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Monday, July 21, 2008

What Christians Believe: Behavior

In a previous post, I indicated that the Nicene Creed is often taken as a summary of what Christians believe. I pointed out that it says nothing about some pretty important things, such as sex, power, and money. Why not? Surely not because the Christians who adopted this creed were ignorant of behavior problems related to these things.

Perhaps they couldn't agree on sex, power, and money.

But, much more likely, they saw sexual, relational, and possession behavior as subordinate to the belief expressed in the creed, especially to the Lordship of Christ. The section on Christ begins by describing Him as Lord, and ends by saying that his kingdom will be eternal. It also calls him a judge.

If I truly accept Christ as my Lord, I should do what he wants me to, and not do what He doesn't. My sexual life should be above reproach. I should not abuse any power I might have over others, and I shouldn't seek power for its own sake. I should realize that there are things much more important than possessions, willingly share at least some of what I have with those who are less fortunate, and not make the pursuit of things the most important aspect of my life.

My Lord was once asked to indicate which of the many Old Testament commands was most important. Here's what 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12, ESV)

If I don't do these things, I may be judged. Besides, my Lord said "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (ESV)

Thanks for reading.

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