WHAT IT MEANS TO BE THE CHURCH >
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 > The body is one yet has many members(verse 12), so it is with the "body of Christ", and we are members in particular(verse 27), and yet, we are also members of one another. We are members in particular, not rugged individualists. We are members of the church, the body of Christ. We maintain a unique identity known to only the Lord, yet we have a communal identity simultaneously. "We being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread"(1 Cor. 10:17). Holy Communion expresses our oneness, both with Christ, and with one another(1 Cor. 10:16,17; 1 Cor. 11:17-34)
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER >
Christ's Household is governed by His commands > His ultimate command is to "love one another as I have loved you"(John 13:34,35) > St Peter says, "Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently"(1 Peter 1:22) - there is to be no fakery or pretend love, only sincere love > Hebrews 10:24,25 - "consider one another" ..."exhorting one another", never forsaking the gathering together for the express purposes of 1)the Apostles Doctrine, 2)fellowship(koinonia-Greek), 3)breaking of "the" bread(Greek), 4)"the" Prayers(Greek)(Acts 2:42) > Help and healing comes through our relationships with one another > Galatians 6:1-5 - "bear one anothers burdens" and so fulfil the law of Christ"(verse 2) - Are you obeying the law? The law of Christ? > Are you restoring your brother or sister who is overtaken in a fault? And if so, are you restoring them without judging them in a spirit of meekness >
Colossians 3:12-14 - "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another...even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do" - Put on "bowels of mercy" - have a heart of compassion, feel, from deep in your guts, an empathy for the suffering - Put on kindness - Put on Humbleness of mind - Put on meekness - Put on longsuffering - "And above all these virtues, put on charity/love, which binds them all together in perfect unity"(NIV) > Ephesians 4:29-32 - "be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you" - Note that the emphasis on "one another" is to communicate our "oneness" with each other, that we
are the "the church, the body of Christ" - always minister grace, always speak words that edify your brother and sister, lay aside all the dark feelings of anger, and bitterness, and evil speaking, and malice > Philippians 2:1-8 - We are to imitate Christ's humility - we are to share the encouragement that we experience in Christ with others - the comfort of his love we experience, and the sweet fellowship of the Spirit that we experience, and the tenderness and compassion we experience in the Lord - these are the things we can share with others + "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain deceit" - "Always consider others better than yourselves", "Always be looking out for the interests of others as well as your own" >
NOTE: Philippians 2:5-11 is a hymn that was sung in the early church - St Paul here is quoting from the hymns of the church - Ephesians 5:14 is an early baptismal hymn - 1 Timothy 3:16 is an ancient Christian creed or hymn, as is 2 Timothy 2:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:15,16; Ephesians 1:3-14; Colossians 1:15-20 >
Romans 14:1,10-13 - "Let us not judge one another".
Romans 15:1-7 - "be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus" - "receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God" - "bear the infirmities of the weak" - "Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification" > Luke 22:31,32 - Note how Jesus prayed for St Peter and then what St Peter wrote years later - 1 Peter 5:8-10.
James 2:1,14-18 - Meet one anothers needs > John 3:16-18 - Lay down your lives for one another starting with the basic necessities
James 5:13-20 - "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed..." (verse 16) - Convert the erring brother - "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep, Be of the same mind one toward another" (Romans 12:15,16).