In Romans chapter 12 verse 15 the Apostle Paul encourages believers in Rome by letter to be sympathetic to the circumstances of others. He writes, ‘Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.’ It would appear from the context, that he is especially mindful of the responsibility that believers have to one another, for in verse 10 he writes, ‘Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;’
The root of the sympathetic love that God’s people should exercise to one another is in the love that God has to them. They have one and the same Father in heaven; they are united to one and the same Saviour, in Christ; they have one and the same Spirit dwelling within them. God is the God of their salvation. They are adopted into one and the same spiritual family. Therefore it follows that God’s people should have sympathy one towards another.
When, by God’s grace, his people have sympathy one toward another, they will be the more inclined to pray one for another and to seek in practical ways to comfort and encourage one another.
The Apostle put it beautifully when he wrote to believers in Galatia, ‘Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.’ How can we do so unless we have Christian sympathy? Which is none other than the sympathy His people should have as followers of Christ; who, when he was in this world, rejoiced with those that rejoiced and wept with those that wept.
John 13:34-35 ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’
G B Macdonald
P.S. I had intended to put up this post last month, so my apologies for the delay. It is interesting though, that I now put it up having enjoyed wonderful fellowship at the recent Singapore Communion Season. ‘Let brotherly love continue.’