a church's good nature, and its desire to be helpful. Following Paul's directive is a good way to avoid being victimized by one of them. (cf. Ruth 2:11)
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  4. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1Tim 5:16 . . If any believing man or woman have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

    It's awful to think that a religion based upon love, has to command its adherents to extend kindness to their own kin.

    But in all fairness, I should point out that Paul's directive only impacts believing widows rather than unbelieving, because a Christian church is under zero obligation to support widows who fail to meet all the requirements of a "widow indeed" as per 1Tim 5:9-10.

    What we're talking about here are specifically Christian widows; so if those among your relatives are say, Atheist, Agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, Bahái, Hindu, Jehovah's Witness, Scientology, or Mormon, et al; then don't even think about asking your church to help support them. If you want to help them, okay, but leave your church out of it.
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  5. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    2Tim 2:14 . . Command them in God's name to stop quarrelling over trifles.

    In a Sean Connery movie titled "The Name Of The Rose" church dignitaries assembled a meeting of the minds to reach a resolution on a theological question which was: Did the Christ own the clothes that he wore or not?

    Well, needless to say, the discussion turned into bickering wherein nothing was resolved. Tempers flared, shouting ensued, feelings were hurt, and people were alienated over the issue-- a rather trifling issue; which is precisely what it means to fiddle while Rome burns down around you. Christians are often embroiled in arguments over things that in the grand scheme of things have almost zero importance while all around them are weightier issues begging their attention.

    It's interesting that Paul didn't want Timothy's flock instructed to avoid quarrelling over trifles, rather, to stop quarrelling. I can't help but wonder how many Christians think to seek absolution for the sin of quarrelling over trifles when they go to confession.
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  6. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    2Tim 2:16 . . Avoid worldly, empty chatter; for it will lead to further impiety.

    What he's talking about there are bull sessions wherein people discussing the Bible haven't a clue what they're talking about; and their perpetual deliberations-- consisting of sophistry, conjecture, theory, and personal opinions --never get to the bottom of anything.

    Well, the Bible isn't meant to be learned by means of discussion; it's meant to be learned by instruction, taught by someone enabled by God for that purpose. (Eph 4:11-14)

    1Cor 12:29 . . Are all teachers?

    The answer to that is a great big NO.

    Some years ago I was invited to a home Bible study. Before considering his invitation; I asked the man if his group was led by a competent Bible teacher. He said "No; we don't have a teacher. The group teaches itself. In other words: we speak as the Spirit leads us to speak."

    They say iron sharpeneth iron. But that doesn't work when both irons are soft. That's why files are hardened and tempered. Well; that man's group lacked a file, so to speak; so I declined.
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  7. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    2Tim 2:23 . . Refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce debating.

    Not all speculation is forbidden; only the kind that's absurd and uneducated; i.e. way out in the Kuiper Belt, so to speak.

    I seriously doubt that 2Tim 2:23 is addressing one's IQ, but rather, the propensity of some to shoot from the lip without really knowing what they're talking about and/or having the slightest basis for their perspective.

    So; if Christians are to refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, then they really ought to avoid promoting their own too.
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  8. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    2Tim 2:24a . . The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome

    Sometimes it's best to follow Han Solo's advice and "let the Wookie win one". In other words; when one is wise; two are happy. Be the wise one and pick your fights carefully. Don't expend your energies on hot button topics; they'll just lead to anger, frustration, demeaning comments, and flaming remarks.

    Especially avoid getting into discussions with obtuse individuals driven by a rather annoying propensity to challenge everything you say simply because they thrive on perpetual debating that never gets to the bottom of anything.

    Another thing: Do you really have to be right all the time? People are entitled to a second opinion so let them have one. It's good diplomacy; which can be defined as skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility, i.e. tact.
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  9. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    2Tim 2:24b-26 . . The Lord's servant must . . be kind to all, apt to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them a change of heart leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the Devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

    The all in "be kind to all" really should be taken to mean all in Christian congregations rather than all in the world. The reason being, according to Eph 4:11-16, Christ doesn't dispense his servants for the world's benefit, rather, for his body's benefit.

