Romans 12

Romans 12: Do Good, Not Evil

Paul explains that we need to be above the world; “…be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable… not to think of [yourself]more highly than [you] ought to think…” (Romans 12:2-3) Paul urges the Saints to be humble. Paul explains that just as the body has many members, so does the Church of Christ; “… as we have many members in our body… all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ…” (Romans 12:4-5) This means that the Church has offices, and these offices come by Authority (See Organization of the Church – Ephesians 4:11-15)

Paul’s Wisdom

                Paul leaves the Saints in Rome some great Wisdom, that can also be applied in the Modern World;

                “Let love be without dissimulation [concealing thoughts]. Abhor[hate]  that which is evil; cleave [hold on] to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9-21)

Matthew 5

Matthew 5:

The Sermon on the Mount: Part 1

                Jesus preaches the famous, Sermon on the Mount. After seeing a multitude of people, Jesus goes to the top of a mountain and began to teach his disciples. In this one chapter, which comprises only 1/3 of the Sermon on the Mount, we learn a vast amount of important doctrine.

Jesus begins his address by addressing those who are blessed;

Blessed are…

  • “…the poor in spirit…” (Matthew 5:3)
  • “…they that mourn…” (Matthew 5:4)
  • “…the meek…” (Matthew 5:5)
  • “…they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6)
  • “…the merciful…” (Matthew 5:7)
  • “…the pure in heart…” (Matthew 5:8)
  • “…the peacemakers…” (Matthew 5:9)
  • “…they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matthew 5:10)
  • “…ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” (Matthew 5:11)

“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which before you.” (Matthew 5:12)

What is Jesus saying here? He is saying that as a disciple of Jesus Christ you WILL be persecuted, and you will mourn. These things are just part of life. However, those who are meek, pure in heart and are persecuted for righteousness’ sake will be rewarded. It wasn’t easy for Jesus, he was persecuted, and so were the prophets after him. Where good prevails, evil will always follow behind in jealousy. Good men and women suffer, so that they might understand what the true joys of the world are. For you cannot have comfort, without pain. For how would you know the difference? The same is with the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must be tried, so that we can be corrected and put on a straight and narrow path.

Jesus continues his address by saying; “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick… let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

As disciples of Jesus Christ we are the salt of the earth, if we lose our flavor, what are we good for? Nothing! Therefore it is important that we set the example for the rest of the world. We need to show the world our good works and do as Jesus would do. The popular Christian “WWJD: What Would Jesus Do?” fits perfectly in this scenario. OR perhaps we can use the LDS version of “CTR: Choose the Right”. Either way, we need to Choose the Right, and do, as Jesus would do! We should never set our talents aside. We need to shine brightly before all men, doing good and representing Jesus as our savior.

Jesus continues his address, by altering some of the most basic LAWS of MOSES. At the time of his Sermon, I can imagine people confused and possibly upset by the words of Jesus. After all he was contradicting some of the most basic laws of the time.

Jesus says that whoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of judgment. Those who commit adultery will be judged, but the same is also applied to those who look after women to “…lust after her…” (Matthew 5:28), this is also committing adultery in your heart.

Jesus also contradicts the common “eye for an eye” and a “tooth for a tooth” law of the time, by stating; “…whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39)

Jesus teaches about compassion and love for not only your neighbor, but for your enemy; “…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Jesus taught that we should be compassionate and not worry about the wrongs of others. If someone wrongs you, we are not to judge them. We should try to love those that hate us, use us or persecute us. We should try to help those in need and if necessary turn our other cheek to those who wish to smite us. In the end, we are here on the earth to become more like our Father in Heaven. We are not perfect, but our goal is to strive to be perfect; “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48)

Job 17-18

Job 17-18

Chapter 17: The body returns to dust

Job directs a complaint both towards earth and towards heaven. Job continued his same sense of defeat and brokenness as described in the previous chapter.

“Are there not mockets with me?” (Job 17:2) Instead of getting support from his friends, they tear him down and tell him that everything that has happened to him, is because of his own sin.

Job felt that not only were his friends against him, but that heaven was against him. Here he pleads for an agreement of peace between himself and heaven.

One day the body returns to dust, job shows his lack of hope.

Chapter 18: The wicked know not God

Bildad continued to trade insults with Job. They accused each other of being dense and stupid as beasts.

Bildad felt that Job wanted to overturn unchangeable laws of life; mainly the laws of cause and effect that tell us Job has caused his own crisis by his sin and refusal to repent.

Bildad wanted to teach Job about the life and fate of the wicked, and in doing so he hoped that Job would get the idea that he was among the wicked that Bildad described. The wicked man was someone weak in his steps, unable or unwilling to continue the journey of life. He felt this accurately described Job and set him among the wicked men. Bildad takes previous statements of Job and turns them back upon him. Job spoke in his previous speech about how he felt attacked and assaulted by God on every side (Job 16:9-14). Bildad regarded this as proof of Job’s wickedness.

 

Job 15-16

Job 15-16

Chapter 15: The wicked do not believe

Eliphaz was not impressed by Job’s eloquent dependence on God as expressed in the previous chapters. He replied with a sharp rebuke of Job, accusing him of empty knowledge, of unprofitable talk, and of having cast off fear.

Eliphaz argued along similar lines as God later did with Job in chapters 38 and 39. They both appealed to Job to consider that he did not know as much as he thought he did. Yet, what Eliphaz thought Job didn’t know was entirely different than what God knew Job didn’t know.

Job and his friends have already argued over this point, with Zophar (among others) accusing Job of claiming to be pure and clean (Job 11:4). Job’s own admissions of sin have meant nothing to persuade his friends that not only are they sinners in a general sense, but he must also be one in a particular and wicked sense.

Job’s friends appeal to the idea of tradition and “all the wise people know this.” They speak in terms of cause and effect associations between human wickedness and received judgment, and assume that this principle is always true in all cases – especially in Job’s particular case.

Eliphaz poetically explains that the wicked may seem to succeed for a while (as Job did), but their success is only an illusion. They actually are lonely, poor, and in darkness (a true description of Job’s present state).

Chapter 16: The witness is in heaven

Job laments his miserable comforters. Job reminded his critics that all they gave him was the “conventional wisdom” explanation of an absolute relationship of cause and effect to make sense of his suffering.

Job felt trapped by both options. If he speaks, he finds no relief from his unsympathetic friends; yet silence does nothing to ease his grief.

Job here begged the creation to not erase his life. If he were to die in his crises, Job at least wanted his blood to remain evident as a testimony.