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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

1 Righteousness meaning in the bible (1 of 2)

Thoughts on a Jesus world view

Thoughts on a Jesus world view Kindle ebook

In a nutshell, to be righteous with God is to live and follow precepts based on the instruction's given to us by Christ. Obviously, before Christ, many people and prophets lived righteously, and indeed the teachings would have come from the writings of Moses in the Pentateuch, which Jesus came to fulfil. For example, all Jews, well before Christ were very clear on the two great commandments, namely an absolute love for God and a selfless love of neighbour. Jesus however expounded on what a neighbour is; the Jews considered all non-Jews to be unworthy of association with them. 

We expound on the following areas that Christ emphasized, for mental inculcation and thereafter daily practice: The narrow way; Avoiding falsehoods; Prayer; Charity; Love of God and neighbour; Self-righteousness and judging others; Loving one enemy. The exposition is further down.

This is a short book about Christian living. We touch on a few of His words and give ideas on how to live them in the world today. Our sources are the gospels and we assume a basic knowledge of them. We don't regurgitate scripture, though references are given for your perusal. We pray and hope that you will find it useful in your walk with Him. Thank you and God bless!

 Wainwright- Wise and Foolish Virgins Matt 25:1-13
Parable of the wise and foolish virgins

JESUS gives us a template for living namely keeping our eyes on the goal of heaven above all else. He tells us that the afterlife is nothing to be worried about for as long as we live according to His teachings. Almost all religions mention some sort of reckoning after death, where a weighing scale is applied to contrast your good works against the bad; if the former outweighs the latter you will find yourself in bliss for eternity while the latter leads to an eternity of suffering. Christianity is no exception. 

Our Lord tended to focus on the fact that we are simply passing through this world as pilgrims or sojourners. He teaches us to disregard what is earthly and focus on what is heavenly, to reap our eventual reward. “To this world, you came alone and from it, you will also depart alone”. 

It is a common understanding that we are born with nothing and leave with nothing on our demise; it is however not entirely correct. Wisdom over the ages suggests that we leave with curses or blessings based on our actions while on earth. These blessings or curses stem from the extent to which we followed the two primary commandments, namely our reverence for God and our love of our neighbour. 

We don’t think that it’s a coincidence that we seem alone in a vast universe, which scientists tell us is infinite in its dimensions. It’s also not a coincidence that man has a self-awareness that questions how we can be the only sentient creatures in the universe. I am convinced that the closest we can ever come to understanding why we are here and what we need to do for where we are going is to seek and understand His teachings. The fullness of our knowledge will only come after death when we meet Him in the afterlife. In the interim, He instructs that we live according to His teachings. 

Ours is an experiential religion, you can only really understand by actually doing it. The more you practice the more your eyes will be opened to a Jesus world view and see as He saw. 

We hope you enjoy our little book and encourage you to read the gospels daily as a way of keeping our Lord's words close to your heart and understanding the bible

Watts- Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37
Parable of the good samaritan

Our Lord tells us to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all things will be added to us”.  How do you become righteous in the eyes of God? Below are some of Our Lord's teachings on righteousness and how to practically achieve the same in our lives. 

a)  On Judgement Matt 7:1-6 

We don’t have God's All Seeing Eye and thus are more likely to make superficial judgments. Let us not get caught casting aspersions about others, when we can never truly know what is in a person’s heart. 

In Matt 7:5, our Lord castigates those that pass judgment on others, without first considering the “logs” in their own eyes. On the other hand, there is discernment. Discernment about persons, things, situations, and so on is a personal thing, which is necessary for living. For instance, you may choose not to interact with someone due to a flaw that you don’t care to associate with, for example, a drunk, a carouser, a gossip, a greedy person, and so on. This is personal, you however do not judge as to the extent of their sin, this is only for God. 

The parable of the Pharisee and tax collector (Luke 18: 9-30) warns us to be careful about self-righteousness and unfair judgment. 

Willem- Parable of the talents, Matt 25:14-30
Parable of the talents

 b) On Oathing Matt 5:33-37

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. We cannot swear by our bodies, for we are not self-created, and neither by the world, for it was created by another. As disciples, we must be people of high integrity and trust. It however does not mean that we should act as though we have no minds of our own. The world is full of cunning and guile. 

While we cannot act as the world does, we must be, as the Lord says, shrewd as serpents, but as innocent as doves Matt 10:16. What matters for disciples is that our lenses must be adjusted to that of Jesus' worldview, and our interaction with the world is constantly pushing this world view for the benefit of disciples and the world in general. We must be light in a dark world.

c)  On retaliation Matt 5:38-42

Instead of retaliation, he tells his disciples to respond to personal insults with kindness and generosity. Generosity is extended to one suffering offence even when right. Rather than complain and retaliate choose to be compassionate. This is tough teaching, but I always imagine that over time, since childhood, many, especially those who reared you, chose to do this for you; why not pay it forward?

Meekness does not, however, mean allowing others to ride roughshod over you, but it does require gentleness and patience in waiting for justice. For example, if you are abused or physically maltreated, go to the authorities rather than taking action into your own hands. If you are cheated in commercial transactions, go to the courts; if people are being unfair due to your scruples, pray on it, and so on. You essentially place your trust in God, even when you have the power to retaliate and make the changes yourself. This is not weakness, but deliberately gentle behaviour. It’s no easy feat. 

I do however state that Jesus does not expect foolish acquiescence. When the time for action comes, we must do so, barring any other alternatives. Christianity is not a religion for one to be foolishly bullied. Force however should be to stop further intimidation, not to vent anger and revenge, but rather deliberate and carefully measured.

d) On loving your enemies Matt 5:43-48 

We are to love our enemies and pray for them. The analogy given is that of God the father who sends rain and sunshine on the just and unjust. Our love should be for all, not just for the ones we love. The parable of the Good Samaritan brings this out clearly. The Jews hated the Samaritans, because they were considered strangers, their origins being traced to Assyrians (and intermarriage with Jews), and secondly as apostates through adopting foreign religious practices. You know the parable and who showed the most mercy. Am a gentile, and, likely, you are too. The parable of the Samaritans is a reference to us. Note, however, love in the context used, is somebody that requires your assistance. If on the other hand you are attacked, do not hesitate to respond in kind. Being a Christian does not mean being weak, it means taking the high ground, to the point where it becomes untenable to do so.


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