Especially the FamilyNovember 7, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Posted in Mark, The Family of Faith | 4 Comments
Tags: Biblical neighbors, commentary on Galatians, commentary on Mark, family of faith, family of God, Galatians 6, household of faith, Mark 12, Sunday School lessons on Galatians, Sunday School lessons on Mark
We have many relationships in our lives: friends, co-workers, acquaintances. But “family” is a special relationship.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
In the original language the word translated as “household” meant family and those who live together under the same roof. It is used three times in the New Testament, and it refers to Christians who are related as brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Bible says we are to do what is good to people in general. Jesus taught His disciples to love their “neighbor,” and he criticized the religious hypocrites for failing to love their neighbors.
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
This is essentially what Galatians 6:10 is saying when it says, “let us do good unto all men.” Should we be nice to people that are easy to be nice to, and mean to people who rub us the wrong way? No, of course not – not according to the Bible. Should we be nice to Christians, but ambivalent toward the unsaved? No! We are to love even our enemies, and even those who persecute us! In fact, that is one of the great indicators (to a lost and watching world) that we belong to Jesus. Anybody can be nice to people who are nice to them first, or when there’s a reward at stake. Jesus loved, and died for, those who HATED Him.
We must bless those who hate us and pray for those who despitefully use us. However, Galatians 6:10 does have a warning word – something of a qualifier. It doesn’t say forget about doing good to all people, but it does say to do good ESPECIALLY to those who are part of the household of faith: fellow Christians – brothers and sisters in Christ – and, in the context of Galatians 6, doing “good” (“the good” in the Greek) means bearing one another’s burdens and sowing to the Spirit (which results in reaping everlasting life) instead of sowing to the flesh (which results in reaping corruption). In other words, we are commanded to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24) in dealing with our spiritual family members. So, since the Holy Spirit emphasizes the importance of serving in the household of faith, next time we will look at exactly what it means to be a part of this household/family.