Sunday, August 5, 2012

COOL STUFF FROM LIBRARY BOOKS #19: Robert Chapman on "Dealing with the Faults of Others"

Robert Cleaver Chapman (1 April 1803 – 6 December 1902), sometimes affectionately known as the "apostle of Love", was a Pastor and Teacher within the early Plymouth Brethren movement.  As you can deduce he lived to be almost a century old, and was famous for a charitible dispostion and uncommonly giving spirit.

It is said that Spurgeon, the Baptist, once called Chapman "the saintliest man I ever knew."  The following are some selections from the great little volume [first published posthumously in 1910] entitled "Choice Sayings: Being Notes of Expositions of Scripture."  Enjoy these remarkable exhortations to Christian  forbearance and, quite simply, "loving one another."

Dealing with the Faults of Others
IF we would wisely reprove the flesh in our brethren, we must first, after the Lord's example, remember and commend the grace in them.

Those who are much acquainted with the cross of Christ, and with their own hearts, will be slow to take the reprover's office: if they do reprove, they will make it a solemn matter, knowing how much evil comes of the unwise handling of a fault.

Let us begin by searching ourselves, if we would be profitable reprovers of others.

Much self-judgment makes a man slow to judge others; and the very gentleness of such an one gives a keen edge to his rebukes.

In reproving sin in others, we should remember the ways of the Holy Spirit of God towards us. He comes as the Spirit of Love; and whatever His rebukes, He wins the heart by mercy and forgiveness through Christ. 

To forgive without upbraiding, even by manner or look, is a high exercise of grace-­it is imitation of Christ. 

If I have been injured by another, let me bethink myself-How much better to be the sufferer than the wrongdoer!

The flesh would punish to prevent a repeti­tion of wrongs; but Grace teaches us to defend ourselves without weapons. The man who "seventy times seven" forgives injuries, is he who best knows how to protect himself.

If one do me a wrong, let me with the bowels of Christ seek after him, and entreat God to move him to repentance.

We partake in the guilt of an offending member of Christ, until we have confessed his sin as our own (Dan. ix.), mourned over it, prayed for its forgiveness, and sought in the spirit of love the restoration of the erring one.

If our tongue have been betrayed into speak­ing contemptuously or even slightingly of an absent brother, let us quickly say, Alas! we have wounded Christ. 

If in love I speak to a brother of his fault, it is because I hate the sin. If I speak of it with backbiting tongue, it is self-pleasing that moves me.

If under the law, when the bond was only in the flesh, the Israelite must not suffer sin upon his brother (Lev. xix. 17), how much less should it be suffered under the Gospel, which binds the saints together spiritually and eternally!

The figure of the mote in the eye shows what skill and tenderness he has need of who would be a reprover to his brother. Who would trust so precious a member as the eye to a rough, unskilful hand?

The Lord loves to manifest peculiar tender­ness towards those who have been brought low, even though it may have been through their own folly. "Go tell His disciples, and Peter." (Mark xvi, 7.)


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