The Bible Speaks

28. Christian Standards

The Devil has tried to use two methods to destroy the Christian church, persecution and assimilation. To a greater or lesser extent both of these methods have been employed with varying levels of success at any point in history. To avoid worldly assimilation we must understand the Bible's ideals regarding Christian behaviour and standards.

01. What warning does the Bible give regarding Christian behaviour in the last days?
2 Timothy 3:1,4-5
1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

02. What activities in particular does John warn against for those who love God?
1 John 2:15-16
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

The Christian must be in this world, but not of this world. He is a pilgrim on the way to the glory land. He is not to allow this world’s ways to control him, nor become absorbed in attaining material possessions. If any amusement tends to worldliness and draws him away from genuine living for God, he is to abstain.

03. What advise does Paul give for those who truly love God and want to serve Him?
1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

04. What effect does a lack of Christian Standards have on people we mix with?
Romans 14:13
So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

05. What effect does a lack of Christian Standards have on people we mix with?
Romans 14:13
So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
If in doubt, leave it out.

06. What if something seems to be Ok but has the appearance of evil?
1 Thessalonians 5:22
Stay away from every kind of evil.

07. How does tolerating evil in our lives affect our spiritual growth?
Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
If the tolerated pleasure is feeding the carnal nature, the spiritual development is in the wrong direction. Continued practice will eventually cause you to lose interest in all spiritual things. It is a weight you must cast off if you are to develop a beautiful character. If it hinders the chances of eternal life, it is best left alone. It is also good to ask yourself, “If Jesus was here, would He go with me, and could I feel at ease in His presence while engaging in this pleasure?” If you have consecrated your life to God, you will never be in doubt when asking yourself this question. (Dancing, Cinema are good examples).

08. What did the Psalmist write regarding his attitude towards almost universal wickedness?
Hebrews 12:1
I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.

09. With His own finger God Himself warned us against the Jealousy and Pride that leads to covetousness ...
Exodus 20:17
“You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”
Covetousness is a burning desire to have more, usually that which belongs to someone else. This is one of the gravest sins, along with idolatry. See Colossians 3:5. To practise covetousness will eventually exclude one from the kingdom of heaven. See 1 Corinthians 6:10. Particularly, the sin of gambling is pandering to the weakness of covetousness. A person backs race horses, plays poker machines, buys lottery and raffle tickets and plays cards hoping to win. His desire is to get more money, even at the loss of his fellow man. It is not uncommon for an individual to experience catastrophic losses at the expense of property, marriages and families. A Christian will not engage in such destructive practises. He will work for a living, as God said Adam would, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread”. Genesis 3:19. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, we are told, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat”. Gambling can be classes as being of this world, and it is against Christian standards.

10. Does the Bible give any advice as to how a Christian may avoid worldly conformation?
Romans 12:2
Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

11. How does God view us amid this world of conformity?
1 Peter 2:9
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

12. Does the Bible give any advice to women regarding Christian standards and behaviour?
1 Timothy 2:9-10
9 And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.
10 For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.

Christian women are admonished to dress modestly without extravagance and display. Shamefacedness suggests respectful dress without suggestiveness. Sobriety means soundness of mind and self control. The Christian woman desires to reflect the selflessness of Christ. She determines to fulfil her womanly tasks with grace and resourcefulness. Her hairstyle, and everything about her dress is not to attract attention to herself. Extravagance and display in dress reflect personal vanity and self-centredness. The Christian woman should dress neatly and well, but not to extremes in either untidiness or costliness.

13. What adornment does God see as precious in His sight?
1 Peter 3:3-4
3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelery, or beautiful clothes.
4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

14. How does God describe His apostate people in the Old Testament?
Hosea 2:13
I will punish her for all those times when she burned incense to her images of Baal, when she put on her earrings and jewels and went out to look for her lovers but forgot all about me,” says the LORD.
The wearing of jewellery is a sign of apostasy, as we can see in this verse, and has a heathen origin. See also Isaiah 3:16-24. When Israel came out of Egypt they had a great deal of jewellery. Before God would speak to them on one occasion, He commanded them to remove their jewellery. Exodus 13:5,6. God is seeking a natural, not artificial appearance in His followers. God wants us to display the beauty of character, not an artificial, worldly appearance.

15. How does God describe His true church in the New Testament?
Revelation 12:1
Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head.
The woman here is symbolic of the true church, yet it is interesting to note how she is clothed with
natural things — sun, moon and twelve stars.

16. How does God describe the apostate church in the New Testament?
Revelation 12:1
The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewellery made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality.
The woman here is symbolic of the apostate or false church. Notice the clothing, purple and scarlet, gold, precious stones and pearls - all artificial. God is not impressed with display - rather He is seeking the genuine - not a cover up.

17. What is Gods true ideal of Christian standards of living?
Galatians 5:19-23
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,
21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

​Concluding Question