Being Affectionately Desirous… Imparting Own Souls
By: Brian A. Yeager
We are going to jump right into our study with looking at the verses, in context, that has spurred this study. Thus, consider theses Scriptures: “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burden some, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (I Thessalonians 2:1-13).
God is the author of the Scriptures you just read (I Corinthians 2:9-13, I Corinthians 14:37, Galatians 1:10-12, and II Timothy 3:16-17). Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus penned those words to the church in Thessalonica (I Thessalonians 1:1). Thus, words in the quoted Scriptures you read above such as “our” and “we” apply to those men. That is important for us to realize because we are going to discuss how they were affectionate of their brethren and willing to impart more than just the Gospel to them. We will discuss what imparting their souls means and what we can learn from that. Let’s get started with the task.
Being Affectionately Desirous Of Our Brethren
Brethren ought to long to see one another (Romans 1:11-12). That longing ought to be internal (Philippians 1:8). The relationship with our brethren ought to move us towards the genuine affectionate desire to see and know how each other are doing (Philippians 2:19-30). The care we have toward one another should be the care that concerns ourselves with both the physical and spiritual well-being of one another (Acts 11:27-30, Romans 12:10-16, and Colossians 4:12-13). Consider this text when thinking of affection toward our brethren: “For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth. And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him” (II Corinthians 7:14-15).
We should all realize what the Scriptures teach about brotherly love (John 13:34-35, Hebrews 13:1, I Peter 1:22, I Peter 2:17, I Peter 3:8, II Peter 1:3-10, and I John 4:7-12). Being affectionately desirous of one another just demonstrates that brotherly love. These things do not stop with just checking in on one another or helping each other either. Real brotherly love goes further than that. It goes to that point wherein you would impart your soul for your brother or sister in Christ.
What Does It Mean To Impart Your Soul To Another?
When Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus used the term “imparted” that terms mean: “to give over; to share” (Strong’s # 3330). So, based on I Thessalonians 2:8, they not only gave the Gospel, but were willing to give their souls to the brethren in Thessalonica. This statement carries much with it. It shows they did not focus on their own well-being over that of the brethren (Acts 20:22-27). It carries a profound desire for the salvation of others over their own salvation (Exodus 32:25-35 and Romans 9:1-3).
I want to be clear on something here. These men were teachers; evangelists; ministers of the Gospel of Christ. In accepting that role these men understood that the task of being a teacher is putting our soul in jeopardy, because a teacher accepts that there is a greater judgment upon himself (James 3:1). Therefore, some of the points we have read certainly apply more to teachers of the Gospel than anyone else. At the same time, while the direct application is more to me than to you, there are lessons to learn in the examples of men like Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus though the direct application may not be there (I Corinthians 11:1 and I Timothy 4:12-16).
What Can We Learn And Apply From These Things?
The teachers whom penned the words that have prompted this article have left us an example of some things. We read that brethren ought to be willing to lay down our lives for one another (John 15:12-14). That is, we may take risks to help one another that could cost us dearly (Acts 9:22-25). These aren’t lessons just for preachers of the Gospel. Therefore, ask yourself, are you affectionate and loving enough towards our brethren to risk yourself for their good? Would you put your neck on the line for a brother or sister in Christ (Romans 16:1-4)? Now, understanding there is a certain line drawn between what is expected from those whom preach the Gospel and those whom do not. Still yet, would you dare risk your soul to save a fellow saint? What do you think “by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13), means? Doesn’t it mean to love and serve each other unselfishly?
Loving God is properly and most often stressed above all things (Matthew 22:37). Let’s not neglect though to remind ourselves of the love and affection we need to be showing one another. My dear brethren, I love you. Do you love me? Do you love each other? Let’s be mindful to show it rather than just state it (I John 3:14-18).
Volume 16 – Issue 17 - January 10th, 2016