In this lesson we want to look at what the responsibilities and duties given to each Christian. Jesus has given us commands for how we ought to live our lives. Notice 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." Once we become Christians, we are to be a new creature where all old things in our lives are to have passed away. Paul said the same thing in Ephesians 4:17-24 that we are to put off the old man and put on the new man. Let us look at the things that Christ has asked us to put out of our lives, and what things we are to be doing for God.
We have responsibilities morally to the Lord and those around us.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:25-5:7,12 the things that we are to put out of our lives. We are to put away: lying; prolonged sinful anger; stealing--rather give; corrupt communication; bitterness, wrath, anger, malice -- instead be kind, tender hearted, forgiving, and walk in love; fornication, uncleanness, covetousness; filthiness, foolish talking, coarse jesting -- for it is a shame to even speak of those things which are done by them in secret. Here Paul tells us some of the things that we are to be cleaning out of our lives because we are now in Christ and no longer live for ourselves.
We are also commanded to put on modest apparel and godliness. Notice 1 Timothy 2:8-10, "I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works." At the end of this lesson are definitions for the word "modest," "propriety," "moderation," and "godliness."
Notice some other things that we are not have in our lives. Galatians 5:19-21 says, "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." At the end of the lesson is a definition for "lewdness" and "revelries." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 also mentions these sins that we must not practice.
We have a responsibility to our families.
Ephesians 5:22-23 speaks about the responsibilities of the husband and wife. First, to the wives we see in Ephesians 5:22-24, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." And to the husbands the text continues in Ephesians 5:25-29, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church." What we see is the mutual respect and love that is to be shown toward one another in the marriage relationship. Wives are to be submissive to their husbands and husbands are treat and love their wives as if their wives were their own bodies. Children are also given responsibilities, as seen in Ephesians 6:1-4, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." Children are to be obedient and respectful to their parents and fathers are given the duty to raise up their children in the Lord, not provoking them to wrath.
Christians have responsibilities to Christ and the church.
We see from Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; and Philippians 4:6-7 that we need to pray to the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says, "pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." We are also to dedicate ourselves to Bible study. Notice 2 Timothy 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." We must spend time reading God's word for us to be able to rightly discern God's word.
We also are to come together to meet certain responsibilities. Hebrews 10:22-26 says, "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins," Here we see that we are to assemble together so that we can hold fast to the confession of our hope by exhorting each other, and stirring up each other to love and good works. This is why we meet together on Sunday, so that we can fulfill these requirements. We are not to be like others who neglect the assembling of the saints together.
We also come together to partake of the Lord's Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 tells us, "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." Here we are commanded to take of the Lord's Supper at from Acts 20:7 we see that the disciples in the first century did this on the first day of the week (Sunday). Notice Acts 20:7, "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." So we come together to fulfill this command.
Not only this, we come together to give a portion of what God has given us. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 we read, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come."
2 Corinthians 9:5-7 also gives us instructions about giving with a cheerful heart to the Lord.
We have a responsibilities to teach others that we meet about God. Notice 1 Peter 3:15, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;" Also read Colossians 4:5; Acts 8:3-4; and Hebrews 5:11-14. These passages teach us that we need to grow in the Lord and use what we have learned to teach others about God.
Finally, we have a responsibility to put God first in everything we do in our lives.
Matthew 6:31-34 says, "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Also read Luke 14:15-24,33 which tells us that we cannot make excuses for why we did not put God first and expect to be a disciple of Jesus. Matthew 10:37 teaches us that God comes before family. This does not mean that we neglect our family for that is a sin, but the number one priority in our lives must be service to God. These are the things that God has asked us to do for Him since he has shown us mercy and grace by sending His Son to die for our sins.
THE DEFINITIONS: For a practice to be right, it cannot fall in the category of these things that are expressly forbidden in the New Testament. Definitions taken from Vine, Thayer, and Webster.
MODEST -- I Timothy 2:9: "Orderly, well--arranged, decent, modest, not forward or boastful especially in manner of dress, arising from a lack of display or boldness, moderate."
PROPRIETY -- I Timothy 2:9: "A sense of shame, modesty; has come to describe an awkward diffidence, such as we sometimes call sheepishness; through the idea of downcast eyes; bashfulness i.e. towards men."
MODERATION -- I Timothy 2:9: "That habitual inner self-government, with its constant rein on all the passions and desires which would hinder temptations from arising to others; self-control."
LEWDNESS or LASCIVIOUSNESS or WANTONNESS -- Galatians 5:19; Romans 13:13; one can be lured and enticed by wantonness, II Peter 2:18: "Denote excess, absence of restraint, indecency, producing lewd emotions." It is used specifically of "gluttony, filthy words, indecent bodily movent, unchaste handling of males and females." Excessively gay or merry, unchaste, lewd, unrestrained, undisciplined, or shameless conduct; marked by arrogant recklessness for the feelings of others.
REVELRIES or REVELLING or RIOTING -- Galatians 5:21; Romans 13:13: "To be festive in a riotous or noisy manner; merrymaking, a carousal, the state or consequence of drunkenness; of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry." "To break up, disrupt, especially of the mind and body by indulgence, a carousal as if a letting loose excess".
BANQUETINGS -- 1 Peter 4:3: a drinking party (NASB); "drinking; not simply a banquet but a drinking bout."
CALLOUS or PAST FEELING -- Ephesians 4:17-19; I Timothy 4:2: We should always beware of allowing ourselves to become hardened to sin. There comes a time when things that used to look bad to us no longer do because our conscience has become dull. When this happens it is easy for us to sin either because every one else is doing it or it is no longer against our conscience.