Faithlife Sermons

Instruct One Another

One Another  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Brothers and sisters in Christ are to be competent to counsel one another.

We started a new series last week entitled “One Another”. The series is about how we, as brother and sisters in Christ, relate to one another. Throughout the New Testament, various instructions are given to us concerning our relationship with one another. We looked at the first one last week, “Love one another.”
Romans 12:10 says we are to love one another another with the same type of love expressed within families. The defining mark of a true believer is the love we have for one another. Are you reaching out to other brothers and sisters during this time of physical separation? What can you do right now to meet a need some other brother or sister has? How can you show them love?
This morning, we are going to look at a second part of the relational aspect of brothers and sisters in Christ. It is found in Romans 15:14.
Romans 15:14 CSB
14 My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.
When I was in college, I took many counseling classes. In one of the classes, I was introduced to the author Jay Adams and his book “Competent to Counsel.” The basic argument in the book is that every believer has the ability to counsel other believers because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. While I agree with Dr. Adam’s basic idea, Paul wrote that there were a couple of prerequisites to being able to instruct one another.
The word “instruct” Paul uses in Romans 15:14 is the word νουθετέω (noutheteō). It means to correct or advise.

νουθετέω (noutheteō) - correct or advise

As a matter of fact, Dr. Adams called his methodology Nouthetic counseling” based on his understand of this word. The word means more than just to instruct or to teach. It carries with it the idea of correcting someone who is erring. You see another believer making poor choices or getting themselves into trouble, so you gently, in love, give them advice on how to get back on track.
Have you ever been lost? I am a guy, so I’ve never been lost. I may not have known where I was at that particular time but lost is not a word in my vocabulary. Just ask Karen. In any case, there was one time in West Virginia where I almost had to use the “l” word. I was supposed to make a visit to a new couple who had visited the church. You must understand, there are many places in West Virginia where you just have to know it is there. Not all roads are marked very well. The Associate Pastor of the church was a local man and he gave me the directions. They went something like this. Get off the highway at exit 12. Take a left. Head down the holler until it forks. Go right. You will come to a white tree. It is the fourth house. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Except, white trees are hard to see in the dark. Of course, my cell phone had no reception. Finally, I spotted a lady in an oversized Nascar t-shirt and she was able to direct me back to the highway. I never did find the house I was looking for. No one was there who could help me find the right place.
Sometimes, in life, we need help to get back on track and we need other trusted people in our lives to help us. Brothers and sisters, we need each other. We need to be able to help each other. We should not be like the Christians being addressed in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 5:12 CSB
12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food.
They should have been able to teach others. They had been believers for some time. They should have been able to help others, but they didn’t meet the prerequisites. They were still lacking. They had to learn the basics all over again.
We need to grow up in the faith. We need to mature in Christ. One of the saddest things to me is a person who has been a “Christian” for many years but doesn’t know the basics of the faith. They aren’t able to help anyone. Their theology and understanding of the Bible is only as good as bumper stickers. They have a bumper sticker theology. Let this not be said of us.
Let’s look at Romans 15:14 again.
Romans 15:14 CSB
14 My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.
Notice there are two clauses before the “able to instruct one another.” The Romans believers in Jesus were full of goodness and filled with all knowledge. They were morally upstanding and had an intellectual understanding of the Christian faith. They were competent to instruct one another. Let’s look at the first clauses.

1. Competence to instruct other believers requires goodness.

Is there any created human being who is good intrinsically? No, there is no one righteous not even one. None do what is right. All we like sheep have gone astray. There is nothing good in us. There is no such thing as good people.
This is why we need a Savior. We need a Deliverer. We need Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God. He came to be the sacrifice for our sin and make us right with God. When we put our faith in Jesus and call on his name to save us, something incredible happens. Jesus clothes us with his righteous. In Christ, we are made good.
Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit. Goodness is kindness in action. Goodness is about our words and deeds. Goodness is when we make purposeful efforts to help others.
Galatians 6:10 CSB
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.
“True goodness is not merely impulsive, but rational and considerate - it will therefore pause, and be at some trouble to inquire what service, and how best may it be rendered…Goodness should be willing to give time, and thought, and patience, and even labor; not mere money and kind words and compassionate looks.” (Bethune)
“Consider your gifts, your talents, your vocation, and your circumstances as a special trust from God with which to serve Him by serving others... Don’t look for the spectacular; few people ever have the opportunity to pull a victim from the wreckage of a flaming automobile. All of us have the opportunity to administer the kind or encouraging word - to do the little, perhaps unseen, deed that makes life more pleasant for someone else.” (Bridge, p. 109)
If you are truly going to help other believers, you must be known for goodness. People must know how much you care. Correction is more likely to be received if people know that you care about them. Last week we talked about this. Are you reaching out to people, especially during this time of physical distancing? Do people know how much you care? This is goodness. This is kindness in action. Make purposeful efforts to support one another in love. Competence to instruct requires goodness.

2. Competence to instruct requires knowledge.

Sometimes people ask me why I went to seminary, obtained advanced degrees, and trainings. For me, the answer is obvious. Why would I listen to someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about? I wouldn’t. So, why would I expect people to listen to me if I didn’t get trained in the exposition of the Scriptures? Obviously, no seminary takes the place of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit; however, I look at it has having more tools.
My dad is a service manager. I grew up around fixing cars. Every once and a while, especially on import cars, a special tool would be required to fix the problem. If the shop didn’t have the correct tool, they either had to buy the right tool or take the car to another shop to be fixed. Likewise, if someone needs help, but you don’t know how to give them biblical counseling, you will have to take them to someone else to help them. You could be missing out on opportunities to minister to other brothers and sisters in Christ because you haven’t taken the time to acquire the right tools.
Many people are talking about using this time of working from home and isolation as a time to better themselves. What if we as believers took that same approach and used this time as a time to deepen our spiritual knowledge? What if we took this time to study the Scriptures more, memorize verses, and enhance our prayer life? Everyone who is a member of FBC Laredo has access to several tools which you can use to develop. We offer Faithlife TV which is full of Bible Studies and teachings about the Scriptures. We also have access to Logos which is Bible software to help you dive deeper into study. If you don’t know how to access these tools, send an email to Karen and she can help you get setup.

Of course, make sure you exercise spiritual discernment. Just because a resource is available, doesn’t mean it is good. If you have questions, you can contact me or Pastor Felipe.

The point is if you are going to be able to help someone, you are going to have to know how to help them. You are going to have to know what the Bible says. You wouldn’t want to give someone poor advise or worldly wisdom. You want to give them the full counsel of God.
Another resource, for those of you who have and iPhone or access to iTunes is iTunesU. You can listen and view lectures from some of the top seminary teachers for free! Two schools I would highly recommend are Reformed Theological Seminary and Liberty University. You can search through their lectures and find all kinds of courses to help you gain knowledge of the Scriptures and it is all for free!
We live in an unprecedented time for sure. We are starting to understand how to adapt in this ever-changing environment. I can tell you this. I didn’t think at the beginning of the year I would be working from home and conducting live stream worship in an empty building! I didn’t think we would be holding Zoom Bible Studies. None of this was part of our ecclesiology. God is forcing us out of our comfort zone. Some people will use this time wisely and others will not. Use this time to develop your knowledge of God and the Scripture. Make the most of this time because the days are evil.
One of the memes I saw going around last week was this one. “Don’t worry about the church being empty this Easter, the tomb is empty too.”
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Brothers and sisters, the church is not empty. The building is empty, but the church is not empty. The church is people. Jesus didn’t die and rise again for a building. He died to save people. The building was just a tool we used to reach people with the gospel. The church is made up of all believers. In other words, the only thing that has changed, at least for the time being, is how we do what we do. We still are to do the same things, but we must do them in a new way.
I think, during this time, we need to be in contact with one another even more. We need to purposefully involve ourselves in the lives of other believers. We need to know what is going on with one another. We need to support one another. We need to help each other. We need to counsel one another. This is vital to our spiritual health as a body of believers. This is vital to our mission of reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I want you to hear this and I do believe it. The church can emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before if we will make the most of this time. Crises, such as the one we are in, often come with opportunities. One of the opportunities we have in front of us is to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 CSB
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.
We aren’t the first church to run into difficult days and we can be purposeful about how we use our time. Look for opportunities to do good. Develop your knowledge of the Scriptures and of God. As you develop these character traits, you will mature spiritually. As you gain spiritual maturity, you will find even more opportunities to minister to other brothers and sisters in Christ. As you gain spiritual maturity, your faith will increase. As you gain in spiritual maturity, the things which used to bind you in fear and anxiety will diminish. When you dive deep into the things of God, you will find a vast treasure which is worth more than all the silver and gold in the world.
Father God, we honor you and bless your name. You are holy and the source of all life. Without you, we are nothing. We thank you for delivering us from our sin and raising us up in Christ. You have placed our feet on the sure foundation. Thank you for making us clean and righteous.
Father, I ask you to be our help. I ask you to allow us to come back together physically once again. This time of physical separation has been difficult, and we know that you are getting people’s attention. May we be found faithful in how we used this time. Grant us wisdom and strength. Give us opportunities to minister to one another. Deep our relationship with you and with one another. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Before we close, you may be listening today and when you think of your life with God, you recognize the problem is on your end. You wonder if God will forgive you for all the things you have done. Maybe you have tried to stop doing the bad and start doing the good; however, no matter how hard you try you just continued to fall short. You continue to fail. You need to realize that you can’t do it on your own. You can’t fix your relationship with God on your own. You can’t be made right with God by anything you can do. The Bible teaches us that the only way you are made right with God is by the grace of Jesus.
That is why we call it the gospel, the good news. The good news is that God did something for us that we couldn’t do for ourselves. Jesus left heaven to come to earth. God took on flesh in the person of Jesus and lived a perfect life in every way. Without ever sinning, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice by dying on the cross for our sins and our offenses. He died in our place for the forgiveness of sins. On the third day, when the stone was rolled away, Jesus was not there. The tomb was empty. Jesus had risen from the dead, so that anyone, that includes you, who calls on the name of Jesus would be saved and forgiven. The amazing grace of God, no matter how bad you have been, no matter how dark your life is, no matter how many people you’ve let down, when you call on Jesus, he hears your prayer and he will forgive every sin and make you clean.
Will you surrender your life to God and experience his forgiveness? Will you pray this prayer with me expressing that you are trusting in God’s ability to forgive you and save you?
“Heavenly Father, forgive me for my sins, make me clean. I ask Jesus to be my Savior and to be the Lord of my life, first in every way. My life is not my own, I give it to you. Thank you for new life. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, please contact me. You can contact us through the live chat on the side or you can email me. We want to help you grow and understand the decision you have made to follow Jesus.

Dr. Benjamin Karner -

Pastor Felipe Arias -

Also, if you need prayer or have another need, please contact me. We are praying for you and want to do our very best to stay connected with you, even during this time of physical separation.
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