Journal – November 8, 2020
1 Samuel 23:1-2
1 Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshing floors. 2 Therefore David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 3For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” 4For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 5Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Vs. 1 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. All the chapter and verse divisions were made by man and are not inspired. With that in mind know these verses belong with the material given in chapter 14. We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak. The Greek dunnatos means powerful, mighty, and is translated strong in in our verse; it means where the strength lies in bearing sufferings in the realization that living with the weak is for Christ’s sake. Next, this is further explained in the word bear bastazo meaning sufferings borne on behalf of others. In chapter 14 we see the weak as having infirmities and the apostle tells us to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Only God the Holy Spirit can affect this in our hearts wherein we do not please ourselves. This is grace in operation, do you have it?
Vs. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. So, the strong are to help the weak and promote their good to edification. Too many times some loudmouth that thinks he knows it all chastise others, instead of really being strong and aid them in their difficulties. Our Lord addressed this in Matthew 7:5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Now this does not mean that we are always to submit to the desires or wishes of others, not even to those of believers in Christ, and always take the course of action that pleases them. Do I seek to please men? If I pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ (Galatians 1:10). Now the apostle gives us more information on what he is referring to, Just as I also please all in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved (1 Corinthians 10:33). Are you strong? Then don’t perform your liberties so as to be an occasion for the weak to stumble and bring about their grief and the sense of unhappiness as we observed in chapter 14:15. A good rule to follow is if the matter in question has nothing to do with the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ let it alone! It is the pleasing that will maintain the weak peace of conscience, instead of his following the example of the strong and being destroyed. If your actions wound the conscience of the weak then you sin against Christ (1 Corinthians 8:12). Our verse tells us the purpose in aiding the weak is for his good leading to edification, which tells the stronghow he is to walk in this wicked world. If any of us disregard the scruples of the weak we are interfering with the work of God which will be followed by evil consequences. Consideration for others brings forth what is good and builds up not only the weak brother, but God blesses the whole assembly.
Vs. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” Paul uses the last half of the Messianic Psalm 69:9; but the first part of the verse explains it because zeal for Your house has eaten me up. It is not our reproaches that are in view, but the dishonor levelled against God; The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me. The ungodly attacks against God fell upon Christ. Christ suffered all the enmity men had against God He was the victim of those assaults. He died on the cross being cursed by the ungodly. The apostle is using this to emphasize that Christ did not please Himself. Paul uses this example because he could not go any higher to enforce the obligation placed upon believers in verses 1 and 2. He reminds all of us to Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8). Christ identified Himself with the supreme interests of those He came save; therefore, He bore the shame and reproach of those ungodly hell-bound hypocrites in His commitment to obey the Father’s will. Do you see the contrast between Christ’s obedience and ours?
Vs. 4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. The word for at the beginning of our verse informs us that Paul was correct in using Scripture to support his position, for whatever things were written before were written for our learning. The Old Testament is opened up by the New, and we find God designed it to furnish us in these last days with the necessary instructions that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Patience means to abide, or have endurance and be firm and unwavering, we only gain this by experiencing trial. Comfort means an exhortation or consolation drawn from the Scriptures, a comforter or an advocate that is called alongside, it is then that we might have hope which means a subjective favorable and confident expectation in our own mind. Notice you can’t have hope unless it is directed towards an object, that is hoped for. In our verse, the patience, enduring or unwavering, exhortation and consolation drawn from the Scriptures are represented as contributing to the exercise of hope and demonstrates the significance for the believer and the fellowship of the saints in the prospective outreach which hope implies.
Vs. 5 and 6 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. These two verses go together so we will handle them both of them at one time. They are not directly in the form of prayer addressed to God. They are in the form of a wish addressed to men that God would accomplish in them the exhortation, this is quite an effective way of doing two things at the same time, exhortation to men coupled with prayer to God. Without the enabling grace of God exhortation will not be fruitful. This is probably the most effective way of addressing men. The following considerations respecting these verses are as follows: (1) The titles the God of patience and comfort point back to the terms, patience and comfort in verse 4 and means that God is the source and author of them. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (2 Corinthians 1:3). God is characterized and recognized by the grace He imparts to us in the life and fellowship of faith. (2) The close relationship of God to the Scriptures is clearly indicated. Patience and comfort are derived from the Scriptures (vs4) and they are also derived from God. There is no lack of consistency. The Scriptures are the abiding Word of God and therefore the living Word. It is through their means that God imparts to us the patience and comfort that are His as the Holy Spirit witness to our hearts. (3) Paul’s thought cannot take any other view than that the Scriptures are God’s way of revealing to us that they themselves are His Word (cf. 3:1,2). To be of one accord and one mind one with another (cf. Philippians 2:2,5) this is a plea for the mutual esteem and forbearance which have been the plea from the beginning of chapter 14 and is addressed to both weak and strong. According to Christ Jesus means in accordance with the will of Christ. In view of the appeal to Christ’s example in verse 3, our Lord’s example will always be in accord with His will. (4) The distinctive purpose of these two verses is to work unanimity in the assembly of the saints and glorify God the Father. Look at the terms that you may with one mind and one mouth expresses God’s desire that we while living in this wilderness of sin may walk together loving one another being sanctified as the Holy Spirit leads us and so glorify the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one mouth.
The Gospel and Every Believer
There are some who think that preaching alone will build the church, i.e., that the individual Christian who sits in the pews is more or less a spectator to the gospel ministry. Nothing could be further from the truth! We each have the burden and privilege of bearing the good news to our fellow human beings. The words of C.H. Spurgeon, written in 1881, are quite true for today, “Any Christian has the right to disseminate the Gospel who has the ability to do so; and more, he not only has the right, but it is his duty so to do so as long as he lives. The propagation of the Gospel is left, not to a few, but to all the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the measure of grace entrusted to him by the Holy Spirit, each man is bound to minister in his day and generation, both to the church and among unbelievers. Indeed, the question goes beyond men, and even includes the other sex; whether believers are male or female, they are all bound, when enabled by divine grace, to exert themselves to the utmost to extend the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Catechism Question 44
Q: What is the duty which God requires of man?
A: The duty which God requires of man is obedience to His revealed will. .
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?