What would our world look like if everyone who called themselves a follower of Jesus Christ lived by a Christian code of conduct?
Codes of Conduct
Not too long ago, I took a trip on a buddy pass with a particular airline who had a code of conduct attached to the ticket.
This code of conduct outlined how I was to dress and act while on the plane; since I represented the airline by using an employee buddy pass.
That got me thinking about other codes of conduct’s. You may have heard of these.
Realtors and Financial Institutions follow a code of conduct called The Code of Ethics. Some are even fired if they are caught violating them.
The Armed Forces swear in by promising to live by The Code of Conduct for Members of the United States Armed Forces.
Most schools require students to follow an Honor Code.
Even employers will enforce a Dress Code.
The purpose of these codes, are to convey an expectation of behavior.
Our Culture Today
The culture in our society today makes it difficult for the world to distinguish Christians.
While we can’t take responsibility for our brothers and sisters in Christ who act like the world, we can take responsibility for our own conduct.
Just because we are free people in Christ, does not mean we live freely without care and regard for the God we serve or others.
“[Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God.” ~ 1 Peter 2:16 (AMPC)
After contemplating on this for a while, I found myself wondering if there was a Christian code of Conduct in the Bible?
As I turned to God’s Word for answers, I discovered Romans 12 is actually titled; Christian Conduct, and in The Message translation it’s titled; Place Your Life Before God.
How fitting! So, let’s read Romans 12 together.
Romans 12 (The Message)
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
Understanding The Passage
When I study the Bible, I’m the type of person who has to; write out a passage, underline it, circle words, and pull each verse apart.
Needless to say, I’ve done this with this chapter and taught on it before. However sharing those notes would make this blog post entirely too long.
Therefore, I’m going to summarize my notes with a cliff note version.
The Christian Code of Conduct
If there were a Christian Code of Conduct based on Romans 12, it would look something like this.
Note: You can print the Christian Code of Conduct from our library under the Faith section.
I will present my body as a living sacrifice to God, and rely on the Holy Spirit to help control my flesh. (Romans 12:1)
I will read God’s Word Daily so I may know God’s will regarding every area of my life. (Romans 12:2)
I will remain humble before the Lord and not think of myself above anyone. Recognizing everything I have or anything good I have done, comes from the Lord. (Romans 12:3)
I will discover and willingly use my spiritual gifts to help advance the Kingdom of God. (Romans 12:4-8)
I will genuinely walk in God’s love towards everyone. (Romans 12:9)
I will be kind and look for opportunities to serve (submit) to others. (Romans 12:10)
I will not grow weary in serving the Body of Christ, which is my service to the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
I will not give up in hard times. Rather, I will practice developing in patience and prayer. (Romans 12:12)
I will be hospitable and respond to the needs of others especially the Body of Christ. (Romans 12:13)
I will bless my enemies and refrain from cursing. (Romans 12:14)
I will genuinely be compassionate towards others, without envy or judgement. Meaning, I will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)
I will not consider myself haughty, and will extend extra grace to those who need it. (Romans 12:16)
I will believe the best of every person. (Romans 12:17)
I will purpose to be a peacekeeper and not judge or isolate myself from those I don’t agree with. (Romans 12:18)
I will not repay evil for evil, or insult for insult. Rather I will choose to walk in love and let God be the judge. (Romans 12:19)
I will look for opportunities to bless my enemies. (Romans 12:20)
I will not allow evil to control my love walk. (Romans 12:21)
In The End
Could you imagine, if each of us made a personal commitment to follow Romans 12 on a regular basis?
I’m not going to lie this is tough to walk out. But we can’t develop in any area of our life without having the opportunity to develop.
The good news is, God will develop us into completion.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” ~ Philippians 1:6 (AMPC)
Our conduct can infiltrate the people around us, and touch some of the hardest hearts. If we CHOOSE to maintain our conduct in line with the spirit, instead of our flesh.
So I ask you again, what would our world look like if everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus Christ lived by a Christian Code of Conduct?
PS…You can download the Christian Code of Conduct from our community library under the Faith section. If you need the password fill out the form below.
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This post is being shared on Grace & Truth A Weekly Christian Link Up!
~ Timberley Gray