Lesson Twelve: Positive Commands: A Focus on Actions: Commands 3 and 4: "Admonish One Another" and "Comfort and Encourage One Another"
Review: The positive "one another commands" are divided into 2 main categories, the second category of which is further divided into 4 more subdivisions:
1. Verses that Focus on Attitudes – command 1: "Have the same mind with one another"
2. Verses that Focus on Actions
a. Verses which promote spiritual growth and health in the Body of Christ
e.g. Command 2: "Encourage and Build Up One Another"
b. Verses which promote the good of the Body of Christ
c. Verses which promote unity and peace in the Body of Christ
d. Verses which promote ministry and the function of the Body of Christ
Last week, we began looking at verses that focus on "actions" with regard to our loving one another. We began by studying verses which promote the spiritual growth and health of the body of Christ as we looked at the 2nd One another command to "Encourage and Build Up One Another and the background for the need for these verses which promote the spiritual growth and health of the body of Christ (i.e. as Christians we are called to live in a "hostile" environment).
Tonight, we will continue looking at verses which promote the spiritual growth and health of the body of Christ:
Table Discussion (Anyone can be the table leader, be sure to let everyone speak, this is an opportunity to share with and help each other in our understanding of God’s Word, it is okay if you don’t get through every question, discussion and study with each other is more important):
1. Command 3: "Admonish One Another". Read Romans 15:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Colossians 1:28.
a. The word "admonish" is the Greek word noutheteo (nouqetevw), "to put in mind, to admonish, warn, advise, instruct." Actually, the word noutheteo doesn’t refer to casual communication or normal-type teaching. It implies a definite exhortation, correction, and warning. When this word is used, there is always the implication of a problem. It presupposes an obstacle that must be removed or changed. One scholar says, "Some degree of opposition has been encountered, and one wishes to subdue or remove it, not by punishment, but by influencing the nous" (mind). Certainly, there is in this word some kind of a moral appeal for change in behavior through warning and biblical instruction, or putting sense into the mind with a strong appeal to the will through understanding.
b. What do these passages above indicate regarding who in the church should be providing admonishing to Christians?
c. According to Romans 15:14, what two things are required to make us competent to warn, instruct, or counsel one another?
d. How would you define "goodness"? (cf. Matthew 7:3-5; Galatians 6:1-5)
e. Why does a person need to be "filled with all knowledge" in order to be able to admonish another?
f. Read Romans 14:1-12; 13-23; 15:1-13, what potential problems might we run into in trying to admonish another person with regard to "knowledge" and "questionable practices" or "questionable issues"?
2. Command 4: "Comfort and Encourage One Another". Read 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25.
a. The Greek word used in each of the above passages translated as "comfort" or "encourage" is parakaleo (parakalevw). It may mean, depending on the context, "to summon, call to one’s side to give aid," then "to exhort, entreat, beseech," but it is often used in the sense of "to strengthen, encourage," or "comfort, console" as one who comes alongside to give aid, strength, comfort, courage. It means doing whatever is needed to bring courage into the lives of believers. To encourage is to bring courage. "Encouragement is the kind of expression that helps someone want to be a better Christian, even when life is rough." Courage is the quality of mind that enables people to encounter difficulty and danger with firmness and resolve in spite of inner fears, to continue on in the pressures of life by faith so that we don’t throw in the towel.
b. Why did the Hebrew Christians and Thessalonian Christians need "encouragement? (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4; Hebrews 2:1; 3:12-13).
c. Read Joshua 1:1-9. What are some ways we can receive encouragement and encourage one another? (cf. Romans 15:4; Hebrews 12:1-2; 13:5-6, 7; Acts 4:36; 9:26-27).
* Next week, we will continue looking at verses which promote the spiritual growth and health of the body of Christ