Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
The Doctrine of Compassion

Point one is our definition.
Compassion is defined as a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another’s suffering or misfortune accompanied by a desire to alleviate the pain and remove its cause. Notice I said to alleviate their pain and remove the cause of their pain.

GAL 6:1-2, Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.

The Law of Christ is found in GAL 5:14, For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word or declaration, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

The point is that impersonal love is the motivation, compassion is the expression.

Back in GAL 6:3-5, For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one shall bear his own load.

The second passage that defines compassion is found in JAM 2:13-18, For judgment will be merciless or lack of compassion to one who has shown no mercy or compassion; mercy or compassion triumphs over judgment. What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save or deliver him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

Believers who understand passages like this realizes that they will exercise mercy and compassion, understanding that they themselves could be overtaken in any fault at any time.

A second definition of compassion is that compassion is a sympathetic consciousness of others and their distress with a desire to remove or help correct their situation.
Compassion also means to handle tenderly, lovingly, to be merciful, show pity, to be gentle of the mind. It is an overt graciousness because of graciousness in the soul. Compassion therefore, is a gracious system of thinking.

Now, still under point 1 in our definition is the fact that there are three categories of compassion:
a. Genuine compassion.
b. Pseudo compassion.
c. The misuse of compassion.

In the downfall of every client nation to God, pseudo compassion and the misuse of compassion are involved. This is when people become emotional and sentimental. A passage in 2Thessolonians teaches this principle: 2TH 3:10, For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat.

The Lord Jesus Christ didn’t seem to operate in compassion in JOH 2:13-16, where we read, And the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers seated.

And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a house of merchandise.”

Some today would say, “those poor sheep and oxen, that’s animal abuse!” The news channels would say: “Where’s the love and compassion of Jesus?” “Shepherd knocks out sheep.”

So, all three categories of compassion are operational in both believers and unbelievers. Therefore, compassion is not a Christian virtue because even unbelievers have it. For example, in EXO 2:6 the Pharaoh’s daughter had compassion on baby Moses.

EXO 2:6, When she opened it [that is the basket that Moses was placed within], she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity or compassion on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

So compassion is not a Christian virtue, though Christians with virtue would most definitely have compassion.

Point 2. The Lord is compassionate toward His people and expects them to be compassionate toward others.

1KI 8:50, and forgive Thy people who have sinned against Thee and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against Thee, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them.

In other words, we have all experienced the compassion of God toward us and we are to share that same compassion with those around us. This is why there is no place for revenge or rejoicing when you see your enemy fall.

PRO 24:17, Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the Lord see it and be displeased, And He turn away His anger from him.

OBA 1:12, “Do not gloat over your brother’s day, The day of his misfortune. And do not rejoice over the sons of Judah In the day of their destruction; Yes, do not boast In the day of their distress.

Your attitude of compassion should always aspire to an unbeliever becoming saved and a believer restored to fellowship.

Point 3, The Lord sends messengers and in the Church-age pastor-teachers to warn, reprove, correct and rebuke His people and the Bible says the reason is because He has compassion.
2CH 36:15, And the Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place;

MAT 9:35-38, And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

So, in compassion, the Lord will send His word (doctrine) to those who desire it, even when there is a famine in the land. The Bible teaches that there will be certain periods of time, in certain geographical locations, where there will be a famine in the land. Not a famine of food, but of the word of God.

AMO 8:11-12, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the Lord. And people will stagger from sea to sea, And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, But they will not find it.”

In His compassion, the Lord will find a way to get doctrine (His word) to those who desire to eat it in spite of all the satanic opposition and false doctrine to stop it. No matter what people do to try and stop the communication of Bible doctrine, they will not succeed.

2CO 13:8, For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.

PRO 21:30, There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord.

Point 4. Because of compassion God forgives sin.

PSA 78:32, In spite of all this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wonderful works. So He brought their days to an end in futility, And their years in sudden terror.

When He killed them, then they sought Him, And returned and searched diligently for God; And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.

But they deceived Him with their mouth, And lied to Him with their tongue. For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant.

But He, being compassionate, forgave {their} iniquity, and did not destroy {them}; And often He restrained His anger, And did not arouse all His wrath. Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return.

One day the prophet Nathan went to see David and he told David about a situation which made David very upset and angry. In fact, David became so angry that he passed judgment on the man that Nathan was describing.

2SA 12:1-6, Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said, “There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. “The rich man had a great many flocks and herds.
But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb Which he bought and nourished; And it grew up together with him and his children.

It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, And was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. [And then David pronounces a judgment on the man which actually was a judgment on himself]. And he must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.”
David was not disciplined by God because of his sin with Bathsheba, but he was disciplined by God because he passed judgment on someone who had done the very same thing that he had done. We call this transference arrogance. David is the one who had no compassion. He wanted the Lord to be compassionate toward him but he didn’t want to be compassionate toward others. The apostle Paul wrote the same thing in EPH 4:32, And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
In 2SA 12:7, Nathan then said to David, “You are the man!

Now after all this happened David wrote Psa 51.
PSA 51:1, “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.”

Notice that David appealed to the compassion of God to blot out his transgressions. Here was a man that committed adultery, He got a man with character and integrity purposely drunk. He got his wife pregnant. And then he had the man killed. And now he’s appealing to the compassion of the Lord.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the Bible says ACT 13:22 “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.”
Daniel related forgiveness with the compassion of God in DAN 9:9 “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him;
Micah related forgiveness with the compassion of God in

MIC 7:19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, Thou wilt cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.

