by Shawn Brasseaux
Human nature is selfish. Even every Christian experiences periods of selfishness. We have all been born with that Adamic sin nature, so everyone occasionally feels selfish. When God went to Calvary’s cross on our behalf, He did not exhibit selfishness. Despite the fact that He foreknew every little detail of His future suffering and death, He still went through with it. He thought of us: He displayed selflessness. It was the only way to provide the salvation that we now enjoy as Christians. His crucifixion on Calvary’s cross brought our Lord Jesus so much pain and suffering, but it truly was the only way to provide the free gift of salvation to mankind.
After listing his own sufferings for the sake of the Gospel of the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write (2 Corinthians 11:28 KJV): “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” In the verses above, Paul gives us the accounts of his shipwrecks, his beatings, his scourgings, his canings, his near deaths, and his imprisonments. But, the physical pain the poor apostle felt did not compare to the heartache inside him as he wondered whether or not the small early churches were surviving. When he was in prison during his latter years on earth, Paul longed to visit those little congregations in Greece, Italy, and Turkey.
Were the Corinthians living as they should? How were the Thessalonians handling their own intense persecution? Did the Galatians refuse the legalistic false teaching that was beginning to slip into their midst? Poor Paul was just as weak and frail as we are. He was an ordinary man, and he could only do so much. He worried, he fretted, and he cried wondering what was happening to his once-pagan Gentile converts… if they were turning back to paganism or if they remained steadfast in the faith. Were they growing in the Lord, or were they slipping back into their former pagan idolatry? How sad!
The Christian life is a life of selflessness: members of the Church the Body of Christ should be caring for one another, praying for one another, and helping one another. All Christians have the same indwelling Holy Spirit. All Christians have the same hope, the same faith, the same Lord, the same baptism, and the same Father in heaven. All Christians are members of the same Body of Christ. All Christians are intricately connected with one another and our caring for one another should reflect this fact. If we mistreat a fellow Christian, it is as if we are mistreating the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!
God’s Word says in Philippians 2:3,4 KJV: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Now, God is not telling us to be in other people’s business. This is a simple instruction to be concerned with the lives of other Christians (cf. Romans 12:9-16; 1 Corinthians 10:24). Do they need financial help, do they need advice and encouragement, or do they need shelter or clothing? As Christians, we should be exhorting one another because we certainly will not get encouragement from the lost world.
Read Romans 15:1-3 KJV:
“1We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”
Many times the Apostle Paul prayed for his fellow Christians, and encouraged them to pray for other Christians (for example, Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:4; Colossians 1:3; and 1 Thessalonians 5:25). Let us be continually mindful of the Lord’s instructions to us. Put your own needs aside, and consider the Christian brethren. They feel discouraged at times just like you do, so be sure to remind them what the Bible says in Romans 8:18, or 1 Corinthians 15:57,58, or Titus 2:13. After all, the Christians here on earth are your family, and you will be spending all eternity with them in the Lord’s presence!
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10 KJV).