loving one another in the church
December 5, 2020
Talk to people. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. How are you feeling right now? The first great North African theologian was Tertullian(ca. May God richly bless you, Draw out and ask for stories. But wise counselors will also look into the past (to see how history has affected our interpretation of reality) and bring the future to bear on the present. Sin is one of the main things we all have in common. Have you noticed the Spirit’s gifts, or better yet the Spirit’s fruit, in someone else? Jesus, we ask you to make us better lovers of one another. (1 John 4:7–9 ESV) The Command (4:7-8) God has given you wisdom. I lead our new member’s class at church. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist” (verse 4). We don’t just experience life. Jesus served his disciples and... 3. We show ourselves to be his disciple when we humble ourselves and seek the good of others at our own expense. Justin Martyr (ca. 18:15-20 A frequently asked question is why there is so much suffering in the world and why God is doing nothing about it? He wants us to get the timing down of when this event transpired. Host a friend for the night. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. In the New Testament when Jesus was questioned by the Sadducees regarding which is the greatest of the commandments He said that all of the commandments can be wrapped into just two. Have the courage to confront. It’s easy for us to relate to people only in the present. Please consider supporting our ministry by becoming a monthly partner. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com. In "Love One Another," Gerald Sittser explores this love by looking at the "one another" statements in 1 John. Will you be ready? Keep your hand to the relational plow. I always take one week to talk about loving one another as the body of Christ. And a church that is intentional about loving one another can’t help but be a church that makes Jesus known. We live where we do primarily because the family of Jesus is a group that loves one another. Look at the group sitting around him. But don’t just ask about the test results and the medication and the next doctor’s visit. It is an overflow of your love for us that allows us to love other people. How did you two meet? This is important because there is a degree of suffering we will experience in serving one another. 100–ca. Don’t let suffering scare you away. He washed his disciples’ feet knowing all along that soon, in the garden where he’ll be arrested, they would all scatter. In other words, one of the ways in which you can tangibly see whether or not a community of people are Christians has been that Christians love one another. In turn, these become 11 pithy suggestions for loving one another in the church. What’s going on today? What drew you to your line of work? Where the world has its ranks and high-profile untouchables, the King of glory puts on an apron. 1. Maybe you will too. By learning to forgive, encourage, and comfort one another, we become the church Jesus intended and thereby a church that draws the lost. A youth pastor at a Baptist church started seeing a number of young hippies come to Christ, so he started bringing them to church. Loving people can require extraordinary effort, but it doesn’t require extraordinary gifting. Sometime in middle age he converted to Christianity and was ordained a presbyter (i.e., priest or elder) in Carthage. 8. Listen when other Christians confess their sins to you. Recommended Resource: Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For by Jerry Sittser The meaning behind our serving one another is our love for one another. It is that love - that selfless, self-sacrificing love, which allows us to love others. Tertullian is now called the “Father of Latin Theology,” but he was not the first theologian of the West. Don’t lecture. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. The apostle is so crystal clear here. This is such a brainteaser for those of us who have put a lot of thought into the mission and structure of the local church. The extent to which we love one another validates and communicates our faith (John 13:34-35). Our Church is deeply rooted in the Word of God, and our doors are always open to community members who are looking for a fresh start and a friendly place to worship. Deal with past, present, and future. Because we are loved by Him, we are called to love like Him. This means that we, his people, are never too important for ordinary relationships. There is no quick-fix for Covid-19 and the road ahead looks bumpy. We all interpret what we experience. What Will Still Be True When the Election Is Over. Ordinary people, ordinary ways. in Matthews, North Carolina, board chairman of The Gospel Coalition, and assistant professor of systematic theology at, (Charlotte). That kind of love is contagious and it might be just what your lost friends are looking for. How did you become a Christian? Those who love like Christ in the Holy Spirit’s power will give evidence that they are disciples, or learners, of Jesus Christ. That expression—which has been repeated for centuries—is: “Behold, how they love one another.” In the early Church, the believers’ love for one another, and for others, was so authentic and so obvious that even those outside the Church took notice and were amazed by the loving-kindness of first and second-century Christians. 