John Barnett Discover the Book Daily Devotional
<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Aug. 13, 2007

  • 2007 Aug 13

What Do We Lose

When We FAKE IT by JUST Playing Church?

Part 4 continued from August 12th




The book of Acts gives us 7 key elements to check our fellowship by – All these elements were the passions the early church held dear –


1. 1:14 – fellowship of praying

2. 2:1 – fellowship of being together

3. 2:46 – fellowship of worshiping together

4. 4:24 – fellowship of waiting on God together

5. 5:12 – fellowship of identifying with Christians

6. 8:6 – fellowship of responding to God’s word

7. 15:25 – fellowship of following scriptural leadership


We gather because we share the same struggle as fellow strugglers/athletes: Philippians 1:27 – Our shared struggle – because we are on the same team sunathleo. sunagonidzomai – Romans 15:30 = in prayer; sunathleo – Philippians 1:27 = striving faith gospel; 2 Tim. 2:5 = strive; Philippians 4:3 = shared Paul’s struggle; agonidzomai – struggle/fight; 1 Corinthians 9:25 = every man that striveth; Col. 1:29 = striving according; Col. 4:12 = laboring fervently in prayer; 1 Tim. 6:12 = fight the good fight; 2 Tim. 4:7 = I have fought.


Facing the same struggles. FELLOW SRUGGLERS/ATHLETES=Our Shared Struggle. SUNAGONIDZOMAI Romans 15:30 In Prayer; SUNATHLEO Philippians 1:27 Striving Faith Gospel; 4:3 Shared Paul’s Struggle

Erich Saver paints a picture of the Roman world and Christians. The Chief Different Kinds of Games. The Race (Gk. Stadion). Of the different games the New Testament mentions three: racing, boxing, and wrestling. The race is mentioned most frequently. In each of the three pictures of athletic life as employed in the New Testament there is prominent a special view-point of the spiritual life and effort. The race looks forward to the heavenly goal, to the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” to the realm above (Philippians 3:14). Boxing points to our opposition to the enemy in us. Paul at least so employ it: “so fight (lit. box) I, as not beating the air: but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27). Wrestling refers to our fight with the powers of darkness around and beneath us. Thus Paul says: “Our wrestling (Gk. Pale) is against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness” (Ephesians 6:12). So – Why do we struggle, fight and contend in this spiritual race course?


The Wreath of Incorruption – steadfast runner. “In a race all run, but one receiveth the prize…Now they do it to receive a corruptible wreath; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). Can the racer be crowned who failed in running?


The Wreath of Rejoicing – unselfish laborer. “What is our hope or joy, or wreath of glorying? Are not even ye before our Lord Jesus at His coming?” (1 Thess. 2:19). Can he be crowned for turning many to righteousness (Dan. 12:3) who never turned one?


The Wreath of Glory – example to flock. “The elders therefore among you I exhort…Tend the flock of God… and when the chief shepherd shall be manifested ye shall receive the wreath of glory” (1 Pet. 5:1-4). Can a disciple be rewarded for shepherding the flock of God who never did it?


The Wreath of Righteousness – victorious fighter. “I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the wreath of righteousness…and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8). Can the wreath of watchfulness be given to him who never watched?


The Wreath of Life – faithful unto death. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the wreath of life” (Jam. 1:12). Can he be crowned for resisting temptation who succumbed to it?


We gather because we share the same Experience, Sympathy and Concern. I Peter 3:8 – to learn about our shared concern or sympathy – literal sum patheo / sumpasko = to experience the same. This verse lists five characteristics desirable in Christians. It is worthy of note that they are all social, and have to do with Christians’ relations to one another.




Using the same medicine. FELLOW COMFORTERS/STRENGTHENERS Romans 1:12=Our Shared Strength and Comfort. 4837-SUMPARAKALEO-CONSOLE JOINTLY


Of one mind, homophrones, means ‘minding the same things.’ Note the use of the corresponding verb ‘to mind’ in Mark viii. 33, RV (AV ‘savourest”), and Romans viii. 5. A man’s character is determined and revealed by the things to which he gives his mind. Christians, Peter insists, should be united by a common interest and outlook; they should all ‘mind’ the things of God and of the Spirit, and thus imitate the mind of Christ (cf. Philippians.ii 2,5). Just as Christians have a common ‘confession’ (homologia; see Hebrews iii. I, iv. 14, RV), i.e. they all say the same thing, so they should have a common mind, a mind informed by God’s Word and Spirit. What Peter describes and desires, therefore, is not just human agreement together, but agreement reached by each and all receiving the truth of God (cf. Ephesians iv. 13-15).

The word sumpathesis, having compassion, means ‘suffering together’, having responsive fellow-feelings, e.g. rejoicing with those that rejoice, and weeping with those that weep (Romans xii. 15; cf. Hebrews xiii. 3). At its deepest level this should follow the preceding characteristic. Those who are united by a common spiritual mind, should be moved by, or be sensitive to, the same spiritual emotions. This is why Christians can unite with fervor in singing hymns which confess the faith, or give God praise, etc.


