“One Another” Body Life

One thing that is true about the body of Christ is that we need one another!

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35, NIV)

Loving one another involves accepting, instructing, serving, bearing with, submitting to, and encouraging each other.
 One thing that is true about the body of Christ is that we need one another! We need each other to help us grow in our relationship with God. We need each other for encouragement. But … we have a hard time getting along, let alone acting like a family! God knows all about the difficulty we have at times with other people! We are tempted to gossip, judge, get angry, and accuse one another. We get annoyed. We get irritated. We get hurt. And yet, our Heavenly Father truly desires for us to love one another … and to model His love to the world. Here is what Jesus told His disciples in one of His last conversations with them:  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Love is the key to good relationships in the family of God … but how do we get there? God gives us the answer in Paul’s letter to Timothy: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7, (NLT)

Look closely at this verse. Where does love come from?

A:___________________________________________________

Paul told the Corinthians what Christ’s love looks like when we are controlled by the Holy Spirit:  “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Which aspect of love described in this passage is already a part of your life?

A:___________________________________________________

As you look at these verses, which characteristic of love are you lacking?

A:___________________________________________________

The Corinthian Church in the New Testament was full of “baby” Christians. They had accepted Christ’s love for them, but they treated one another selfishly, which resulted in quarreling and jealousy (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). They needed to learn how to love “one another.”

Love is the key to good relationships in the family of God …

“One another” is mentioned more than thirty times in the Bible! God intends that we love each other, and the many facets of love are expressed in these “one another” commands.  Loving “one another’ involves several key actions: devotion, accepting, instructing, serving, bearing with, submitting to, and encouraging. When we are able to do these things, then we truly will be able to show the world that as Christians we love one another. This love is not an emotional here today gone tomorrow kind of love. It is a tough, strong, knowledgeable, and lasting commitment kind of love. 

Devoted to One Another

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” Romans 12:10 (NIV)

 When we are devoted, we are loyal, faithful, and dedicated.  As God’s family we show concern
for one another and are loyal to each other. Because we arethe family of God we need to love
each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

What kinds of actions do you think show that you are “devoted” to others?

A:___________________________________________________

“One another” is mentioned more than thirty times in the Bible!

Accept one Another

“Accept one another then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 ( NIV)

Romans 14:13 says, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (NIV)

 To accept one another is to receive each other willingly or to give admittance to or approval
of someone. 
 Because of the sacrifice Jesus made for each one of us, we need to accept one
another as the unique individuals that God has created.

What reasons do you have for not accepting others?

A:___________________________________________________

As Christians, we love one another.

 

Instruct One Another

Romans 15:14 says, “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that  you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.” 

Oh, how we don’t like to have someone telling us what to do! Instruction implies teaching and learning … and having someone tells us what to do!

How are you at taking instruction? Are you gracious when you give it?

A:___________________________________________________

Why is this mandate to “instruct one another” difficult within the body of Christ?

A:___________________________________________________

How can you cultivate an open heart to the instruction from others?

A:___________________________________________________

As God’s family we show concern for one another and are loyal to each other.

 

Serve One Another

Galatians 5:13 says,  “Serve one another humbly in love.”  (NIV) As a member of God’s family, with all its rights and privileges, every Christian is to be a servant to all the other members of the family. The needs of all those in the family are then met! Proud people use others; humble people are able to serve others.

Is there a way you can serve someone this week?

A:___________________________________________________

What happens to you when you serve someone?

A:___________________________________________________

Every Christian is to be a servant to all the other members of the family.

Bearing with One Another

Colossians 3:13 tells us, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (NIV)

 What does it mean to “bear with each other”? If we look at this same phrase in a couple of different Bible translations, we’ll get a very clear answer!
The NLT says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults” and the CEV puts it this way,
“Put up with each other.” 

“To bear” means to patiently endure the idiosyncrasies and weaknesses of others! It means we have a forgiving spirit. Patience and a forgiving spirit are nearly synonymous concepts. These are not automatic; they involve a deliberate act of the will. When you are impatient, angry, and unforgiving, you are choosing to be that way! It is only through the Holy Spirit’s supernatural power that we are able to bear with each other!

It is only by the Holy Spirit’s power that you will be able to take on all of these “one another” admonitions! You can’t generate this kind of behavior on your own.

 

 

 

What are some of the quirks and habits of others that irritate you?

A:___________________________________________________

What are some of your idiosyncrasies that clearly test the patience of others?

A:___________________________________________________

What one thing can you do today to take a step toward doing a better job of bearing with others?

A:___________________________________________________

Submit to One Another

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 (NIV)

 Submission is a very important yet often ignored Biblical teaching.  The Bible is very clear
that all Christians are to submit to one other. All Christians are to submit to their leaders,
and servants are to submit to masters.  Children are to submit to parents, and Christians
are to submit to government and authority, and husbands and wives are to submit to each other.

This is amazing because in the world there is no such thing as mutual submission! It is uniquely Christian. Christ brought a whole new approach to functional relationships between people. Submission has to do with servanthood, humility, respect, reverence, honor, and willingness to be teachable. All of this is rooted in our individual submission and obedience to Christ.

In what ways are you learning to submit to God?

A:___________________________________________________

Who are you currently submitting to?

A:___________________________________________________

What about this concept of submission is difficult for you?

A:___________________________________________________

What is keeping you from obeying God in this area?

A:___________________________________________________

Encourage One Another

1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us,  “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”  (NIV) One of the ways we can encourage one another is by sharing scripture. We can also find many ways to build each other up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (NLT)

Who in your life needs to be encouraged?

A:___________________________________________________

How can you encourage that person?

A:___________________________________________________

What can you do to make encouragement more of an everyday action in your life?

A:___________________________________________________

It is only by the Holy Spirit’s power that you will be able to take on all of these “one another” admonitions! You can’t generate this kind of behavior on your own. God’s love and the actions that come out of it are only the result of the Holy Spirit working in and through you.

Application:

Which one of the “one another” directives is easiest for you?

A:___________________________________________________

Which one of the directives is most difficult?

A:___________________________________________________

Ask God to show you how you can be a more Spirit-filled member of His family.

PreviousNext