The Way Forward through Forbearance
Series: The Way Forward
We’re told that, as Christians, we’re to “bear with one another.” What does that mean? Does it mean that we have no doctrinal or moral standards? Does it mean we’re to be open and affirming to everything? The idea of tolerance in our culture is a huge, politically charged issue. Our concern, however, is to view the Bible’s call to forbearance or tolerance as it relates to us personally and as a church. One of the greatest gifts we can give each other in the church is the gift of godly forbearance, because in fact, it's a gift God gave us. So, in this message, we’ll see that we are to forebear with others because God forbears with us. In fact, we’re to forbear with others the way God forbears with us!
We’re to Bear with Others. The term “forbearance” certainly means “tolerate” at one level. But it has a deeper meaning; it essentially means we put up with someone.
It doesn’t mean you have no recourse when someone is irritating.
It doesn’t mean a Christian can live anyway he/she wants to live morally speaking.
It doesn’t mean that you can believe anything you want to believe.
It doesn’t mean that all religions are equal.
So, forbearing with one another doesn’t mean any of these things, how does forbearance actually work?
We’re to Bear with Others because God bears with Us (Rom.2:4; Rom.3:25). He doesn’t let us stay in our sin, but graciously, and patiently moves us to deal with it. He then tells us that because He did it for us, we are to do the same thing for others. And because He bears with us, over the long haul, we can wisely bear with others. Not without limits or boundaries. But in godly patience, we walk with each other, and work with each other, as we work out what it means to follow Christ.
Forbearance demands that we understand the grace of God. People who do will give the grace of forbearance.
Associate Interim Pastor
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