Love as brethren, philadelphoi, implies loving one another because we are now related as fellow-members of God’s family. Again, it is the Godward reference that gives the word its deepest and distinctive Christian meaning (cf. I Thessalonians iv. 9).


Be pitiful, eusplagchnoi, RV ‘tenderhearted’, means being affectionately sensitive, quick to feel and to show affection. The Greek word refers to the good condition of man’s ‘inward parts’ or ‘bowels’ (see Philippians ii. I). While the Greeks associated these with courage (cf. our colloquial use of ‘guts’), so that to them this adjective might mean ‘brave-hearted’, the Hebrews associated them with feeling or affection. Here, therefore, the adjective means ‘tenderhearted.’ In our day, with so much tragic news broadcast so frequently and so widely, we have become too accustomed to hear of other people’s sufferings, and so tend to be superficially hardened and not so easily or so deeply moved; or we do nothing about it. There is all the more need for the free, full and practical expression of such deep feeling among Christian brethren, issuing in corresponding action.


Be courteous translates philophrones, ‘friendly’. The preferable reading, followed by RV, is tapeinophrones, ‘humbleminded.’ Humility or lowliness of mind is a peculiarly biblical virtue, not appreciated as such by the Greeks. Such an attitude correstponds to the facts of life. We are weak, dependent, finite creatures, with bodies of ‘humiliation’ or ‘lowliness’ (Philippians iii. 21 RV). This, therefore, is the right spirit in which to live before God. It was the spirit exhibited and inculcated by Jesus (Matthew xi. 29). It is the spirit which God rewards – with sustaining grace and consequent exaltation (v.5,6).

To share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us” (I Thessalonians 2:5-8). Someday we shall all be at the receiving end – you can count on it. We shall be the ones in need of affirmation, encouragement, a gentle touch of tenderness. It’s like the time-worn counsel of the good doctor Thomas Sydenham, the “English Hippocrates” (1624-1689). Addressing himself to the professionals of his day, Dr. Sydenham wrote:


- It becomes every person who purposes to give himself to the care of others, seriously to consider the four following things: First, that he must one day give an account to the Supreme judge of all the lives entrusted to his care. Second, that all his skill and knowledge and energy, as they have been given him by God, so they should be exercised for His glory and the food of mankind, and not for mere gain or ambition. Third, and not more beautifully than truly, let him reflect that he has undertaken the care of no mean creature; for, in order that he may estimate the value, the greatness of the human race, the only begotten Son of God became himself a man, and thus ennobled it with His divine dignity, and far more than this, died to redeem it. And fourth, that the doctor being himself a mortal human being, should be diligent and tender in relieving his suffering patients, inasmuch as he himself must one day be a like sufferer.


And that applies to ten-year-old with a bellyache, eighty-year-olds with a backache, anybody with a headache…and everybody with a heartache.


Greek Dictionary Defines Sum as


1) to express association

2) to combine persons / things

3) in compound words to alter / intensify meaning


That’s it this is super shared comfort Paul says we have one time in New Testament. How do we do it?


By Holy Spirit-- What is it?


It is the Spirit empower desire and action to –


Draw near to God through His Word. The Spirit of God is our PARAKLESIS (#3874) as seen in Acts 13:15 “word of exhortation” is speaking God’s word


Romans 12:8 = ministering in power of Holy Spirit

Romans 15:4 = enduring quality of God’s word

Romans 15:5 = consolation comes from God

The final portrait of this life of encouragement is Barnabus in Acts 4:36


-He is sharing his finances in Acts 4

-He is following humbly in Acts 13

-He is reclaiming as failure (John Mark) in Acts 15

Abstain from all fleshly lusts 1 Peter 2:11

Abstain from all appearances of evil 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Avoid profane and vain babblings 1 Timothy 6:20

Avoid false science 1 Timothy 6:20

Be wise as serpents Matthew 10:16

Be harmless as doves Matthew 10:16

Be reconciled to a brother Matthew 5:24

Avoid troublemakers Romans 16:17

Avoid foolish questions Titus 3:9

Avoid arguments about the law Titus 3:9

Do all to God’s glory 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17, 23

