Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Honor Code of the King.

What we have in Romans 12:9-21 is a phenomenal picture of Christianity in action, faith in practice… not just in theory.  For the apostle Paul, just like the apostle Peter, the apostle John and Jesus Himself, theology and practice are never separated!  Which is exactly why you see in the Letter of James the focus on “faith and works;” Paul says precisely the same thing when he uses words like “doctrine and deeds” to demonstrate a life which is harmonious with what it believes, a heart and soul in tune with the Spirit of Christ.  “I believe, therefore, I live.”  It’s a fact of our existence: we will live out of what we believe.  It can’t be any other way.  What you believe, you will live out of; and what you’re living out of, somewhere along the line you’ve believed.  That’s the way the soul works.

The prophets of the Old Testament never separated theory from reality, theology from practice, the Word from the Walk.  Neither did Jesus, or Peter or Paul or John or Luke.  None of the writers of Scripture ever separate theology from practice, righteousness in position from righteousness in reality.  Do you know who loves to separate these, one from another?  We do.  Theologians and scholars and Pharisees down through the centuries have separated the power and authority of the written Word from the way it works itself out in flesh and blood relationships.  In all of our points and principles, facts and figures, history and homiletics, we’ve conveniently excluded any call to a relational righteousness!  And yet this is exactly what we have in this section of Scripture.

So, from a sub-set of Romans 12 {vv. 15-18}, to live by the Honor Code of the King means:

 I.  Choose from the resources of Christ within {His Resurrection Power, His mighty Word at work in the soul} to “rejoice exceedingly” in others’ joy; and to weep with them when they “mourn.”  The word for “mourn” goes all the way back to Homer in the 8th century BC; it means- ‘weep over someone, mourn for the dead,’ it means- ‘cry bitterly,’ even vehemently.  “Join them,” Paul says, “and take some of their sorrow on your shoulders.  Help lift their burden of pain.”

II.  “Live in harmony” with other believers by not living out of arrogance, condescension, or conceit.  Don’t overestimate yourself and underestimate everyone else.  A horrible way to live; an even worse way to relate.

III  Be willing to live side by side with the most impoverished, unimpressive, and least influential in the local church— {‘the most materially impoverished, the most spiritually unimpressive, and the least and last as far as power and influence’}.

IV.     Honestly evaluate your sins, your struggles, your self and your Savior.  Begin to ask the pertinent questions.  “What are you speaking to, Lord, what do You want to teach me here?  In what arenas do I need further training, in what areas am I proficient?  What words of blessing do you have for me, Abba?”

V. Practice the Law of Love, which means living with a Spirit-empowered attitude of never repaying “evil for evil.”  This only begets more evil.

VI.     Plan out ahead {pronoeo = “be careful”} how to do what is honorable, noble, and good for one who despises you.

VII Never let the lack of peace between people be a result of your arrogance and intransigence— your unwillingness to repent, to confess, correct and continue on the Path of Life.  Amen?

Ric Webb  |  Shepherd
Heart’s Journey Community
9621 Tall Timber Blvd. |  Little Rock, AR 72204
t +1.501.455.0296
Heart’s Journey – Live Generously and Love Graciously