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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > What does God expect of us?

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  #1  
Old 08-05-2009, 02:13 PM
NotFinishedYet's Avatar
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Default What does God expect of us?

Christkid has graciously given me permission to highjack his post from another thread and bring it here to dig deeper with all of us. His comment in regards to church unity was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christkid
Re: The church in acts
I am a little bit unsure where some of us are coming from in our perspective of the church. I speak only for myself when I say there has never been any doubt as to the state of the church. From the beginning I have seen the divisions. I have see the men riding high in their authority and making things worse. I have seen the wolves and lions. I have seen the dominant and the weak leaders and followers. I have seen the whole mess.

There is no doubt a mess. One of men's creation. And those power hungry men are still there watching over their victims. Both in and out of organized religion.

But I saw that from the beginning. And still I have believed that those who are Christ could see through and seek each other out. It is precisely in the face of reality I have hoped and believed in unity. What I see missing in all these conversations about unity is the reason why. Why would we unite. What will we gain, what will we lose. When the reasons for uniting outweigh the reason for remaining divided we have a chance. I think there is much to gain. Probably most would agree. I also think the mission of Christ is probably the only issue we stand a chance of agree on. What is God expecting from us. There is our hope of unity, the handle of the plow.
As I read it over today, James' questions touched me.

Why should we unite?
What would we gain from it?
What would we lose from it?
Is there more negative for us in uniting then what we see as positive?
Would unity change how we carry out Christ's mission?

and the monster question of all...... what does God expect from us?

Several verses came to me as I thought this over, but I'd like to hear from others before I say anything. Anyone want to share their views here. How would you answer these questions?
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Why are we here, what's life all about? Is God really real, or is there some doubt? Well tonight we're going to sort it all out: For tonight it's the meaning of life" Not Finished Yet
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2009, 02:42 PM
diebamted21
 
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

Is it not all in John 17 (even including a dose of ‘election’)

I have manifested your name to the men which you gave me out of the world: yours they were, and they have kept your word.
Now they have known that all things that you have given me are of yourself.
For I have given them the words which you gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from you, and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray not for the world, but for them who you have given me; for they are yours.
And now (after Christ would be finally taken up) I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you.
Holy Father, keep through your own name those who you have given me, that they may be one, as we are.
While I was with them in the world, I kept, in your name, those that you gave me, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
And now I come to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Neither do I pray for these alone, but for them also which shall yet believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you sent me.

BUT THAT DOES NOT NEGATE THAT WE ARE A BODY COMPRISED OF DIVERSE PARTS i.e. UNITY WITHOUT UNIFORMITY.

Mike.

Last edited by diebamted21 : 08-05-2009 at 02:46 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2009, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotFinishedYet View Post
Christkid has graciously given me permission to highjack his post from another thread and bring it here to dig deeper with all of us. His comment in regards to church unity was:



As I read it over today, James' questions touched me.

Why should we unite?
What would we gain from it?
What would we lose from it?
Is there more negative for us in uniting then what we see as positive?
Would unity change how we carry out Christ's mission?

and the monster question of all...... what does God expect from us?

Several verses came to me as I thought this over, but I'd like to hear from others before I say anything. Anyone want to share their views here. How would you answer these questions?
Powerful post
I wonder too if we can take ownership ofmthese words written by Paul and then make room for each other as we seek to serve the only true and living God.


1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1Co 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1Co 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
1Co 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Funny how Paul steps back and cuts to the chase by talking about love(agape). This is the missing element in bringing about true unity.It is misunderstood by most of us. And it is the thing that we are bankrupt of.
how to solve that would take no less than a move of God. I for one am praying and waiting. Besides a burdon for the lost unity in 'The church" is high on my list of prayers to be answered.
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1Jn 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2009, 04:41 AM
Josif59
 
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

What does the one true God expect from us, you ask. I would say He expects us to abide by His will which is clearly and completely expressed through the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. I would say He expects us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth, rather than follow in the footsteps of someone else and abide by their precepts and traditions.

Why should we unite? When one has thee Spirit of truth as a companion, they are never alone and already 'united'. However, I find it most enjoyable on those rare ocassions when I cross paths with another individual who is 'like minded'.

What would we gain from it? Again, I can only speak for myself, but I gain the comfort in knowing there is someone else on the face of this earth who is willing to follow only Jesus of Nazareth.

