July 12, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
We have already covered the three words associated with one another in Ephesians 4:32. But let’s used it again for our featured Scripture – with the two preceding verses – because this passage readily shows forth the idea of One Anothering:
…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for
the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and
evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to
one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in
Christ also forgave you.
Actually, the idea Paul is conveying in our Ephesians Scripture is part of a whole encompassing the entire epistle. I have heard it said that if you want to experience revival in your own life, read Ephesians! And if – by the time you are finished – you have not been revived, read it again…and again…and again…!
We have eight more words to examine associated with one another! So let’s continue…
• “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.” (James 4:11). There are two Greek words that are translated as Do not speak evil, μή (pronounced may) and καταλαλεύτε (pronounced kat-al-al-eu-ta – second person plural present active imperative of καταλαλέω – pronounced kat-al-al-eh’-o). According to Strong’s Greek Dictionary, καταλαλέω means “to be a traducer, that is, to slander….” And μή makes it the negative of the verb. To speak evil of one another is tear one another down! We are to build one another up! Paul expands on this idea in Ephesians 4:1 through 16. According to verse 16, the members of the Body of Christ (we together, the Church – see I Corinthians 12:27) are to “…grow…the body…edifying…itself in love.” That’s the opposite of tearing one another down!
• “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned.” (James 5:9). The Greek word for grumble is στενάζω (pronounced sten-ad’-zo). According to Thayer’s Greek Definitions, it means “a sigh, to groan [even in silence]….” As with the phrase directly above, the Greek word μή makes it a negative – Do not grumble! Another Greek word, κατά (pronounced kat-ah’) which, according to Strong, “…frequently denotes opposition, distribution or intensity…,” is translated against. The phrase gives the idea of murmuring or even silent grumbling against one another! Such actions and thoughts affect our relationship with one another! How can we be one in Christ (see John 17:21) when we grumble against one another?
• “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16). This verse is a double one another – confess to and pray for!
✞ Confess your trespasses to one another – The Greek word for confess is ἐξομολογέω (pronounced ex-om-ol-og-eh’-o). It means “to acknowledge or (by implication of assent) agree fully….” In confessing, we basically fully agree with what God says about our trespass! “I have sinned, and it is an offense against my Heavenly Father!”
But Paul writes in I Timothy 2:5 that “…there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” If He is the only Mediator (literally, go-between), why do we need to confess our trespasses to one another? The answer is in Galatians 6:1 and 2:
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. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of
Christ [which is love one another as Jesus loved us! – see John 13:34].
▸ Often one’s trespass is against another brother or sister in the Lord! According to what Jesus taught us in Matthew 18:15: “…if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” There are three other steps to take, according to Matthew 18:16 and 17. The point is, get any trespass against a brother or sister in the Lord straightened out, and be reconciled! (See Matthew 5:24).
▸ But there is another reason for confessing your trespasses to one another, even if the trespass is not directly against the person to whom you are confessing! As Paul wrote in Galatians 6:1 and 2 (above), we, in love, are to bear one another’s burdens! The apostle tells us in I Corinthians 12:25 and 26:
…the members [of the Body of Christ, the Church] should have the
same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the
members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the mem-
bers rejoice with it.
We should never leave another brother or sister struggling in their faith because of some trespass they have committed – whether directly against us or not! We are to help them bear their burdens, and find forgiveness and healing! This is truly loving one another! (See I John 3:16).
✞ pray for one another – The Greek word for pray is εὔχομαι (pronounced yoo’-khom-ahee), meaning “to wish; by implication to pray to God….” Prayer is so powerful that it can result in the physical healing of a brother or sister! (See James 5:13-18). The Lord Jesus prayed for His disciples (see Luke 22:31, 32; John 17:20-23) – and John 13:15 surely applies here: “…I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” Also, a great part of His present ministry is interceding [praying] for us! (See Hebrews 7:25). No wonder we are told to pray for one another! It is a large part of loving and caring for one another!
We will attempt to finish this series with Friday’s blog.