June 28, 2017
Acts 2:41, 42, 44, 45
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Relating to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ I call ‘One Anothering’! Acts 2:41,42, 44 and 45 shows us how the believers in the early Church loved and served One Another.
Then those who gladly received…[Peter’s] word were baptized; and that
day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued
steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of
bread, and in prayers….Now all who believed were together, and had all
things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided
them among all as anyone had need.
Thirty-two words in the New King James Version New Testament are associated with the term one another, teaching us how we should relate to one another in our churches! We covered eight words so far in the last two blogs. All the rest (24 more), but one, only occur once in each case. Let’s continue…
• edify another, or one another – two times (see Romans 14:19; I Thessalonians 5:11). The Greek words are οἰκοδομή and οἰκοδομέω (pronounced oy-kod-om-ay’ and oy-kod-om-eh’-o) – the first word being a noun meaning (according to Strong’s Greek Dictionary) “architecture, that is, (concretely) a structure; figuratively confirmation….” The second is a verb – “to be a house builder, that is, construct or (figuratively) confirm….” The idea is that we are to build up one another! After all, we together are the Lord’s dwelling place – His ‘house’(see II Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 3:17; Hebrews 5:6; I Peter 2:5; I John 4:13) – through the Holy Spirit residing within every Christian! (See Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 6:19). So we are to edify, to build up each other to make us together a fit dwelling place for God! (See Hebrews 10:24, 25).
• peace with one another – The context is Mark 9:50: “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” The Greek word for peace is εἰρηνεύω (pronounced i-rane-yoo’-o). It means “to be (act) peaceful….” What does this have to do with Having salt in… ourselves? Salt both preserves and adds flavor! We are to do both!
✞ We are to be the preservative that holds back the corruption of the world! (See II Thessalonians 2:7, 8 – that which restrains lawlessness in this old world is God the Holy Spirit within His people).
✞ And we are to add ‘flavor’ to life! (See II Corinthians 2:14-16). For it is only by the Lord Jesus Christ that people can find “…[eternal] life, and…have it [life now] more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
All this is to be done in peace with one another! There is little peace in the world – between nations, interaction between people (groups, families, person-to-person), and within the heart and soul of individuals. We, as Christians, are to show the way – to “…be at peace among… ourselves.” (I Thessalonians 5:13).
• wash one another’s feet – John 13:14: “If I…your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” The Greek word for wash is νίπτω (pronounced nip’-to). It means “To cleanse (especially the hands or the feet or the face); ceremonially to perform ablution….” In some small denominations and independent churches, foot-washing is viewed as an ordinance on par with baptism and communion (the Lord’s table). But most Christians do not practice it, even once in awhile. They view it more as an illustration to serve one another (see Galatians 5:13).
Washing feet was the job of a household servant! And the disciples had problems with this servant attitude! More than once they desired to be first and indispensable in the hierarchy of Christ’s kingdom! (See Matthew 18:1; 20:20, 21; Mark 9:35; 10:35-37; Luke 9:46; 22:24). But, if you look at the context of this foot-washing scene in John 13:1-5, it almost seems like Jesus should have come bursting in with glory! Instead – according to Philippians 2:7 and 8 – He “…made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant…He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” This foot-washing was just another step of servanthood as the Lord of glory (see I Corinthians 2:8; James 2:1) moved toward the cross!
Jesus was also teaching about our need for ongoing cleansing as believers! Peter, in John 13:8 vehemently objected to his Lord washing his feet. But Jesus told him in verses 8 and 9, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me….He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean….”
✞ We are completely cleansed from sin when we put our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior! (See Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 103:12; Colossians 2:13, 14).
✞ But, as we walk through our daily life, we get our ‘feet dirty’ with sin! It is like those of ancient times who walked home from the public baths wearing sandals. When they reached their residence, the household servant would wash the dust from their feet. I John 1:7 gives us the spiritual explanation of this illustration: “…if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” In the Greek it says, “…keeps on cleansing us from all sin.” It is an ongoing action – Christ’s blood keeping us clean! We are under a constant blood bath, without which we would become a stench to the Father!
Continued on Friday….