"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Cor. 7:1).
Respect is also a core value of a Christian. Genuine respect of God and others is born out of a genuine fear of the Lord. Paul's commands that out of love and respect, that we should "be subject to the governing authorities" over us (Rom. 13:1a). Paul says, "For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist, will bring judgment on themselves" (Rom. 13:1b,2). That should bring a clear understanding that God is still on the throne, and is still behind the authorities that are over us. This should bring a healthy dose of the fear of the Lord to us, with a practical outworking of respect for authorities over us. God has provided authorities over us to protect us from evil and not to hinder good works (Rom. 13:3). Our Father is using these authorities, as His minister and "avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil" (Rom. 13:4). When we respect and honor others in good conscience, realizing they are ministers of God, then we have a good conscience toward God (Rom 13:5). We will live a life of respect, fear, and honor toward God and man.
Respect should also be found for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit at our Spirit rebirthing, placed us all by one Spirit "into one body" – the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13). Paul said, "we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones" (Eph. 5:30). We should show respect and honor to members of the body of Christ. Out of respect and honor, "If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it" (I Cor. 12:26). There will be no schism in the Body of Christ, as we love and respect one another. Paul informs us, that "those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary" (I Cor. 12:22). Paul declares, that the whole body is "joined and knit together by what every joint supplies according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Eph. 4:16). That is where the rubber meets the road. That is where a genuine fear of the Lord has outworked in love and respect for others.
Respect should ultimately be to God and His Word. If we truly respect God, we will respect and honor His Word. The word of God is regularly quoted, as the basis of all genuine truth. The written word of God – the Word of Truth; is revealed and taught to us by the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth; so that we can know Christ – the Person of Truth who lives in us as us. Genuine respect is choosing to let Christ live in us and through us, with His life of respect for the Father and others!V
Written by Dwight Davis
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