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Sunday, September 18, 2016 am                                                    Others 2016 Index

 

OTHERS 2016 (32)
BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER
Ephesians 4:2

 

We have been addressing various “one another” passages as they describe relationship to “one another” as brethren.  We have noted our fellowship with one another, and our need to love, be of the same mind, consider, greet and be kind to one another.   Throughout these lessons we have mentioned that these qualities include bearing with one another.   Today we want to address what bearing with one another involves.

 I.                     Bearing (endurance)

a.       Bear is from a Greek word that means, “to regard with tolerance, endure, put up with.” (BDAG)
The KJV uses the word, “forbearing” in our text
When we use the word we think of putting up with (tolerating) someone or something.   While that is the idea of the word, let us not forget that as Christians our motive is not simply to tolerate someone, it is more of the endurance because of who we are as brethren.

b.       Passages that use this word

                                                   i.      1 Corinthians 4:12, being persecuted we endure

                                                 ii.      2 Corinthians 11:1 – Oh that you would bear with me a little folly…

                                                iii.      2 Timothy 4:3, the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine

                                                iv.      Hebrews 13:22, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation…

                                                  v.      IN summary, this word is about being patient and enduring whatever it is we face.

c.        We are a spiritual family.  Throughout these “one another” qualities we have emphasized how we the family of God.  Families, while they love each, have quirks – but they stay together and they are there for each another.
We all know the church is the people who make up the body.  While God’s pattern for her is perfect, she is filled with imperfect people – people with quirks.  And sometimes things are messy – there are personality clashes, people that are difficult or just different, people that have flaws both in attitude and action (think of bitterness, sulky, etc.)  Christians have bad days.  Also some are more selfish than they ought to be, overly critical, etc.  Some, while well meaning, are not as tactful with their words as others.  Some are struggling with weaknesses or even with sin.  Sometimes they disagree with you on some passage of scripture and challenge you – and not always nicely.  Some don’t like certain songs Etc.  Some are demanding when it comes to getting their way.  Right or wrong – such things are a reality, and honestly, some are able to suppress or handle these things better than others.  Some are impatient in dealing with our quirks and differences.  BUT, to maintain our spiritual family – we MUST bear with one another.

 II.                   Bearing with one another –

a.       Ephesians 4:1-3, Colossians 3:13 – bearing with one another is the command

b.       Jesus gives us an example – when we study the interaction of Jesus with His apostles and disciples, we see great forbearance.  Considering how they squabbled with one another.  They didn’t grasp the teachings of Jesus as they should have.  In his midst was Peter with his impetuous attitude and overconfidence; James and John being impatient with others, Judas who was greedy and a thief, Thomas and his doubting, various apostles who had weak faith at times.  Yet, Jesus loved them and continued to patiently mold them.  That is was forbearance is about. 
In Matthew 17:17, after the disciples weak faith failed to cast out a demon, Jesus said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I bear with you?...”
As we study the life of Jesus we see what it means to bear with one another. 

c.        Similarly, Paul is an example of bearing with one another – again, a study of his life shows that he put up with a great deal for the sake of his brethren.  He dealt with error and had to correct brethren.  He was criticized for both his apostleship and ministry and had to continually defend it.  He dealt with persecutions and lack on occasions (1 Cor. 4:12).  He dealt with betrayal and abandonment.  Disappointment with his Jewish brethren who declared him an enemy.  Yet he never stopped caring for his brethren.  In fact, they were constantly on his mind – (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:28, Philippians 1:21-26, etc.).
ONE reason for Paul’s forbearance was a realization of how God and Christ had dealt with him – 1 Timothy 1:16 – Jesus showed him all longsuffering, etc.

d.       Bearing with one another requires: (Ephesians 4:1-3)

                                                   i.      Patience – as the word implies, we need to be patient in dealing with each other.   1 Thessalonians 5:14 says, Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

                                                 ii.      Love – we have been emphasizing this.  It is because of our love for one another that we are willing to bear with one another.  1 Peter 4:8 – it will cover a multitude of sins (not ignore sin, but bear with it if necessary).  Love suffers long (1 Cor. 13:4) and bears all things (13:7).

                                                iii.      Work – we strive for unity – endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Paul points out that we are working at this.  The incomplete list of inadequacies among brethren mentioned above is not easy deal with.  It takes a resolve, a good attitude and intense effort to maintain godliness in such circumstances.  But we can and MUST for the sake of God and one another!

                                                iv.      A willingness to deal with it -  like so many things, we have to make up our minds that we are going to treat one another properly no matter what the circumstance.  This willingness is not merely about them; it is about YOU!  You are the only person you can change and help the situation.  Think of Philippians 2:3-4, Galatians 6:1 – considering yourself…

Examination from time to time – look inward!  I challenge each of us who have those we think we are bearing with – are there quirks about me that requires others to put up with me?  Is my attitude godly? Have I contributed to the intensity of a situation? 

                                                  v.      A willingness to forgive – Colossians 3:13. Associated with bearing with one another is a willingness to forgive others.  There may be times when you are wronged and have a legitimate cause.  But ARE YOU WILLING to forgive?   This is part of the process of bearing with one another.

 III.                 Bear one another’s burdens

a.       Galatians 6:2 – a completely DIFFERENT word for bear, with a little different meaning, but it still involves endurance.   It is the Greek word, βαστάζω (bastazō) and means to carry or sustain something. 
Matt. 3:11 – John was not worthy to carry the sandal of Jesus.  Matt. 20:12 speaks of some who had borne (carried) the burden of the day.
Luke 14:27 – we are to bear our cross, Galatians 6:5 – each of us to bear his own load.
This is the word we find in Romans 15:1, we who are strong ought to bear with the weaknesses of the weak.

b.       Galatians 6:2, 5 - The text is calling for us to help a brother who is struggling with a heavy load (a difficult concern). 
This is contrasted with the individual load one is to bear on his own – those things which we must do for ourselves and no one can help us with them.
Applying this to our lesson today, consider how as we endure our brethren in their idiosyncrasies and weaknesses, instead of being critical or overly judgmental (Matthew 7:1-5), why not try to HELP them with their burdens.  Be there for them.
As scriptures teach that we must each carry out our own responsibilities, let us do our PART in bearing with one another.

 

Serving God is not always easy, and our brethren, our spiritual family, are there for us, and we are to be there for them.  Let us resolve that we will strive to be EVERYTHING we can be for them.   Let us bear with one another even as God bears with us. Think about it.