Recently, I learned how we should be a channel of God’s blessings to everyone around us. In our individualistic society it is easy to lose sight of the fact that Christians are bonded together in a relationship of unity as members of one another…
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
So critical is this relationship, according to Dr. Tony Evans, that our horizontal fellowship with our fellow believers even influences our vertical fellowship with God. There are several “one another” passages of Scripture that Dr. Evans outlines in his new book Horizontal Jesus and the sermon series, The One Anothers. Here are some of them.
Love one another…
When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
(1 Peter 4:8)
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Welcome one another…
(1 Peter 4:9)
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Encourage one another…
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Forgive one another…
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Accept one another…
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Restore one another…
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.
Connect with one another…
(1 Corinthians 12:18-26)
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Serve one another…
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Comfort one another…
(2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.