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Practicing Christianity: Passages from the Letters of Saint Paul

The Letter to the Romans

“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good, acceptable and perfect.” (12:2).

“Let your love be without hypocrisy.” (12:9).

“Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse them” (12:14).

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be arrogant, but associate with those who are humble. Do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all (12:16-17).

Owe no one anything, except to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the Law. The commandments: You shall not commit adultery; you shall not murder; you shall not steal; you shall not covet; and any other commandments are summed up in this one phrase, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfilling of the Law (13:8-10).

The First Letter to the Corinthians

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (3:16)

So, whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God (10:31).

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, enough to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions and hand over my body to be burnt but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not envious, boastful, arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way. Love is not irritable or resentful. Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. Now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love (13:1-8, 13)

Make love your aim (14:1).

Let all that you do be done in love (16:14)

The Second Letter to the Corinthians

We are the temple of the living God. As God said, “I will live in them and walk among them and I will be their God and they shall be my people. Therefore, come out from them and be separate from them and touch nothing unclean. Then I will welcome you. I will be your father and you shall be my sons and daughters” (6:16-18).

Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God (7:1).

I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong (12:10)

Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? (13:5)

The Letter to the Galatians

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (2:20)

The whole Law is summed up in a single commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (5:14).

Bear one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (6:2).

Live by the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (5:16, 22).

Let us not grow weary in doing what is right. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all and especially for those of the family of faith (6:9-10).

The Letter to the Ephesians

Putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are all members of one another (4:25).

Put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, slander and all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven you (4:31-32).

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives: be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. Husbands: love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her (5:21-22, 25).

Children, honor your parents in the Lord for this is right (6:1)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (6:4).

The Letter to the Philippians

Live your life in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ (1:27).

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others (2:3-4).

Work out your own salvation in fear and in trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for His good pleasure (2:12-13).

Rejoice in the Lord always! Again, I will say it: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near! Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with gratitude, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (4:4-7).

The Letter to the Colossians

Therefore, put to death whatever in you is earthly: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire and greed, which is idolatry (3:5)

Now you must rid yourself of all such things: anger, wrath, malice, slander and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another (3:8-9).

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Bear with one another and if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in the one Body. And be thankful! Let the word of the Lord dwell in you richly. Teach and admonish one another in wisdom. And with gratitude in your hearts, sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Fr. through Him (3:12-17).

The First Letter to the Thessalonians

As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory (2:11-12).

God did not call us to impurity but in holiness (4:7).

See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all (5:12).

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (5:16-18).

The Second Letter to the Thessalonians

To this end we will always pray for you, asking that our God make you worthy of His call and will fulfill by His power every good resolve and work of faith so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (1:11-12).

Stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, whether by word of mouth or by our letter (2:15).

The First Letter to Timothy

The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first (1:15).

Women should dress modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with expensive clothes, gold and pearls, but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God (2:9-10).

We brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it (6:7).

The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. In their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with much pain (6:10).

As for those in the present who are rich, command them not to be arrogant or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who abundantly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that is really life (6:17-19).

The Second Letter to Timothy

Avoid wrangling over words (2:14).

All who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (3:12).

In the last days, distressing times will come. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of what is good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power (3:1-5).

The time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires and will turn away from the truth and wander away into myths (4:3-4).

The Letter to Titus

To the pure, all things are pure; but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. They profess to know God but deny Him by their actions (1:15-16)

Be obedient, ready for every good work, speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, be gentle and show courtesy to everyone (3:2)

Avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless (3:9).

The Letter to Philemon

Refresh my heart in Christ (20).

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

April 9, 2009