The Scripture exhorts believers to avoid the following negative ways of relating when sharing apostolic fellowship:
1> “Let us not judge one another” (Romans 14:13). We are to bless and encourage, not unduly criticize.
2> Do not “go to law against one another” (1 Corinthians 6:7). Settle differences and conflicts peacefully and among ourselves.
3> Do not “bite and devour one another … lest you be consumed by one another” (Galatians 5;15). Do not tear each other down with words.
4> Do not get involved in “provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:26). Do not let pride create unnecessary conflict.
5> “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9). Do not mislead one another with words.
6> Do not be “hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3). Do not seek to harm one another.
7> “Do not speak evil one of another” (James 4:11). Rather protect and promote one another’s good reputation.
8> “Do not grumble against one another” (James 5:9). Do not spread discord and complaints throughout the fellowship.
In every case, the commandments and exhortations of Scripture regarding how Christians are to relate to one another can be summed up in one phrase: Love one another. Jesus calls and empowers His saints to love each other as He loves us. He asks believers to commit themselves to selflessly pouring out their lives for one another. This is the new law, the law of love.
John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
1 Thessalonians 3:12 “and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.”
1 Peter 1:22 “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart…”
1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
All Christians are part of the same body of Christ. They are members of each other. They belong to each other. They have been given to one another by the Lord for mutual love, encouragement, and strength.
“… we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5)
Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.”
The New Testament apostolic fellowship was not just Sunday religion. It was an entire way of life. It brought Christians together into the presence of the Lord and then sent them out into the world to seek and save the lost (Luke19:10) and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).