Video Transcript: Building Each Other Up

Listen to God's Word in Romans. After teaching all the great realities of salvation in the Lord  Jesus Christ and God's plan for history, the apostle talks about living as one body in Christ.  Last week, we heard from Romans 14 about accepting one another and today we're going to  hear what the Scripture says about building each other up from Romans 15, verses one  through 14. We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please  ourselves, each of us should please his neighbor for his good to build him up. For even Christ  did not please himself. But as it is written, the insults of those who insult you have fallen upon me, for everything that was written in the past, was written to teach us. So that through  endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures, we might have hope. May the God who  gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves, as you  follow Christ Jesus so that with one heart and mouth, you may glorify the God and Father of  our Lord Jesus Christ, accept one another then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring  praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's  truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs, so that the Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy. As it is written, therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles, I will sing hymns to  your name. Again, it says, Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people. And again, praise the Lord all  you Gentiles and sing praises to Him, all you peoples. And again, Isaiah says, the root of Jesse will spring up, the one who will arise to rule over the nations the Gentiles will hope in Him.  May the God of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may  overflow with hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit. I myself am convinced my brothers that  you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge, and competent to instruct one  another. This ends the reading of God's word, and God always blesses His Word to those who  listen. There's an old poem that says I saw them tearing a building down a gang of men in the dusty town with a yo heave hoe and a lusty yell, they swung a beam and the sidewall fell. I  asked the foreman if those men were as skilled as the men he'd hire, if he were to build, he  laughed and said, Oh, no, indeed, common labor is all I need. For those men can wreck in a  day or two, what builders had taken years to do then I asked myself as I went my way, which  kind of role Am I to play? Am I the builder who builds with care, measuring life by the rule and the square? Or am I wrecker who walks the town content with the role of tearing down  sometimes I've seen little children build a tower. And they take the blocks and one by one,  they build that tower. And then along comes the other one, and blasts it to smithereens. And  the one who built the tower is not smiling. Sometimes with my own kids or grandkids, they  enjoy wrecking so much that they want me to do the building and then they get to do the  wrecking. So you stack them and you stack and then boom, they blow it all away. It is so  much easier, and in some ways, almost more fun to just wreck something than to carefully  one block at a time build it up. Now, it's not so serious if little kids are playing with blocks. But I remember one of my mentors Joel Nederhood when I first came to Back to God Ministries  telling me Dave, it takes years and years to build a solid Christian ministry. It takes a very  short time to wreck it. There are many, many situations in which building is a long term thing  and wrecking happens in a few minutes. And the apostle is urging his readers back there in  Rome, and also here today to be people who build others up and don't get our jollies from just smashing things and tearing them down. As we think about building each other up. I want to  focus in five different areas that the apostle does first bearing with each other pleasing each  other building each other up. An element of that is simply doing as Jesus did, he tells us to  follow Jesus example. He also tells us the purpose of the Bible, and says that if we're going to  be builders, who encourage each other in the right way for our good, we need to do it through the encouragement of the scriptures. Then he also speaks his own words of blessing of  endurance and encouragement and good hope. And in the final verse that we've read today,  he even expresses words of admiring those to whom he's writing and affirming who they are a very striking statement, I'm convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in  knowledge, and able to instruct one another. So let's look at each of those in turn, we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves, each of us  should please his neighbor, for his good to build him up. And I could emphasize three words in there to bear or to carry, to please, and to build. He says bear with one another, and, and that word bear can sometimes simply mean put up with that's part of building others is you put up

