Tuesday, August 22, 2023
by David Brenneman
"Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
"For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God." 1 Corinthians 4:4-5.
"Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me." 1 Corinthians 4:16.
"For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:20.
We either build up or we are tearing down others. In most respects it's to do with how we view ourselves more than the other people or people.
We have a sin nature that doesn't want us to view ourselves as being out of touch or imperfect in our own speech, love and any other way. We can easily be a flavor of Pharisee or a flavor of Sadducee. We can be a flavor of the same kind of Levite that also judged a wounded man and left him vs that Samaritan who didn't.
Taking others apart, even to the extent of doubting their salvation, is more of a sign of our character than any character of Christ that's supposed to be in us.
We cannot be party to the tearing apart of others in the body of Christ. As it is in the physical body, cells that independently attack good cells are abnormal. They are atypically cancerous.
We who are in Christ are to be building one another up in the Lord. Not looking for excuses to not go down a road with another in the faith and thereby trying to discredit others in the body of Christ.
We are, above all else, saved in Christ Jesus. We are to be an active part of the body of Christ. We are to lay aside self in favor of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Taking up our own cross and following Jesus Christ. Dying to self. Not elevating self. Not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.
The parts of 1 Corinthians that I was drawn to carry a theme. What's interesting is the overlapping wisdom there about others I can see in my reading through Proverbs. God's Word compliments God's Word.
Satan wants us to sin in our self justification of our choices in our lives...and that's what self-justification is.
If we're needing to defend ourselves, our choices, by tearing down others, then, my Dear Friend, we are sinning. Sinning.
How will such people stand before Jesus to explain such things? How will they look at those they tore apart standing in Heaven as they are? Sure, in this here, this now, people will feel their false sense of sanctimonious living. That they think they did the right thing. Whether in this life or the next, the consequences will follow for the error of their ways.
We are to prefer one another above ourselves. Romans 12:10.
We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33.
"and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24.
ALL the works we do, supposedly in the name of Jesus, are for nothing if we're living in defiance of the life He has in mind for us to live. By defiance, it can even be in a single area of life, it's still disobedience. It usually starts out with "But God I just can't, they...". It can escalate to a low level holier-than-thou attitude. Which is tearing someone apart to make the person feel better about their own choices.
We who have long enough have knowledge of WWJD. What Would Jesus Do.
Paul's admonishing the church in Christ everywhere to be imitators of Christ Jesus. Put on Christ, put off self. Do not give provision to sin in regards to our choices.
Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. He's not yelling or hollering suggestions. He whispers.
My Dear Reader, please, first of all, be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus. Second, put off self, put on Christ Jesus. Don't attempt to destroy what God is doing in your life for the sake of self. Don't tear down others to make you feel good about the life you're insisting on living. It's extremely dangerous to try to get God to curse whom is blessed by God. Read about how that went down in the Old Testament. God will not curse whom He has blessed and will not bless those who have chosen to be cursed. You choose to be considered cursed by living intentionally against the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. What did Jesus say? What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?
Build one another up in the Lord.
"being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3.
As God has repeatedly demonstrated, as long as we breathe, there's hope. We can do the right thing in Christ. We are commanded to forgive if we indeed have been forgiven by Christ Jesus. If we do not, He will not. Simple as that.
How will you face your brother’s and sister's in Christ for all eternity knowing what you thought, said or did? It's possible for those things to weigh on our hearts and minds at that point because there indeed will be tears that Christ Himself will be wiping away. Those will be to do with how we did or didn't live for Jesus as we should have...as well ad those we knew who chose not to come to Christ.
We are here to point people to Jesus. We are here to share what great things He has done for us. Building one another up in the Lord. Build up.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation