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This phrase comes up often in scripture. In the context of the church it describes the relationships we ought to have as members of the body of Christ.
The church is a "one another" community it is not an institution. It is not an organization in the way we typically think of such. The church is the collection of members.
- Love One Another (John 13:35) Here is a clear teaching from Jesus. This is the basis of community.
- We love as he loved us. That is a high standard.
- Ephesians 5 teaches that husbands ought to love wives as Christ loved the church. See also Romans 12:10, 13:8; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2; 1 Peter 1:22, 3:8; and 1 John 3:11-22, 4:7-12; 2 John 1:5.
- Do Not Judge One Another (Romans 14:13) It is not loving to pass judgment. It is destructive of the body of Christ (Galatians 5:15 and 6:4).
- We tend to be bad judges. Jesus taught us to take the plank out of our own eye before bothering with the speck in anothers eye.
- Confess you sins to one another (James 5:16) would be a better, healthier alternative. We cannot confess and pass judgment at the same time. See also James 4:11.
- Encourage One Another (Hebrews 10:25) Encouragement is aimed at shaping us into the people that God wants us to be. The sort of people we will be in eternity.
- Why would we discourage when it is much better to encourage?
- See also 1 Thess 5:11, Hebrews 3:13.
- Serve One Another (1 Peter 4:9) Hospitality is an important value and virtue in the ancient world. It is an important ministry. It encompasses many things (from foot-washing to finances).
- What does it mean to offer hospitality with grumbling? It means that it is routine and mechanical. Done from obligation.
- When hospitality is mechanical, institutional, non-relational it is as bad as grumbling. Hospitality is not the work of a few select members (ministers and elders).
- We also have a hard time being ministered to. When we do this, we deny God the opportunity to work His Spirit in us. See Galatians 5:13.
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 16 May 2010
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