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Previous:Paul's One Another Passages; Paul's One Another Passages, Part II

PAUL'S "ONE ANOTHER" PASSAGES, Part III

November 16, 2014

L. John Bost
L. John Bost
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1-2:
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.
Longsuffering is from a Greek word meaning, "forbearance, patience, longsuffering" (Vine). Forbearing is from a word meaning, "to hold up" ... is used in the Middle Voice in the NT, signifying "to bear with, endure" (Vine). Paul writes in Colossians 3:12-13,
Put on therefore, as the elect of God ... longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
The idea is that God's people will be patient with one another, and forgive one another, as Albert Barnes puts it, "Bearing patiently with the foibles, faults, and infirmities of others." We all make mistakes. We want others to be patient with us, so we should be patient with them! Remember, Jesus said, "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise" (Luke 6:31).
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." In context, Paul is reminding his readers that the Lord will one day return, and those who have died in Christ will rise and, together with the living in Christ, will meet the Lord in the air and forever be with him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Later he writes, "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do" (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Again, in context, he is admonishing his readers to comfort one another with the fact that we are with the Lord "whether we wake or sleep" (1 Thessalonians 5:8-11). What greater words of comfort could one give than that the Lord will one day return for His own and take them to live with Him forever! Some in Thessalonica were apparently grieving because some who were faithful children of God had died and (so they thought) had missed their opportunity to be with the Lord in heaven. Paul corrects this misconseception with a description of the events of that Great Day when "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout" (1 Thessalonians 4:16). We should, as Paul admonishes these brethren, "comfort one another with these words!" (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Paul writes in 1 Thessaloninans 5:11, "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." Edify is from a Greek word meaning, Lit., "to build a house"... (is used metaphorically, in the sense of "edifying," promoting the spiritual growth and development of character of believers..." (Vine). Paul writes in Romans 14:19, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." Paul gives an excellent alternative to a foul mouth, writing in Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Our concern as Christians should be for others and their spiritual growth, not merely for our own growth. Paul writes in Romans 15:2, "Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification." One of the reasons the church exists is for mutual edification of its members. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:16, concerning the body (the church, Ephesians 1:22-23):
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
When a congregation of the Lord's church works together in that way, it will not only grow spiritually, but numerically as well! To be continued...
*Meredith, J.L. Meredith's Book Of Bible Lists. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1980. Print.

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