Imperatives for a Caring Church
Dr. Ron Dunn
"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, looking to yourselves, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one shall bear his own load. And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith."
A person's conduct toward others is largely determined by his opinion of himself. Now, Paul is picturing the church here as a caring community...as a family. You'll notice that chapter 6, verse 1 opens with the word, "brethren," and that chapter also closes with the word "brethren." And in between he uses that expression, "the household" or "the family" of believers and what Paul is emphasizing is that we are a family...we are brothers and sisters in Christ. And our conduct toward one another is determined by our opinion of ourselves...and he's going to talk about the conduct that we should have toward each other. But I want you to notice he is saying in that last part of chapter 5... "if we live in the Spirit" or "since we derive our ...
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