Thursday, April 10, 2014
“Let Brotherly Love Continue” Part 2
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It’s Thursday, April 10, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do (Col. 3:12-13).
Five virtues are listed in Colossians 3:12 that all Christians should possess and apply as they interact with other Christians. It is necessary that one develops these virtues before the thoughts in verse 13 can be adequately applied. Paul says we must put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering (all qualities that we discussed Tuesday), so that we can bear with one another and forgive one another. Let’s look at these two important phrases today.
First, note that Paul says that we should be “bearing with one another.” The tense there is interesting, indicating a present activity in which we are engaged. The King James Version says “forbearing,” where the New King James translates “bearing with.” The thought here is of patient endurance. When we put on the virtues listed in verse 12, then we will understand that our brethren have needs just like we have needs. I’m talking about emotional needs as well as physical needs. Some of us are better at communicating our needs than others of us, but when we all realize that we all need each other, then that will help us to bear with one another.
Now I want to make an emphatic point here. This does NOT mean that we’re tolerating one another with insincere politeness. Have you heard of this philosophy people have where they say things like: “The Bible says I have to love them, but I don’t have to like them!”? Let me tell you something: that philosophy is unbiblical! Would Jesus ever respond to someone with that sort of attitude? Absolutely not! Would our Lord ever say that about one of His sheep? Absolutely not! So why do we feel like we can say those sorts of things? Listen. I get it. Some people are easier to relate to than other people. Further, some days people wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Or am I the only one? There’s a reason Colossians 3:13 is in the Bible and I think it has something to do with how we are to conduct ourselves as Christians. We better listen up.
But I also want to swing over to the opposite end of the spectrum to make this point: “bearing with one another” also does NOT mean overlooking a brother’s or sister’s shortcomings. We have to help each other when we fall into sin. Listen to this week’s memory verse, Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” Isn’t it interesting that this verse is not directed only to preachers or to elders? To whom is it directed? “Brethren.” That’s to all Christians!
Next up, Paul says that we are to be “forgiving one another.” Note again the present tense. This means I’m not going to hold a grudge against my brother or sister in Jesus. In order to do this I must remove all bitterness and irritation. Remember that 1 Corinthians 13 teaches that love keeps no record of wrong doings. Further, once again note that adding virtues like the ones mentioned in Colossians 3:12 will help us to continually forgive each other.
Finally, let’s look at that last statement in Colossians 3:13: “if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Notice that Paul doesn’t speak to whether there is a justified reason for the complaint. It just doesn’t matter. No matter the case, here’s the prescription: forgive each other just like Christ forgave you.
Let’s wrap it up: Ephesians 4:32 puts all of this in a nice package and wraps it with a pretty bow on top: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” There’s the standard. May God help us to follow it and to apply it.
Memory Verse: I mentioned our memory verse a moment ago, let’s review it one more time together. I’ll say it once, then you say it with me the second time:
Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
Great job! Once again, let’s ask God’s blessings of courage to apply this command in the right spirit of meekness that the Word prescribes.
Sometime today: Read Colossians 3:14 about the bond of perfection. What is that bond? We’ll study that together tomorrow.
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We’re quickly approaching another weekend! I’ll meet you tomorrow for another edition of The New You. Have a great Thursday!