Summary: In light of the gospel, how do we now live? Christianity where the rubber meets the road.
Dakota Community Church
September 9, 2012
Grace at Work - 4
1. How we treat one another
Four qualities are given as the correct treatment of each other here:
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
D.) Forbearing in love
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
A couple of weeks ago when I was talking about Christ’s active obedience and how we need a righteousness that is imputed to us because we cannot earn it - the law requires too much - I used this verse as an example of how difficult it is for me as many of you know my brother Chris:
...I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
After the sermon my sister Tracey came up and said,
“Imagine how hard that verse seems to me - I HAVE TWO BROTHERS!”
In that moment, standing there before the congregation, everyone within ear shot snickering discreetly about Tracey’s clever put down of her big brother, in that moment - I had to bear with her in love!
I had to forgive whatever grievances I had - no matter how many years they had been building up!
Tracey and I used to occasionally fight as children. We even hit one another from time to time! Mostly there was a lot of screaming when mom and dad were not home. There was no turning the other cheek involved. If I got angry, I yelled obscenities at her, she got angry and yelled back with even worse obscenities! (Tracey could curse like a trucker in those days.)
One time she grabbed my arm and dug her nails in so deep, leaving deep grooves across my forearm - that Dad cut her precious nails down to the quick when he got home.
We had no clue what it meant to forbear with one another, but even if we had, I doubt that we would have done it in the heat of those battles.
Forbearing with others grows out of the humility that we discussed a few weeks ago.
If we don’t recognize our own sin, we feel the need to get revenge, to make sure that others get what they deserve. To justify ourselves - when we do not grasp the justification we have been giver we continual seek to gain it for ourselves!
To Forbear is: to hold up, to sustain, to bear, to endure. It suggests sustaining whatever comes at you and holding self back from reacting to it.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.