[What is a Church? It is a
fellowship. It is a community.
It is meant to be the family of God in your life.
We call the Church the body of Christ (1 Cor 12).
The Church is composed of many members, who are all distinctly
different, yet untied for the common cause of building the glorious kingdom
of our Lord and Savior.]
[Each of the members of the body are distinctly different, yet we are
all a part of the same body.
Sometimes members are so different that we rub each other in seemingly wrong
ways. Yet, the Bible reminds us
that every member is equally important to the body as a whole.
The Bible says,]
[1 Corinthians 12:12-19
12 For as the
body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body,
being many, are one body: so also
is Christ. 13 For by one
Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether
we be Jews or Gentiles,
whether we be bond or free;
and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member,
but many. 15 If the foot shall
say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of
the body? 16 And if the ear
shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore
not of the body? 17 If the whole
body were an eye, where were
the hearing? If the whole were
hearing, where were the
smelling? 18 But now hath God
set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member,
where were the body?]
[It seems to me that a part of what Paul is expressing in verses 24 and
25 of our text is about how we should be able to work in unity with every
other member of the body of our Lord.]
[Notice what our text says,]
let us consider one
another to provoke unto love and to good works: ]
[Notice that word consider,]
(Gk) - contracted
katá (2596), an intens.,
noéō (3539), to think. To
observe, notice, consider, contemplate (Matt. 7:3; Luke 6:41; 12:24, 27;
20:23; Acts 7:31, 32; 11:6; 27:39; Rom. 4:19, to have respect to, regard;
Heb. 3:1; 10:24; James 1:23, 24; Sept.: Num. 32:8, 9; Is. 5:12).
[The word consider here is a compound Greek word which teaches us to
consider, observe, or contemplate one another
In other words we are certainly not supposed to be neutral toward one
another, we are not to ignore one another; but we are to be intimately
involved with one another, concerned with one another, interacting with one
[When this phrase “considering one another” is placed in the context of
this passage we quickly realize that we are to consider one another in a way
that allows us to
provoke or intrude
into the lives of one another.
Now, this idea of intruding into the lives of each other is fearsome to our
individualistic American culture and our ideas of freedom and liberty.
Yet, we must at some point in our Christian walk realize that if a
Pastor, Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, Mentor or dear friend in Christ is
going to nurture and stretch our spiritual growth then they must be allowed
to provoke, challenge or even stretch us and our ideas.]
[It is never easy to hear someone say things that we really don’t want
to hear. Yet, we all, and I mean
every one of us, need someone in our lives that we know loves us deeply and
we allow to challenge us in ways we may not enjoy being challenged.
Yet, if you know someone deeply loves you, then you should know that
they mean their provoking statements with the best of intensions.
Perhaps, you should hear them instead of rejecting them, because our
first response is to reject such approaches out of hand.
The things we often reject out of hand are often those things we
really need to hear, but most people would never love you enough to say.]
– This is a huge part of a parents roll in the life of their children, even
their adult children. If there
is anyone in your life that has a vested interest in your life it should be
your parents and your family.
They love you, and know you, and if they say something that is hard to take
you can usually trust the fact that they love you dearly and their deep love
and bond toward you have compelled them to say something to you.
You ought to hear and trust your family.]
[Your Church family is meant to be a deeply intimate spiritual family in
your life. Your Heavenly Father
loves you with a love that is deeper than any mortal love could ever be.
He has proven His love with the most profound evidence one could ever
imagine. The Word of God
8 But God
commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us.]
[Your Heavenly Father has placed the Church, the body of Christ, in your
life to be a deeply intimate spiritual family in your life.
A Church should be full of people who have experienced the
supernatural love of God, have learned from the unspeakable love of God how
to love in deep and profound ways, and strive to express this boundless love
in unconditional and undeniable expressions.
I believe that we have many such compassionate Christian’s right here
in this congregation. The
question is, do you understand that the people of this Church love you and
your family deeply? Or have you
allowed yourself to believe that somehow you are not loved by God and you
are not loved by the people of this Church.]
[You can know with absolute certainty that your Heavenly Father loves
you. He proved it with a Cross
and there is no deeper love than that one would give his life for his friend
(John 15.13). You should know as
well that there are many, the majority of the people in this Church that
love you and your family deeply.
Love is the cornerstone of unity.
Love will overcome a multitude of distractions and divisions.
Love is also the fertilizer of spiritual growth in your life.]
[Until you believe that those around you in this Church love you, then
you will not be able to experience the kind if fellowship described in
Hebrews 10.24-25. This is the
kind of fellowship that our world really needs today; a Church that is born
again, alive in Christ, founded upon God’s Word and able to provoke and
exhort their spiritual growth.]
Notice three things in our text
that we must practice if we will consider one another as we ought,
Provoking Compassion (vs 24;
Prov 17.17; John 13.35; Eph 4.1-4; Rom 12.10)
[– And let us consider one another to
and to good works: - Let us consider that word provoke,]
παροξυσμὸν (Gk) - gen.
paroxusmoú, masc. noun
to stir up,
provoke. In a good sense,
a sharpening; used
figuratively meaning an encouragement to some action or feeling
(Heb. 10:24). In a bad sense, a paroxysm,
the stirring up of
anger, sharp contention, angry dispute (Acts 15:39; Sept.: Deut.
29:28; Jer. 32:37). The Eng.“paroxysm” is derived from it.
[Hence to provoke
carries the idea of, ]
sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. ]
or steal means that there is an abrasive application of some sort.
Patient and wise sharpeners use a sharpening stone and carefully and
purposefully hone away a dull edge.
