The moment we are born again we enter into the “family of God” and we have a natural love for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. 1st John 5:1 states, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also LOVES HIM WHO IS BEGOTTEN OF HIM” (NKJV). We are also commanded to love one another in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” This implies that we are to SHOW OUR LOVE TO OUR BRETHREN in practical ways and when we do, it will be a testimony to others, for Jesus went on to say in verse 35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” So, the New Birth gives us the CAPACITY to love one another, and when we put that love IN ACTION our love for our brethren will be manifested. One of the ways we manifest that love is to pray for our brethren who are going through trials.

In addition to being brothers and sisters in the family of God, we also fellow-members in the “body of Christ.” In 1st Corinthians chapter 12 the apostle Paul used the analogy of the “human body” to illustrate the truth of the “body of Christ.” Throughout this wonderful chapter he brings out how we are intimately related to one another and that just as each member of the human body functions for the good of the whole, so the believer should function for the good of the body of Christ. We saw earlier that we “should love one another”; in 1st Corinthians 12:25 we learn that the members of the body of Christ “should have the same care for one another.” The next verse elaborates on that by saying, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” Though there are MANY members in the body of Christ, we are all ONE in Christ and thus when we see brethren with problems we “suffer with them” and we naturally “pray for them.”

We have been talking about praying for one another, but I would add something else that is equally important. In John chapter 13 the Lord Jesus washed His disciples feet and in this symbolic act He was showing them the need they have to be cleansed morally by “the washing of the water by the Word” (see Ephesian 5:25-26) when they become defiled by the world they are walking in. In verses 14-15 He exhorted them with these words, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to WASH ONE ANOTHER’S FEET.” This is another way we can show that we “love another” and have the same “care for one another.” When we see a brother or sister who has become defiled in some way, we are to not only pray for their spiritual restoration, we are to go them and minister God’s Word to them. In doing so, we will be “washing their feet!” Paul had this in mind when we wrote Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual RESTORE SUCH A ONE in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” If the Lord has allowed us to see this spiritual problem, He no doubt wants to use us to restore our dear brother or sister. We will want to do it in LOVE, so we will go in the “spirit of gentleness,” conscious of the fact that we too could be tempted in the same way and fall into sin and defilement.

I would offer one more thought. You had mentioned “God rescuing them.” Ultimately it is God who brings them through their trials and who restores them when they have sinned. But isn’t it precious to realize that He, in grace, uses us in that process? May we all be “on the lookout” for brethren in need, and then may we be open vessels fit for the Master’s use so He can use us in rescuing them. (269.5) (DO)