I have been mulling encouragement over and over for weeks. When the bible says we are to encourage what does this actually mean? I think my view is over biased towards the mutual building up of faith by brethren so as to overcome this world and the persecutions that follow for confessing Christ. I can also see another context in scripture which manifest under the gift of encouragement which may have a broader contextual meaning. But the issue i have i have been told that we are all supposed to be encourager but i am a little uneasy as the context seems to be only emotional uplifting and not spiritual edification of any kind. I would really appreciate your views on the entire spectrum of encouragement to assist me. thank you and God bless in advance.
I haven't thought to long on this topic but it certianly is a great topic to talk about. I definitely take some more time for the discussion so I guess all I can do is ask questions until I get that done.What would be the difference in Emotional Uplift and Spiritual Uplift? What does Romans 15:4-6 mean to you? AMP "4For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope. 5Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,6That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).I'll get back with you some more when I do a deeper study myself.God Bless,Matthew
spiritual vs emotionalone builds up believers faith to the point that they are faithful even to death. The other makes us feel better about our earthy predicament.Looking at that scripture. I would say that he is saying that the bible contains numerous narratives for us as examples so that in the face of persecution and trials we can stand firmly on our professions and convictions that Christ is lord. The tricky part of that verse for me is HOPE. Contextually Paul seemed to allude to hope as the strong unshakable conviction that when Christ returns we shall arise and reign with him if indeed we are crucified with him. So the primary exegetical meaning i would take from that verse is an eschatological view that one day i will reign with Christ in his glory when he returns. Because of this i can endure whatever the world throws at me even death. Sometimes scriptures can have a secondary and more eisegetical(inferred) meaning. This is where i am struggling. "Encouragement of the scriptures" in isolation could have an inferred meaning that deviates from focusing on Christ to a more social emotional context. For example if i wife looses her husband i think we should gather around such people and encourage them emotionally and spiritually with prayers and scriptures and go through there pain with them. But tickling peoples ears on a sunday so they feel better about not being able to afford a bigger house is not biblical encouragement.I look forward to all your responses.
1 Corinthians 14:3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.Some thoughts:Encouragement and encouragers are greatly undervalued in the church. Encouraging someone from the heart of God to be the man/woman that God has called them to be in a specific circumstance and situation takes part in being God's voice to that person. Encouragement speaks to the new nature in Christ, identifying who someone is in Jesus. God approached Gideon saying "O mighty man of valor!" when Gideon was nothing of the sort. He encouraged him with a vision of who he could be, who he was called to be, in God's plan. We can take part in God's encouragement to individuals and to the church by casting a vision of who they are in Christ and exhorting them to grasp that identity and act on it. When we do that, we are taking part in God's calling and allow God to speak through us.
A helpful sermon from Jim Cymbala on the topic:http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=2736&commentView=itemComments
Thanks for the link i have read it and found it most encouraging *excuse the pun* i agree entirely with what Jim Cymbala says and i have already downloaded the message for a friend who is also interested in the topic. The main issue i have is i think jim is 100% correct and spot on. But my fellowship leans extremely to the emotional end of the spectrum. To encourage by building faith is perceived as judgmental. And these days the avalanche of religious cliches such as "do not, judge", "work on your own salvation","Jesus, was all about love", and a host of others is levied at you before you can even make the point. I'm open to all views on encouragement but when the primary meaning is shunned upon and excluded in favor of an inferred re-contextualized meaning i begin to struggle that's why i need help with this as i dont know how to approach this.[edited]Just read the entire 1 Thessalonians after hearing that sermon by Jim Cymbala. I must say it clarifies allot. so thanks again for that post. But im still not completely sure as too the context of the spiritual gift of encouragement *or maybe i am sure but am too scared of being sure as i am afraid of the impact it might have*