Christian Universe ™
October 02, 2011
We are meek, but not weak. In fact, we have strength as we stand in Christ, and look for God for our power. We are not to stand alone, but together. Jesus traveled with a group of men and women, and sent His disciples out two by two. The apostle Paul traveled with companions, fellow evangelists, and had several who stood with him in his ministry. We must stand together in out fight against spiritual wickedness in high places.
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 10-02-2011
Presented to Load church of Christ on 10-09-2011
Last time, we talked about taking a stand for righteousness, and against spiritual wickedness. I would now like to address the wisdom and effectiveness of standing together.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
Two people can do more work than one person. Not only that, but two can often accomplish work that one alone cannot. If one falls down, the other can help him up. If one is alone, and falls, it may be impossible to recover, depending upon the circumstances.
On a cold night, two people lying alongside one another capture the heat escaping from the body of the other. This is a better use of the energy than it just radiating into the air, as it does when one lies along in a cold place.
If someone is attacked, it is easier to fend off such an attack when two stand together.
When using ropes, a single strand of fiber is weaker than three strands woven together. By these examples, we understand some of the benefits of standing together.
Jesus did not work alone. He called from among His disciples twelve apostles. He was also partially supported by women from their resources.
Mark 3:13 "And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:"
Luke 8:1 "And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance."
When He sent them forth to preach and do His father’s work, He sent them two by two.
Mark 6:7 "And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;"
For years, I had the impression that the apostle Paul traveled and preached alone, probably because of all of the sermons referring to “the apostle Paul” as if he were alone. When I revisited the stories of his travels and preaching, which I had heard and read many times, I saw otherwise.
In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul speaks of those who were with him.
Acts 20:33 "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me."
Paul spoke of his companions and fellow helpers in the Galatian letter.
Galatians 2:1 "Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also."
He makes special mention of those who helped him in his Philippian letter.
Philippians 2:19 "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants."
Philippians 4:3 "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."
Paul had many who worked alongside him in the ministry. Some remained in the towns and cities where he converted them, working with him while he was there. Others traveled with him. Some, he dispatched to other cities and towns to do important work.
Colossians 4:7 "All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you."
To Timothy, he wrote the following:
2 Timothy 1:16 "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well."
2 Timothy 4:9 "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus."
And Paul had this to say to Titus:
Titus 1:4 "To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:"
Paul wrote to Philemon, indicating that Timothy was with him.
Philemon 1:1 "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: "
Philemon 1:10 "I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:
12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:"
These are by no means all of the instances, but enough to show that we must stand together.