Friday, August 5, 2011
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10 KJV).
In light of Israel’s coming kingdom of prosperity, Christ commanded His Jewish disciples, “Sell that ye have, and give alms” (Luke 12:31-34). In the early Acts period, this “little flock” sold their possessions and had “all things common” (Acts 2:44-47; Acts 4:32–5:2). Eventually, this pool of wealth ran dry, for the Bible speaks of “the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” (Romans 15:26).
Still, God took care of His people in Jerusalem. God’s Word motivated the Gentiles that were saved under Paul’s ministry to donate goods and money to the poor Jewish saints in Jerusalem. When Paul would travel to Jerusalem, he would take those contributions to the little flock (Romans 15:25-28; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3).
The Apostle James wrote to his Jewish readers who would experience the famine of the seven-year Tribulation (2:15,16): “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”
Notice how the Apostle John agrees with James: “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him” (1 John 3:17)? Does it make sense for a Christian to refuse to help fellow Christians in their time of need? Of course not.
Grace teaches us to do good unto all, but to do good chiefly unto our fellow Christians. When we refuse to help struggling Christian brethren, we are, in effect, refusing to help Christ Himself! When we see Christians who are in need, God’s love working in us motivates us to help them in any way that we can.
In Romans 12:13, we read of Christian service. One act of Christian service is “distributing to the necessity of the saints….”