In verses 4 and 5, Paul taught that every Christian has his own special work for God. However, the tasks that he mentions in verses 6 to 8 seem to us often to be the work of leaders. Perhaps sometimes we expect our leaders to do the work that we ourselves should be doing. For example, every Christian should be glad to have an opportunity to show kindness to other people.
The instructions that follow, from verse 9 on, are clearly for every Christian. Paul reminds us about how Christ taught us to live. His instructions remind us of such passages as Matthew chapters 5 to 7, and John chapters 13 to 16. This is how Christians can and must live in an evil world.
There can be no proper place in their lives for selfish behaviour. Instead, an attitude of true love must guide all their actions (Mark 12:29-31; 1 Corinthians chapter 13).
Christians should be very aware of the difference between right and wrong behaviour. They should firmly refuse to do any evil thing; they should make a strong decision only to do what is good (Psalm 1:1; Psalm 15; Psalm 24:3-6).
However, that does not mean that Christians must separate themselves completely from evil people. Rather, Christians have a responsibility to show Godís goodness to the world (Matthew 5:16). In fact, they may even have to show love to their enemies (12:20). Their good actions may even cause some of those evil people to turn from their evil behaviour. God wants even the most wicked people to turn to him, so that he can forgive them (Ezekiel 18:21-23).
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© 2018, Keith Simons.