A Constantly Abiding FriendBro. David Chancellor
1/16/2005 6:00 PM
People around you need to be able to count on you to be consistent. It’s good to have people you can count on.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
This speaks of the love of God and the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God causes us to do the work by putting the love of God in the heart. Without the love of God, we’ll make a mess of things. We want to help people to understand. Love helps you to tailor the message to the other person’s level of understanding.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
"Abhor that which is detrimental and cleave to that which edifies." Check things out before you do them to see if they will be detrimental to others. We should desire to do what would be a help. Is what we’re doing beneficial?
And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
This is a picture of dissimulation. Dissimulation is an inconsistent love. The love of God doesn’t change depending on who shows up. The love of God extends beyond the brethren to sinners. If it doesn’t, then you’ve missed the message of the Bible. God loved us when we were sinners. His love in us is consistent.
1 Peter 1:22-23
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
This is not a fake love. We don’t just "act like" we love someone. Love is real love when it’s the same whether the person is there or not. It shouldn’t be an "on again, off again" kind of love. That kind of love isn’t the love of God. We should continue to love those that have turned aside. Just because they’re gone doesn’t mean we don’t care about them. Inconsistent love isn’t what we’re after. Love goes out even when someone would hurt you. Love should flow like water. If there’s enough water, it can move things out of the way. Love should be the same way. It should flow out of us naturally. We can love the sinner without backing away from the truth. We don’t want to be fake. We want to have real love for mankind. The Spirit of God gives us a consistent love for others.
Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
"Let brotherly love continue…" Don’t stop the flow. Let the love of God flow unrestricted. Let it continue both in us and in others. There’s nothing wrong with caring about your sinner friends. God can use you to show them his love. Let your love be a real love. This is how the work of God will go forward.