Friday, August 29, 2014

Confidence in My Brothers

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.  (Romans 15:13-14)

And concerning you, my brethren Growing up in a Baptist church, I became accustomed to the terms “brother” and “sister” being used to greet a member of our fellowship.  It was a common thing to me and I never considered how odd this must seem to the world around us.  Paul used this term showing his affection to those he addressed, owning the spiritual relation they stood in to him, and declaring the great esteem he had for them, and the high opinion he had of them. He then proceeded to share his confidence in them by sharing his opinion.

…you yourselves are full of goodness Maybe today we might hear someone refer to others as “good people”.  The meaning would be clear that these are honest, trustworthy and even compassionate individuals.  However, I feel Paul was speaking of something different concerning his spiritual kin.  He knew that no man was good naturally, for there is no good thing in men by nature.  But what they had was from the Spirit of God, whose fruit is "goodness".  These who were displaying their tolerance and acceptance were displaying the very fruit of the Spirit that God grants to every believer.

…filled with all knowledge – Again, not with every sort of human knowledge such as the knowledge of all languages, or of all the arts and sciences.  But with all spiritual knowledge relating to God and his mind and will.  In other words, they understood Christ and the work of redemption by him; to the Spirit, and the operations of his grace; to the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; to their duty to God, fellow creatures, and fellow Christians.  In short, they were people of spiritual wisdom.

Such a confidence in his brothers caused him to be confident that they would be able also to admonish one another.  Since they were both good and wise, he knew that they would properly deal with those who needed to be corrected in either their doctrine or behavior without offending with their attitude or spiritual pride.  The words one another acknowledge the fact that we all have our blind spots and need someone who will speak honestly and lovingly to us about them.
by the power of the Holy Spirit - Here is an important point for today.  When God commands us to do something, He will provide the means and the method to do it.  His Spirit within us is our source for goodness and wisdom.  Where the Spirit of Christ is, the power of Christ is.  The ability to do the will of God is from God, not us.  I can trust those who I feel are working from the power that works within them.

Today I am grateful for my “brothers and sisters” in the Lord.  And I pray that the God of hope (will) fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope.

Scripture to Claim:

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.  (Galatians 6:1)

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