with them. That doesn't sound all that noble. But putting up with people isn't always easy.  Putting up with you isn't always easy. But, you know, for each of us, we say, Boy, I have a  hard time putting up with so and so and so and so may be having a hard time putting up with  you. But when you're going to build each other up, one of the things you'd simply do is put up with each other, bear with each other and the faults and weaknesses that people have. But  also, bearing also can mean carry, the original word in the Greek can mean just to kind of put  up with but it also can mean carry somebody else when they need carrying. And so when the  apostle is writing, I've got the wrong reference there at the bottom. But this is from Galatians  chapter six brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him  gently, but watch yourself, or you also may be tempted, carry each other's burdens. And this  way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Then he goes on to say that if somebody thinks he's  something when he's nothing, he deceives himself, he says, Each one should examine his  own work. So he can take pride in himself and not compare him to somebody else, because  each one should carry his own load. So you've got two phrases there, carry each other's  burdens, and carry your own load. This sometimes refers to just helping people out of the sins that they've gotten trapped in. But it also can apply more broadly, where sometimes you're  carrying, and sometimes you're being carried. When we're watching a basketball game, or a  football game, and somebody's playing exceptionally well, we sometimes say he's the carry,  or he's really carrying his team, his teammates may be a little off, but he's really got it going  today. And he is carrying them to victory. And the apostle is saying that if you're one of the  strong, if you're really excelling, one of the things you're doing is carrying others along with  you. To go to sports analogy, once again, this whole idea of carrying each other's burdens and then being told to carry your own burden. Sounds like it's almost a contradiction. He says it  within a few verses of each other, carry each other's burdens, bear your own load, carry your  own load. Again, just if you like basketball, compare it to a good man to man defense, if  you're playing man to man, each of you has an assignment, you're supposed to guard this  particular person and shut them down. And so carry your own load, guard your guy and guard him well. But we all know that sometimes you just can't guard him very well or you stumble or you just can't keep up with somebody. And what happens then well, in a good man to man  defense, somebody else on the team leaves and comes over to cover your guy. He's carrying  your load because you couldn't quite manage it. And on a great team, they don't all just say  now everybody stick with your guy no matter what. You have a responsibility to cover that  person. But you also have responsibility to help out the rest of the team in case one of them  breaks down in their assignment. And the apostle is saying here, each of you should focus on  carrying your own load, do it as best you can. But if there's somebody else who's got a  problem, you don't just say hey, that's your problem. You carry your load, then You carry each  other's burdens. And Paul says we who are strong oughta bear with or carry those who are  weak. And that the main application in the in the actual context of the passage is, if people  have a weak conscience, and they're really touchy, and they're, they feel guilty very easily  about certain things that they really wouldn't have to feel guilty about if they were a little  more knowledgeable. He says, those of you who are strong in conscience and bold and more  free, and more confident, should carry those who are more fragile, whose conscience is more  easily upset. And so in a spiritual sense, the strong can carry the weak and you're tempted,  sometimes they would they just get with a program. I'm so sick of those nitpicky people,  those weaklings, why can't we all just get going and Paul said, no, bear with those who  struggle, and this could be applied in a lot of different areas of our overall health or well being or fitness. If you're physically strong, and somebody else is going through a time of sickness,  you help carry the sick, you you care for aged parents, you care for people whom you know,  who are going through a time of illness and maybe provide them with some food or with some help, but those who are physically strong are carrying those who are physically weak. Those  who are wealthy may be tempted to look down on people with financial problems. But we're  called upon, again, for the strong to carry the weak, those who had less financial success are  going through a hard time. Those who are really smart, or really knowledgeable, instead of  looking down on those who know less, or have a little lower IQ, carry those who struggle a  little bit and they carry them not by looking down their nose and say I'm smarter than you 

are. And I know more than you do Nananana. But gradually and gently, you share what you  know, with those who know less, and you're also willing to learn from others. Some people  are, let's face it, they're just emotionally more stable than others, sometimes just by the way  they're put together or just by being in an easier season of life. There are times when even  the most emotionally strong people are shattered, or are going through times of terrible grief,  or maybe chronically burdened by depression or despair. And so those who are strong  emotionally, are to help carry the troubled rather than just abandon them and let them stew  in their own despairing juices. Those who are relational, some, some people are extroverts,  and some are introverts and one is not necessarily better than the other, but sometimes  relationally if you're a little more bold, just get it started, okay? Sometimes people aren't  going to come up to you, and try to befriend you. But if you're one of