Last Sunday, as a congregation, we verbally renewed our church covenant. There are few things more thrilling to a pastor’s ears than to hear the flock openly confess their love, support, and care for their fellow church members. Our covenant reminds us that Christian living is not a spectator sport. It is also not an individual sport. The Christian life, if you will, is a team sport.
Ephesians 4:25 tells us that “we are members of one another.” Yes, you were justified by God as an individual but you CANNOT be sanctified that way. The moment you trusted Christ, you were instantly brought into a community of faith. In other words, we need each other. Not only is “mi casa es su casa” but “mi fe (faith) es su fe” as well. Church is not a commodity to be consumed (like going to a theatre to watch a movie.) Church is a distinct, Christlike lifestyle to be lived among others and for others.
What does this brother-to-brother (sister-to-sister) faith look like? Consider the 32 (or so) “one another” passages in the NT. Even grabbed out of context, these commands still give us a pretty clear picture of how we should relate to those sitting next to us in church.
Here’s a challenge. Read this list and ask yourself, “Am I actively, intentionally and regularly doing these things for my own church family?”
- Be devoted to one another (Rom 12:10)
- Be of the same mind toward one another (Rom 12:16, 15:5)
- Love one another (Rom 13:8, 1 Th 3:12, 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22, 4:8, also see 1 John & 2 John)
- (Do not) judge one another (Rom 14:13)
- Build up one another (Rom 14:19)
- Accept one another (Rom 15:7)
- Admonish (or counsel) one another (Rom 15:14)
- Greet one another (with a *holy kiss) (Rom 16:16, 1 Cor 16:20, 2 Cor 13:12, 1 Pe 5:14)
*I’m going to assume that a holy handshake or holy hug works just as well.
- (We should not) have lawsuits with one another (1 Cor 6:7)
- Wait for one another (at the Lord’s Supper) (1 Cor 11:33)
- Care for one another (1 Cor 12:25)
- Serve one another (Gal 5:13, 1 Pet 4:10)
- (We should not) bite and devour one another (Gal 5:15)
- (We should not be) provoking one another (Gal 5:26a)
- (We should not be) envying one another (Gal 5:26b)
- Show tolerance for one another ( Eph 4:2)
- Be kind to one another (Eph 4:32a)
- Be tender-hearted to one another (Eph 4:32a)
- Forgive one another (Eph 4:32)
- Speak (sing) to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16)
- Be subject to one another in the fear of the Lord ( Eph 5:21)
- Regard one another as more important than yourself (Phil 2:3)
- Do not lie to one another (Col 3:9)
- Bear with one another (Col 3:13)
- Comfort one another (1 Th 4:18)
- Encourage one another (1 Th 5:11, Heb 3:13, 10:25)
- Live in peace with one another (1 Th 5:13)
- Stimulate one another to love and good deeds ( Heb 10:24)
- Do not speak against one another (James 4:11)
- Do not complain…against one another (James 5:9)
- Confess your sins to one another (James 5:16a)
- Pray for one another (James 5:16b)
- Be hospitable to one another without complaining (1 Peter 4:9)
Yes, we are saved by faith alone. But that is not an excuse for living our faith alone. Let’s not just go to church; let’s BE the church!