Give no offense 1 Corinthians 10:32

Take the Lord’s Supper 1 Corinthians 11:24–26

Let everyone examine himself at communion 1 Corinthians 11:28

Be children in [avoiding] malice 1 Corinthians 14:20

Be men in understanding 1 Corinthians 14:20

Do not be children in understanding 1 Corinthians 14:20

Do all things in decent order 1 Corinthians 14:40

Do not be deceived by evil companions 1 Corinthians 15:33

Be steadfast 1 Corinthians 15:58

Be unmovable 1 Corinthians 15:58

Be always abounding in God’s work 1 Corinthians 15:58

Give as God has prospered 1 Corinthians 16:2

Let no man deceive himself 1 Corinthians 3:18

Lay aside all envy 1 Peter 2:1

Lay aside all evil speaking 1 Peter 2:1

Honor rulers 1 Peter 2:17

Desire the milk of the Word 1 Peter 2:2

Be ready to give an answer of the hope that is in you 1 Peter 3:15

Have a good conscience 1 Peter 3:16

Let the adorning of women be more inward than outward 1 Peter 3:3–4

Cast your cares upon God 1 Peter 5:7

Be vigilant 1 Peter 5:8

Be patient toward all men 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Timothy 2:24

Do not quench the Spirit 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Be an example to other believers 1 Timothy 4:12

Give time to reading 1 Timothy 4:13

Be aware of yourself and your doctrine 1 Timothy 4:16

Honor widows 1 Timothy 5:3

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers 2 Corinthians 6:14–18

Be separate from the unclean 2 Corinthians 6:17

Come out from among the world 2 Corinthians 6:17

Give willingly 2 Corinthians 8:12

Give freely 2 Corinthians 9:6–7

Give purposely 2 Corinthians 9:7

Do not bid false teachers Godspeed 2 John 10–11

Beware of backsliding 2 Peter 3:17

Grow in grace 2 Peter 3:18

Do not be weary in well-doing 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Withdraw from disorderly people 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14

Hold fast sound words 2 Timothy 1:13

Study to show yourself approved to God 2 Timothy 2:15

Be gentle to all men 2 Timothy 2:24

Be ready to teach 2 Timothy 2:24

Be thankful Colossians 3:15

Let your speech be with grace Colossians 4:6

Put on the new man Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10

Be angry and sin not Ephesians 4:26

Do not let the sun go down on your wrath Ephesians 4:26

Give no place to Satan Ephesians 4:27

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit Ephesians 4:30

Have no fellowship with darkness Ephesians 5:11

Redeem the time Ephesians 5:16

Be filled with the Spirit Ephesians 5:18

Do not be drunk with wine Ephesians 5:18

Give thanks Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6

Let wives be subject to their Husbands Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18

Let husbands love their wives Ephesians 5:25

Let wives reverence their husbands Ephesians 5:33

Put on the whole armor of God Ephesians 6:11, 13

Honor fathers Ephesians 6:2

Bring up children in the Lord Ephesians 6:4

Walk in the Spirit Galatians 5:25

Do not provoke one another Galatians 5:26

Restore backsliders in meekness Galatians 6:1

Let those who are taught support the teacher Galatians 6:6

Do not be weary in well-doing Galatians 6:9

Do not forsake assembling together in worship Hebrews 10:25

Exhort one another Hebrews 10:25

Have confidence in God Hebrews 10:35

Lay aside every weight Hebrews 12:1

Run with patience the race before us Hebrews 12:1

Strengthen feeble knees Hebrews 12:12

Look to Jesus Hebrews 12:2

Offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually Hebrews 13:15

Be content with what you have Hebrews 13:5

Do not be influenced by strange doctrines Hebrews 13:9

Come boldly to the throne of grace Hebrews 4:16; 10:19–23

Do not be slothful Hebrews 6:12

Let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath James 1:19

Count it joy when you are tempted James 1:2

Resist the devil James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9

Let the afflicted pray James 5:13

Have compassion Jude 22

Earnestly contend for the faith Jude 3

Beware of covetousness Luke 12:15

Do not be afraid of men Luke 12:4

Let him share with the needy Luke 3:11

Beware of [evil] men Matthew 10:17

Let everyone deny himself Matthew 16:24

Be careful not to despise little ones Matthew 18:10

Honor mothers Matthew 19:19

Let your light shine Matthew 5:16

Pray for your persecutors Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28

Do not lay up treasures on earth Matthew 6:19

Don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing Matthew 6:3

Take no anxious thought of tomorrow Matthew 6:34

Do not be like the hypocrites in prayer Matthew 6:5

Treat others as you expect to be treated Matthew 7:12

Beware of false prophets Matthew 7:15; Philippians 3:2

Pray for laborers Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2

Do all things without murmuring or disputing Philippians 2:14

Hold forth the Word of life Philippians 2:16

Be anxious for nothing Philippians 4:6

Let your requests be made known to God Philippians 4:6

Present your body to God Romans 12:1

Be patient in tribulation Romans 12:12

Be of one mind Romans 12:16

Be transformed Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world Romans 12:2

Let everyone obey civil laws Romans 13:1

Do not judge one another in doubtful things Romans 14:1

Do not cause others to stumble Romans 14:13

Follow things that edify Romans 14:19

Mark troublemakers Romans 16:17; Philippians 3:17

Consider yourself dead to sin Romans 6:11

Do not let sin reign in the body Romans 6:12


This sermon will be concluded tomorrow August 14th.


For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit

More Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett Articles