those outgoing people,  just be friend the others instead of saying, why can't everybody be outgoing like I am, hey,  some people are just shy, it's the way it is. Those who are strong, help carry those who are a  little weaker in a particular area. So that applies widely that the strong carry the weak. And  the apostle also says not just to carry or bear but also to please others. And he says to please  others for their good to build them up. So this isn't just becoming a people pleaser, that can  be negative, where you live for other people's approval. That can be sick. But if you're truly  living to please other people, and not just please yourself, you're trying to do it for their good  and the apostle knew that that was true in relation to people who don't know Christ at all. He  said, Though I'm free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone to win as  many as possible. I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might  save some. So he adapts himself to make himself more pleasing, in a sense more likeable to  the people he's trying to connect with. And then he gives this advice in light of that do not  cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews Greeks or the Church of God, even as I tried to please everybody in every way for I'm not seeking my own good, but the good of many, so that they  may be saved. There was an old song says, You can't please everybody, so you got to please  yourself. Some of you might remember that one. That is not in the Bible. Okay, there is one  sense in which the song would have almost been correct. You can't please everybody so  you've got to please God, you know, just focus on one person and not become just a people  pleaser. But when it comes to relating with people pleasing others, is something you're  actually doing from a position of strength. You have in Christ all that you need. You're doing  fine. You don't have to have your way all the time in order to be happy. And so you're in a  position, because you're already happy to start making other people happy. If you're one of  these people who just so desperate and so starved that you've got to have your way all the  time, it doesn't mean you're one of the strong, I always get my way. Because I'm very strong.  We think of people with strong personalities, as people who always get their way or insist on  their way. The Apostle say, that's people with weak personalities. A strong personality doesn't  need to get your own way, because you're already strong, and happy and sufficient in the  Lord. And so you can thrive while other people are getting their way. So you're you're aiming  to build and and to please build each other up, nobody should seek his own good, but the  good of others, encourage one another and build each other up, just in fact, you are doing  and So once you're pleasing somebody, you're doing it for their good to build them up to  strengthen them, to make them a better person, to help them get closer to the Lord Jesus  Christ, to help their life flourish. And the apostle wants us not to be one of those who enjoys  knocking down the towers of others, but the one who enjoys seeing people grow in the Lord,  building them up in the stature of the Lord Jesus Christ. So we who are strong ought to bear  with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his  neighbor, for his good to build him up. And then he gives us a major reason to do that, do it  because that's what Jesus did. That's the Christ like way to approach other people, for even  Christ did not please himself. But as it is written, the insults of those who insult you have  fallen on me accept one another, then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to  God. Jesus did not please himself. If Jesus had gone with what is the easiest, funnest route?  Do you think he would have left the glory of heaven to be born in a stable? Do you think he  would have borne the scorn of sinners when he always had his father saying, This is my Son,  whom I love with him, I'm well pleased. God was pleased with Jesus already. Jesus was very 

pleased with his situation as Son of God, but he came to please others and to serve them.  And he came to please his father, his father wanted to save people. And because his father  wanted it, Jesus wanted it too. And the psalm from which this quote says, zeal for your house  for God's house will consume me, the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me, those  who hated God hated Jesus. They didn't even know it, a lot of them, they thought they were  great friends of God, but when God showed up in person, they grabbed him, and tortured him  and killed him. That's how you tell what your attitude toward God really is, is what happens  when he actually shows up. And so Jesus took the insults, he took the suffering. And he did  that. Not because he deserved it, certainly, but so that he would reach others. He didn't  please himself. And so the ultimate motivation for Christians always is, what is Jesus? Like?  