So because of compassion the Lord forgives sin.

Point 5. Compassion also motivates longsuffering and patience.
For example, we are told that the Lord will never fail to be compassionate toward us.

LAM 3:22-23, The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.
Now, operating in this same compassion toward others is very important. That’s why our passage says there is tendernesses and compassions in Christ.

Point 6. Compassion serves as a motivation for the production of divine good.
a. Healing to take place in the lives of others, Mat 4:13-14, LUK 15:20.
Before the prodigal son came back to the father, the father saw him slowly but surely coming back and ran out to meet him.

LUK 15:20, “And he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him.”
Notice that the Bible says while he was still a long way off. That simply means that he had not done what the legalist would want him to do which is penance or to pay, pay, pay!
b. Compassion motivated our Lord to feed the hungry, MAT 15:32.
c. Compassion motivates identification with those who have lost loved ones in LUK 7:13.
d. Compassion motivates forgiveness toward others, MAT 18:27, And the Lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.”
e. Compassion motivates the believer to perform divine good, LUK 10:30-37, the Good Samaritan.

The Lord Jesus Christ illustrated compassion perfectly while on this earth, in fact He even had compassion on the ignorant.

HEB 5:2, “He will have compassion with the ignorant and misguided,”

And that is also a good lesson for us all to learn. Never feel that because you have made a wise decision that everyone else should have done the same thing. Have compassion on the ignorant and the misguided.

1PE 3:8, To sum up, let all be harmonious, compassionate, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;

ZEC 7:9, “Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother;
One day Moses said to the Lord in EXO 33:18, “Lord show me Your glory.”
And this was the Lord’s reply EXO 33:19, And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”
Graciousness and compassion is a part of the glory of God. The Lord will clear and vindicate his people and have compassion on them when all their strength is gone.
DEU 32:36, “For the Lord will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants; When He sees that their strength is gone, And there is none remaining, bond or free.”
When there’s absolutely nothing you can do about a situation, and all your strength is gone, make room for divine compassion.
PSA 103:1-4, ({A Psalm} of David.) Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, {bless} His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
How would you like to be crowned with grace and compassion.
ISA 49:15, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.”
Now why does the Lord treat us with compassion?
Look at PSA 103:13-14, Just as a father has compassion on {his} children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are {but} dust.
Notice the importance of respect for the Lord. And remember that to respect the Lord you must respect Bible doctrine, for Bible doctrine is the thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ.
PSA 119:77, May Thy compassion come to me that I may live, For Thy law is my delight.
ISA 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
Our attitude even toward the wicked and unrighteous must be one of compassion (ISA 55:7). Even if a person is under divine discipline the divine attitude is one of restoration and compassion, Lam 3:32 for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness.
Now you can become a legalist and become involved with all of the subtle legalistic teachings that are being peddled today or you can learn the value of grace orientation and compassion. The Lord has not called you to give up things and sacrifice for Him, He has called you however to grow in His grace and knowledge and be gracious and compassionate toward others.

MAT 9:13, “But go and learn what {this} means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Legalistic and self righteous individuals lack compassion and therefore always condemn others.
MAT 12:7, “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

Point 7. Pseudo Compassion.
Pseudo compassion is a system or weapon for the manipulation of people. Those who have power lust use pseudo compassion as a system of propaganda, a system of manipulation, a system of making you feel guilty, so that you will make irrational decisions under emotional sinning.

Pseudo compassion is a system of manipulation through the use of conspiracy as in revolution, through the function of human good as in activism, through the creation of guilt as a weapon of manipulation in socialism, and through the function of political power to achieve political objectives which are contrary to the principles of freedom.
Absalom used the hypocrisy of “concern for others” as a system of manipulation to forge the weapon of revolution out of the people. Absalom used pseudo compassion as the facade of concern for the people to manipulate the people into a weapon for revolution, so that the power of the greatest king in Jewish history would be set aside for the evil of revolution.

The people included many involved in the arrogance skills. So, they were a people ready for change. The malcontent status of self-absorption (the third arrogance skill) is vulnerable to the hypocrisy of pseudo compassion. To enlist support for the revolution Absalom gives personal attention to the malcontents through the use of pseudo compassion. Every revolution exploits the instability of malcontent people through a slimy facade of superficiality, the hypocrisy of pseudo compassion.

Point 8. The Misuse of Compassion.

Pseudo compassion results in the misuse of compassion. The misuse of compassion can be described in three ways: the wrong use of compassion, the improper use of compassion, and the misapplication of compassion. All three fit different personalities among the people of revolution. Misuse of compassion describes the victims of pseudo compassion, those on a guilt trip, who are sucked into the propaganda of pseudo compassion, 2SA 15:5-6.
2SA 15:1-6, Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men as runners before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and it happened that when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”

Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king.” Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me, and I would give him justice.” And it happened that when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him.
And in this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.

The hypocrisy of concern for others is a part of this concept. Absalom used his friendly manner, his pseudo compassion, and his stimulating personality to undermine his father’s authority as king and to manipulate the people into misuse of compassion. To enlist support for the revolution, Absalom must give personal attention to mal-contented people and set the facade of pseudo compassion.

Under the self-absorption of arrogance, the mal-contented people will respond to the hypocrisy of Absalom. The mal-contented person is preoccupied with his grievances, consequently, preoccupied with himself. Absalom used pseudo compassion to exploit this status. Power lust made Absalom a lawless person. He sympathized with lawless people. The manipulative power of pseudo compassion fit right in and he undermined the system of law and order in Israel.

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