Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Help a Brother Out

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

13 ἀλλὰ παρακαλεῖτε ἑαυτοὺς καθ᾽ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν, ἄχρις οὗ τὸ σήμερον καλεῖται, ἵνα μὴ σκληρυνθῇ τις ἐξ ὑμῶν ἀπάτῃ τῆς ἁμαρτίας-

This is one of the great "one another" passages of Scripture, in my opinion.  It's also one that I feel like I need some of the most work on.  It is so easy to operate as something of a "Lone Ranger" Christian, particularly in 21st century America.  Why do I need to talk to anyone anyway?  I have Facebook and Twitter.  I interact at some blogs.  I have my classmates in seminary.

This verse tells me why.  We need to be careful about ἀπάτῃ τῆς ἁμαρτίας.  We need exhortations from our fellow Christians because we develop blind spots in our lives through the deception of sin.  I'm sure that I have plenty.  For example, when a friend calls me out for my lack of zeal about evangelism it strikes a nerve because of the deceitfulness of the sin of omission in not evangelizing more.  That's just one example.

I also know how encouraging it is to be with a brother and talk about the Lord.  Fellowship with a brother in Christ clearly has value that we cannot necessarily quantify.  I think that this verse gives us warrant for this.  In fact, it goes beyond warrant to command.

What have you done to exhort someone today?  And what do you do to receive exhortations?

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