What has Jesus done for you do to others as Jesus has done for you? And then as you walk in  the way of Jesus and follow his example, the apostle has just quoted the Scripture and he  says, oh, yeah, that reminds me, everything that was written in the past was written to teach  us so that by endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures, we might have hope. He's  saying that God gave the scriptures to build us up to encourages us, to give us hope, for the  future. And by hope he doesn't mean just a wish that things will turn out, okay. But the  anticipation, the expectation of God's promises of eternal life, of the new creation, and it's  through the scriptures that God brings that about. And I want to emphasize that when he  says, everything that was written, he means everything that was written, All scripture is God  breathed. And that means that if you want the full encouragement of the scriptures, and the  full blessing of the scriptures, you should listen to the fullness of the scriptures. I'll give you a  few examples of how not to do that. There are some people who call themselves Red Letter,  Christians. And they do that because some Bibles have words, quoting Jesus printed in red  letters. And they say we want to be red letter Christians. We want to follow the voice of Jesus  Himself. And very often they'll say, and in particular, we want to follow Jesus on matters of  social justice. And following Jesus on matters of social justice usually means leaning in a  certain direction politically, and doing what one political party wants to do. But what, what  could go wrong with saying, I want to follow the red letters and not the others? Well, just I'll  give you a few names that are often associated with red letter Christians of Jim Wallace of  Sojourners, or Tony Campolo, or Shane Claiborne. Some of you will know those names, maybe others not. But I'll just give you a few examples of people who call themselves Red Letter  Christians. One of the motivations is to get away from what the Bible says about sexual  morality, and focus on what it says about economics. If you want to get away from what the  rest of the Bible says, and focus on what Jesus says, we're told Jesus said nothing, for  instance, about same sex marriage. And we're told that we should follow what Jesus said  about being giving to the poor. But if you were to say I, I find that the red letters of Jesus are  very encouraging, and I find that the non red letters are kind of a downer. Let me just share  with you some of the non red letters. Love is patient, love is kind, dear brothers let us love  one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows  God, for God is love. That's not in the red letters, let's, let's ignore that part. Instead, let's go  to the red letters, where Jesus says, haven't you heard what it was like from the beginning, in  the beginning, he made them male and female. And, and he told them to be one flesh, and  what God has joined together, let no man put asunder, that's in the red letters. In the red  letters, there are nice, warm, fuzzy statements like Depart from me, you cursed into the  everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, those that's in the red letters. So if  you're going to go through the portions of the Bible, saying, you know, those red letters, they  kind of make me feel good. And I don't like that stuff that's not in the words of Jesus. The fact  is Jesus, and the black letters of the Bible, it's all the voice of the One God speaking. So  beware of just saying, I'm going to be a red letter Christian, you'll find that the red letters and  the black letters are in full agreement. There are some who say, you know, the Bible actually  addresses different peoples in different eras and different dispensations. And so although all  of the Bible is from God, only certain parts apply to us in this particular dispensation, or  period of time or program of God. And one of the ironies is, you know what, most of the red  letters don't apply to you, if you're a dispensationalist, because the red letters are spoken by  Jesus to Jewish people and are meant for the kingdom era, not for our era, what applies to us 

is mostly in the epistles. Well, once again, the notion that certain chunks of the Bible such as  the sermon on the mount and most of the words of Jesus don't apply to us today, would seem  to me a pretty hazardous undertaking, if you want to follow King Jesus, and live under his  reign and rule dispensationalism was made very popular by the Scofield Study Bible, by the  Ryrie, study Bible and so on. And you just need to be aware that this is, this is a way of taking  certain chunks of Scripture and saying they don't apply today. Another way of doing that is to  follow one of the most prominent and successful pastors on the scene today, Andy Stanley  and say, We must unhitch our faith from the Old Testament, here's the commandment, Thou  shalt not obey the 10 commandments. Okay, because that's Old Testament. And we need to  live in the time of Jesus, and in light of the new covenant. And so, the Old Testament has got  to be left behind, period. Now, that's a little hard to do. If you read the book of Revelation, to  take one example, it has 175 references, or allusions to the Old Testament in 22 chapters. If  you unhitched yourself from the Old Testament, you're going to have to chop, you can't even  get a sentence out of the book of Revelation. You can't hardly get two sentences together out  of the book of Matthew, if you want to unhitch faith from the Old Testament. And as for Jesus  Himself, did he unhitch his faith from the Old Testament did the Apostle Paul Well, let's get  back to our actual text he says through he says all of this was written everything that was  written in the past was written to teach us. He wrote all scripture is God breathed. And just to  express what's going on. Let's look at the passage that we're dealing with right now. There are in the Hebrew Scriptures, also known as the Old Testament or the Tanakh. Three major  divisions in the Jewish way of dividing things up. There's the law, the prophets, the writings,  