But Ye Brethren Be Not Weary In Well Doing

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Be Not Weary In Well Doing

Mike Vinson – Salisbury, NC – 2010

Introduction

This past year has been a very trying time for many of us. As a body we have endured fiery trials of every type. Several people in our fellowship have suffered the loss of employment and are either drawing unemployment or are simply looking for work. We have suffered through all the trials which we have mentioned every week in our prayer requests for each other as we have suffered from fear, from loneliness, from financial hardships, and we have even endured the loss of our dear brother Orlando Johnson. We are all still praying for our brother Steve Morris to be healed of his cancer. We are all still praying for many who are struggling every day just to keep a roof over heads and food on the family table.

At the same time the whole world, whole nations like Greece, whole states like California, and many other states, counties, and cities all seem to be struggling just to pay the bills and avoid declaring bankruptcy.

It seems that every year, and this is the worst trial of all, we suffer the loss of some in our midst to “seditions and heresies”.

1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

So who is doing all of these things in, through and to us? We need to know who is behind all of these trials in our lives if we hope to be able to endure through them and in the end, benefit from the experience, instead of being overwhelmed and embittered by the fire that is prophesied to visit each of us. The purpose for this talk is to ‘help your joy’ and to comfort you with the scriptures, but in order to help you to receive those blessings, I must do so scripturally.

2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

The “comfort of the scriptures” comes only though hope, and hope comes only through patience and the comfort of the scriptures, because we are all “saved by hope”.

Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

How have the trials of this past year affected you? What has been the product of the fire of the God’s Words in your life? Where are you in the revelation of Jesus Christ in your walk? What do you see as you “turn to see the voice behind you”? What we see is where we are, and we know that we must all be hated of all men, live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and lose our life in order to find our life. What kind of spirit has this knowledge produced within you?

A very natural and typical response to the trials of life

Here is an e-mail which typifies what many of us are enduring at this time.

I am happy to be able to report that this brother has been recovering from this attack by the adversary, even though the battle rages on.

Is there any purpose for such trials as this brother is enduring? What good could possibly come of this situation for this brother and his family? Notice why we have such trials as these:

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [ we are, yet] without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Fiery trials are common to us all, and only a high priest who can identify with such trials will be qualified to minister to men in things pertaining to God.

Heb 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

Heb 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

There it is. What comfort! What hope! Joseph knew God had promised to make him ruler over His brothers, but he had no idea how that could come about as a slave in Potiphar’s house and then as a slave to the captain of the prison. Joseph could very easily have become, and no doubt did, become weary in well doing, because “well doing” is the grind of the trials of every day life as we spend our own 13 years in the servitude to our Egyptian masters.

Here is the section of scripture from which I have taken the title for this talk, and from which we often quote when we are enduring a trial. It certainly is appropriate to do so, but how seldom do we quote it in context? Let’s look at where this verse is found, and we will discover that the “trial” we endure is always a spiritual trial and is the trial of our patience.

2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2Th 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
2Th 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
2Th 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

This all sounds so very outwardly applicable, and it certainly does have an outward application, as does all scripture. But if that is all you get from these verses, then you have missed the real message, which is primarily a spiritual lesson. What we are actually being told is that if you are looking to others to feed you, then you are not “working out your own salvation”, and you do not deserve to be eating at all.

In other words, if the only time you even think about spiritual matters is when you come together at a weekly Bible study, or when you go to the website, then you do not yet have a personal relationship with your spiritual husband, Christ. When you are granted to have that relationship, then you will seek to know Christ with all your heart.

What are we to do in such cases? We are to “command and exhort” that “with quietness they work and eat their own bread” and not become weary in doing so. That is the context of this oft quoted verse, and that is the spiritual message behind “if any will not work, neither should he eat”.

In other words, you and I had better be living “under our own vine and under our own fig tree”, and we had better not be relying on our brothers and fellow Israelites for our sustenance. “Be not weary in well doing” is an exhortation to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling”.

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, [ be not weary in well doing, but] work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

1Ki 4:25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

Mic 4:4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

Who in scripture is this vine? Who is our fig tree?

