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16. “…when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.” (I Corinthians 11:33)
In this chapter, Paul goes into detail about the Lord’s Supper and how the church is to observe it. At this time, the church at Corinth had quite a bit of sin going on and he was stressing the important of coming together with a clear conscious before God and one another. By verse 31, he says to “judge ourselves.” In other words, an evaluation of our relationships needs to take place and if there be any unresolved conflicts or sin, it needs to be dealt with before partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
The chapter ends with this one another – “tarry one for another.” Every member within the Lord’s church is uniquely placed by the Lord AND not all the same (1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 likens the church to a human body with its various parts and functions). Just as each member of the Body is different (we can’t all be an eye or a foot), likewise we all are in different stages of growth.
Have you ever looked at another member and thought, why haven’t they adapted that standard yet? This process of sanctification is life-long and takes time. We’re aware of the spiritual battle that takes place within a saved person’s heart and mind, so in order for us to “tarry one for another,” we need to have patience with each other. This is vital for a church. Instead of plowing on ahead, we should be actively looking for those weaker sisters and exhorting them in godliness. But we first must tarry.
17. “…have the same care one for another.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14 talk about “Spiritual Gifts” and how each member has a function within the church. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (verse 18) Just as you care for your entire body – hands, heart, head, and so on – each member should equally care for the other.
18. “…Greet one another with an holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20)
19. “Greet one another with an holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12)
This is the second and third time Paul encourages this cultural form of greeting among the brethren. As stated before, this indicates a special bond between the Lord’s own.
20. “…by love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
The beginning of this verse states, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh…” Only through Christ do we have true liberty. No longer are we under the bondage of sin but now we have a means of escape – a way to overcome! However, we must be very careful that we do not use this liberty as an occasion to the flesh. In other words, we shouldn’t look for opportunity to indulge ourselves in sinful affections and practices, particularly those that might create distance or disaffection and be the ground of quarrels and contentions with fellow believers (i.e. pride, competitive spirit, hatred, envy, etc).
On the contrary, we are to serve one another – to maintain that mutual love and affection. Despite the differences we have, be it in personalities or cultures, Christ is glorified within the church when we are serving one another and striving together.
21. “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:15)
Continuing with the same thought from verse 13, this is the inevitable product from using our liberty as an occasion to our flesh…our pride, our lusts, our desires and a lack of love for one another will destroy the life of fellow believers and defame the Lord. Beware! Take heed!
22. “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:26)
The Apostle Paul concludes this chapter with a warning against pride and envy.
“Vain glory” means giving way to an undue affectation of the esteem and applause of men. Whenever someone indulges in this kind of behavior, it creates envy. And as long as “vain glory” prevails among Christians, they will be apt to slight and despise those whom they look upon as inferior to them. Seeking after glory and demanding respect from others is the opposite of #20 – by love serve one another. Look to Christ as the example of how to serve others.
23. “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
What is the Law of Christ? Even though the saved are no longer under the law (Romans 10:4), Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is like unto it – love thy neighbor as thyself. You don’t have to look far to find a sister who is hurting. She needs someone to ask, to care, to pray…to help bear the burden. We are commanded to love one another. We practically do this by first looking upon the needs of others. Are you willing to support, sustain, and suffer with another?
24. “…forbearing one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
In verse one of this chapter, we are exhorted to walk worthy of our calling in Christ. Forbearing one another in love signifies enduring other’s shortcomings or spiritual weaknesses out of a principle of love, and to be careful not to stop loving them because of these shortcomings. (Makes me think of 1 Peter 4:8)
Just think, if we set out to provoke other believers to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, instead of provoking them to anger and bitterness through our impatience and pride, what a different it would make! This forbearing is to be done with lowliness, meekness, longsuffering and, of course, love.
To be continued…35 more to go!