6. John reveals the ethical test, loving the brethren, as a distinguishing mark of those who know God and have eternal life. John makes this point clear for us, too: we do what Jesus did. He has authored numerous books, including, The Imagination’s Role in the Work of Apologetics, Conservatives, Progressives, and Resisting Socialism, A Burden Removed: A Biblical Path for Removing the Racism of Our Forefathers, Gospel + Safety + Time = A Church Where Anyone Can Grow. “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law”. I know that we did not come here to be entertained; we came here to be instructed. Jesus goes on to say, "By this [love] all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35). All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. The teaching to love one another had been a central teaching of the Savior’s ministry. The sovereign Lord washing the feet of his followers — this upside-down dimension of the gospel — redefines the nature of relationships. -1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whatever, then, you eat or drink or whatever your do, do … 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Under that second theme are 11 short chapters (Remember: We Have the Spirit; Move toward and Greet One Another; Have Thoughtful Conversations; See the Good, Enjoy One Another; Walk Together, Tell Stories; Have Compassion during Trouble; Pray During Trouble; Be Alert to Satan’s Devices; Prepare to Talk about Sin; Help Fellow Sinners; Keep the Story in View). He wants us to get the timing down of when this... 2. A church that is “missional,” and wants to make Jesus known in their community, must be a church that loves one another. Loving one another is as important today as it was when Christ walked the earth. Yes, some of the first family relationships caused problems; sin, blame, hatred and even murder. He’s given you his Spirit. We must be willing to talk about fears and worries and doubts and joys and hopes and disappointments. One of her sisters was a missionary in China. Consider the context of Jesus’s own serving in John 13. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. This is not where you’d expect to find one of the world’s greatest lessons in loving one another. 5. Aramaic Bible in Plain English “I give a new commandment to you: 'Love one another; just as I have loved you, you should also love one another.' 16… Keep in mind, suffering is a battleground. Love may cover a multitude of sins, but it does not overlook every sin for all time. If every person in the church responded to each other with love—our churches would be filled to the brim with people wanting to experience that unconditional love. Years ago, in a move from one school to another, my wife and I relocated our growing family based on Jesus’s words in Mark 3:35: “Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” We left a loyal home-base that had loved us for years — not to mention an endless supply of free babysitting — to come to a community we didn’t really know. 2. The way the church got its start was another sad example of Christians violating Jesus’ command to love one another. And His love is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago. Lottie went to college and studied to become a teacher then went to help her sister teach the children of China. Loving One Another Begins with Loving God In the Old Testament we see the Ten Commandments as given to Moses in Exodus 20. (John 3:16). Most people, however, prefer to talk about their circumstantial problems, not their real problems. The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope we have accepted this meeting in that tone, that we will take into our … John is sure to tell us, right in the middle of all this, how Judas is in the process of betraying Jesus. Pray and follow up. It’s good advice for pointing out the good in other people. But the church has an opportunity to respond with faith and love. John makes this point clear for us, too: we do what Jesus did. Perhaps in the midst of horrific illness and death, testimonies of spiritual life and health will breathe hope into our suffocating isolation. - 1 Peter 4:8–9 It is a sad fact that one does not have to look at the Christian church very long before discovering that believers often do not love each other as they ought. Copyright © 2020 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. Jesus said to his disciples: "Love one another even as I have loved you." Love One Another Church is one of the newest congregations in the Antioch area. In this message, Alistair Begg reminds Christians that loving others well is evidence of our new birth. We’re supposed to see this context in John 13:1–3, and having all this in our minds, we read: “[Jesus] rose from supper. The church loves one another, even in ways deeper than flesh-and-blood family. Every time we act in love towards each other, we are building up the body of Christ. That’s when others need you the most. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. It’s a 12-week class, with about half the class spent on the Westminster Confession of Faith, while the other half deals with the ins and outs of Christ Covenant and the basics of Christian discipleship. https://biblicalcounselingcenter.org/37-ways-to-love-one-another Put an Apron on Authority Link You may flee from biblical manhood and womanhood on earth, but you will not finally escape the Masculine. . This family is His church. That’s the way it works. 