Joe 1:7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Christ is both our vine and our fig tree, and it is in Him that we are secure and nourished. Is He not in our brothers and sisters in Christ? Well, if He is, then that is what will be made manifest. But our faith is not in men, but it is in Christ’s faith. That is why we are told:

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

When do we overcome? We overcome “when we are judged”! So when are we judged?

1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

This same admonition to “work out our own salvation, and not be weary in well doing” was given to us in another time and place in the Old Testament. To the world this appears to be an admonition to all of ancient Israel, with no particular present application to you or me. But to the man who knows that the entire history of the Old Testament was lived out and written, “not unto themselves, but unto us” (1Pe 1:9-12), that man will know that “all things are ours” (1Co 3:21-22), and that even these verses “happened to them and are written for our admonition, (1Co 10:11), because all things are for our sakes” (2Co 4:16). Remember those principles as we read this letter which the prophet Jeremiah wrote to the Babylonian captives which we all are in our own time.

Jer 29:1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;

Jer 29:4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;
Jer 29:5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;
Jer 29:6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.
Jer 29:7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
Jer 29:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
Jer 29:9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.
Jer 29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jer 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jer 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

Three times we are reminded that it is God who causes all of our trials, and “causes us to be carried away…” but have you ever noticed that we are promised to “be increased there”. Have you ever noticed that in the peace of Babylon we will have peace?

Our lives are for the consolation an salvation of His body which is the church.

We have already seen that those who are counted worthy to be priests and kings of God must be prepared for that work as Christ was prepared by “being tempted in all ways as we are”. But are the trials we endure in this life of any other benefit to anyone else? As a matter of fact they are indeed of great benefit in a way that few understand.

I have just seen a verse in 2Co 2 that jumped out at me, and I wanted to share it with you as you continue in your trials and in your suffering “for His body’s sake”, because that really is what it is all about. Whether we are afflicted or comforted, it is not just for ourselves that we are either afflicted or comforted, but once again, our lives are not just for ourselves, but our lives are lived and are experienced for the sake of the body of Christ. Whether we are enduring a trial, or we are enjoying a blessing, our lives are not just for ourselves, but for the benefit of many others. Look at this incredible statement:

2Co 1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

“We are afflicted… for your… salvation”? Our affliction brings salvation to others? How does that work?

We may not see the connection between our trials and the body of Christ while we are living that trial, but as we “look behind” us it becomes clear that we really are “a spectacle to the world”, and our trials really are for the benefit and for the salvation of both ourselves, our immediate families and for all who will ever be associated with us. Another way of saying this is found in these two verses of scripture.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
1Co 3:23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

If we really are to be given dominion over the kingdoms of this world, then we, like the captain of our salvation, must first be made capable of identifying with the sufferings which God has decreed to be necessary for the purging and purifying of every man. So we are given to know the purpose for our suffering, and we are given the hope of the reward for enduring all that pain, and we are told that it is all “for the salvation” of others in the body of Christ.

1Co 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
1Co 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
1Co 4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place;

2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

I personally can identify with being “made a spectacle unto all the world”, and we will all live by every word. I have endured losing my home, and was grateful to get to buy it back after having paid 12 years of a 15 year mortgage. This happened to a young man who took great pride in never having been late with any payments in his life.

I have had to repent of wretched and disgraceful sins for which I had looked down upon others as being weak and immoral. Like the apostle, I truly feel that it is I who am “chief of sinners”.

1Ti 1:15 This [ is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

And even after being granted dominion over many of the weaknesses and sins of my own flesh, I still had to repent of the spiritual fornication of making grievous mistakes in doctrine, and I have been very publicly rejected of brothers whom I dearly love.

I am being called a heretic by many who once were close friends. This is all very trying, very stressful and very humiliating. If we remain faithful to Christ and His words, then we are all being “made a spectacle unto the world and to angels and to men”, but “it is [all] for your consolation and salvation.”

But all the trials, stress and humiliation Paul endured are not unique to him. They “happened to him and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the age have come”. The trials, stress and humiliations I have known are not unique to me, but they have happened to me for your admonition. Each and every trial you endure will in some way serve “the consolation, and salvation” of an innumerable multitude to whom we are made “a spectacle” in this life for the consolation and salvation of many others, both men and angels.

