OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PEOPLE
In a few simple words Paul described the relationship Christians should have with others. These are matters which affect our everyday living. In 2 Corinthians 7:2 he wrote, “Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.” It is obvious from the teachings of Jesus and from inspired Bible writers that there must be love in our life for other people. Jesus said, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) This is also what the inspired apostles instructed us to do. Peter wrote, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” (1 Peter 1:22) John wrote, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11) Paul wrote, “Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” (Ephesians 5:2) James identified for us the Royal Law. “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.” (James 2:8) Christians must do their best to treat everyone kindly, without exception. Paul gave these three guidelines for Christian relationships.
We have wronged no man -- 2 Corinthians 7:2: As Christians we must never act contrary to justice and what is right in our dealing with others. Our actions must show honor to all men. “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1 Peter 2:17) When honor is shown this means that proper respect toward our fellow man will always be demonstrated. Others should be treated properly so that we can help lead them to Christ. In Ezekiel 33:11 we read, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
We have corrupted no man -- 2 Corinthians 7:2: Our teaching must always be truth so that we will not corrupt others. Do you realize that if you are a true New Testament Christian you are in a very small minority in the world? If you are a true Christian that has read the entire Bible you are in a very, very small minority in our world. Many so-called Christians are Biblically illiterate. One of the most critical problems in the world today is a lack of Bible knowledge. Have you read the Bible and has it had any influence in your life? Study the Bible for yourself! This will surely make you one of an exclusive few. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15) The Bible is God's inspired word. Revelation was the means by which God made known to the world His word. Reading is the means by which that word is learned. Paul wrote, “How that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets.” (Ephesians 3:3-5) The Bible is a library of 66 books, all with the theme of salvation in Christ. Let us teach nothing but truth.
We have defrauded no man -- 2 Corinthians 7:2: Christians must never defraud others in physical or spiritual matters. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3) Paul wrote, “That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” (1 Thessalonians 4:6) We are warned from God's Word about defrauding one another. The word "defraud" means "to take advantage of; to make a gain." We are not to take advantage of anyone. God warns us not to defraud anyone in any matter. Treat your fellow man right in everything.
Will you accept God's wonderful good news that Jesus died for your sins? Will you be baptized into Christ to put on Christ so that your sins can be forgiven by His blood? "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) Believers contact Christ's saving blood by being baptized into His death. If you are not yet a Christian, it is my earnest prayer that you may heed the call of our Lord while you still have life and opportunity. If you are a Christian but have not been faithful why not come back to God in repentance and prayer. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551,
Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA