I encourage you to live for one another and watch God at work
Christian living fleshes out this fact; “we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5). We belong to each other as much as we belong to Christ. At rebirth we became as spiritually intertwined with our fellow believers as we are with Christ. If we belong to Christ, we belong to our fellow Christians. Being a part of the breathing and changing body dynamics of a church can be both challenging and greatly rewarding, often all at the same time. The glue that brings us together, and holds us together, is Jesus Christ our Lord.
How we interact with one another should always begin by welcoming “one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7). God’s glory is the bullseye of every engagement we have with fellow believers, because His Son is the foundation of every relationship we have in Christ. Therefore, by “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21) we give expression to the reality of Christ in our lives.
By being “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32) we are a testimony of Christ’s power through the gospel. It’s as the apostle John explained; “this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us” (1 John 3:23). Recognising the significance of, and loving fellow believers is authentic evidence of genuine belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Christian relationships are about Christ, not us. James urges us not to “speak evil against one another,” nor to “grumble against one another” (James 4:11; 5:9). Why, because moaning violates our relationship with Christ who lives in both you and your brother or sister in the Lord. Paul told the believers in Rome to “outdo one another in showing honour” (Romans 12:10), for this is surely the most appropriate way for brothers and sisters in God’s family to treat each other. Christ, who lives in your fellow believer by His Holy Spirit, is our motivation to “live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16). This prevents us from passing “judgement on one another…” instead, we “decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (Romans 14:13).
This protective relationship with our fellow saints is reflective of our highest esteem of Christ’s relationship with us. This heavenly connection that Christians uniquely enjoy is to motivate us to cloth ourselves “with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). We strive for each other “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up… always seek to do good to one another and to everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 15). “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly” (1 Peter 4:8). “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35 NIV).
Today, view your fellow believer as the Saviour views them. Encourage them also to live for one another and watch God at work. God will be pleased, believers will be blessed, and the world will see Christ through us all.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz