Commands to love and purity
The author is about to say his final goodbyes to his readers. Here we get some final instructions.
These instructions don't seem connected to each other. There doesn't seem to be a logical connection. They do all however come together to remind us how we are to behave as Christians.
1/. Instructions about love. 1 - 3.
First we are to have a love for our brothers and sisters. We are as Christians a body of people called the Church. Not a denomination, not a particular local church but the worldwide church. As brothers and sisters we should love as brothers and sisters.
This may not be an easy command. Some of us are difficult to love. This command can be quite a challenge. So how do we do it? We could refer to one another as brother or sister. We could treat each other as we would our brothers or sisters in the flesh.
God continues to love us even when we sin against Him
Secondly we are to have a love for strangers. Followers of Jesus are to be hospitable people. Whether it is to be a bed for a night or the offering of a meal.
How friendly are we to strangers who come into out meeting. Is our homes a private area for our own personal space or do we open our homes for the benefit of others?
God often reciprocates to us when we offer to others. Quite often the giver becomes the receiver. We can be so blessed.
Thirdly we are to have a love for prisoners. There were many Christians in prison here at this time. Prison was not a nice place. It was not a nice place to go into. The church were reminded of their responsibility to these Christians.
What about us. Do we even pray for those in prison? Do we empathise with those in prison?
2/. Instructions about purity. 4 - 6.
First we are instructed about purity in the marriage. Today sex before marriage is acceptable. Affairs are acceptable. Divorce is acceptable. The redefinition of marriage is acceptable. The same kind of confusion was here in the New Testament.
The Roman world had a cheap view of sex and a low view of marriage.
Here the writer says that Christians are to swim against the tide. We should guard marriage. We are to honour our marriages. We are to be faithful to our marriage partner.
Sex itself is pure but outside of marriage it is polluted.
Second we are instructed about having purity with our money. We are not to love money. We should be satisfied with what we have. God is not against us having money but He is against us loving it. Money gives us power. It can provide us with comforts. When we love our money we have no reliance on God.
Contentment with what we have is much more important than having a covetous spirit about what we want.
The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. God has said. I will never leave you or abandon you.
What can mere people do do me?
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