Mk 12:29 Jesus answered "The most important of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart decisons, with all your soul m/w/e, with all your mind discern-Eph, and with all your strength.'
31 And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.
Loyalty: Obedience; Valuing; Exclusive 1st to God. Then 2nd Loyalty; Other-centered; Valuing; Edification; Sharing/Serving to others.
1. Love is a decision (based on knowledge) and a commitment to self-sacrificially do what is in another's best interest regardless of response Jn 3
9F. Our labor of love (Edification - building up of others -previous point) determines our eternal reward/inheritance or loss1Cor 3:8-19
1Thess 1:3 your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ
1Cor 3:8 each one will receive his own reward acc to his own labor. 10 let each one take heed how he builds on 14 work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as thru fire.
Mt 25:40 (blessed; inherit) )King will answer 'Assuredly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Mk 9:41 cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ (in the name of a disciple Mt 10:42), he will by no means lose his reward.
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, 8 sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.10 opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (cf Temple/Body/Members in Eph et al.)
10. Serving and Sharing Gal 5:13 called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but thru love serve one another.
Brotherly kindness – other-centered affectionate love that arises from purified lives 1Pt 1:22 sharing and pursuing the life of Christ in unity; purchased by loyally and like-mindedly 1Cor 1:10 submitting to one another in pursuing true Biblical fellowship that reflects God. Eph 5:21
A. Serving/ministering is meeting the real needs of another, so that they are pleasing to God and do well at the Judgment Seat of Christ 2Cor 5:9-10
1. Mk 10:45 even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Jn 13:8 share; Acts 28:3
Jn 21:15 do you love Me...Feed My lambs 16 Tend My sheep 17 Feed My sheep 19 Follow Me 22 You follow me (Follow me...fishers of men Mk 1:17)
2. 2Cor 3:3 you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written by the Spirit of the living God...heart 6 made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant...Spirit gives life 8...ministry of the Spirit 9...ministry of righteousness 15...a veil lies on their heart. 16 when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Jn 8:32 truth see free 1Thes 4:1 please God
3. Col 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus
4. Col 4:12 Epaphras, one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers Js 5:16, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God Gal 4:19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you
5. Phil 2:1 encouragement being united with Christ, if any incentive from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any compassion and mercy 2... being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as JC 20 I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things of JC
6. Heb 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown ard His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
7. 1Pt 4:8 above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a bestowal of grace, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified thru Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
B. Sharing is purposeful commonality III. The Principle: FELLOWSHIP...We share the Spirit of Christ as members of God's family. Eph 2:19
We relate to each other in loyal love, as interdependent fellow servants, in a caring, and accepting community; sharing our lives, needs, and resources; and interacting in such a way that we learn from each other, edify each other, and stimulate one another to Christlikeness.
Our Practice: In our EDIFICATION time we provide opportunity for believers to fulfill their responsibilities to take what God’s given them and use it to build up each other 1Cor 14, ministering grace to others’ needs 1Pt 4:10. In small groups we share insights into God’s Word and ways, share prayer requests, and pray for each other. We encourage believers to develop accountability relationships in order to help each other determine and experience the perfect and unique will of God for their lives Rm 12:2.
1. Heb 13:(1-2)16 do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 1Tim 6:17-19 2Cor 8:3-5, 14 Acts 4:32
2. Rm 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established Eph 4:7-17
3. 1Jn 1:3 we declare..that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father/Son 4 that your joy may be full. 5 God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin
4. 1Thes 2:8 affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives because...
5. Rm 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification 14:18 he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Why do we have difficulty loving/serving others when they don't love us back? Why is self-denial-purity/holiness a prerequisite to love 1Pt 1:22?
2. What motivates you to serve others? If God meets our needs (esteem, worth, value, etc), why would we look to others to meet them?
3. What can you do to tap into God's grace and love so you can share it with others? How do you build others to reproductive maturity?