the Torah, the Nevi'im the Ketuvim. And so in the law, you have the Five Books of Moses, also  known as the Pentateuch. In the prophets, you have the historical books that run from Joshua  through Second Kings. And those are called prophets, even though they're relating history,  because it is prophetic to see what's going on in history. Look at the news today. Same stuff is going on. But there are very, very, very different angles and takes on it. What's the news  really mean? And so when we read the history, in the Hebrew writings, were getting history  from God's point of view, and that's prophetic insight. And then there are also the prophets  who are foretelling the future or addressing their own age, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the 12,  shorter prophets, and so those together are the prophets, the Nevi'im, and then there are  other writings, the Poetic Books like Psalms, and Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, some other writings  such as Lamentations, and Ruth is included in that, that there's others that are kind of under  that umbrella of the writings anyway, you get the point, there's three major divisions in the  Hebrew Bible, called the Tanakh. Because Tanakh is actually almost not a word, it's an  acronym, the three letters that that begin Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim, T, N, K in English, if  you were to take that way. That's where that comes from. It's just a Hebrew way of talking  about the whole Old Testament now what Jesus say? Everything must be fulfilled. that's  written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Torah, the prophets, and the Psalms, which is  another way of referring to all of the writings. What is Paul doing this passage? You know,  when you read this, when I first read this passage, you heard Paul saying, now everything in  the Scriptures was written, so that we, you know, might have hope. But then he goes on to  give some quotes for I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of  God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs. So that the Gentiles may glorify  God for His mercy. So he says, Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise to the ancient fathers,  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and others. And then he starts quoting, and notice how he quotes  therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, I will sing hymns to your name. That's a quote  from one of the historical books, one of the former prophets, II Samuel 22, verse 50, and  that's echoed in Psalm 18. Again, it says, Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people. That's  Deuteronomy, that is from the Torah, the law, and again, praise the Lord all you Gentiles and  sing praise him, all you peoples, a quote from the Psalms, the writings, and now again to the  prophets. Again, Isaiah says, the root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over  the nations, the Gentiles will hope in Him. You have the law, the prophets, and the writings all  quoted in a couple of breaths by the apostle Paul, while he's telling you to be encouraged by  all the scriptures everything was written, to teach us does this sound like? Let's unhitch  ourselves from the Old Testament? Let us now quote only read letters of Jesus from the New 

Testament. No, everything was written. So everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures, we might  have hope, endurance, stick to itiveness perseverance, the ability to keep on keeping on  comes from being grounded in the scriptures. encouragement, Paraklesis. Paraclete is the  encourager, the Helper, the Holy Spirit himself, and how does he encourage you primarily  through the Scriptures, and that's where hope is built on the living, enduring word of God, all  of it. So it was all written to teach us and the Bible says, You've known from infancy it says to  Timothy, in II Timothy three, since you were a little baby, you've known the scriptures which  can make you wise for salvation. And All Scripture is inspired by God. God breathed, and it's  profitable or useful for teaching, for rebuking for correcting or straightening you out, and for  training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good  work if you want to be thoroughly equipped and mature and encouraged, constantly and built  up in your hope, then build on the Bible. Jesus says, if you're not building on his words, and on the words of the Bible, then you're building on sand. So when we're thinking about building  each other up, you know, part of that might be complementing and encouraging each other.  But the kind of really strong building that lasts is helping build each other on that foundation  of Scripture, encouraging each other scripturally, building ourselves up in the scriptures. So,  bear with each other, please one another, build each other up, do it because Jesus has  already done that for you build on the Bible. And then another key element of encouragement and building others up is blessing them, and praying for them. Look how the apostle does that in the context of this passage. