The Christian life involves both individual accountability and interpersonal involvement. Each of us is individually responsible for maintaining the right sort of relationship to others, especially others in our Christian fellowship.
A beautiful Greek word is allelon, often translated “one another.” For example, we are commanded: “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”
We have seen that community is a foundational part of God’s design for humans. It should then come as no surprise that it is also foundational to the church. By studying redemptive history we come to see that the church is not something God invented because all His other plans had failed. Rather, the church was the culmination of all of God’s plans for His children. Church, when done the way God intends, gives us just a taste of the perfect community we will experience in paradise.
The New Testament in particular, have many teachings on the importance of community. By studying two simple phrases that appear time and again in the New Testament, we can learn of the requirements and beauty of true Christian community. The phrases “each other” and “one another” speak to relationships. They do not address a relationship to God or a relationship to oneself. Neither do they speak to a relationship with the universal church. Rather, they address interpersonal relationships within a community of believers. The teachings can be divided into four categories. They are Unity, Hospitality, Devotion and Edification.
Over the next few months of Summer we will take a look at each of these categories and the Bible passages from which they are drawn. Let’s learn and practice well ONE ANOTHER.