I’m not a fan of Rick Warren, but this quote that appeared today in my Hubzilla feed is quite good and represents fairly well the type of relationship that the Lord provides us in the church of God.
If you are a member of a small group or class, I urge you to make a group covenant that includes the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make group a priority (frequency).
The “group covenant” he speaks of might better be described as every saint’s commitment to obey the Lord and to love sincerely and intensely one’s family in Christ, 1 Pet 1.22-23:
You have purified your souls by obeying the truth in order to show sincere mutual love. So love one another earnestly from a pure heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
Other terms and phrases could also stand a tweak, but the above quote captures much of the interaction necessary to be a true people of God. Of course, Warren misses most of the biblical pattern for the nature of the church and the way of salvation, truths about which we must be receptive and honest before we can truly love the Lord and his people.
#church #brotherly-love #fellowship
On QBT today, this tidbit:
The NT tells saints to give preference to God’s people, then to others. “Always pursue what is good for one another and for all.” 1Th 5.15
One can see this preference also in Gl 6.10: “So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.”
Are there other verses you can think of that show this church-first attention when it comes to the saints’ good works and love?
The Bradd clan will be traveling to Missouri later today to visit with some Christian friends, preach the gospel, and hopefully help encourage peace between some brethren we love dearly. Your prayers are coveted.
Some verses I’ve been meditating on:
• John 13:35 – By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
• Rom. 12:10 – Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
• I Cor. 8:1 – Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
• Gal. 5:14,15 – For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
• Eph. 4:2 – with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
• Phil. 1:9 – And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
• Phil. 2:12 – Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
• Col. 3:14 – But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
• Col. 4:6 – Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
• II Tim. 2:24-26 – And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
• Heb. 13:1 – Let brotherly love continue.
• Jam. 2:13 – For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
• I Pet. 1:22 – Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
• I Pet. 3:8 – Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
• I Pet. 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
• I John 3:18 – My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.