Dr. Paul V. M. Flesher
Intro to the New Testament
Analysis Paper #3
Christian Social Behavior
Across the three Pastoral Epistles, wise instruction is given on how to be a properly functioning leader in the Christian Church. With this instruction comes guidelines for how to live like a Christian in the Graeco-Roman world. Even without extensive knowledge on Roman society it can easily be seen how the standing leaders in the Church at the time aimed to thoroughly reform standard living and social norms through changes in everyday living. Their ultimate goal was to not only radically change the way people acted into being more Christ-like, but also to synthesize the Roman culture they lived in into Christianity as well. Given that a life of adhering to a Christian lifestyle requires relentless amounts of discipline and fidelity, there aren’t many who meet the standards for righteousness. Even God’s own people are seen as having strayed off from this path of righteousness. What’s important to note is that this isn’t a mere reformation of one culture, this is the author of the Pastoral Epistles instructing his followers to not only reshape how they live their lives, but to spread this news as well. As is stated in 1 Timothy 1:9, the law, God’s law, is “for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful”. No exclusiveness is mentioned which would keep the Romans from being candidates for being in the Church. The point the author aims to make in this verse is that imposing God’s law on those who reprimand Him is their only chance at salvation. Those who are righteous already know and follow God’s law, but those who are not righteous (particularly Romans) are simply lost and must be brought to the light by righteous men. Of course, instruction is also provided for how these righteous men are to go about bringing these lost people out of their darkness. It is said in 1 Timothy 5:20 to “Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest...
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