Step 8, Bible Studies

What if.....

… Jesus really meant what He said?

"I did not come to condemn, but to save."

Condemn: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil…to judge unfit for use or consumption.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … [Romans 8:1]

What if that were true?

I know—it’s a complex theological statement. But what if it were as simple as “follow Jesus” = “no condemnation”?

What if every follower of Jesus stopped judging others as “reprehensible, wrong, or evil”? Even “those people”—you know, the ones who are, well, “unfit”?

What if

We refused to make—or forward, or approve—snarky political comments?

Learning to Live as We are Commanded

John 13:35 NKJV
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Back in the 60's, when worship choruses first began to become widely popular, a certain chorus made the rounds in the churches, "They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love" (common tune, lyrics by Peter Scholtes). The words go like this:

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love

Humility is a Two-way Street


Submission
In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. It’s a well-known story, a frequently referenced model for Christ’s attitude of humble service to others. But there’s another side to the story.

Foot-washing requires a foot to wash.

In the story, Peter initially refuses to allow his friend and teacher to perform such a menial, degrading task. Jesus replies that submission isn’t optional—it’s an essential element in the interaction.

I don’t think that’s an accident. You can’t force someone to receive an expression of intimacy. If it’s a true act of humble service, the one whose feet are washed must submit.

Christians Attitudes/Actions Toward One Another

Time for a Heart Check

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. Hebrews 9:27-28

Years ago I had my then preschool-age granddaughter with me when I made a stop at the cemetery to deliver some flowers. My granddaughter was naturally curious about what sort of place a "sembletery" was, so I did my best to explain. As we read a few markers and headstones, I told her what the dates meant, and we figured the ages of a few of the deceased.

Revenge is for God, Not Us

Proverbs 20:22 NRSV
Do not say, "I will repay evil";
wait for the Lord, and He will help you.

Have you ever been misunderstood? Of course. We all have. We have done something or said something and our intentions just didn't communicate well. Beyond that, have you ever made a mistake, one that ended up costing or hurting someone else? Again, of course! We all have made those mistakes, the actions or choices we regret and wish that we could have changed.

A.A. Bible Refresher: Steps 8 and 9

The making of amends and restoring for things wrongfully taken are rooted in the Bible. And there are particular verses from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, from the Gospel of Luke, and from the Book of Numbers that provided what Dr. Bob was later to state were the basic ideas studied by A.A. co-founders long before the Steps were written and the Big Book was published.1

Making Amends and Restitution Is a Vital Part of Recovery Fellowships

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