Our Brethren

God’s Word, the ministry, and the Holy Spirit serve as tremendous guidelines for us, but alongside them, God has placed our brethren as a governing element in our lives. God does not want us to do anything that would cause our brother in Christ to stumble or be offended. As a body, the church should have the same care of one member as it does others. Love calls for us to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16); therefore, we should be willing to restrict our appetites and activities to keep others from being offended.

God is displeased when we ignore others’ feelings and place in the kingdom of God. To run with indifference through life, do what we want, buy what we want, and go where we want, with flagrant disregard to others, is displeasing to God.

Some appear to have little regard for cultural differences, background, localized problems, ethics, principles, and organizational rules of conduct. True Christianity walks softly so as not to create division, strife, disharmony, or offenses. To those who know the truth in its fullness, may God renew our regard and love for one another to the point we can lay aside personal prejudices, opinions, and personal pursuits in order to enhance the peace and harmony of the church of the living God! Here are some guidelines for the proper exercise of our Christian liberty in a way that is sensitive to others.

  1. We must give three considerations to others in the church. For the sake of our brothers and sisters, we should abstain from any practice that could cause the following (Romans 14:21-23).
    • Fellow believer to stumble
    • Fellow believers to be offended
    • Fellow believers to be made weak
  2. Paul’s teaching about eating food offered to idols offers further insight into this area (1 Corinthians 8:8-13).
  3. Our liberty is judged by another person’s conscience (1 Corinthians 10:23-33).
  4. Brotherly love is a much needed addendum to our faith (2 Peter 1:5-8).

We Should value our brothers and sisters in the church in the same way we consider the members of our individual bodies. They deserve the highest honor and care we can give them.

Observing these guidelines will bring true happiness and balance to our Christian life. Error that springs from the human mind and spirit, along with the onslaught of false doctrines, will never destroy us if we will use these checks and balances.

Pruning, purging, realignment of priorities, and discipline of character and conduct are ongoing processes in the life of the true Christian. We grow, change, and mature as we journey toward our destine. None of these agents hamper our progress but enhance our lives as we prepare for His soon return. It is hard to kick against the goads (Acts 9:5); submissions is the best route.