Sunday, October 30, 2016 am                                              Others 2016 Index

More “One Another” Passages


We have noted numerous “one another” passages as we have emphasized the proper attitude and actions toward one another as brethren.  We have emphasized in each of these the reciprocal nature intended.  It is my hope that we will honestly consider these things for ourselves and where we see the need for improvement that we will do that.  The church depends on it. 

As mentioned throughout this study, there are more than 50 “one another” passages in the New Testament.  We have addressed most of them in one form or another.   In today’s lesson, we want to briefly notice a few more of them.  Next week we are going to examine how we are NOT to treat “one another”.

 I.                     Receive one another – Romans 15:7

a.       The word receive means to accept or welcome into your midst.  Paul used this term as he wrote to Philemon to accept Onesimus back (Philemon 12, 17).  This gives us the flavor of this word.

b.       In our text, this word is used as Paul begins to conclude a discussion of brethren and the way we treat each other in matters of personal conscience (issues about which God is indifferent).  The actual text begins with Romans 14:1 where we read, “Receive one who is weak in the faith. 
Bear in mind, one of the major purposes of Romans is to bring together Jew and Gentile, even with their different cultural backgrounds.  As in many other places, Paul emphasizes we are all one in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:14, Galatians 3:27-29, etc.)
In Romans 14-15:7 Paul is calling for us to be tolerant with these differences.  He calls for us to “pursue things that make for peace…” and edification (Rom. 14:19).
NOTE: With this text we must be careful not to abuse it to teach unity-in-diversity, or tolerance of immorality or false doctrines, but it does emphasize there are non-binding matters that we can differ on (i.e. certain foods, observing certain days, etc.). 
In 15:1, Paul concludes by saying, “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”  He then emphasizes how you need to be thinking about your brethren, culminating with a call to receive one another.

c.        When it comes to our brethren, we need to strive to make them feel welcomed, even though they may be different than us in some ways.  In these matters of differences, don’t look down upon one another – but accept each other (i.e. think of political differences).

d.       One other observation.  Romans 14:3, speaks of not despising one who eats or doesn’t eat something, “for God has received him.” (Let us be careful to not try and draw lines FOR God).
And Romans 15:7b, we receive one another, “just as Christ has also received us, to the glory of God.  When it comes to receiving our brethren, how does that equate to Christ receiving us in spite of our sinfulness, our weaknesses, our lower wisdom (than Him), etc.
It is also “to the glory of God” – are we seeing to bring glory to Him in our treatment of one another?  Think of John 13:34-35.

 II.                   Have peace with one another – Mark 9:50

a.       Peace is defined as the absence of strife. 

b.       Related to our previous point.  In our lives we need peace.  In this world filled with struggle, we understand that all too well.  We seek national peace and world peace.  We desire that we resolve our national and social problems.

c.        But we also seek an inner peace – where we are at peace with God – having resolve the conflict through the blood of Jesus and at peace with ourselves because our conscience knows we are doing our best (don’t ignore blindly following your conscience!)

d.       But in our text, Jesus calls for us to have peace with one another.   It is in a context where Jesus is addressing our influence with others.  He talks about being “salt” (49-50, cf. Matthew 5:13).  I am again reminded in this, that salt is a seasoning that only requires a little.  Too much salt can make food inedible.    That is why we are to guard our tongues (cf. Colossians 4:6).

e.       Romans 14:19 – it is something we must pursue.  Rarely does peace come for strife without work.  

f.         For peace, I must exercise self-control.  You cannot control someone else, but you can control yourself.   Anger and wrath often leads to sin (Ephesians 4:6, James 5:19-20 – the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God).

g.       So seek peace and thereby be able to receive one another. 