What would we lose from it? Nothing worth hanging on to.

Is there more negative for us in uniting than what we see as positive? On the surface there could be negative in that one can be rejected and shunned by the world and those in it. But the positive always outweighs the negative, in the same way that good always overcomes evil.

Would unity change how we carry out the commission given by Jesus of Nazareth, to bring the 'good news' to the world? It would certainly help if more people were following in the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth and living a life as to set an example for others to follow, but this can be accomplished quite successfully as individuals here and there (as was the case with the disciples after the bestowal of thee Spirit of truth), as opposed to everyone being grouped together and 'united' in that sense of the word.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

I think you're all right: the missing element is love. When I brought this over from the other thread, these are the 3 verses that immediately had come to my mind:

De 10:12 "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Mic 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Lu 10:27 So he answered and said, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.' "

It seems to me that each one of these verses speaks to the idea of perfecting our love for each other (believer and non believer) and for God to find our unity. Once we truly seek to do this, setting aside our egos and agendas and focusing on serving, we will find unity in purpose and be best able to carry out the mission of Christ.

I think that the heavy part of the questions may be in the "what would we lose", "is there more negative to us in uniting". This would mean more of a loss of egos, traditions, and comfort then I think most are willing to do. We cling to what we know in our churches and teachings as it comforts us. We hold out that there can be only one way to worship or believe: we are unwilling to accept each others teachings as holding pieces of the truth. We make things very black and white in a world where we truly hold no answers - we are all guessing as to what is the right interpretation of things. We build up layer after layer of teachings supporting each other into a complex labyrinth that few can either complete to victory or find their way back out of. Setting it all aside would mean setting ourselves aside; a very terrifying thing to do. We would lose ourselves; who we see ourselves as not only as an individual but as a collective. Is that something we can really do? Does God require too much of us?
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Why are we here, what's life all about? Is God really real, or is there some doubt? Well tonight we're going to sort it all out: For tonight it's the meaning of life" Not Finished Yet
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2009, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

I have been thinking about this and other subjects, like the difference between the Orthodox church, the Catholic church and the Protestant churches. Some of the thought that have come out of all this have caused me to change my focus a little. What I am now thinking is that walking with Christ is more an issue of works based on faith rather than relationship based on knowledge. I was greatly displeased with some of the comments made on another thread about protestants seeking to know God through knowledge. But there is truth to the idea that many people in the church [all churches] seek to exchange knowledge for acts in relationship. But God is all about actions. We call God our Father but how many of us go to work with our Father? In the old days a son would leave his mother's side and join his father in what ever business the father was involved in. All of NFY's verses above point out an act. Not just a knowing. In simple terms what God wants from us, and for us, is that we be beacons of His light and fountainheads of His living [ and life giving ] waters. That means that in any given situation we would respond as much like Christ as we are able. We would accept God's judgments as if they were our judgments.

Perhaps we might consider the words of James.

Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Jas 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
Jas 1:24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

Becoming a doer of the revelations of the Word is an absolute must. To become a worker of the works. The same works as Christ.

And there is a form of unity in joining with Christ in the labor of salvation. One need not be perfectly unified with another in doctrine to be unified with another in works. Anytime you reach out your hand to feed someone who in need [ or other form of help ] you have become one with everyone else who ever did the same, throughout all time. You have become unified with them in purpose, even if you have no idea what they believed.

Applying the Word to our lives is the only way to grow. Just like a teacher will not pass an unlearned student on to a higher grade so God will not pass an unlearned child on to adulthood.
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2009, 07:01 PM
MMari
 
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

First I agree with James that faith is active as well as I agree that love is an active word. What Mike posted says to me that we can be one in Christ; Christ being our goal with love being being the focal point. We cannot love without the unction of the Holy Spirit.

