4. With Gentleness

We must not treat the Chreaster with heavy hands and a cold-hearted spirit. Paul wrote to the church in Ephesians 4:2, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” God in his lovingkindness, mercy, and grace has bestowed much gentleness on us all. The tender approach taught by Paul to the church goes hand in hand with humbleness and humility.

God’s great mercy delivered us all out of a season of sin, times of spiritual departure, and a lack of a desire for closeness with our Savior. We must admit to ourselves when asking the question, “are we really any better in the eyes of God for attending 50 more Sunday services?” Similarly, in Psalm 18:35, David wrote, “thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.”

We are strong not by our ability and provision to attend worship services regularly. We are strong by the power of our God. It is by His hand we are restored and by his strength, we are enabled.

5. With Humility

The church should be a source of humble encouragement to its entire people irrespective of spiritual age or frequency of church attendance. Humility is a fruit of the spirit and comforts those around us while it strengthens our own closeness with Christ. Paul in Philippians 2:1-4, wrote “if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

We are to make much of our Savior and not in our worldly identification labels. Our union with Christ is not trumped by our union with the brethren. Our dealings with humanity, however, are a reflection of our walk with Christ. We cannot comfort ourselves by resting upon our own obedience to the physical church. Paul spoke of great encouragement by being united with Christ, his love, his Spirit, his tenderness, and his compassion. Accordingly, he taught we should share each of the attributes we have in Christ with those around us.

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