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Commentary on "Relationships""

COLLEEN TINKER

 

Day 6: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - Building Others Up

 

Overview

This lesson discusses the need for people to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. It notes that sniping and gossip impact the corporate body, and the author advocates the Golden Rule as the “key to all relationships”.

 

Observations

The texts used to outline the lesson, Ephesians 4:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, and Romans 15:19 are all taken out of their context and used here as rules for general good behavior.

Ephesians 4:29: So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

1 Thess 5:11: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Romans 15:19: So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

In reality, these passages are addressed to true brothers in Christ who have been born again. These passages are not given to the natural “everyman” as a guide to getting along with people. To be sure, the Bible’s advice would help anyone who followed it, even without being born again. They would become more socially acceptable and able to interact with all types, but they would not become truly good on the inside.

The lesson suggests that people who feel good about themselves will be much less likely to offend or to slander others. The fact is, how one feels about himself is directly linked to one’s position with the Lord Jesus. There is no true “self esteem” apart from the Lord Jesus. Natural people have no hope of true self esteem because each of us in intrinsically a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3).

Only when we are born again by the will of God (John 1:13) are we able to be confident without fear of being shamed. When we are in Christ, there is now no condemnation (Romans 8:1).

Altruism is not the same thing as loving as Christ loved us.

The lesson talks about the early church communities being admonished not to let their personal relationships deteriorate, and the author explains the mistreatment of others as coming from a desire for control or power and other insecurities and inner conflicts.

The fact is that mistreatment of one another is sin. Not until we deal with our intrinsic sin by repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord can we address the issue of our sins of mistreatment of one another.

Unregenerate people can do good things for others, but only born again people have the ability and power to really surrender their temptations and natural self-defensive impulses. The only way to be able to avoid hurting others when they hurt us is to be filled with the actual presence and power of God in the person of the Holy Spirit and thus choose to surrender to Him the moments when we are hurt or abused and yield to His wisdom and compassion and to truth.

 

Conclusion

  1. Building others up is not the same as loving one another as Christ loved the church,
  2. The body of Christ does not consist of members of a denomination or even of a local church. The body of Christ consists of all who have been born of the Spirit.
  3. Those who are seriously religions are often not born again; holding sincerely to a system of belief does not make one born again. Repentance and belief in the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice for our personal sin is what leads to being born again.
  4. Only when one is alive in Christ can one truly build another up, because only the life and the light that is Jesus can offer a person the affirmation and identity that will sustain them through the craziness of life.

 

GO TO DAY 7

 

Copyright 2011 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised January 18, 2011. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.

The Sabbath School Bible Study Guide and the corresponding E.G. White Notes are published by Pacific Press Publishing Association, which is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The current quarter's editions are pictured above.

 

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