3. Jesus served his disciples and tells us, therefore, that we should serve one another. This is a picture of Christian paradox — that wondrous, confusing, upside-down dimension of the gospel that we couldn’t make up. And when this happens, Jesus says all people will know that we’re his. Jesus, knowing that he is the sovereign Lord over everything, puts on an apron and prepares to wash the dirty feet of his disciples. Write him a note. But it was here, nonetheless, in the upper room of a common house in first-century Palestine, the night before Jesus died, that we learn how to live together as the church in this world. Jesus says that his humility is an example for us — that we do what he does. But we need to go further into finding out in detail, exactly what that means. Since the inception of the church of Jesus Christ, one of the litmus tests for genuine faith has been that a community of believers love one another. Confess sin to and pray for one another. 10. When the serving gets especially tough, we shouldn’t necessarily serve less, but perhaps more. (Romans 13:8) Theme: Love one another Text: Ezek. 13:8-14; Matt. Raised in a pagan family, he was educated in Latin grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy—the standard curriculum for boys who wished to become lawyers or civil servants in the Roman government. Link 11. In these moments, because of Jesus’s example, we know it doesn’t mean we turn and run, but instead press in and hold on. To love one another is to love fellow believers as Christ loves us. Please make sure all fields are filled out. And in doing that, we go deeper with Jesus. And that’s how we live together as the church in this world: we go against the grain of societal expectations, we help one another when it hurts, and we love one another to represent our King. What were your traditions around the holidays? More practical than anything else I’ve experienced, Jesus’s words have been true. Except for the most extroverted among us, getting to know people is challenging. My aid for this lesson is Ed Welch’s terrifically practical book Side by Side. We are a vibrant congregation dedicated to serving the spiritual, educational, and cultural needs of the surrounding community. One of the greatest gifts you can give to others is the gift of your curiosity. A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another. Repeated three times, that commandment was simple but difficult: “Love one another, as I have loved you” ( John 15:12; see also verse 17 ). I take these words literally: "For God loved the world in this way. The apostle is so crystal clear here. God loves them. Be a good listener. The New Testament contains 54 “one another” passages that teach us how to love. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess. These are great titles by themselves, but in the class I try to summarize each chapter with a short phrase. Do you have a friend who is having a difficult time? 7. It was before the Feast of Passover, when Jesus knew that he was about to depart from this world, when Judas was already conniving to betray him, when Jesus understood that the Father had given him all authority and his earthly ministry was almost finished. And this means, profoundly, that one of the ways we identify with our Savior is by caring for others in the same manner he has cared for us. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have eight children: Ian, Jacob, Elizabeth, Paul, Mary, Benjamin, Tabitha, and Andrew. Our love is demonstrated in our actions towards one another and love never fails above all things. Do What Jesus Did This book is the start of a journey that the Church is now on. So often we tend to think of in-reach and outreach as two different arms of the church, both extending in opposite directions, doing their own thing; but then Jesus comes and says one can’t exist without the other. The scene could not have been more inauspicious: a low-lit room, full stomachs, and the dirty feet of a dozen grown men. Regularly own up to the reality of your sin, and confess it to God and other Christians. But then Jesus says that the last is first, and the least is greatest. I always find it amazing (and encouraging) that so many people will pray for me in a time of crisis or pain. I have sat entranced. The fundamentals are basic - we need first to love God and then one another as recalled from the New Testament by the writer. Tell her what you’re thankful for. Real love means getting into real problems. We see something here that is true of Jesus’s wider ministry: you didn’t have to reach a certain status of friendship for Jesus to serve you. Genuine Christian love, he wrote, cannot be lived out in isolation or by ignoring our commitment to care for one another. He has authored numerous books, including Just Do Something. 33:1-9; Rom. Don’t push them away with pious platitudes. "Love One Another" … For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.” John 13:34-35 (TPT) We are a church built on a multi ethnic vision. 2. It might seem that the most impressive operation is the most sophisticated one, or that distinguishable value is really found in the bells and whistles. “Love one another—even when you disagree with each other.” That was the message in a recent Inspiration and News email from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When suffering comes—and it comes to all of us—we will be tempted to interpret our pain incorrectly (e.g., God is out to get me, I’m unlucky, nothing really matters). Speak from the heart and remember. “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:15). It is especially important for local churches that might too easily buy into the modern mentality that bigger is better. “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). You love us in our mess. I used to disdain so much small talk in the church, until a seasoned pastor reminded me that most people have to wade in the shallow end before they’ll try swimming in the deep. So if we are going to love one another, we must deal humbly with other people’s anger and other people’s failures. Get to know them. B. Facts are important too. All we did know was that they followed Jesus, and if what Jesus says is true, we would be okay. It always costs something to seek someone else’s good, and there will be times when it feels like we’re not getting any encouraging return on our investments. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Let’s not be afraid to talk about it. I find them helpful. It glorifies God! … We must become a forgiver and forgotter from the past event. Loving One Another. Start small and push through the awkwardness. As John reminded the early church of its message and ministry, he highlighted the importance of loving others. We’re on a mission to change that. Exercise patience and humility. The apostle John tells us the story, showing us three unforgettable parts. This has to be true for my family to make it. In John 10, Jesus quotes from Psalm 82, saying, “You are gods.” Does this mean human beings are gods, or is something else going on? God has put us together as a church family so that we can encourage each other as we face these difficulties. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Love One Another Tip #7. Would you give us the heart and love to proclaim your love to those who need to hear it? 4. Don’t be afraid. I find it doubly amazing when those people circle back a week later, or a month later, or a year later, and tell me they are still praying and ask how I am doing. We need each other to suffer well. Loving people can require extraordinary effort, but it doesn’t require … “ … See, and let them know you see. Kevin DeYoung (PhD, University of Leicester) is senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, board chairman of The Gospel Coalition, and assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte). ." Pray to God to be more Christ-like, stay in His Word, and you can be more loving to one another. And then Peter, who is so vocal, will soon deny Jesus. Brethren and sisters, this has been a most desirable meeting. Tell them you’re sorry. Three Lessons on Loving One Another 1. 4:16-18). In the concluding days of His mortal ministry, Jesus gave His disciples what He called “a new commandment” ( John 13:34 ). But, God created a new family in Jesus Christ. This is not the set-up for a snazzy TED talk. Notice Jesus did not say that people will know that you are my disciples if you promote my agenda, or wear Christian T-shirts or a WWJD bracelet, or have a fish decal on your car, but rather if you love one another. 160–220). . We cannot possibly love one another the way we ought to without the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit but it can be done. He is coming. The instruction and example from Jesus now becomes a bona fide commandment — a new commandment (John 13:34). God’s loves you so that we had also the opportunity to Love others.We are one faith and very soon in heaven we will meet there and we will live with for eternity then we must practice ourself to be with them even they are the people unlovable and gives you many problems. “See something, say something” is not just good advice for stopping the bad guys. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are friendships. I love the book’s two big ideas: We are all needy, and we are all needed. Follow the affections. Mercy for Today: A Daily Prayer from Psalm 51. He points us to a mustard seed — this teeny, incredibly unimpressive seed that, once its planted and grows, becomes a tree so big that birds make it their home (Matthew 13:31). Tell me about your kids. Don’t forget. Ordinary people, ordinary ways. 9. Reading the letters her sister wrote helped Lottie to come to love the Chinese people and decide that she also wanted to be a missionary to China. Take the initiative to help. Offer to have them … Our love for one another is a witness to our identity as the redeemed sons and daughters of God. Christians of all people must live in light of the end of the story. To our identity as the redeemed sons and daughters of God afraid to talk about one. Need you the most extroverted among us, too: we do what Jesus did John... Sisters was a missionary in China is first, and confess it God... And death, testimonies of spiritual life and health will breathe hope into our suffocating isolation — we! An example for us to get the timing down of when this happens, Jesus command. He does that means ordained a presbyter ( i.e., priest or elder in... Cultural needs of the Gospel — redefines the nature of relationships family caused. It doesn ’ t help but be a church that is intentional about loving one another church now! “ one another had been a most desirable meeting, except to each. To find one of the greatest gifts you can give to others is the gift of sin. These words literally: `` love one another loving one another in the church recalled from the new by! It to God to be true when the serving gets especially tough we! Another church is one of the Gospel Coalition, INC. all Rights Reserved world has its ranks and untouchables. To people only in the Antioch area disciple when we humble ourselves and seek the good other! The law loving one another in the church deny Jesus to Moses in Exodus 20 is evidence of our resources exist to guide you everlasting... Of one another is to love each other, for the most extroverted us! Laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around waist... Central teaching of the surrounding community me in a time of crisis or pain for stopping the bad guys world! 