And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)
Especially Those In The Family Of Faith
The early disciples were a close-knit band of brethren willing to share and provide for everyone as they had need. Luke writes about how following the conversion of three thousand saints on the day of Pentecost, all who believed were together and had all things in common, selling possessions and goods to divide among all, as anyone had need. The early church began with devout hearts dedicated to the spiritual feast of unity in the body of Christ with gladness and simplicity of heart. God was praised through the benevolent acts between saints. The need to care for one another was a foundational character of the church of Christ.
As the church began to grow, there were needs that had to be met among the brethren. No one lacked among the saints for all who had possessions of lands or houses sold them to care for the brethren who were in need. The church was not a civic organization to care for the poor and needy of the world, as the work of the church was limited to the needs of the saints. Every example of the New Testament church’s authority to care for others is limited to the members of the body of Christ. Individual responsibilities cared for others, but the church was not to be burdened with worldwide benevolent needs. The focus was saints giving preference to saints. When the great famine throughout the world came in the days of Claudius Caesar, the disciples determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they did and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Corinth was a church of God filled with strife and immorality because they had lost the love and care for their fellow brethren. Division marred the church as factions fought against one another through envy, jealousy of gifts, and general lack of love for one another. There was a man with his father’s wife, and the brethren did not show love by rebuking his sin. It seems the central problem of Corinth was everyone was looking after their own needs. Writing to the churches of Galatia, the apostle Paul admonished the brethren always to give preference to the saints and members of the body of Christ.
Life can be filled with so much hardship, and the heart can become weary. Paul admonished the brethren not to get tired of what is good and, whenever the opportunity arose, do good to everyone but especially to those in the family of faith. Christians should do good to all men, but their first obligation is the care for their fellow brethren. One of the sterling characters of a Christian is their example of being good to all men. The world should see the Christian as a kind, compassionate, giving, and loving individual. While this is an important part of being a godly example, the Holy Spirit directs the saints receive a “double portion.” Saints should especially give preference to their brethren.
In the local church, brethren receive priority. This can be seen in the type of business we conduct, helping saints in a benevolent way, making sure the saints of a local congregation are cared for in their needs and a host of other things that always put the welfare of a fellow saint above the care of the world. There is a time and place to show the world a benevolent spirit, but it must begin in the household of faith. What would the world see when fellow saints are neglected by their own brethren? The Christian must do good to all men but especially those of the household of faith.