The Doctrine of Compassion
February 16, 2020
Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Last week, we learned that we must make sure that our motivation for helping others should come from the compassion we have for them. It isn’t enough to do the right thing, just for the sake of doing the right thing! Compassion is the very thing that motivated Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to help take care of the logistical needs of others as we learn in MAT 15:29-32: Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. So, the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” Jesus Christ is our Perfect Example of how we should show compassion toward others. His Compassion is what we, as Christians, should be trying to reproduce in our relationships with the people in our lives.
There are so many great examples of Our Lord’s Compassion throughout the Bible.
Let’s take a closer look at LUK 7:11-15: Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. To apply this in your life, you’d be mindful to show compassion to those who have lost loved ones. This is sometimes difficult to do because you might not know what to say. Just saying, “You’re in my prayers,” is a perfect way to show compassion to someone who is grieving from losing a loved one. Offering your help is another way.
If you develop Divine Compassion, you’ll be motivated to forgive other people in your life. Forgiving someone, who does something sinful against you, may very well be the greatest example of showing compassion. If you develop a forgiving nature, you’ll automatically become a compassionate person. Forgiveness showed itself to be an important thing to the apostles. We learn out about what Jesus Christ taught them in MAT 18:21-27: Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
If you develop compassion, you’ll be motivated to perform Divine Good. As we’ve studied in the past, the Greek word for Divine Good is agathos. It refers to Christian service or deeds performed by the believer who is filled with The Holy Spirit, directed by God’s Word, and motivated by love for Him. Only these deeds are accepted by God and rewarded at The Judgment Seat of Christ. Anything else, accomplished apart from the Filling of The Spirit and God’s Word, is considered by Him to be human good, performed under human power, and therefore evil and worthless to God.
Peter instructs us – about how to live the Christian Life – like this in 1PE 3:8 (The Message Bible): Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. You’ll notice that “be compassionate” is part of his summation and should be what we aim for in order to be living a Godly life.
Zechariah 7:7-10 (The Message Bible) teaches us that God had this to say about compassion: “There’s nothing new to say on the subject. Don’t you still have the message of the earlier prophets from the time when Jerusalem was still a thriving, bustling city and the outlying countryside, the Negev and Shephelah, was populated? [This is the message that God gave Zechariah.] Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘Treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’” So, we see the same message in both the Old and New Testaments. The Word of God is accurate and amazing!
There’s another valuable lesson in the Old Testament: Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” 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.” (EXO 33:18-19) When there’s absolutely nothing you can do about a situation, and all your strength is gone, make room for Divine Compassion! Remember King David from earlier on in this study (see Part 4, January 26, 2020)? David wrote this about God’s Compassion: 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 [hell], Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion… (PSA 103:1-4)
Why does God treat us with compassion? This is answered in PSA 103:13-14: Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear [revere] Him. For He Himself knows our frame [what we are made of]; He is mindful that we are but dust. The idea here is not fearing God but actually revering Him. To revere someone means to admire, respect or worship that person. As you can imagine, at this point in your Christian Walk, it’s extremely important to revere and respect God. And in order to respect Him you must respect His Word, because He places His Word above His Name. David wrote about that in PSA 138:2: I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.
Our God is so compassionate that His attitude – even toward the evil and sinful – is one of compassion, according to ISA 55:7: Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him… God has not called you to give up things and sacrifice for Him. He has called you to grow in His Grace and in His Knowledge and to be gracious and compassionate toward others – just like He is to us.