Christian vs. Christian: Hebrews 10:24-25 Part III

This week I am continuing with my series of posts on Christian behavior toward other Christians (please read my introductory post for why I am posting on this topic).

I am trying to piece together Robert Dean’s doctrine of “one another” which is based on the Koine Greek word allēlōn. Pastor Dean has pulled together a survey of New Testament passages where the word allēlōn is used in reference to the Church. These passages keep reinforcing the concept that the church is much more than a sum of the parts (individual believers).

This week I have reconstructed points six through nine of this doctrine:

  • Be of the same mind to one another.
  • Building up one another.
  • Accept one another.
  • Admonish one another.

The church has a purpose that can only be accomplished by the church acting in unison. Of course that unity can only be found in truth which seems to be in short supply at the present time. Most Christians I have met would agree with that statement.

My experience has been that few Christians are really aware that they are to help other believers. I suppose if you were to ask about it that many believers would say: “of course we are to help other believers!” but they never really seem to act like it. On the other hand I have met believers who seem to dearly love to admonish other believers. Of course their definition of “admonish” seems to be “give ’em both barrels if they disagree on any point of doctrine.” That is certainly not the sense I get from Pastor Dean’s exposition.

I have tired to recreate points six through nine of Pastor Dean’s doctrine along with a few snippets from his online transcript to provide some depth:

———- Doctrine of One Another points 6 through 9 ———-

6. Be of the same mind to one another. (Rom. 12:16; 15:5; Phil. 2:3)

Romans 12:16
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

Romans 15:5
Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

Philippians 2:2-3
make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

From the Hebrews lesson 164 transcript:

So because there’s this problem of divisiveness in the Philippian congregation he expresses this as an aorist imperative meaning they need to get their act together and they need to make this a priority to quit being so self absorbed and to start thinking the same way.

We see an example of the divisiveness later on in chapter 4 when he has two women Euodia and Syntyche. They are having some kind of personal conflict.

But here he’s talking to the congregation as a whole.  He says, “You need to be same minded.”

That’s further developed as having the same love.  So their love is set up as an expression of being what?  Having the same kind of thinking.  So love is expressed not as an emotion, but as part of thinking, part of objective thought.  That’s where Americans tend to run on rough ground when they’re thinking about love.  We tend to think that the dictionary has it right. The dictionary just reflects usage.  Most people think that love is an emotion.  But the kind of love that God has is related to thinking.

7. Building up one another. (Rom 14:19)

Romans 14:19
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

From the Hebrews lesson 164 transcript:

So let’s just look at the context.  We’ve got about 5 more minutes.  Let’s just look at the context so we pick up what Paul was talking about there in Roman 14:19.  Again this is a section dealing with the problem of a weaker brother.  Now a weaker brother is an immature brother, a brother who is another believer who may have problems with something that is perfectly legitimate to be engaged in.  This can involve any number of different activities.   Many cultures have different taboos.  Many religious groups have different taboos where they say you just can’t do this and be holy or you can’t do that and be holy.  And, it has nothing to do with the Bible.

In the ancient world, many times there were problems with, for example with the Corinthians. They had meat that had been sacrificed or offered to a god in the pagan temple.  Then it would be sold in the meat market and then people would go down there and buy the meat. And it was some of the better meat because it was offered to the god or goddess.  Then they would bring it home to eat it.  There were some people who this bothered their conscience.

So the issue was, well what do we do with situations like this?  What do you do with these kinds of circumstances?  We have our own set of taboos in 20th century, 21st century American Christianity.  Often these are just values set up by the culture or sometimes they’re set up by legalistic form of Christianity.  It doesn’t have anything to do with the Bible or grace whatsoever.  But, because we understand that somebody is coming out of this background, somebody has this kind of problem; we’re just not going to make an issue out of it.  That’s the idea related to the law of liberty as we have the freedom to participate in some things, but because of the law of love that’s described in this chapter as well, we choose not to so it’s not an issue until this other believer can become a little better educated in spiritual truth.

8. Accept one another. (Rom. 15:7)

Romans 15:7
Therefore, accept [proslambanō] one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

Proslambanō: take, receive, or accept into one’s society; accept as part of the family.

