The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

05/06/2011

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Mercy First


"Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil" (1 Thess.5:21).

I think that Jesus was very clear about the kind of judging that we should not do. First of all, we are all people with faults and shortcomings. When Jesus taught the lesson on judging in Matthew 7, He explained it clearly. The part about not trying to remove the speck from a brother's eye when we have a plank in our own is not about faultlessness, but about realization. If the only people out there giving advice were those without faults, no advice would ever be given. We must be introspective. If our fault(s) are of a great magnitude, we need to take care of them before trying to tackle someone else's problems..Here are the words of the apostle Paul: "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently" (Gal.6:1). There is no indication that the people who are to do the restoring are without fault, but rather spiritual. I think that a spiritual person is one who realizes his faults and is constantly working on them. The judgement being made in helping others caught in sin is not done harshly, self-righteously or without mercy. We are to note the term gently....The judgements made are about what has been done wrong and trying to restore. James helps to clarify the issue..."Judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement" (2:13). When Paul makes his statement about restoring a brother in sin in Galatians 6, he tells us more...After "you who are spiritual should restore him gently," he adds; "But watch yourself, or you may also be tempted" He even explains why we are to do this..."Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ" (V2). When we realize our own shortcomings and earnestly work on them, we reach a stage in which we can help others. May our efforts to help be filled with the mercy that the Lord showed toward us...

Have a great day....Go about doing good.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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