All of us who know the Lord Jesus, “being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another,” and therefore we are to “consider one another” and “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” We are admonished to “look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” God has given us the privilege and the responsibility to “bear … one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” that we might “by love serve one another.” There may be occasion, in the circle in which we move, to “warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded [fainthearted], support the weak, be patient toward all men,” “with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love.” Let us then, Christian friends, “consider one another,” watching out for the needs of others, that we might stir up and incite them “unto love and to good works.” “See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently,” “and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
There is always need with others For a word of love and cheer, Both to warn and to encourage, And to deliver from fear.
We who know the Savior are exhorted to “come boldly unto the throne of grace.” For the believer, God’s throne is no longer a throne of judgment, which we must fear. Rather, because our sins have been forever put away by the blood of Christ, it is now a throne of grace! “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” And our verse does not say that we are to “come boldly,” in all confidence and outspokenness, in order to ask for mercy and to hope for grace in our “time of need.” Rather, it says that we come “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” Like David, we know the Lord as “Thou that hearest prayer.” “Ah, Lord God! Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.” “Pour out your heart before Him.”
I may come boldly unto Him With all my needs and my cares; He has promised grace sufficient, And His promise calms my fears.
“Sincere” means to be “tested by sunlight,” and God wants His people to be tested by the light of His Word and to be found “sincere,” to be clean and pure, truthful and honest, and to be without deceit and pretense. In order for this, He desires “that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment,” and such experience is possible by our “being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” To this end, we are to “desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,” and we have the assurance of God’s grace toward “all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” As we walk in the light of His Word, such “simplicity and godly sincerity” will be ours, as we are “tested by sunlight,” for “the entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,” and to this Word of God “ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts.” Such a life will “prove the sincerity of your love.”
To be “sincere … without offense,” Till the time when He appears, To have Him say to us, “Well done”: Blest reward for all our tears.
These Spirit-inspired words written by Paul to young Timothy are equally applicable to every Christian, for all of us are called to be “an example of the believers” in every area of our lives. We are told to “make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed,” and to “let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ. … Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” We are to “speak … the things which become sound doctrine,” and to be “in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,” that we “no longer should live the rest of … time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” We who are saved “have been called unto liberty,” but we are to “use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” May it not be true of us as it was of the scribes and Pharisees, that “they say, and do not.” Rather, by God’s enabling grace, “be thou an example of the believers.”
Is your life a light for our Lord, Mid the darkness of this world? Showing the power of His grace, Although Satan’s darts are hurled?
As we study the Bible, which “word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” let us be sure that we are “rightly dividing the word of truth.” While all God’s Word is for us “and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”—while it is all for us, it is not all about us. For example, God’s word to Adam was that “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Surely this Scripture, like all other Scripture, “is profitable” to us, as we observe the effects of Adam’s disobedience to it, yet it is not spoken directly to us, for we are not in the Garden of Eden in the beginning of human history, as Adam was. So let us be “rightly dividing the word of truth,” plowing a straight furrow, cutting a clean line. Let us apply to Israel what God has said to them, and let us apply to the church what God has said to us, in wholehearted obedience. Then we can say with the psalmist, “How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”
God’s Word is clear unto the man Whose heart is to obey it, Bringing life and hope and blessing From each verse of Holy Writ.
God’s Word teaches us clearly that in this present age, since Calvary and Pentecost, there is no such thing as a true believer in Christ who does not have the indwelling Holy Spirit, and “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Because we are “in Christ,” God “hath anointed us” by His Spirit, so that we may understand spiritual truth. “Ye have an unction [anointing] from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.” Moreover, God by His Spirit “hath also sealed us,” and we who know the Savior are exhorted to “grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” of our bodies. Having “believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” The Spirit in us is God’s guarantee of our coming glory.
Redeemed by the blood of Jesus, Indwelt by His Spirit now, I would praise His name forever; I would in His presence bow.
If we Christians would know the blessing of constant fellowship with the Lord, we must be “of a contrite and humble spirit,” “for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” “I say … to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” “What hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” Let us never forget that “the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit,” and that “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Thus “saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.”
The one who is self-sufficient Goes on in his haughty way, But he who trusts the Savior Finds new blessings every day.
“Simplicity and godly sincerity.” How much these things are needed by God’s people in the world today. It is a day of extremes, with much activity and movement, and little spirituality, with so-called “super” churches and movements, holding forth great statistics. We do well to remember that “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence.” The Christian life is not lived nor Christian work accomplished “with fleshly wisdom.” It is “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Beware “lest by any means … your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
Human wisdom cannot prevail In work that’s done for the Lord; It must be done in His own strength, By those who trust in His Word.
Because we who know the Savior “are bought with a price,” we are told to “therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” In Christ “we have redemption through His blood,” so we are to leave off those things belonging to the old life, to be “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,” and to live now for His glory, for we “should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” “Ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.” And as we are constantly “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,” we shall experientially find that “He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” “Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”
Laying aside deeds of evil And living godly each day, Sustained by His grace and power, Each step of our pilgrim way.
Paul had just been writing about “our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.” “But,” he continues, “we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.” Thus he connects the deliverance which God has wrought for him with the prayers of his Corinthian friends, “ye also helping together by prayer for us.” Never will we know, until that hour when all the saints are safely home with the Lord, what God has wrought in our lives by the prayers of other saints. Paul, in prison, wrote to the Philippians about his situation and said that “I know that this shall turn to my salvation [deliverance] through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” God’s Word has much to say about our praying one for another. Thus we “bear … one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
As we remember each other Before the throne of His grace, God undertakes for us richly, For each one in his own place.