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Summary: Fellowship is relational. It is expressed when we 1.love one another 2. encourage one another 3. forgive one another and 4. serve one another.

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Fellowship - The One Another(s)

John 13:34-35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Introduction

The past two weeks we have looked at the word "Fellowship" and what it means to believers and the church. Fellowship is a union of believers with God through Jesus Christ thus "fellowship" is Christ centered. He is the thread that binds us all together in the church. Different backgrounds, race, economics, but one Lord has brought us together. So how are we to live in this togetherness He has given us on this earth?

1. Love one another - John 13:34, 35

(1 Pet. 1:22, 3:8*, 1 John 3:11, 23, 4:7, 11, 12, 2 John 1:5, Rms. 13:8)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus had told the disciples he would be with them a little longer. Time was getting short. Jesus chose this time to tell His disciples the great truth about living with one another.

The first "one another" and the reason for all the other "one another" passages is love. It is the one distinguishing mark of being His disciples. Jesus even identifies "love for one another" as the one tell tale sign to the others that we are His people.

He identifies this love as different from any other. He said it is a "new command". The Old Testament gives this command to the people so technically this is not the first time it is in scripture.

So what makes this "new"? We are to "love one another" AS Jesus has loved us. He shows us how to love one another as God had intended from the beginning of time.

The love that Jesus has given us is unconditional. It is not a love based on commitment rather than feelings or emotion. It is not a reciprocal love that seeks to love for "what can I get out of it". Unconditional love is a love based on a commitment to another person.

ill.

"Newspaper columnist and minister George Crane tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me."

Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan "Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you’ve convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that you’re getting a divorce. That will really hurt him." With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!" And she did it with enthusiasm. Acting "as if." For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, sharing. When she didn’t return, Crane called. "Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?"


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