From the Hebrews lesson 165 transcript:

So once again that pattern goes to Christ.  Now I know that you think that Christ received you because you’re so special and wonderful and how could He possibly think any less of me.  But, He thought less of all of us because we’re all obnoxious.  We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.   So we’re not any better than anybody else so let’s get over that and have a little grace orientation. This would be an application again of that grace orientation honoring one another.  Here it’s under the idea of receiving one another as part of the family.

9. Admonish one another. (Rom. 15:14)

Romans 15:14
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 [noutheteō] one another.

Noutheteō: To warn, advise, admonish, or teach.

From the Hebrews lesson 165 transcript:

[…] There are mature believers we can go to and be advised how to handle these kinds of situations.  But, it’s preceded by knowledge.  So, older women are to teach younger women how to love their husbands, how to love their children, how to be workers at home.  Not all women are naturally domestic.  Not all women are naturally clean and orderly around the house or good homemakers.  They may not have come up in an environment like that.

So they need to learn from others “How do I take care of these kinds of things around the house? How do I be a good wife?”

Men have to learn how to be a good husband.  There needs to be older men who do the same thing for younger men.  It’s just part of those friendships and relationships that are built within the body of Christ.

So this word noutheteo is often used in that kind of a context.  So we admonish one another.  This isn’t a formal thing.  It’s not something that you run around looking for opportunities to admonish one another.  It’s just something that comes over the course of time and the course of growth.

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3 Comments on “Christian vs. Christian: Hebrews 10:24-25 Part III”

  1. Glenn Says:

    I am posting a comment I received from my sister that she sent to me via e-mail. I am reprinting this with her permission.
    ————

    Hi Glenn,

    I read your post this week. I thought it was interesting. The only comment I have is about admonishing other believers. I guess I think that it’s not up to me to tell other people how to live their lives; that it’s none of my business. I wouldn’t consider telling someone how to clean their house or do normal activities. Can you imagine admonishing [someone we know] for how they live? I don’t see that happening. I can see if someone needs genuine advice and talks to me and I’d tell them what I’d do.

    I can tell you that the lady that cuts [my husband’s] and [son’s] hair is Christian and also goes to BSF. She used to go at the same time I do, but because of her hours on her job, she goes on a different day & time. Well, she started a conversation a couple of months ago about how she can see why God put men in leadership positions because women don’t get along. I think something bad happened because they changed her station. Anyway, I made a remark about how some women in [my husband’s] family didn’t get along well. Somehow that prompted her to give me marriage advice based on what Peter said about wives being submissive. It didn’t go over well. I still don’t want to talk to her. I think she interpreted that wrong and I still don’t really care for her. So, I took that as sticking her nose in something that was none of her business.

    So, if admonishing is looking for advice and looking up to someone, I think that’s fine. If it’s sticking your nose in where it doesn’t belong, I don’t agree. I thought your post was interesting. People really don’t treat others well. I see it everywhere I go. I know it’s important for believers to treat each other well, but it’s a huge systemic issue in our country anymore where it didn’t used to be.

    Anyway, take care. Talk to ya later.

    Bobbi

    • Glenn Says:

      Hi Bobbi,

      I don’t think that what Robert Dean has in mind is so invasive. It can be a bit difficult picking up on everything he is trying to say just by reading the transcripts but here is another quote that may answer your question:

      At times there are people who have blowouts on the road to spiritual maturity. They’re lying in a ditch somewhere and we happen to come along and they look up and ask for help. So we have to somehow know how to change that spiritual flat tire. So there has to be some knowledge there. I’m using that as an illustration of counseling, of just one person to another. We all have people in our circle of friends who at times go through problems, issues, challenges – things that are not quite as significant or determinative you might say.

      “I’ve got a parent to deal with. I’ve got a child situation here. You’ve had some experience here. What do you think?”

      ..those kinds of things. That would come under this principle of advising, admonishing, teaching one another.

      Glenn

      • Bobbi Swanson Says:

        I like what Robert Dean has to say about this issue. It gives me a lot of guidance and it makes sense to me.


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