Serving One Another
One of the greatest duties a Christian can perform is a service to a fellow Christian. In 1 Peter 4:8-9 we read: "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint".
First notice that we are to do this in a fervent manner. The idea of "fervent" is to do so with all your might, and to continue such action as long as necessary. Related words are "intense" "earnestly", and "diligent." So our love should not be a one time or every now and then type of love, but it is to be a continual love for each other in our fellowship of Christians. When we demonstrate this love which can be done is many different ways, we are in effect covering many sins. Not only helping the one we love to avoid sin and motivate them to live right before God, but when we are doing the Lord's work, we have a confidence that we are doing right, and we also make the effort to avoid sin and live right before God.
The idea of hospitality is to open our homes and really ourselves to others. To do this to make them feel like part of the family. To give them a sense of belonging.
We know that when church discipline is done properly, we withdraw the fellowship, and deprive the person of this love which is so enjoyable. By being deprived, perhaps they will understand the error of their way, and repent and return to God, and start living right. 1 Peter 4:10 reads: "as each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." Even though we understand that the Holy Spirit gave special gifts back in those days, that is not what is meant here.
The point is that we are here to serve each other in any way necessary and possible. By doing this we are doing what God demands of us, and we also are demonstrating one of the facets of the grace of God, which is described in many ways. That is what manifold means.
Finally, our speech is to be flawless and without reproach, and it is to be of such kindness that it is as if God is doing the speaking. While there is some application for preachers to preach the word without error, and to teach it in its simplicity, and accurately so as not to conflict with God's word, the context does not apply here. It is our service that is important, and we treat this service as if God Himself is doing such. The end result of all of this action is that God is going to be glorified. We will also understand that without Christ and His example, this glory would be wasted. Jesus deserves all the glory we can offer to Him. By treating our fellow Christian with love, we are honoring and glorifying God by our actions. Others are suppose to see this behavior, and seek to follow such behavior and be saved. In this God is glorified.
By Carey Scott
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