June 30, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
I am changing the featured Scripture simply to add some variety to the idea of One Anothering! This series is concerned with how we are to relate to one another according to God’s directive. Here, from II Corinthians 8:1 through 5 is another example of One Anothering:
…we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of
Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy
and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I
bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability,
they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would
receive the gift, and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And
this they did, not as we had hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord,
and then to us by the will of God.
The Macedonian Christians practiced One Anothering by liberally giving of themselves and their means to struggling believers in Judea!
There are thirty-two words in the New King James Version New Testament that combine with the term one another. And each instance shows us a way to serve one another in Christ! Having covered eleven of them, we will go on…
• “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10). There are two phrases here that are related to one another.
✞ The Greek for kindly affectionate is φιλόστοργος (pronounced fil-os’-tor-gos). According to Strong’s Greek Dictionary it means, “(cherishing ones kindred, especially parents or children); fond of natural relatives, that is, fraternal towards fellow Christians….” Do we really cherish our brothers and sisters in Christ – cherish like a dear natural family member?
✞ The Greek for brotherly love is φιλαδελφία (pronounced fil-ad-el-fee’-ah, and spelled philadelphia). That’s right, the major Pennsylvania city is named after this biblical term! Unfortunately, some have said (from personal experience, I suppose) that instead of “The city of brotherly love,” it is “The city of brotherly shove!” But, instead of shoving other believers around, we are to love them as brothers (and sisters) – family members! Strong tells us that philadelphia means “fraternal affection….” You might say it is a step under agape love, the kind of love that is given and continues no matter what! This philadelphia love does depend (as least somewhat) on being reciprocal! It is still a very strong family love! (See Hebrews 13:1).
• “…in honor giving preference to one another…” (Romans 12:10). Again, two Greek words describe this instance of One Anothering!
✞ in honor – τιμή (pronounced tee-may’). It means “a value, that is, money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself….” Esteeming, considering as valuable, and giving dignity to one another – this would surely improve relating to one another in our churches, and throughout the Christian world!
✞ giving preference – προηγέομαι (pronounced pro-ay-geh’-om-ahee). The meaning is, “to lead the way for others, that is, show deference….” Are we leading the way – showing deference (humble submission and respect) for other believers? Are we setting the positive example for others to follow? (See I Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Galatians 4:12).
• “…let us not judge one another…” (Romans 14:6). The Greek word for judge is κρίνω (pronounced kree’-no). It means “Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish….” But the word is modified by μηκέτι (pronounced may-ket’-ee), meaning, “no further….” In other words, don’t judge one another! You do not know the motives behind the actions of other Christians! In my first church I was seen coming out of a bar – one of the worst dives in town! It could have caused a scandal! But why was I there? The bar’s owner also had a roofing business – the best one in the area! And the church roof was leaking…!
Paul applies this concept, let us not judge one another, in Romans 14:1 through 4, and verses 10 through 13 – especially as it applies to eating foods offered to idols:
Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful
things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats
only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and
let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received
him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he
stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make
him stand….But why do you judge your brother? Or, why do you show
contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment
seat of Christ. So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore [the One Anothering
phrase we are considering], but rather [let us] resolve this, not to put a
stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
And James warns us in James 4:11 and 12:
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother
and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you
judge the law, are not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one Lawgiver,
who is able to save and destroy. Who are you to judge another?
In other words, unless it is clear by Scripture, leave the judgment to God!
More on Monday….