NT Tuesday: Be Affectionate & Honor One Another
Last week we looked at the Biblical imperative of “build up one another“. This week we will look at being devoted to one another or outdoing one another in showing honor. Paul writes in Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor”
We want to look at two thoughts that are contained in this verse, but first the setting for the verse. In the first eleven chapters of Romans, Paul, in a most systematic and concise manner, expounds on God’s gospel according to His Son, Jesus Christ. He then exhorts us to live in an entirely different manner based on the truth of the Gospel. In fact, the difference was supposed to be so remarkable that we would appear to be like a living sacrifice! (A living sacrifice – think of how odd that sounds).
The first thought surrounds the idea of demonstrating love to one another by being affectionate to one another. The word for “affection” is used NO where else in the New Testament. It properly denotes tender care, such as what exists between parents and children; and it means that Christians should have similar feelings toward each other, as if we belong to the same family (because we do!) and as united together around the same Person, principles and interests.
Showing affection for the brethren is a mark of our membership in the family of God.
The second thought is an amplification of what it means to show affection towards our brethren. As brothers in Christ, showing affection to one another, we should not seek honor for ourselves, but rather, we should prefer to give honor to our brethren. To honor means that we demonstrate a high value for and respect of our brethren. As brothers in Christ, we honor each other because we have been created in the image of God, the Holy Spirit dwells within each of us, they are members of the same body and contribute to our own spiritual well-being, and it is Christ-like to put others before ourselves.
IN simple terms, it seems that we should consider all our brethren as more worthy than ourselves. We should never let grief or envy affect our mind at giving another honor, even to the neglect of our own self. In Philippians 2:3, we are told “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Instead of battling for attention or superiority, we ought to purposely give others the higher spot.
This is so contrary to our flesh that it takes a Spirit-filled Christian to live in such a way. But, think about this for a moment, wouldn’t it be amazing to be part of a local church where believers lived out this command as completely as possible? Imagine a local church with Spirit-filled Christians walking in the Spirit towards one another! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
Until next week, fulfill your ministry!