I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute

Do you remember this verse which we quote at every opportunity to remind you that you are Jesus of Nazareth who is being persecuted by modern day Sauls of Tarsus? Here it is, straight from the mouth of our Lord Himself:

Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

The holy spirit reaffirms these words of our Lord in the first epistle of John:

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

We have all been taught that “as He is so are we” means that we are to live lives that reflect the fact that Christ is living within us, and that certainly is true. But there is a much deeper spiritual meaning to “as He is so are we in this world. If we can lay hold on the depth of the truth of who we are in Christ, then the value of the reward that awaits us will help to keep us from ever becoming ‘weary in well doing’.

The meaning of “The Christ”

It was Christ who told us that we are Him. That is what He told Saul of Tarsus, when He told Saul that he was persecuting “Jesus of Nazareth”. But let’s play close attention to what Christ had already told us while he was still in a body of clay on this earth.

First, He told us that He “is the light of the world”.

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

But then what does Christ Himself tell us about who and what we are and who He has sent us to be?

Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Christ tells us that “He is the bread of life”.

Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

What then does He tells us we are?

1Co 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread Christ.

Christ told us that His Father had given Him a kingdom, “the kingdom of God [which] is within us”.

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Luk 22:28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
Luk 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
Luk 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Christ said He was sending us just as His Father had sent Him.

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

So just exactly what had His Father sent Him to do and to be?

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Since Christ Himself says that those who are persecuted for His name’s sake are “Jesus of Nazareth”, and since we are told that He was sent by His Father to “save the world”, what does that make us if we are persecuted for His name’s sake? Blasphemous as it may sound, the scriptures are very plain on this subject. Here is what we are sent to be:

Oba 1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [ places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

We are saved by hope, and this is the hope we have. God has given to us things that others cannot see, or hear, or even contemplate.

1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

If you have no real desire to search out the deep things of God, then you need to ask God to give you that desire, because if indeed Christ is in you, then “the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God”. If you have no such desire, then you need desperately to “examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith”.

Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Remember who you are in Christ

There is great anticipation on the part of those who support the Tea Party that this November will be a turning point in our nation’s history. My flesh is very much in sync with the sentiments of the Tea Party, but we don’t dare allow ourselves to get involved with the affairs of this age. This is a matter of life and death.

2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Php 3:20 For our citizenship exists in the heavens, from where also we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

God’s elect are not eagerly awaiting a Savior from either the Tea Party or the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. There is no observable or Biblical reason to think that this nation will repent of its sins, repeal Roe versus Wade, pull out of the United Nations, abolish the Federal Reserve, restore our manufacturing base, become energy independent and pull itself out of the abyss of sin and conflict and debt into which we have fallen and come to “know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent”. Glenn Beck and the Tea Party notwithstanding, these words still remain true:

Isa 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

For those who have never heard of Glenn Beck, he is a TV personality who was voted ‘The most influential man in the United States’ this past year.

But our hope and our refuge is not in men but only in our Lord and in Him alone.

Psa 46:1 <To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.> God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

I pray these words will serve to keep you from becoming weary in well doing, because the “well doing” is the daily grind of life. The “well doing” is not just special acts of charity, so much as getting up and going to work every day, and fighting the spiritual battles of daily life. “Doing well” is “eating of your own vine and fig tree” as being an integral part of the very body of Jesus Christ. That is what tends to wear us down and make us weary in well doing, and that is what tends to keep us from enduring to the end.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

“Especially unto them who are of the household of faith… let us not be weary in well doing” means that we are to comfort, encourage and give hope “especially” to one another within the body of Christ. We are to remind each other of the rewards and the glory that lies at the end of this calling. We are to remind one another of what is the reward and the benefit of the knowledge of who we are in Christ. Faith and hope in all these promises of God, are inseparable, and without both it is impossible to please God. With faith comes the hope of the reward that God gives all who place their faith in Him and His Words. Here it is in God’s own Words:

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

This life is purposefully designed to teach us to rely on things that are not seen.

Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

You cannot see how your life is affecting the lives of many others, but it is. By simply being here today and by being faithful day in and day out, through every trial that is sent your way, you are connected one to another, and you are playing a part in effecting change in the lives of many others. So “do not be weary in well doing”.

