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Responsibilities in the Christian Community to "One Another"

In numerous verses, the New Testament gives us commands about what we should do for "one another." These form a list of our mutual obligations — the responsibility that all believers have toward one another.

Perhaps the most comprehensive command Jesus gave was the well-known "Love one another" (John 13:34). "As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (verses 34-35). This command is such a fundamental statement of our Christian duty that it is repeated more than ten times: John 15:12, 17; Rom. 13:8; 1 Thess. 4:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11-12; and 2 John 5. This is the attitude we should always have with one another.

Paul developed the command a little further: "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves" (Rom. 12:10). "Serve one another in love" (Gal. 5:13). He prayed that the Lord would help the Thessalonians' love to increase not only for each other, but that their love would also increase for everyone else (1 Thess. 3:12). "Always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else" (1 Thess. 5:15). In his second letter to the Thessalonians, he thanked God that their mutual love was indeed increasing (2 Thess. 1:3).

In Christ, we belong to each other and form one body (Rom. 12:5). We are members of one another (Eph. 4:25). "We have fellowship with one another" (1 John 1:7). Paul prayed that the Roman Christians would have "a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus" (Rom. 15:5). To avoid division in the body, Paul wanted members to "have equal concern for each other" (1 Cor. 12:25). "Offer hospitality to one another" (1 Pet. 4:9).

We see another development of the command in the words of Jesus: "Be at peace with each other" (Mark 9:50). Paul put it this way: "Live in peace with each other" (1 Thess. 5:13). "Live in harmony with one another" (Rom. 12:16). "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Eph. 4:2). "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider [each other] better than yourselves" (Phil. 2:3). "Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another" (1 Pet. 5:5).

"Stop passing judgment on one another," Paul writes (Rom. 14:13). "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you" (Rom. 15:7). "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Col. 3:13). "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Eph. 4:32). "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other" (Jas. 5:16).

"Serve one another," Paul wrote (Gal. 5:13). Peter gives the same point: "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others" (1 Pet. 4:10). Jesus had given the same lesson when he told his disciples to "wash one another's feet" (John 13:14). "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Eph. 5:21). "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2).

Paul wanted the Roman Christians and himself to be "mutually encouraged by each other's faith" (Rom. 1:12). One purpose of our weekly meetings is to "spur one another on toward love and good deeds encourage one another" (Heb. 10:24-25). "Encourage one another daily" (Heb. 3:13). "Encourage one another and build each other up" (1 Thess. 4:18; 5:11). "Build yourselves up in your most holy faith" (Jude 20).

Paul wanted "mutual edification" (Rom. 14:19). "Teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19). Paul was confident that the Romans could "instruct one another" (Rom. 15:14). These are some of the ways in which Christians, as servants of Jesus Christ, minister to one another.

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