The Church, a Body in Covenant: Commitments we make to our fellow believers
SERIES: The Church, a Body in Covenant"
TITLE: "Commitments we make to our fellow believers"
TEXT: Romans 12:9-21
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love;
To remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress: to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech:
To be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible , unite with some other church. where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.
I. 1.WATCH OVER ONE ANOTHER IN BROTHERLY LOVE (VS. 9-10).
A. Demonstrate real brotherly love to one another (v. 9).
1. Not just a show, make it real.
a) (1 John 4:20-21) "If someone says, "1 love God" and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."
2. It is to be a tender family kind of love.
B. Show honor to one another (v. 10).
1. Show honor in treatment of one another.
2. Show honor in speech toward one another. a) (Proverbs 10:12) "Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins."
II. PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER (VS. 12c).
A. Be given to intercessory prayer.
1. We are commanded to do so:
a) (James 5:16) ''Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
b) (Colossians 1:9-11) "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge off his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, beingfruiO4 in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light."
2. Jesus gave us the example:
"Jesus spoke these words, lified up His eyes to heaven
I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me for they are Yours. "And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them...." "Now 1 am no longer in the world, but these are in the world and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are ...I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world....Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth ...."As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world„ And for their sakes 1 sanctify Myself that they also may be sanctified by the truth ...I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may he one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me....Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where 1 am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me." (John 17:1-25 NKJV)
3. This involves all types of needs: physical, emotional,
III. BE A HELP IN DISTRESS AND SICKNESS (VS. 13,15).
A. Become a partner in times of need (v.13).
1. Luke did so for Paul
2. The Philippians did so for Paul.
3. The early church set an example.
" Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lucked; far all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And „loses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet." (Acts 4:32-37 NKJV)
B. Have a tender heart toward other believers who are in need (v.15).
1. The actions will come from from the heart.
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45 NKJV)
"Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out tithe abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34)
IV. BE A CHRISTIAN WITH MY TONGUE (VS. 14).
A. Use the tongue to build up, not tear down.
" For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a petted man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world ofiniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell." (James 3:2-6 NKJV)
" Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. (1 Timothy 5:19 NKJV)
B. Use the tongue to encourage. not discourage.
" Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edt6, another." (Romans 14:19 NKJV)
V. BE SLOW TO TAKE OFFENSE AND QUICK TO RECONCILE
A. Be slow to he offended and angered.
1. . Being quick to be offended and angered leads to sin.
" So then, my beloved brethren, let even' man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.- (James 1:19-20 NKJV)
B. Reconciliation, not revenge is God's way (v. 17, 19-21).
" Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine. 1 will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head" Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17-21 NKJV)
VI. BE AN ACTIVE, OBEDIENT CHRISTIAN (VS. 11-12B).
A. Exemplify red-hot, passionate service for Christ (v.11a).
1. Not like lukewarm Laodicean Christians.
"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithfid and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' —and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not he revealed and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door. I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." (Revelation 3:14-21 NKJV)
B. Rejoice in your future (v.I 2a).
1. Remember your eternal home.
C. Remain in the fight (v.I2b).
1. Follow the example or the Christians at Smyrna.
"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of fife. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death." (Revelation 2:8-11 NKJV)
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