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement he just  said, that everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through  endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures, we might have hope, endurance and  encouragement. And now after he's talked about the scriptures, giving us endurance, and  encouragement, he says, may God who gives endurance and encouragement God gives it  through the Scriptures, but it's God himself doing it, may he give you a spirit of unity among  yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus. So that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the  God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, it's interesting again, translators struggle with  these matters, where it says, give you a spirit of unity among yourselves, literally the  translation is simply that you may think the same among yourselves according to Christ Jesus. We've reflected often in our congregation on the mind of Christ, that we have the mind of  Christ, that we have the mind of the Spirit. And that's what Paul's talking about here, that you  may think the same or may think one thing that the mind of Christ will resonate in each one  of you in Christ Jesus. So it's not just saying, I hope you'll kind of feel united as you're  following Christ Jesus. But even more than that, so that you'll have that one thought or that  one mind of Christ, because you're in Christ, and according to Christ, and so he speaks that as a blessing, so that with one mind, you'll be thinking the same and with one mouth, you'll be  praising the same with one heart and mouth, you'll glorify the God and Father of our Lord  Jesus Christ. And shortly after that, he gives another blessing, may the God of hope, fill you  with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope, by the power  of the Holy Spirit. These are words of prayer, they are words of blessing, if you want to build  people up, be someone who blesses who speaks words into their life, that are words of  blessing from the Almighty. I'm a preacher. So in a sense, that's kind of part of my job  description. At the beginning of a service, I am to speak words of blessing. And at the close,  give a benediction, a word of blessing from God. And those aren't just empty words. Those are words of power from God, that bring blessing. And this is true, not just by the preacher who  it's kind of the job description. But as we follow the Lord Jesus and build one another up, to  learn to pray for each other. And especially to bless to speak a word of blessing for many a  child to hear a word of blessing from your mom or dad, that God is speaking his blessings  over you. Just speak a word of blessing over a struggling brother or sister and say, may God  give you hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you can be praying for them, of course, let's  pray for each other. But as we talk to God, about people, we also can talk to people in the  name of God, and speak words of power into their lives. If you've studied the Bible, you know, that, that among the patriarchs, and some others, words of blessing or not so much blessing  went with often the destinies of their offspring. And we don't always have of course, that 

degree of prophetic insight that God gave some of the patriarchs about the future of their  offspring, but in Christ we can certainly follow the apostles example. And and bless. One  seemingly trivial way that I kind of try to do that is when I am on Facebook, which isn't always but when I am and I see somebody has had a birthday, I usually try to say at least a sentence  or two more than happy birthday. Happy If that's all you got to say, say happy birthday is  better than nothing. But I like to speak word of blessing. One that where I am speaking, what I hope and trust God will do in their life, in the year to come, just look for opportunities in your  life, to bless other people to speak words of power, in the name of Jesus, and with the might  of the Holy Spirit, and God can use you to strengthen them, and to build them up. So part of  building up is just blessing people in the name of God, these statements of Paul, in a sense,  they're not quite a prayer, because he's saying, you know, kind of May God do this, and he's  saying it to them. But but it's a, it's a combo. It's a blessing spoken over them and a prayer to  God, that God will accomplish that blessing in their lives. And then there is just a tremendous  statement that we're going to finish with today, he began the letter by saying, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. And now he says, I myself, am convinced my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness,  complete in knowledge, and competent to instruct one another. Just look at that statement.  And think about that, I was really hit by those words. And so apparently are some expert  scholars. One scholar with a very high view of Scripture says, Paul is here using some  pardonable hyperbole, a pardonable exaggeration. Because Come on, full of goodness,  complete in knowledge, able to instruct one another. Why would he even write a letter to  people that are that good? Well, we'll get into that a little bit more next week about why Paul  wrote his letter to the Romans. But I don't think that it's pardonable exaggeration, I think he  really means it. He means it because he believes they have the mind of the Spirit. He believes they have the mind of Christ. He believes that within them, they already have a fullness of  goodness, a completeness of knowledge, and the ability to instruct one another. He doesn't  believe that they are just helpless babies dependent on his every word, to carry them  forward. He believes they've got what it takes. Sometimes, we just need to hear that you  have, what it takes. And what a blessing it is to know fellow believers to see the work of Christ in you. And to know that you are good people that you know, a lot. And that you have the  ability to help and instruct each other. It is not always helpful to be reminded