"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents - which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God." Philippians 1:27-28
There were once codes of conduct taught to children at home. These codes were reinforced by the community at church, school and other civic events. They included simple rules for daily living that made it possible for children raised at home to be mainstreamed into a society that had certain expectations.
Unfortunately, Common Sense has been hijacked by Common Core. Let me suggest a return to the former and a rejection of the latter. I recall a few of the things that we once had in common, and made the TOP TEN LIST at my house.
1. Always say, " Please" and "Thank you."
2. Don't hit girls. EVER.
3. Don't talk back to your teachers.
4. Get a spanking at school, you get another one at home.
5. Ladies first, always.
6. Hold the door for a lady.
7. Take your hat off when you enter a building.
8. Rise when a lady enters a room.
9. Say, "Yes Ma'am and "Yes Sir."
10. Say, "May I? Not "Can I?"
This last one would have saved a great deal of trouble for a nation, if the proper response had been remembered. "YES, WE CAN!" should have been met by a resounding, "BUT, you MAY not!" But, I digress.
It should come as no surprise that The Spirit of Christ expects the church founded by The Lord Jesus Christ to have certain manners. These manners are worthy of the Gospel, and mark someone who is a member of the family of God. They include...
1. Stand Firm.
2. One Spirit & Mind.
3. Striving Together For the Faith.
4. Not alarmed by the Opposition.
The Counduct of the early church can be compared to the four corners of a building under construction. If the cornerstones are set correctly, much can be built upon them. If these crucial corners are absent or askew then the building will lack integrity.
Paul prayed for the conduct of the church to be worthy of The Gospel and marked by...
Stability: The early church didn't just stand up, in the face of opposition. They stood firm, upon The Rock of their Salvation. There were no misty sentimentalists in the pulpit or faithless fog bank hanging over the members.
Unity: The mind of Christ and the fulness of The Spirit held the early church together. They were not unified by having the same preference, but the same deference. They deferred to Christ and to one another.
Teamwork: The desire to do well drives a person to make a name for themselves. The desire to serve together with others for a common cause will make a difference. There is no limit to what the local church can do if no one cares about getting the credit, but everyone wants to give God the glory.
Note to self: Failure and victory are both a team effort.
Fearlessness: The early church was marked by a fear of God, more than a fear of man. Though they must have felt fear at one time or another, the members of the early church were not crippled by it. It made them stronger. They took their fear to God in prayer and received from The Spirit of The Risen Christ the courage to face the opposition, come what may.
Praying for the next Great Awakening? It won't come from the White House, or the Church House. It will come from Your House. Set the cornerstones for it. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!