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Summary: How does God want Christians to get along with one another? 1. Be authentic and affectionate. (Rom 12:9-13) 2. Be sympathetic and same-minded. (Rom 12:15-16) 3. Be forbearing and forgiving. (Col 3:9-14)

God’s Best for One Another

Part 5: Getting Along with One Another

Romans 12:9-16 & Colossians 3:9-14

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Sept. 27, 2009

*Just hours before the cross Jesus gave His followers a new commandment. He said to, “love one another; as I have loved you, you also love one another.” (John 13:34)

*Christians loving one another is so important that over 60 times God speaks about how we should treat one another. -- For example, He tells us to:

-Serve one another (Gal 5:13)

-Pray for one another (James 5:16)

-Receive one another (Rom 15:7)

-Comfort one another (1Thess 4:18)

-Build up one another (Rom 14:19)

-Teach one another (Col 3:16)

-And encourage one another (Heb 10:25)

*As we finish our series today, our focus is on how to get along with one another. And that can be hard to do, because like porcupines, we tend to poke each other when we try to get close. (1)

*How does God want us to get along with one another?

1. In today’s first Scriptures God tells us to be authentic and affectionate toward one another.

[1] God wants our love to be authentic.

*As He says in Rom 12:9, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” He is talking about honest, sincere love. God doesn’t want us to be two-faced with each other. He doesn’t want us to have fake or put-on love.

*God wants us to have growing, genuine and sincere love for each other, agape love, -- His kind of love.

-The kind of love that we see in 1 Corinthians 13.

-The kind of love that we see on the cross of Jesus Christ.

*God also wants our love to be holy, so in vs. 9 He tells us: “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” We are not to be nice to each other, with some ulterior, selfish motive. God wants our love for each other to be pure and holy. He wants our love to be authentic, but there is much more.

[2] God also tells us to be affectionate toward one another.

*He wants our love to remind people of home, home at its best that is. So in vs. 10 God’s Word tells us to “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;”

*This word translated as “kindly affectionate” or “devoted” in the NIV is found only here in the New Testament. But it was a common word of that day, because it refers to the affectionate kind of love between husbands and wives or parents and their children. This is the kind of affectionate love God wants all Christians to have for one another.

*John Piper explained that God intends for us not merely to do to others as we would have them do to us. He wants us to feel toward other believers a certain way.

*It is true that love is more than feelings. It is true that there are good ways we should treat each other even when we are feeling upset with one another. But it is not true to say that God is content with our treating each other decently while feeling hard toward each other.

*The command for believers in vs. 10 is for us to have “tender affection toward each other in family love.” C.S. Lewis compared this affection to the love that arises through natural attachment, as with a child, a dog, a favorite old shabby sweater or a spot in the woods. We are to feel a tender affection for each other. (2)

Again in vs. 10, God’s Word tells us to “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;”

*It’s not enough for us to grit our teeth and be nice to one another.

-God commands us to have real affection for each other.

-And the idea behind “preferring one another” or giving preference to one another” is that each one of us sets the example.

-Each one of us goes first, leading the way in honoring others before your self.

*The good news is that we can have this kind of remarkable relationship with each other, because of our relationship with Christ.

-Believers, we are born again with the loving nature of Jesus Christ!

-And Rom 5:5 tells us that “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

*So whenever we don’t have this tender affection for each other, we need to confess. We need to repent, and as Paul said in Rom 12:2, we need to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

*God wants our love to remind people of home. On top of that, He wants our love to be helpful and hospitable. As Paul said in vs. 13, we should be “distributing to the needs of the saints, and given to hospitality.” And because of the connection we have in Jesus, we can share this authentic, affectionate love with total strangers.

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