Be Devoted to One Another

The Bible states, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly (Christian) love.” Romans 12:10

The Family of God

Being a part of a family is something with which most people can identify. This is why Paul wrote what he did in Romans 12:10. With the exhortation to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love,” he introduced the Roman Christians (and us) to another analogy to illustrate the functioning church.

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Body Life

If you would like to see body life happen in your church where “every member is a minister” and can use their gifts to touch others with the love of Jesus… some steps you are encouraged to take:

  1. Body life happens within the context of a local church. So, you need to realize that you have been planted in a local church (see last week where we discussed “Believing-Belonging-Becoming) and that you can only practice body life in a practical way in and through the local church. You practice ministering within the loving family of God that you belong to. Then, with the support of other believers, you step out and begin to minister to those who do not know Jesus. So, being a vital part of a local family of God (church) is extremely important to fulfilling the many “one another” verses in Scripture.
  2. It is important to understand a local body of believers does not function automatically. There must be a degree of spiritual maturity. In order to become mature, believers must be taught the nature of the body of Christ. This, of course, is why Paul took so much effort to spell this out in his Corinthian letter.

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Character – A Necessary Ingredient

If we are to truly be fulfilling the many “one another” verses in Scripture we must be connected to “one another.” We must belong to the local church – the local expression of the Body of Christ. And, you must be connected relationally in that local assembly. This means you do more than attend and absorb on a Sunday. It means being relationally connected with others throughout the week as believers sharing a common life-style and a common goal – to glorify the Lord in everything you do.

To “love one another,” or “bear one another’s burdens,” or “encourage one another” you need to know and be connected to the “one another” you are wanting to love or encourage or help. I cannot bear the burdens of my brothers in Africa but I can help those I meet weekly here in my home church and in the city where I live. I can pray for others worldwide but to fulfill most “one another” verses it is essential to belong to and be connected to a local church.

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Creating Unity in the Body of Christ

We have been looking at what it means to be connected to others in the Christian faith and in His Church. We are looking at the “one another” verses in the New Testament and setting the groundwork to understand the numerous references to how we live with one another. Let me finish the introduction to “one another” in this article. You can review the first several articles by going to the web site and spending a few minutes reading over what we have already said.

The third thing Paul was teaching is that Christians should work hard at creating unity in the body of Christ. That is why Paul wrote clearly to the Christians in Corinth: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts” (1 Corinthians 12:12). This is why he immediately opened the letter to them by saying, “I appeal to you brothers, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of yo agree with one another so that there will be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Corinthians  1:10). Read more

Humility and Interdependence

Last time we saw that Paul was teaching that no individual Christian can function effectively by himself. That we are all “members of the body” and need each other.

The second thing Paul taught was that NO MEMBER OF CHRIST’S BODY SHOULD FEEL THEY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANOTHER MEMBER OF CHRIST’S BODY. No Christian has exclusive rights to God’s grace. This is one of Paul’s most important points as he teaches on the “one another” verses…His emphasis is on humility and interdependence. And, to recognize that you need others and thus are interdependent and independent you must have a humble heart. It is often not easy to admit that you cannot do it alone as pride often prevents us from recognizing that fact.

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Members One of Another

The New Testament clearly states that we are “members one of another.” Although all New Testament authors recognized this truth it was Paul the apostle who developed the concept extensively in his letters to the churches. In most of his references he referred to the body – in half of his “one another” comments he was referring to the physical body with its many parts (members) and the other half to the church. Both had reference to health and wholeness as the body functioned as one.

A lot of those “one another” comments were in the letters to the Church in Corinth. This was due to their immaturity and their carnality. He made a special effort to clearly and carefully spell out the similarity between the ‘human body’ and ‘Christ’s Body – the Church.’ In two paragraphs he used the word “body” 13 times to illustrate just HOW this Body actually functions. Paul didn;t want them to miss the point! As a result he made the point so clear that even the most immature believer could understand what he was saying. Read more

The “One Another’s”

In the New Testament there are 55 different references to “one another” and “each other.” These are biblical injunctions and principles for Christian relationships. In fact, in many cases they are stated as commands for the believer.

These are important principles for relationships to flourish and for the Christian to become strong in character and thus be Christ-like.  Every disciple must strive to do their best to grow and improve in each of these “one another” commands. Many of these do not come naturally and you will need the grace and power of God to walk in the fullness of these biblical injunctions. However, it is essential that we all do so as this will enable the Body of Christ to become healthy and whole.

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