Summary: How we are meant to be as a family together.

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Community identity markers – define acceptable behaviour

Key verses to whole book 2:12-13 – as often the case in Paul they mark the transition between doctrine and practical instruction.

Love- commanded in every NT book bar Acts (although Paul does command the elders to CARE and speaks eloquently of his own care). We are loved by God and our leaders and called to love each other.

Growth- a progress – we all need reminders- Do what you are doing only more so and don’t forget!!!

Holiness - saints

Future orientated to the coming of Jesus

Specific identity markers

Sexual holiness- exclusive relationships that well up to bless others! Run from impurity, ask for help. Gradation of sins IS a biblical concept although sin is sin- we wouldn’t tolerate a brother who ‘slipped’ into a little murder from time to time!

Gets back to love briefly and our need to grow in it- ever expanding sphere for our love. Most people can only care for their nearest and dearest. In church NOT professionalism & emotional distance- we are to love more and more! We cant help loving! Our brothers and sisters- twee? NO! In small families are we forgetting how to be a brother? Brothers fight, but they have no choice but to deal with this, get on with life and make the best of it for they share the same father and he’s bigger than both of them!!! We fall out all too easily sometimes both as individuals and churches. I once heard a Christian describe another Christian angrily stating ‘I wish they’d rot in hell’. Love for our brothers is it seems the number one demonstrator of our love for our common father! If you don’t love then you need to ask again about your relationship with God.

We need to grow in this, and it means hard work. It means talking to people. You cannot really love people you do not know and you cant get to know them without talking to them. Im shy- maybe but WORK at it. Believe it or not I wasn’t always confident at talking to other people. ‘I don’t know what to say’ just ask them a question, share your life, and find common ground of any kind. But what of the most common ground we have with every Christian- how did you become a Christian, what difference did it make to your life? Great way to build a relationship!

Such growth would include practicing love more consistently, more widely, (and) at greater cost,[1] BUT this also means greater reward- God is not like some employers who promote people for them to do less and less work for more and more money!

HARD WORKING v1 is to counter IDLENESS- which he will return to, immediately followed by a section on the end times.

Endemic to our society and sadly ofen more so in our churches! Who here uses the Christian Business directory?!? We expect Christians to care more, why do they sometimes care less?

Why are we sometimes seen as too heavenly minded to be of earthly use?

Is it actually that we are not heavenly minded enough that we somehow think the ideal Christian life is the idle Christian life where as well as having no worries or concerns we don’t have to work because we have let go and let God. Even the idea of living by faith in the wrong hands can mean dossing so I don’t have to do a proper job!!! ‘I want to be full time for the lord’ can mean in those who don’t realise the truth that I think that will be easier!

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