Impatient people, like me when I am sharpening my lawn mower blades,
and just want to get the job done quickly, use an electric grinder.
The sparks fly, it is loud and abusive, but the blades wear down much
faster. I would caution you
though, don’t ever view people like you might a lawn mower blade.]
[This is the idea
of provoking one another. It is
to stir them up, to provoke them, to cause them to think and to grow.]
[Now there are
many in our world that LOVE to provoke people, but they often do it in wrong
and abusive way. Notice again
the context of our passage,]
[VS 24 - And let us consider one another to provoke
. . .]
[It is impossible
to provoke unto love if there is no love in the way you stir up your brother
or sister in Christ. Harsh
provocations will result in harsh responses.
Our first goal in approaching and exhorting our fellow Christians
should be to provoke them to love.
We are reminded in the Bible,]
35 By this
shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to
1 I therefore,
the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation
wherewith ye are called, 2
With all lowliness
and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of
the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4
There is one
body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; ]
compassion must be the basis of our fellowship and unity.
Through love we stir up love.
Love produces the seed and fruit of love.
Now, I think many of us men struggle with the expression of love more
than women. Most women just seem
to be naturals when it comes to love.
So how do we express love?]
kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring
one another; ]
6 Let your
speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye
ought to answer every man. ]
[Be kind, be
humble, and control your words carefully.
Discipline yourself to be compassionate and loving in the way you
provoke or stir other people up.
The way you show your compassion and love to others will teach them how to
show love in their life.]
Provoking Conviction (vs 24)
[- And let us consider one another to
provoke unto love and
to good works:
- Once your compassion and love are established then the second and equally
important aspect of our Christian relationship can develop.
Not only are we to consider one another in love and provoke each
other to love, but we are also to provoke good works in each other.
I used the word conviction here because conviction deals with what
you really believe in your heart and you will always live in keeping with
your convictions. If you are
living in sin then your convictions are wrong, because you will always do
what you believe is right in your heart.]
[My friends are your convictions founded upon the Word of God
– There is a huge difference between a command and a conviction.
I had a man tell me once, “I will get baptized when God tells me in
my heart that I need to get baptized.”
His problem was that he is getting his conviction from some place
other than the Word of God. When
God says something in the Bible then it is no longer a matter of conviction,
it is a matter of command. As
God’s people we must always understand that God’s commands are not
negotiable. Hence, God’s
commands ought to always be the foundation for our beliefs or convictions.]
God says, “Be ye Baptized . . .”
(Acts 2.38) then you should believe God and be baptized.]
God says, “Ye shall not make any
cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I
am the Lord.” (Leviticus
19:28) Then I will put no tattoos or piercings upon my body.]
God says, “Woe unto him
that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to
him, and makest
him drunken also, . . .”
(Habakkuk 2:15) Then I will
keep all beverage alcohol out of my life and home.]
[Far too many
people in our day are establishing their convictions or beliefs on their
feelings and emotions rather than the rock solid foundation of the Word of
God. Hence, my brothers and
sisters in Christ, if we are going to provoke each other to good works then
we must stir up one another to hear, believe, and heed the inerrant, and
infallible Word of God, for only those works which are right with God are
[Now, let us
understand, it is not easy and comfortable for someone to come up to you and
say, “Hey buddy, you
are a great sinner. Only
heathens and pagans do what you are doing!”
But the truth is there are times that we need to hear that something
we are doing is wrong, so that we can get it right in our life.
We often need correction in our life.]
[What we need to
understand as a messenger, and the stirrer of the pot, as the provoker, is
that it is not necessarily what we are saying, it is often how we are saying
something that causes it rejection.
We must always bath our considerations in love, kindness, compassion,
Provoking Communion (vs 25; 2
Pet 3.11-14) [- And let us consider one
another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the
assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some
one another: and so much
the more, as ye see the day approaching. – What is this
passage really saying to us as we read it? It
is saying that the closer we get to the rapture of the Church and the end of
the Church Age, the more we will need the provoking of our brothers and
sisters in Christ. My friends,
we are closer than ever to the end of this dispensation of Grace and we need
the fellowship of the Church, we need the compassionate stretching of the
body of Christ, we need the challenging of our beliefs and convictions so
that we will be right with our Heavenly Father in these last days.
But you will have none of this if you forsake the assembly of the
[Notice the word
exhorting in the middle of verse 25,]
(3844), to the side of, and
kaléō (2564), to call. To
aid, help, comfort, encourage. Translated: to comfort, exhort, desire, call
for, beseech with a stronger force than
aitéō (154). ]
[To exhort is to
come along side someone and to be there to help, comfort, counsel, and even
convict them in their Christian Journey.
Do you have trusted brothers and sisters in Christ who you will allow
to say the things to you that you may not want to hear, but you may need to
hear? Do you have the kind of
Christian friends who you know love you, with the love of Christ, so that
you can trust them to say things that may be hard for you to hear?
We all need exhortation and even provoking in our lives.
Especially in these last and perilous
days before our Lord establishes His eternal and glorious kingdom.]
[2 Peter 3:11-14
then that all these things
shall be dissolved, what manner of
persons ought ye to be in
all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,
wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall
melt with fervent heat? 13
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new
earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14
seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him
in peace, without spot, and blameless. ]
[We need trusted
brothers and sisters in Christ who can help us to realize Peter’s
exhortation for our lives. We
need to be the kind of compassionate, Bible believing Christians that can be
trusted to exhort and provoke our brothers and sisters in Christ with grace
CrossRoads Baptist Church, July 25, 2010
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