Bonus Verses for Reflection (no extra charge)
I. Our priority should be to love one another
Rm 12:10 Be kindly affectionate/devoted to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Gal 6: 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
2Th 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, Col 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints
1Jn 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also
II. Our love for each other should mirror that of God’s love for us
1Th 4:9 concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Jn 15:17 "These things I command you, that you love one another.
1Jn 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Eph 4:2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
Heb 13:1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers
1Pe 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.Ro 12:13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Ga 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
1Jn 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
IV. Our love is hindered by lack of holiness…
A. …because our motives will be impure and self-centered, hiding from, using and damaging others
1Pt 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to/for/eis a sincere love of the brethren,
love one another fervently with a pure heart
1Jn 1: 7 if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, & the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin
1Jn 2:9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.11 he who hates his brother is in darkness & walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1Jn 3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
B. …because our prideful self-will will prevent submissive, God glorifying unity
Eph 4:2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Jn 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me
1Co 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1Cor 12: 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
Eph 4: 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, Christ 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. How does your love for other believers mirror that of Christ’s love for His disciples? Paul’s love for believers? God’s love for you?
2. How does someone “doing their own thing” or “doing what they believe is best for themselves” contrast with Biblical brotherly love?
3. How does socializing differ from fellowship? How does a mutual sharing of one’s life in Christ differ from brotherly love?
4. How have you been the recipient of brotherly love? How can you pass that love along to someone else?
5. How do envy, greed, sloth, lust, gluttony, pride or anger, prevent us from giving and receiving brotherly love?
6. What other barriers prevent brotherly love from being given or accepted? Is one loved if they don’t feel loved? How so?
I. WHAT WE SHOULD DO
A. We should live in love, desiring each other's best.
Love=sacrificially do what is another’s best interest
Jn 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Jn 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
1Jn 3:11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
1Jn 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1Jn 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
2Jn 1:5 And now, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.
1Thess 3:12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
2Thess 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
Eph 4:15 speaking the truth in love…may grow up in all things
B. We should live in unity.
Rm 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
**1 Cor. 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
John 13:14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.
II. WHY WE SHOULD DO IT
A. We are God's drawing card.
Jn 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Jn 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. 13 "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 20…I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Rm 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Jn 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
B. We are members of one another
Rm 12:5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
1Cor 12:25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
C. Our growth and sanctification depend on living in unity.
Col 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. 2:2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
2Cor. 13:11 Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Eph 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Phil 1:27 conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then…I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel
2Chon 30:12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord.
Ps 133:1 How good & pleasant when brothers live together in unity!
III. WHAT WE SHOULDN'T DO
Acts 15:39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
Gal 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature*; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Js 4:11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.
Pr 23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
Gal 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Col 3:7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices cf Mt 12:36 give acc’t 4 idle word
IV. HOW WE SHOULD CARE
Rm 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Rm 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
Rm 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Rom 15:14...brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
1Cor 11:33 when you come together to eat, wait for each other.
Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5 for each one should carry his own load.
Eph 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Eph 5:19 Speak to one another. With psalms, hymns and spiritual songs sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another in the fear of God. out of reverence for Christ.
Phil 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you flesh out he word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
Phil 2:20 I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 29 Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.
Col 3:12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1Thess 4:9 about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
1 Thess 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
Mt 18:15 if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother
Heb 3:13 encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not forsake meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
1Pt 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart.
1Pt 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
1Pt 5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, (share/have in common) and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1Jn 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. What is God’s standard for relationships among believers?
2. What causes conflict and disunity among believers? Js 4:1
3. What’s the balance between Col 3:13 patience and Matt 18?
4. How do you like to be admonished, reproved, rebuked or rejected?
5. What difficulties does one face when seeking to speak the truth in love to someone who is a self-centered sinner?
6. Where does God want you to invite or give loving reproof this week so that you can experience God’s highest blessing?