Mature Class Study, teacher Josh Olmsted.
How do we see ourselves? Josh sees himself as being very independent. It’s important for us to see when we need to let go of our independence so we can work together and be cohesive with the body of Christ. We have to get our focus off ourselves to do that. Paul said we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to. Sometimes we see ourselves as not being sufficient. How we look at things is influenced by the background and surrounding experiences. As we live our lives we tend to think our decisions are right. God wants to condition us to consider the body. We have to be humble to work together successfully. Charity in our actions is necessary.
Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Our experiences alone are not enough for us to live right. Can we genuinely understand that we don’t know everything? Sometimes it’s like we live in a 3D world (3 dimensional) but we see things in a 2D way (2 dimensional). There are things or decisions that seem right to us but they may lead to death. There are warnings in scriptures about the way we think about ourselves. Being proud prevents us from examining ourselves and seeing things from another perspective.
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.
What we’ve experienced in life sometimes shows us what to do and what’s right. Sometimes things aren’t clear though and won’t work for us to see something no matter how it’s explained to us – but can we still work together? We don’t want to think we’re right just because we’ve had more experience so it that someone else is wrong. We don’t want young people to feel they aren’t a part so they head down the wrong path and go astray. The devil comes to steal and destroy.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
How does God wants us to work together?
We need to be humble so we can help another who has been taken in a fault. We must prove our work to see if it’s effective in helping others.
Galatians 6:1-3 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
We need fervent charity among ourselves.
I Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
If we truly love one another, we’re not going to do any harm. Josh liked a quote he saw about loving others.
“Truly what sins can be committed when one is in a conscious state of loving God… Truly, what sins can be committed when one is in a conscious state of loving God and each other with deep love? Can you hate while you love? No. Can you strike your brother? Can you lie, cheat, or steal when you believe in God and love him? No. We must suspend love and even belief in order to sin against God. To believe in him is to love him. To love him is to obey him out of joy and peace.” (by Editor in Chief, ConnectUS)
Charity is most important in working together. God is love, so love will always abide. Charity isn’t about just coming to church but it needs to work out in the community too.
I Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Partaking of the divine nature.
We need one another to increase in faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. If we do these things, we’ll never fall. If we don’t increase in the way we need to, we’ll never fit in the body to work together. It will be like trying to run a mile with a torn calf muscle. How do we better work together to show charity to each other, especially to young people?
II Peter 1:4-8 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.