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

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).

This week I have reconstructed points ten through twelve of Robert Dean’s Doctrine of One Another:

  • Same care for one another.
  • Serve one another through love.
  • Be kind to one another, forgiving each other.

One of the things that Pastor Dean keeps coming back to in this study is how modern Americans are so individualistic that we don’t have the sense of “one another” that we should have. That is true and I won’t deny it. However I don’t think that this is a uniquely American problem. What little I know of Church history points to a long record of strife. Several examples come quickly to mind: Augustine versus Pelagius, the Roman Catholic Church versus the Greek Orthodox Church, Luther and Zwingly versus the Anabaptists.

Of course Pastor Dean is teaching an American congregation so it is reasonable that he tailor his message to them. My point is that the Church has a long history of messing this up on both the personal and corporate levels. There is much room for improvement.

———- Doctrine of One Another points 10 through 12 ———-

10. Same care for one another. (1 Cor. 12:25)

1 Corinthians 12:25 “that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”

I wasn’t able to find much about this passage in Pastor Dean’s Hebrews transcripts but, fortunately, he has also taught the book of 1 Corinthians so I just went to those transcripts for an excerpt.

From I Corinthians lesson 83 transcript:

1 Corinthians 12:25 NASB “so that there may be no division in the body, but {that} the members may have the same care for one another.” Once again, there is this mutual ministry within the body of Christ. Christians are not just individuals floating out there in isolation from other believers. We are all part of the body of Christ and we are to encourage and care for one another. [26] “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if {one} member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” We may not realize it but if there is a missionary over in India or Africa and they are going through some sort of crisis that affects the whole body of Christ. Remember, we are working together in the unity of the body of Christ in relationship to the angelic conflict. That is why we are to pray for one another. And “if {one} member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” This is because there is that objective care and love for one another, impersonal love for one another based on our unity in Christ.

11. Serve one another through love. (Gal. 5:13)

Galatians 5:13 “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

From the Hebrews lesson 166 transcript:

When we see that word “called”, that immediately takes us back to the responsibility that we have as members within the body of Christ.  The calling of the believer is tantamount to his adoption, his being placed within the body of Christ.  So within the body of Christ we are all equally members of body of Christ.  We are members of God’s royal family.  In Galatians Paul has developed a Doctrine of Adoption to a higher degree than it had been before.  We’re adopted into God’s royal family.  As adult sons, as huios sons, in God’s royal family, there is a level of conduct that is expected of us.  We are expected to behave in a way that reflects honorably upon God the Father and upon the family, the royal family of God.  So that is the reference to the calling here.

In the excerpt above Pastor Dean mentions the believer’s adoption into the body of Christ. When the word adoption is used in the New Testament it doesn’t have the same meaning that is does today. It can be quite difficult to find resources on the concept of our adoption into the body of Christ. However I have two resources that discuss adoption that you may find helpful:

  1. The Doctrine of Adoption as taught by R.B. Thieme, Jr. (link here)
  2. Calvinism: A Closer Look Chapter 16 – Predestination Unto Adoption (link here) by Daniel Gracely

12. Be kind one another, forgiving each other. (Eph 4:32; Col 3:13)

John 13:14 “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Colossians 3:13 “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

From the Hebrews lesson 166 transcript:

We are to bear one another’s burdens.  Now even though Colossians 3:13 uses the English word “bear”, that’s a different word there.  The root there is anecho in the Greek.  In Galatians 6:2 it’s a different word.  It is the Greek word bastazo which also has that same idea.  It’s used to mean the same thing: to put up, to endure suffering because of somebody else’s failures.  So the command in verse 13, it’s a present active imperative meaning it is to characterize our lives all the time.  This is a standard operating procedure.  Present imperatives emphasize something that is to continuously be present in our lives. An aorist imperative emphasizes the immediate need to put this into application.  So we are to bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the Law of Christ that is loving one another.  So that’s clear in the verse.  There we have the Greek word bastazo meaning to lift, to carry physically.   But it’s used metaphorically to endure suffering with somebody, to put up with someone else’s failures or flaws, to get involved with their burdens as well as your own.  Verse 13 – we are to bear one another’s burdens and thus we fulfill the Law of Christ.

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