How to be Especially Good
Unto the Household of Faith
:10 As we have therefore opportunity,
let us do good unto all men,
especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
God tells us to do good unto all, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Well, who is of the household? First let us look at to whom Galatians is written:
:1 Paul, an apostle,
(not of men,
neither by man,
but by Jesus Christ,
and God the Father,
who raised him from the dead;)
:2 And all the brethren which are with me,
unto the churches of Galatia:
:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father,
and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
:4 Who gave himself for our sins,
that he might deliver us from this present evil world,
according to the will of God and our Father:
:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
This epistle is written to the churches. The epistles; Romans through II Thessalonians, were written to specific churches and when they were done they would change the salutation and send it along to churches in other regions.
The word 'churches' is interesting to note, it is the word ekklesia meaning a gathering of people. The early 'churches' gathered in homes not necessarily buildings like the temples. The letters would be circulated among the Believers in their fellowships.
So, Galatians is written to the brethren who Jesus Christ gave himself for that we might be delivered. Ephesians also gives us a key to understand who is of the household.
:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
to the saints which are at Ephesus,
and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
:2 Grace be to you,
and peace, from God our Father,
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places
:4 According as he hath chosen us in him
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy
and without blame
before him in love:
:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children
by Jesus Christ to himself,
according to the good pleasure of his will,
:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace,
wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ephesians is written to the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus who have been blessed with all spiritual blessing, chosen before the foundations of the world, adopted and accepted in the beloved--that is us.
:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers
but fellowcitizens with the saints,
and of the household of God;
:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles
Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together
groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
:22 In whom ye also
are builded together
for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
We are no longer as the Gentiles were--strangers and foreigners but fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God. We are the building where Christ is the chief corner stone. The household becomes the temple for God to live in and manifest Himself through. We are His habitation and the household that grows unto a holy temple in the Lord.
Now that we have identified who is the household, how are we to be especially good unto them (us)?
Take care of one another
Help the more spiritually immature ones.
:1 We then that are strong
ought to bear the infirmities of the weak,
and not to please ourselves.
:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour
[the context is brethren--those of the household]
for his good to edification.
:3 For even Christ pleased not himself;
but, as it is written,
The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
We are to be likeminded one toward another.
No divisions, come together on the Word of God, receive each other to the glory of God.
:5 Now the God of patience
grant you to be likeminded one toward another
according to Christ Jesus:
:6 That ye may with one mind
and one mouth
glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
:7 Wherefore receive ye one another,
as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Receive one another no matter if they are rich, poor, a different race, your own brother, your own sister, your in-laws. Are they of the household of faith? Receive them. That is the Word.
Share, distribute your excess and be of one accord.
In the first century church after Pentecost the Believers would come together and help each other as they saw need as well as eating together. They were of one accord--of one purpose. The end result was that the Lord added to the church daily.
:44 And all that believed were together,
and had all things common;
:45 And sold their possessions and goods,
and parted them to all men,
as every man had need.
:46 And they,
continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house,
did eat their meat with gladness
and singleness of heart,
:47 Praising God,
and having favour [charis-grace] with all the people.
And the Lord added to the church daily
such as should be saved.
The word favour is the Greek word charis--grace. Strong's Analytical Concordance defines it as:
[T]he merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
Look at our manner of speech. Is it praising God and having grace--merciful kindness turning people to Christ, strengthening them in the faith, knowledge and affection, kindling them the desire to exercise Christian virtues? Our speech and our actions are to be with grace to the household. It must be available.
Be lovingly sensitive and aware of others and genuinely interested in others.
:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
but in lowliness of mind [humbleness]
let each esteem other better than themselves.
Our attitudes and actions are to be taking care of one another unselfishly without a desire for recognition. Pay attention to the needs of other. The world won't take care of you. Our actions are not for selfish reasons, but to be of benefit to the household. God will see that you are taken care of.
Continued Next Week . . .