Summary: The Christian life is a life that should be characterized by constant consideration of fellow believers for one another. Their priorities and concerns should not always be for themselves alone, but also for the greater good of each member of the body of C
Intro: The Christian life is a life that should be characterized by constant consideration of fellow believers for one another. Their priorities and concerns should not always be for themselves alone, but also for the greater good of each member of the body of Christ. It is no secret that God calls us to minister to our fellow believers. God’s “One Another Plan” gives us a wonderful summary of the marks which should distinguish our Christian life. We are to –
1. LOVE ONE ANOTHER (John 13:34). This love is not selfish human love but a love that is of God (I John 4:7-8, 11). It is a greater love that was demonstrated in Christ’s death on our behalf (John 15:12-13; Rom. 5:8). Next to loving God our Father, we are to love the brethren (I John 3:14, 16; 4:19-21).
2. PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER (Jas. 5:16). In this verse, we see that a believer can be effectual, fervent, and righteous in his life of prayer. Real prayer is our way of releasing faith and submitting our hearts to God’s will. True prayer needs to come from the heart and not just the mouth. Prayer is not just an option or a privilege for us. It is also our solemn duty to one another. We often find brethren in need of prayer. We usually hear out their pleas but never actually seriously pray for them! Let us be true and faithful to our word. Let us labor and strive together in prayer (Rom. 15:30; Col. 4:12).
3. FORBEAR ONE ANOTHER (Eph. 4:2). To “forbear” here means “to be patient or to restrain from hasty action.” The idea is that we are to be patient and make allowances for the faults and weaknesses of others. We are not to be easily provoked with the shortcoming of people. Sometimes we really have to endure abuses and wrongdoing of fellowmen for the glory of Christ (I Pet. 4:14).
4. FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER (Col. 3:13). Forbearance and forgiveness always go together. The disciple of Christ is to forbear and forgive. He can do so because a forgiven man must also be a forgiving man. As God had forgiven him, even so must he forgive offenders for only the forgiving can be forgiven (Matt. 6:14-15).
5. BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER (Eph. 4:32). This godly virtue of kindness is like so many “endangered animal species” today. Too many people are rude, impolite and self-centered. If Christians could only show daily little acts of kindness wherever they go – at home, in school, the workplace, the neighborhood, in church, etc. – what a great difference that would make in society! (Rom. 12:10).
6. ADMONISH ONE ANOTHER (Rom. 15:14). In this verse “admonish” means “to warn of a fault or to gently reprove.” As believers in Christ, it is our moral and spiritual duty to admonish one another – which means we are to caution and counsel fellow Christians against wrong practices and attitudes. Admonishing one another would restrain the spread of sin and evil within the church community. In extreme cases where there is a sinning, unrepentant individual, we are to withdraw and avoid fellowship with him as a form of discipline (II Thess. 3:14-15). As a church congregation gathered together in the name of the Lord, we can also admonish one another by singing from our hearts (Col. 3:16).
7. BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS (Gal. 6:2). Surely every one of us is going to face difficult times. Praise God if we have a church family so willing to help bear our burdens. This means that when even one of our brethren is hurting, we also hurt along with him (I Cor. 12:26). As a spiritual family, it is our duty to help lighten the difficulties our brethren may be experiencing. Bearing burdens means we might go out of our way to aid them who are in any trouble. That is why the Bible calls us to sympathize with fellow believers (Rom. 12:15). Are you genuinely helping others carry their burdens? Or are you just leaving them to fend for themselves?
8. EDIFY ONE ANOTHER (I Thess. 5:11). To “edify” means “to teach, persuade or build up in faith and godliness.” Believers do not need to be hearing something new all the time, but they often need to be reminded and encouraged of what they already know so that they do not forget it. We should seek to say and do things which really build up and strengthen our brethren (Rom. 15:2).
9. COMFORT ONE ANOTHER (I Thess. 4:18). This verse is within the context of the Rapture – the coming again of Christ for His Church (I Thess. 4:13-17). When our believing loved ones are departed, we do not grieve like hopeless unbelievers. Instead, we eagerly wait for that day when we will be reunited with Christ and our loved ones. We Christians have wonderful assurance and hope, because of the resurrection of Christ and His promised return.