For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
(James 2:26 ESV)
We are justified before God by grace, through faith in Christ’s sacrifice for us. At the same time, true saving faith always works itself out in tangible and practical obedience to God’s commands. When we are born again, the Spirit of God enters us, we are given a new heart which results in a transformed life. At CBC, we regularly challenge our members to live out the implications of this transformation. In this way, we encourage our members to Show or demonstrate submission to the Word of God in our lives.
No doubt the Bible is a large book, and God has much to say about what pleases Him. Knowing this, Jesus gives us a way to categorize His expectations for us by summarizing them in two commandments. When Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment in the Law, he responds by saying,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37b-38).
Thus, we learn that all of man’s responsibilities can be grouped under two basic categorizes: 1) love for God; and 2) love for neighbor. As we seek to love our neighbor, we quickly realize that we cannot love every human being equally well. Thus, we are to put some thought into the prioritization of relationships. God has designed the church in such a way as to take non-biologically related individuals and adopt them into His family. Thus, we observe Jesus adopting repentant tax collectors, zealots, Jews, Gentiles, males, and females into His new family, in order that this adopted family might provide a picture of biblical love for the world. Before his departure, Jesus emphasizes this expectation to His disciples saying,
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13-34-35).
What is Biblical Love?
We live in a world which is clearly confused as to the nature of love. We are often told that in order to love someone we must affirm them, support them, and embody tolerance. Yet, biblical love is quite different than the universal positive regard that is expected from us. We find a picture of Biblical love in the one-another commands of Scripture. Here is a list of the various one-another commands we find in the New Testament:
Show Hospitality to One Another – 1 Peter 4:9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Welcome One Another – Romans 15:7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Greet One Another – Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
Serve One Another – Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Do Good to One Another – 1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
Care for One Another – 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
Be Kind to One Another – Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Wait for One Another (Lord’s Supper) – 1 Corinthians 11:33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another
Instruct One Another – Romans 15:14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
Teach One Another – Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Encourage One Another – 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Build Up One Another – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing
Stir Up One Another – Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Admonish One Another – Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Exhort One Another – Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Sing to One Another – Ephesians 5:19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,
Do not Lie to One Another – Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
Do not Speak Evil Against One Another – James 4:11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
Do not Grumble Against One Another – James 5:9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
Do not Bite and Devour One Another – Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Be Humble to One Another – 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Show Honor to One Another – Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not pass Judgment on One Another – Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
Do not Provoke One Another – Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Do not Sue One Another – 1 Corinthians 6:7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
Do not Envy One Another – Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Do Not Compare Yourself with One Another – 2 Corinthians 10:12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
Confess to One Another and Pray for One Another – James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Forgive One Another – Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Comfort One Another – 2 Corinthians 13:11a Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another,
Bear with One Another – Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
Agree with One Another – 2 Corinthians 13:11b agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Be At Peace With One Another – Mark 9:50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.
Live in Harmony with One Another – Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited.
Submit to One Another(Wives to Husbands – Children to Parents – Slaves to Masters) –Ephesians 5:19 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Do not Deprive One Another Sexually (Spouse) – 1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
It is our hope that CBC provides a picture of biblical love to a watching world. Yet, our church is only able to do this in so far as we are embodying obedience to these one-another commands. The Scriptures exhort us to not simply love in word or talk, but in deed and truth. The degree to which we love our brothers and sisters in Christ will be demonstrated by our active pursuit of biblical love. Thus, there is no other standard that we ought to use to measure our faithfulness to God than the standard of love rightly defined. Thus, we pray that the lives of our members will Show the Word.