  III.                 Be hospitable to one another – 1 Peter 4:9

a.       Realizing these brethren were facing difficult times, Peter encourages them with a number of general admonitions.  Among them we find a call to be hospitable to one another. 

b.       The actual Greek word (φιλόξενος,  philoxenos) means, “love of strangers” but was used to describe how brethren help each other with their needs.   It is similar to the way we use the word today, though the times are different. 
The premise of the original word is based upon how people helped each other back then when traveling, because there were not many hotels, etc.  Travelers would be extended kindness – lodging, food, and perhaps other refreshments (and some do so today, among brethren).  It is the idea of being willing to share with others.  Kittel observes that when you discuss Greek words for love in this text, you cannot separate them being hospitable.[1]  (cf. 1 Peter 4:8)
About 50 years, Peter Wilson in article about hospitality quoted a dictionary, “giving or affording a generous welcome…”[2]

c.        Christians are to be hospitable – Romans 12:13 – we are “given to hospitality” (see all Hebrews 13:2 – entertain strangers).  In both 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8 – it is mentioned as a qualification for elders. 
And it must be done with pure motives –  NOTICE our text qualifies this by saying, “without grumbling.”   This shouldn’t be something we only do because we have to.  Do it joyfully and with purity.   Jesus in Luke 14:12-14 gave instructions about giving a dinner to those who cannot repay you…

d.       We can extend this to strangers as well.  A good way to introduce yourself to those visiting with us or those you have opportunity to help is by being hospitable. 

e.       We are reminded by our text, that we need to be ready to help each other, not just spiritually but physically as well.  When we as brethren have a proper concept of stuff, we are willing to share with each other (cf. 1 Timothy 6:18).  

 IV.                 Minister to one another – 1 Peter 4:10

a.       In the next verse, Peter appeals for us minister to one another.  This word is a form of the verb from which we get the word deacon.  As such, it represents one who serves, or to attend to the wants and needs of others.  To give assistance or help (L&N 35.19)

b.       Christians are to serve – something we have addressed in detail earlier this year. 
Galatians 5:13 – through love serve one another (a different Greek word)

c.        Our text uses another word – stewards – we are to use our gifts as good stewards.

d.       1 Peter 4:11 emphasizes as we minister, do it with the ability which God supplies that He may be glorified. 

e.       Hebrews 6:10 reminds us that God is not unjust to forget our work and labor.  He knows that have ministered and do minister to the saints.

f.         This is just another reminder of how much we are to be the family of God.  We need to be genuinely connected to each other, in all aspects of our lives. 

 V.                   Forgiving one another – Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13

a.       From time to time we have alluded to this.  Let us take a few moments to focus on this.

b.       Χαρίζομαι, (charizomai) – the word forgive in these texts means to show oneself gracious in pardoning wrongdoing.  The root of the word is associated with the word for grace.  In fact, the actual definition to give freely or be gracious to.  BDAG defines the word as to show oneself gracious by forgiving wrongdoing, pardon. 
The word means what we think it means as it is used in our texts.  But understanding the background of the word can help us appreciate the need for forgiveness.
NOTE: There is also another word for forgive also used often – (ἀφίημι, aphiēmi) – the word means to pardon.  Vine’s defines the word as, “to send forth, to send away”

c.        Colossians 2:13 tells us that Christ made us alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses
In both texts where we are told to forgive one another we are reminded it is AS we have been forgiven.

d.       Multitudes of passages warn us about the importance of forgiving one another. 
Matthew 6:12-15, as we forgive we will be forgiven.
Matthew 18:21 – Peter asks how often he should forgive a brother – up to 7 times.  Jesus says, up to 70x7 and then adds a parable about forgiveness (18:22-35).  He reminds us of how much we have been forgiven of and how that ought to move us to forgive each other.  In fact, again Jesus notes that how we forgive is how God will forgive us.

e.       We have talked many things in this study.  A willingness to appreciate forgiveness can only help us mature in all the attitudes and actions we have addressed.   


In these lessons, we have been reminded of what it means to be the body of Christ.  You cannot study these things truthfully without realizing how important we are to be to one another and how imperative it is that we nurture this relationship.  This is the relationship that we begin now and will follow us into eternity.  Let us never take that lightly.  Next week, one more lesson – on how we are NOT to treat “one another”.

[1] Kittel, Gerhard, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds. Theological dictionary of the New Testament 1964 – V5, p.20. Print.

[2] Wilson, Peter J.  Hospitality, TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 2, pp. 20-21 November 1965