Exhorting Its Members In The Christian Life


A. It seems that the early church did more exhorting than we
do at times

1. One member excelled in the art of exhortation to the
extent that he was known as “the son of exhortation” –
Barnabas (Acts 4:36) – consolation (KJV)

2. Many are novices in the area of exhortation

a. Others have completely discarded the practice of
exhortation in spite of the Lord’s command

a. Deuteronomy 1:38 … Israel was to encourage Joshua,
their leader, are we encouraging our leaders?

b. Hebrews 3:13 … “day by day”

3. We need to remember that the church’s mission is saving
souls, and edification is one facet of accomplishing this
mission  – Ephesians 4:15-16

B. Webster defines the word “exhort” as “to incite by
words or advice, to urge strongly; hence to advise, warn,
or caution”

1. He also gives synonyms for the word “exhort” – Incite,
encourage, and urge.

2. Observe, too, that courage is that inward trait which
enables a person to meet difficulties with firmness; and
encouragement and exhortation is the external
influence which inspires one to build and maintain this

C. How wonderful would it be if the following situation would
characterize the church today  – Isaiah 41:6-7



1. Elders are to Exhort

a. Titus 1:9

b. In fact the word exhortation is inherent in the terms
“pastor” (Eph. 4:11) and “shepherd” (1 Pet. 5:1-4)

2. Preachers are to Exhort

a. 1 Timothy 4:13

b. 2 Timothy 4:2 … exhortation is to be done with
long-suffering based on the word of God

3. Christians in general are to Exhort

a. Hebrews 3:13

b. Romans 12:8 says to be involved in exhortation

c. Hebrews 10:25

d. The church should exhort, admonish, and aid one
another in the Christian life

1) The aged should exhort the young

2) The youth should exhort one another

3) Bible Class teachers should exhort their students


1. In the Old Testament

a. Moses encouraged Joshua – Deuteronomy 2:38

b. Josiah encouraged the priest to the service of God’s
house – 2 Chronicles 35:2

2. In the New Testament

a. Paul exhorted the brethren to continue in the faith

1) Acts 14:22

2) Acts 20:2

b. Judas and Silas exhorted the brethren _ Acts 15:32

c. The early church exhorted (1 Cor. 14:3)


1. The Hebrews spoke of a man being the “son of” a
given thing in which he excelled

a. This was true of Barnabas – “the son of exhortation”

b. It is a gift to be able to pick up and patch men –
Barnabas knew who to mend men

c. Barnabas knew how to put heart into the hopeless, he
could change sobs into songs, and tears into laughter

2. The work or encouraging which Barnabas was
involved in was vitally important for…

a. Courage is essential to the joy of living – for without it
hope dies, and then we loose the zest for living

b. Courage is important because we are useless without it –
as illustrated in the life of Elijah

c. Without courage we slip out of life altogether

3. Particulars on Barnabas

a.  Acts 11:22-23

1) “With purpose of heart” suggests that with firmness
and with fixed and settled resolution, Barnabas
exhorted them to cleave unto the Lord

2) Barnabas encouraged them to “cleave” unto the Lord –
to clue one’s self to

b. 1 Corinthians 15:58

4. Areas in which Barnabas exercised his gift…

a. His liberality – Acts 4:36-37

b. Exhorted brethren to give Paul a chance
(Acts 9:26-27)

c. He encouraged some who had made mistakes in the past
– as was the case with John Mark (Acts 15:36-40)


1. Babes in Christ are strengthened and saved who might
otherwise be lost  – Acts 14:21-22

2. Delinquents are restored

a. James 5:19-20

b. Galatians 6:1

c. How many delinquent members could have avoided hell if they had experienced the
strength of a warm handshake, a pleasant smile, some words expressing truth and
confidence, a fervent prayer, a sincere exhortation, or an appropriate word of

3. Hearts will not become hardened in sin

a. Hebrews 3:13

b. Daily exhortation keeps hearts from hardening

c. If hearts become hardened, and we have not exhorted –
we share in the blame _ Ezekiel 3:16-21


1. G. C. Brewer once said, “The greatest fault of all faults
is fault finding”

a. Faultfinding  is one talent that should be buried in the
grave and forgotten

b. We want to “pickup” our brethren not “pick them

2. Characteristics of a faultfinder…

a. Ordinarily the man who is always finding fault seldom finds anything else.
Consequently, he is totally and consistently negative

b. Because of his distorted nature the faultfinder is not interested in facts –
for facts may alter or hinder this work of faultfinding

c. Like a buzzard, the faultfinder is constantly on the look out for the dead, the foul, the
ugly – and, whether it be hearsay or factual, he eager to pounce upon such and start

3. The remedy for faultfinding…

a. Love will cure faultfinding

1) 1 Peter 4:8 – not ignoring blatant sin

2) Proverbs 10:12

b. Self-examination will cure faultfinding

1) 1 Corinthians 11:28

2) 2 Corinthians 13:5

3) Being cognizant of our faults makes us more
understanding toward the faults of others

c. Placing ourselves in the position of others will cure

1) Ezekiel sat where the people sat (Eze. 3:15)

2) Walk in their shoes for a while

d. Looking for the good in others will cure faultfinding

1) Of a deceased person it is sometimes said, “I never
heard him say an unkind word about anyone”

2) Could the same be said of us?


A. Exhorting is a crucial work of the church

1. Individually

2. Collectively

B. May we all be a “son of exhortation”


About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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