of how bad we  are, and how little we know, and how it is sure a good thing that there is somebody around to  straighten you out. Because when the Apostle Paul planted churches, he had a tremendous  amount of confidence in the Holy Spirit. When he was dealing with this church, which he did  not plant, and many of whom he had never met, he was still highly confident that these were  good people, that they had a lot of knowledge, and that they were able to instruct one  another. And he tells them so, when we're trying to build others up, we need to have an eye  for God's presence in them, for what God is already doing in them. For the goodness that is  there. For the knowledge that is there for the gifts and ability to help each other that are  there. And then largely, we're trying to encourage and fan into flame. what's already there, I  got news for you. If you're going to try to build somebody up in the Lord who doesn't have the Holy Spirit, who doesn't already have that tremendous goodness and knowledge that comes  from him. You're not going to be able to do much until they're born again and have the life of  the Holy Spirit in them you can you can build them up in certain ways, but to really build them up in the faith. You have to believe that God's already there, that the mind of Christ is already  there, that you've got something to work with not just something to work with a lot to work  with, because the Holy Spirit in you is speaking and addressing the Holy Spirit in them. The  apostle John speaks the same way. You have an anointing from the Holy One and all of you  know the truth. I don't write to you because you don't know the truth. But because you do  know it. The anointing that is the Holy Spirit you receive from him remains in you. And you do  not need anyone to teach you. His anointing teaches you about all things once again, you say, Well, if that's what he believed, why do I even write them a letter. But he is saying, I'm not  writing because you don't know anything. Again, and again, you'll find in the Bible, they say,  I'm writing to remind you of what you already know, I'm writing to connect with this holy spirit who's already in you, because I know you have that anointing. And now the Holy Spirit in me 

is telling me to arouse your own spirit to listen to the anointing that you have. So if you want  to build people up in Christ, especially people that you know, already belong to Christ, then  look for the reality of Christ within them for the goodness, and the knowledge that come from  the Lord Jesus Christ in the abilities that they have from the Lord Jesus Christ. And yeah,  there'll be other things in their lives, too. That's why we have to bear with each other. But the  ability to see what's their, quote, Larry Crabb, again that, that exploring a redeemed heart is  like looking for gold in a dirty cave. There's some dirt in the caves. But the gold is there too.  And if you found a gold mine with a billion dollars worth of gold in it, would you say that is a  stinking hole in the ground, a lot of dirt rocks, you'd say there is gold. And so you mine for it.  And when you're encouraging people, you're mining for the gold, and you'd say yeah well  there's bound to be a little dirt just like there is with me. But the gold is what we're really  after. And what I'm going to admire in the firm, there's an old story about the painter,  Benjamin West when he was a little boy. And when Benjamin West was a boy, one day, his  mother went away, and he got into the paint. And he decided to do a portrait of his sister. And he painted away. And then his mother came home. And there was a mess. There was paint all  over the place. And she came home. And she looked, and she said, What a beautiful painting  of your sister, and gave him a kiss. And West said with that kiss, I became a painter.  Sometimes we've been known to make a mess but look at what God is doing in somebody's  life. And say it. Say I myself am convinced that you are full of goodness, complete in  knowledge, able to instruct one another. And you know what? What you say even if it's only  kind of partly true, becomes more true. Even as you say it with that kiss. I became a painter.  So build each other up, bear with each other, please one another, not just yourself. strengthen them but be a builder, not a wrecker. Do it because Jesus did it. Build on the scriptures bless,  and speak words of blessing to others, and words of prayer. And notice, notice, admire and  affirm what God is doing in them, do that for your children. Do that for your spouse, do that  for your friends in Christ. Do that for each other, it's easy to tear each other down. But oh,  what a blessing it is. When we build each other up. We thank You, Lord Jesus, that you did not  please yourself, but that you bore the insults that were directed at God that you gave us, Lord Your life, that we might be yours, and that you have made us part of your body and given us  the mind of the Spirit, and are building us on that great foundation of your reality and the  truth of the scriptures. And then Lord, help us more and more, to grow together in Christ.  Thank you, Lord, for these brothers and sisters in Christ for all the blessing they have been to  me for the blessing they have been to each other. And Lord, continue to enrich them in all  knowledge, in holiness, in love, that they may strengthen one another and that we may grow  together into the full Stature of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray in His name, amen.

Last modified: Monday, January 17, 2022, 10:04 AM