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Summary: practical application to the Christian lifestyle in society at large.

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ROMANS: 13: 8 -14. THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE IN SOCIETY

LAST TIME WE WERE IN ROMANS WE LOOKED AT THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHRISTIAN. WE SAW THAT GOVERNMENTS ARE ESTABLISHED BY GOD V1 AND PEOPLE IN PUBLIC OFFICE ARE ACTUALLY SERVANTS OF GOD V4 AND THE PURPOSES OF GOVERNMENT WERE THREEFOLD TO ADMINISTER PROTECTION, PUNISHMENT AND PROMOTION OF SOCIETY AS A WHOLE.

OUR RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT T WAS TO BE CITIZENS WHO SUBMIT TO THOSE IN AUTHORITY - TO BE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS – TO REMIND GOVERNMENTS OF THEIR HIGH CALLING - SPEAK UP TO GOVERNMENTS - ENCOURAGE MORE CHRISTIANS INTO PUBLIC OFFICE - AND OF COURSE PRAY FOR THOSE IN HIGH OFFICE.

ROM 12- 13. PAUL HAS SHOWN US HOW WE SHOULD CONDUCT OURSELVES IN THE CHURCH - TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AS A CHRISTIAN SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THE OUTWORKING OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?

ON SATURDAY NIGHT NICK AND GLEN (FORGIVE ME FOR ANNOUNCING THIS BUT IT JUST SERVES AS AN ILLUSTRATION) WENT INTO THE CITY AND MINISTERED TO THOSE LIVING ROUGH ON THE STREETS , IT PROBABLY INVOLVED GIVING THEM SOMETHING TO EAT MAYBE, LISTENING TO THEIR LIFE STORY. PASSING ON SOME WARM CLOTHING MAYBE A HAT AND A SCARF FOR THESE SUB ZERO TEMPS WERE FACING AT THE MOMENT AND OF COURSE SHARING SOMETHING ABOUT JESUS TO THEM, GIVING THEM LITERATURE, PRAYING WITH THEM. OF COURSE ISN’T THIS WHERE JESUS WOULD BE ON A SATURDAY NIGHT? AND THE TYPE OF PEOPLE HE WOULD MINISTER TOO AND CHANGE AROUND?

BUT IMAGINE THE NEXT TIME THEY WENT OUT THEY SEE A MAN WHO CLOTHES ARE ABSOLUTELY FILTHY AND ARE SIMPLY RAGS AND THE MAN KNOWS IT HE ASKS FOR A FEW ODDMENTS OUT OF THEIR CLOTHES BAG. BUT NICK AND GLEN DECIDE TO TAKE HIM TO THE BEST MEN’S OUTFITTERS IN TOWN AND THEY CLOTH HIM IN THE MOST EXPENSIVE SUIT THERE IS......

AND NOW THEY SAY TO HIM CONDUCT YOURSELF IN THE MANNER FITTING TO YOUR ATTIRE – OF COURSE THAT MAN IS GOING TO FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TO DO SO BECAUSE A NEW SUITE IS NOT REALLY GOING TO CHANGE HIS LIFESTYLE HABITS....

BUT WHEN A PERSON BECOMES A CHRISTIAN GOD HAS CLOTHED US IN HIS SONS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND WE ARE SEEN AND KNOWN AS HIS RIGHTEOUS ONES. OUTSIDE OF CHRIST A PERSON IS CLOTHED IN THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS – WHICH ARE FILTHY RAGS BEFORE GOD – AND NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE DRESS OURSELVES UP WE WILL REMAIN SINNERS – BOUND TO THE OLD NATURE.

YET IN CHRIST WE ARE CLOTHED IN HIS IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS NOT OUT OWN. AS SUCH GOD IS CALLING US TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE WHICH IS FITTING TO OUR NEW ATTIRE .

PAUL HAS TOLD US WE ARE DEAD TO SIN AND ALIVE TO CHRIST ROM 7-8. . THIS IS WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US.

IS OUR CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE BEFITTING THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WE PROFESS TO HAVE IN CHRIST?

IN SOCIETY THERE HAS BEEN HUGE PARADIGM SHIFTS OVER THE YEARS, IN THE WAY PEOPLE LIVE OUT THEIR LIVES, WHEN YOU CONSIDER WAR TIME BRITAIN, TO THE SWINGING SIXTIES, TO THE NAUGHTY NINETIES TO THE 21ST CENTURY. LIFESTYLES OF PEOPLE IN BRITAIN HAVE CHANGED CONSIDERABLY. WHETHER IN THE REALM OF MORALS, ETHICS, LAWS, SOCIAL ATTITUDES, AND NORMS WHAT WERE ONCE TABOO AND UNACCEPTABLE HAVE BECOME NORMAL AND ACCEPTABLE. AND THAT WHICH WAS ONCE CONSIDERED RIGHT HAS BECOME WRONG AND INTOLERABLE , OUR SOCIETY IS CHANGING AT A RADICAL PACE............

HOW IS A CHRISTIAN TO LIVE OUT THEIR LIFE IN THIS TYPE OF ARENA?

IT’S IN THIS ARENA THAT THE CHRISTIAN HAS TO LIVE OUT HIS/HER LIFE, THEN IT SHOULD BE NO SURPRISE TO US TO SEE THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE HAS BEEN BLURRED – NOBODY REALLY KNOWS WHAT IT IS .... YES THEY HAVE THE STEREO TYPES THAT PEOPLE MANUFACTURE IN REGARD TO CHRISTIANS BUT 9 TIMES OUT OF TEN THESE ARE NEVER THE GENUINE ARTICLE.

SADLY TO SPOT THE CHRISTIAN IN SOCIETY TODAY IS LIKE FINDING (WHERE’S WALLY BOOKS?).

SADLY MANY CHRISTIANS RATHER THAN BEING A TRANSFORMING INFLUENCE ARE STILL CONFORMING THEMSELVES TO THE PATTERN OF THIS WORLD. THEY HAVE BEEN CLOTHED WITH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST YET ARE GOING BACK TO THEIR FILTHY RAGS.

ROM 12: 2. SO WHAT WILL THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE LOOK LIKE IN SOCIETY TODAY? WILL IT BE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE? WILL WE JUST BLEND IN? OR WILL WE STAND OUT LIKE A SAW THUMB, THE LATER I BELIEVE WE WILL BE DIFFERENT.........

1) LIFESTYLES THAT ARE UPRIGHT V8 - 10

A. ‘WILL BE SEEN IN HONESTY’ V8 LET NO DEBT BE OUTSTANDING

WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHICH IS OUT TO MAKE A QUICK BUCK, THAT CONSIDERS IT A GOOD TRAIT TO BE ABLE TO DODGE YOUR TAX RETURNS – TO BE ABLE TO MAKE VAST AMOUNTS OF MONEY WHATEVER THE MEANS . WE HAVE LIVED A TIME OF EASY CREDIT AND HAVE BEEN BORROWING MORE THAN THEY CAN AFFORD, NOW PEOPLE ARE PAYING THE PRICE FOR THE MONEY BORROWED THEY CANNOT PAY BACK.

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