    For the above reason; Sunday school teachers need to treat the people in church who oppose them with the same sympathy and consideration as they would patients in a mental hospital who lack the faculties to know what they're doing and/or to think for themselves; hence the instructions to be kind, gentle, and patient.
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  10. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Titus 3:2 . . malign no one, be non-contentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

    The Greek word for "malign" is blasphemeo (blas-fay-meh'-o) which means: to vilify, defined by Webtser's as: to lower in estimation or importance, and/or to utter abusive statements against. In other words; blasphemeo is talking about tearing people down and changing people's impression of them; mostly for the worse. There's a lot of that goes on in the world of politics.

    It probably goes without saying that the kind of vilification were talking about here is mean-spirited and unwarranted. For example; is it tearing a Ponzi scheme mogul like Bernie Madoff down to say that he's a louse of marginal integrity who can't be trusted with other people's money? No; the man has been proven to be exactly that.

    "non-contentious" refers to peaceable; i.e. not ready to fight at the drop of a hat.

    "gentle" actually means mild, i.e. temperate: exercising self restraint; viz: controlling one's impulses.

    "showing every consideration" is simply making an effort to avoid hurting people's feelings for no good reason. This no doubt includes common courtesy along with keeping a civil tongue in one's head.
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  11. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Titus 3:15 . . Greet them that love us in the faith.

    Heretics are of course excluded from the group that Paul labeled "them that love us in the faith". It would be a sin to require believers to say hello to them for Paul; since his orders are to shun heretics. He didn't want to know them anymore. They were not his favorite kinds of Christians.

    You know what that says to me? It says to me that heretics are even less acceptable than a stranger because Christ instructed his disciples to greet strangers.

    Matt 5:47 . . And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the publicans do so?

    So heresy is pretty serious.
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  12. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    It is very serious to Yahuweh Sovereign Creator, and well may lead to little children perishing from being deceived, and even adults too.
    But is is very common too, because it is permitted many places to be promoted, including internet sites.
     
  13. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Philemon 1:1-25

    In the little communiqué to his friend Philemon, Paul went to bat for a runaway slave named Onesimus. By all rights, Philemon could legally, under Roman law, put Onesimus to death; but as Onesimus' fellow believer, and his sibling around the table in God's home, Philemon was bound by a higher sense of duty and association.

    Onesimus ran away prior to his conversion to Christianity. Had he been a Christian, he would have been mindful of Eph 6:5-8, Col 3:22-25, 1Tim 6:1- 2, and Titus 2:9-10a and not run away.

    Now that Onesimus was a fellow believer, Philemon was obligated to comply with Eph 6:9a, and Col 4:1.

    You know, I keep using words like "obligated" but though that word is appropriate, it shouldn't have to be emphasized because Christianity is supposed to be a religion of devotion rather than obligation to duty.

    Gal 5:13 . . By love serve one another.

    Israel's covenanted law requires people to love others as themselves; but Jesus commands believers to love their fellow believers with the same degree of love with which he himself loves them.

    John 15:12 . . My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

    That being the case, it must have been very easy for Philemon to let bygones be bygones and welcome Onesimus back into his home.

    When Onesimus became Philemon's fellow believer, the nature of their association took on a whole other dimension; viz: every one of the commands that I've posted up till now, in regards to believers associating with one another, came into play at the moment of Onesimus' conversion.

    He and Philemon would never again relate to one another the same as before Onesimus' conversion. Where once Onesimus and Philemon were merely fellow men; in Christ they became siblings, and both will one day sit side by side, shoulder to shoulder as equals around the table in God's home.

    Philem 1:15-16 . . For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; not now as a slave, but above a slave, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in The Lord?

    As a conscientious Christian, Onesimus no doubt became a real asset because it wouldn't be necessary for Philemon to ever again beat an honest day's work out of him.

    1Tim 6:1-2 . . All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them.
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  14. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Heb 10:24 . . Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

    Man is a species of life that is quite naturally, and comfortably, inclined to provoke and annoy each other and bring out the worst in their fellow men. It is Christ's wishes that his own make an effort to do just the opposite; viz: bring out the best in each other.
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  15. ChristianGirl_96

    ChristianGirl_96 Well-Known Member Angels Team Supporter

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    Love is when you spend a whole night by your child's bedside at the hospital and survive.
     
