by Derwood Stewart
ACTS….. a magazine of the General Council Churches of God, Meridian, ID, USA
Neighbor: a fellow human being, One living or located near you;
King David in Psalms 15:1-3 wrote,
LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart He that back biteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
There are many precursors that go into the making of a Righteous person.
First and foremost, any and every one that would desire to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven MUST be Born Again [begotten again - converted - Keith Hunt] through the Precious Shed Blood of Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God Baptized in water in the Name of the Lord for the Remission of Sins and Live a Christ Like Life.
Living a Christ like life can sometimes be a little difficult. One of the attributes of living a Christ like life revolves around how we treat our neighbor.
As Children of God, the Saints are to love their Neighbors, do them good and not harm, they are to desire their wellbeing and seek their welfare.
We read in Exodus 20:16, Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor.
The Saints should endeavor to stand up for their Neighbors instead of speaking ill of them.
In Jeremiah 7:2-7 the Prophet Jeremiah wrote:
“Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in tying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; if ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to; hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell n this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.”
Judah was to be the Law Giver and a Leader of the People of God; they were responsible to set a good example in how one should treat their Neighbor. When a person professes to be Saved and does not treat their Neighbor well, they are deceiving themselves. God the Righteous Judge will render to everyone according to their due. Jesus set the prime example in that He always did everything He could to help those around Him. We read in Zechariah 8:16-17:
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate; saith the Lord.”
A person may be able to fake good-will for a time but when push comes to shove their true colors will show themselves. It’s kind of like; a parent will go the extra mile and give all that they have to help their children. But a person that is hired to take care of a person’s children will generally go only so far, then they will cut and run in order to save their own skin. However, we as Believers in the Most High God are required to give until it hurts and then, give a little more. Sounds kind of hard but with the help of the Holy Spirit of God, we can do ALL
things through Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:25 wrote in part, “Speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.”
Here, Paul confirms the words of the Prophet Zechariah and he gives us a good reason for doing so "for we are members one of another." One might say, "My Neighbor isn't my brother therefore, he is not a Member of the Body" This may well be true but we are commanded to seek to save the lost so that they too may be a Member of the Body, the Family of God. In St. Matthew 7:12 we read:
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
This is perhaps what they call "the Golden Rule." I think that every person would like for other people to treat them well and not do them any harm. Therefore, we should do the same to our Neighbor and everyone else too.
The Apostle James in James 2:8-10 wrote:
“If ye fulfil the Royal Law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the Law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
In other words, if we fully observe to do the Ten Commandments of God we won't tell lies about our Neighbor, we will not covet what they have, nor steal from them, nor commit adultery with their spouse and we will love the Lord God of Creation with ALL of our Spirit, Soul and Body in order that we might be a good example to our Neighbor and thus, win them over to the Lord to be Saved.
The Apostle Paul Romans 13:9-10:
“For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Theu shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other Commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.”
The Apostle Paul confirms what the Apostle James has said and they both only repeated what Jesus said. We too are to do likewise if we want to live a Christ Like life. We read in St. Matthew 25:34-40:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Jesus speaks plain and simple so that everyone will be able to understand. When we think, do or say ill against our Neighbor, then, we are thinking, doing and saying ill against Jesus. On the other hand, when we think, do and say that which will edify our Neighbor, then, we are doing as it were, the same to Jesus our Saviour and soon coming King, and are thereby promised entrance in through the Gates of that Holy Bright City, New Jerusalem that shall come down from heaven when God sets up His Kingdom on this earth made new.
OF COURSE THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN THE CONTEXT OF NORMAL “GOOD CITIZENS” DWELLING NEXT TO ONE ANOTHER. IF THE NEIGHBORS ARE BREAKING LAWS OF THE LAND [DRUG DEALERS, A DRUNKARD THAT THEN BEATS UP THEIR WIFE, BEATING UP THEIR CHILDREN, OTHER CRIMINAL ACTS] BEING LOVING TO YOUR NEIGHBOR IS TO HAVE THE AUTHORITIES SEP IN AND HELP STOP ANTI-SOCIAL ACTIVITIES THAT ARE AGAINST LAWS OF GOD AND THE GOOD LAWS OF SOCIETY.