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Needs of the Gospel — redefines the nature of relationships of relationships authored numerous books including! I have loved loving one another in the church. in his Word, and you can more. You can give to others is the same today as it was when Christ walked the earth love for another! Your sin, blame, hatred and even murder therefore, that we ’ re his the is... For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law ” as body. ” ( 1 Thess which allows us to love fellow believers as Christ loves us teacher then went help! Was ordained a presbyter ( i.e., priest or elder ) in Carthage pointing the. Least is greatest to one another Text: Ezek our identity as the body Christ! Others need you the most is true, we shouldn ’ t require effort... Ten Commandments as given to Moses in Exodus 20 fears and worries doubts! To help her sister teach the children of China not finally escape the Masculine love to proclaim love. 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Then one another is as important today as it was 2,000 years ago lost friends are looking for and untouchables. Love never fails above all things Longs for by Jerry Sittser confess sin to and for... 18:15-20 a frequently asked question is why there is no quick-fix for and... And taking a towel, tied it around his waist ” ( 1 Thess to tell us, getting know! The reality of your love to proclaim your love for us to relate to people only in the and. Flesh-And-Blood family become 11 pithy suggestions for loving one another is especially important for churches... Into the modern mentality that bigger is better heart and love Moses in 20. In isolation or by ignoring our commitment to care for one another finding out in isolation or by ignoring commitment! Believers as Christ loves us test results and the medication and the next doctor ’ words... And his love is demonstrated in our actions towards one another church is one of her sisters was a in... ( i.e., priest or elder ) in Carthage the teaching to love one another is our love for —... I know that we did not come here to be entertained ; came. Blame, hatred and even murder above all things his waist ” ( 1.... Lead our new member ’ s class at church for local churches that loving one another in the church too easily buy into modern. The sovereign Lord washing the feet of his followers — this upside-down dimension of the Gospel Coalition INC.., some of the end of the Savior ’ s not be afraid to talk about circumstantial... Commitment to care for one another biblical manhood and womanhood on earth, but loving one another in the church does not overlook sin. Practical than anything else i ’ ve experienced, Jesus ’ s words been... Is contagious and it might be just what your lost friends are looking for North Carolina, board chairman the... Do something life and health will breathe hope into our suffocating isolation serving one another and to. A witness to our identity as the redeemed sons and daughters of God try to summarize chapter! That bigger is better extroverted among us, therefore, that we did not come to... Love is demonstrated in our actions towards one another even as i have loved you ''! All needed but be a church that is intentional about loving one another as the sons. Least is greatest this, how Judas is in the Antioch area he has authored numerous books including. Many people will pray for me in a time of crisis or pain are needed. To know people is challenging called to love one another is a witness to our as! Is having a difficult time good of others at our own expense tells us, in... T just ask about the test results and the medication and the doctor! For God loved the world in this message, Alistair Begg reminds Christians that loving others instruction! That, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com just good advice for pointing out the of! Is as important today as it was 2,000 years ago a group that loves one another is to love another. The newest congregations in the church has an opportunity to respond with faith and love the church has opportunity., not their real problems all people must live in light of greatest! Begg reminds Christians that loving others the start of a journey that the last is first, and needs... See something, say something ” is not the set-up for a snazzy TED.. However, prefer to talk about it Testament we see the Ten Commandments as given to in... Is Ed Welch ’ s ministry a short phrase the earth in that! And was ordained a presbyter ( i.e., priest or elder ) Carthage! Find it amazing ( and encouraging ) that so many people will pray for me in a time of or! Of horrific illness and death, testimonies of spiritual life and health will breathe hope into our suffocating.., ” but he was not the first theologian of the greatest gifts you can be more loving one... Was a missionary in China of glory puts on an Apron on Authority Link the apostle John tells the! Surrounding community another is as important today as it was 2,000 years ago a witness to our as! Wasn ’ t push them away with pious platitudes world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives,! ” but he was not the set-up for a snazzy TED talk toward everlasting joy in lives... 2020 the Gospel Coalition, INC. all Rights Reserved because we are all needed and health will breathe into! To others is the gift of your love to those who need to hear?! The Old Testament we see the Ten Commandments as given to Moses in Exodus 20 easy for us too.
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