Remember who you are, and who Christ tells you, you are. Remember these words of our Lord, and do not let the fact that others cannot see and hear them, keep you from doing so.

Mat 10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Remember that you are “as Christ is, in this world” (1Jn 4:17).  Remember that Christ has “sent you as His Father sent Him” (Joh 20:21). Remember that God sent Christ into this world to save this world:

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Now I pray that you are all given to receive what the scriptures reveal to us next, because this is just how integral a part of Christ, He Himself says we are. Joh 3:17 has just revealed to us that the world is saved through the Christ, who God has sent to save this world. That word ‘through’ in Joh 3:17 is the Greek word ‘dia’. It is the Greek root of our English word ‘diameter’, which is the distance of a straight line through a circle. Now what is the agency through which Jesus Christ was delivered up to be crucified, and what is the agency through which Jesus Christ was raised from the dead? What do the scriptures teach? Would not that agency be of utmost importance to the work of God and His Christ? Could it be that the agency through which Christ was delivered up to be crucified, and the agency through which He was raised from the dead, are just as important to Christ, as Christ, who is God’s agent for all things done by His Father, is to His Father? Could this be what Christ meant when He said “As my Father has sent me, even so send I you?

Now what is that agency through which Christ was delivered up, and ‘dia’ which Christ was raised again from among the dead? The answer to that question is well hidden in the English, but it is revealed to us in the Greek of these verses of God’s Word:

Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for [Greek: dia – through] our offences, and was raised again for [Greek: dia through] our justification.

There it is. That is the extent to which Christ has sent us as His Father has sent Him. It is through our offenses that Christ was delivered up to be crucified, and it is through our justification, that He was raised from the dead. We have always been taught that it is the other way around, and that we are raised from the dead through Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Well, we certainly are “raised up with Him to walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4), but that does not change the Biblical teaching that, according to God’s Word, Christ was “raised again through our justification”.

Conclusion

So the entire work of God is a synergistic work which requires a “first Adam, as a beast, and a man of sin and a wicked man for the day of evil”.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Now we can understand why it is essential that “there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked” and why it is absolutely necessary for “all things to come alike to all”.

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

This should give us a much deeper appreciation for the depth of the Truth contained in these verses of God’s Word:

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Even our salvation comes through the offenses of others.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through [Greek: dia] him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Paul’s point is not that we can instruct Christ, but when He asks, “Who has know the mind of the Lord?” Paul later repeats and answers his own question:

1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

So, since “we have the mind of Christ”, it should now be much more meaningful to us to know that whether we are afflicted or comforted, synergistically it is for the consolation and salvation of the body of Christ. That’s right, our sufferings fill up what is behind of the sufferings of the Christ because we too, “as Christ is” are “saviors” through whom “salvation” comes to the body of Christ.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of [ the] Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Do we have anything in which to glory of ourselves? Absolutely not! Can we glory with Christ as His body and His Christ, and understanding that “as He is so are we in this world? Yes, we certainly can.

We are told right here in Col 1:24 that our suffering, like Christ’s sufferings, are for His body’s sake, and in Psa 107:2 we are commanded to say so.

Knowing what we have been given to understand, should make our every trial, an excuse for celebration.

Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

So all things really do work together for our good, and all the gloom and doom that seems to be headed our way when it looks as if we are about to drown in a sea of debt, or are brought to our wit’s end by the circumstances of life, the Truth is that whether we are being blessed or cursed, and whether we are poor or rich, we have reason to rejoice in Christ.

Jas 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
Jas 1:10 But the rich, [ rejoice] in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

That is how Paul was able to understand “the deep things of the spirit” and that all things that happened in his life, just like all that happened in Christ’s life and in your life and in my life, is all “working together for good” and for the “salvation” of others.

We live in momentous times. There seems no possible way to make it through what lies just before us. What are we to do? “Count it all joy… rejoice in being exalted, and rejoice in being made low, but rejoice in “knowing God and Jesus Christ who He has sent.”

2Co 1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Never doubt who you are in Christ. “You shall know the truth, and the Truth shall set you free” (Joh 8:32). What ever is not of faith is sin, so “know the Truth”, and speak with complete confidence because you know that you really are Jesus of Nazareth who is being persecuted by the Sauls of this world.

Psa 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

 


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