  16. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Yes as written, mankind, society, is not just inclined to bring out the bad, but is actually death dealing, seeking to bring all people in the world everywhere down with them (mankind) into destruction;

    Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost, who love and seek God, and who are called according to His Purpose, as written. His permanent students, disciples, do as Jesus does.
     
  17. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Heb 10:25 . . Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

    When my brother and I were growing up, we shared the same bedroom. Well, one day our parents decided to separate us, so they moved my brother to another room. When I asked them why; they said it was because we egg each other on. (I guess it was okay for my parents to egg themselves on but not okay for us.)

    Anyway, point being, the old strategy of divide and conquer still works even to this day. It's much easier to be strong in a group of supportive friends and allies than it is all alone when the only resources available are your own. It's still true that two heads are better than one; plus, in a group, the right kind of peer pressure can work to everyone's advantage.

    For example, there was a time in America when it was mocked as hippy-ish to subsist on organic food. But lately, organic has become so popular that nobody feels weird anymore when they shop for it. That's what I mean by the right kind of peer pressure.

    Anyway; when people are isolated, they're much easier to suppress, and prevent from conspiring against a common foe; which is why unions are called "organized" labor. One or two workers alone against the front office are probably going to get themselves crushed but when the entire workforce is united in a common cause, it's not so easy for corporate bulldozers to abuse human rights.
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  18. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Heb 12:14a . . Pursue peace with all men,

    The Geek word for "peace" is eirene (i-ray'-nay) and means not only a lack of strife, but also the presence of prosperity; which implies always seeking the good of others rather than only your own.

    People of peace are in an advantageous category.

    Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
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  19. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Heb 13:1 . . Let brotherly love continue.

    The Greek word for "brotherly love" in that passage is philadelphia (fil-ad-el fee'-ah) which refers to fraternal affection. Philadelphia is different than the neighborly love required by Matt 19:19 and Matt 22:37-40.

    The Greek word for "love" in those passages is agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o) which doesn't necessarily contain the element of affection; rather, it's an impersonal kind of love exemplified in behaviors like courtesy, kindness, sympathy, civility, good will, deference, and consideration. In other words, you don't have to be especially fond of your neighbor in order to comply with Matt 19:19 and Matt 22:37-40. (cf. Matt 5:43-48)

    Philadelphia love is difficult because it requires the involvement of one's affections, viz: one's feelings rather than only their manners. A really good example is located at John 16:27 where Jesus stated:

    "Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God."

    For those of us who grew up deprived of love, that passage is nigh unto impossible to believe that God is actually, and truly, fond of us in any way at all.

    1John 3:1 . . Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God

    The manner of love that a normal father feels for his own children is far more sensitive, than the love he might feel for his neighbor's children. A normal father's love for his own children is down in his gut, viz: his affections.

    There's no fondness expressed in passages like John 3:16; which speaks of benevolence but not necessarily fondness and affection. God cares for the world, yes, but that doesn't mean that He likes the world. In point of fact, God quite despises the world; it disgusts Him and He'd really like for the world to give Him reason to improve His opinion.
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  20. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Heb 13:2 . . Do not neglect to be hospitable with strangers; for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

    Webster's defines "hospitable" as: given to generous and cordial reception of guests, promising or suggesting generous and friendly welcome, offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.

    Inviting strangers into one's own home could easily result in the murder of your entire family, along with the theft of your belongings. So, I'm thinking Heb 13:2 is not saying that; rather, it's talking about congregational homes; viz: churches.

    I think it's very important to make non members-- visitors --feel at home in your church: make them feel welcome to return. Not only is that the neighborly thing to do, but you just never know if that next stranger through the door was guided there by providence and has the potential to increase your church's spiritual value to God.

    Artists generally depict angels as heavenly creatures with wings and/or aglow with some sort of ethereal light. But the Greek word doesn't always indicate celestial beings, rather, it refers to all manner of messengers, e.g. prophets (Matt 11:10), delegates (Luke 7:24), fire (Heb 1:7), ecclesiastic authorities (Rev 1:20-3:14), visions (Rev 22:16), and even acts of God like fire, wind, smoke, voices, and earthquakes. (Acts 7:53)
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