Having read all that has been written so far if I could put this in a practical application. Doe it matter really what church you or I go to? If it came right down to it and we were to do an act of charity and let's say it was a soup kitchen feeding the poor; could we not all stand shoulder to shoulder and feed the poor ministering Christ's love? Or would we stand there and discuss what dogma makes us different? If someone needed help moving and we all could do that would we not join together and do it without letting our beliefs get in the way? I realize this is simplistic but it is love in action in its simplist form. Has anyone had this type of experience where churches have banned together where they've set aside any denominational influence and worked side by side for the sake of Christ? Correct me if I am wrong but this is what I am getting from this.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

I have a problem with the notion that beliefs "get in the way." Our parish is involved in several pan-Christian efforts, and it is precisely the same beliefs with other groups that cause us to get together. We are, for example, involved in field-gleaning for the hungry, and separately in a community organization that supplies clothing and other needs (including Christmas gifts) for the needy, etc. I as a volunteer chaplain visit all alike who are opened to me visiting. Yet is it not the same belief that drives all this? There are other beliefs that may divide us, but this does not nullify the beliefs in common that actually drive the action? I agree with James (and his namesake, St. James the Just, first Bishop of Jerusalem and author of the general epistle of James), that faith is belief in action. Faith without works is dead, and we should bury the dead. That does not necessitate that there is the same level of comprehension of the beliefs in all, but it does necessitate a yielding to the truths (beliefs) that were/are laid down by Christ.
As for speaking the truth in love, I suppose that some have a problem with "tough love," and others have a problem with "gentle love." But there is a place for both, and a one-sided coin is worth a hill of beans in a town full of non-bean eaters.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:41 PM
MMari
 
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
I have a problem with the notion that beliefs "get in the way." Our parish is involved in several pan-Christian efforts, and it is precisely the same beliefs with other groups that cause us to get together. We are, for example, involved in field-gleaning for the hungry, and separately in a community organization that supplies clothing and other needs (including Christmas gifts) for the needy, etc. I as a volunteer chaplain visit all alike who are opened to me visiting. Yet is it not the same belief that drives all this? There are other beliefs that may divide us, but this does not nullify the beliefs in common that actually drive the action? I agree with James (and his namesake, St. James the Just, first Bishop of Jerusalem and author of the general epistle of James), that faith is belief in action. Faith without works is dead, and we should bury the dead. That does not necessitate that there is the same level of comprehension of the beliefs in all, but it does necessitate a yielding to the truths (beliefs) that were/are laid down by Christ.
As for speaking the truth in love, I suppose that some have a problem with "tough love," and others have a problem with "gentle love." But there is a place for both, and a one-sided coin is worth a hill of beans in a town full of non-bean eaters.
I guess I am trying to say the same thing... I've been involved in these efforts as well.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: What does God expect of us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotFinishedYet View Post


As I read it over today, James' questions touched me.

Why should we unite?


We should not unite for the sake of uniting. Each of us must become one [unite] in Him and He will unite us. If we unite us without His help we are likely to find ourselves united in a deception!

When we sit back and read some of the reasons in favor of a one world government it certainly does sound good, but when we join into this endeavour to improve mankind by working together, does it not open the door for an anti-christ to take hold of the reins of the entire world more easily?

If uniting means compromising to get the majority involved then is Jesus or His Father in it?

Quote:
What would we gain from it?
Maybe the same thing that the builders of the tower of Babel gained when God saw what they were trying to do and what they were actually doing!

"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." Gen 11:4

Quote:
What would we lose from it?
Maybe we would become invested in ourselves rather than invested in God!

"And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." Gen 11:6

Quote:
Is there more negative for us in uniting then what we see as positive?
Coming together openly to discuss the things of God to accomplish God's purpose is not wrong, but would that be everyone's purpose? Too many people have agendas, which they will describe as and believe to be God's agenda, but to the extent that any of them miss God's Way, will they not stand in His way, quenching the Spirit in some who would want to go with Him, but do not hear Him or see Him clearly yet?

What is any of us willing to sacrifice of what he/she believes to become united? Since there are differences in belief is it not possible to in error give up something that God says we MUST have?

Quote:
Would unity change how we carry out Christ's mission?
Any unity which He has not established would already be off of His pathway:

"But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Matt 15:13

Didn't God uproot those unified to build the tower of Babel in Gen 11?

Quote:
and the monster question of all...... what does God expect from us?
What did the Father expect of Jesus?

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." John 5:19-20

How can we do anything and be certain it is of God if we have not seen Jesus do it and/or seen the Father do it?

Quote:
Several verses came to me as I thought this over, but I'd like to hear from others before I say anything. Anyone want to share their views here. How would you answer these questions?
Give God all of the glory always!

John,
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