GCV Blog

Don’t Just Make Noise with These Commands


There are approximately 30 distinct one-anothers spread throughout over 50 separate scriptural commands in the New Testament. I want to make two points about the often-discussed one-anothers. First, they are commands. These are not optional suggestions that we get to pick and choose our way through, ignoring the ones that make us uncomfortable. These are commands from God’s Word given to you and me as means of grace within the church. These are for the building up of the Body and ultimately the glory of God.

Second, it should come as no surprise that the most common command by a landslide is to “love one another.” Second is “greet one another with a holy kiss.” (In our culture a warm greeting such as a handshake or hug would convey this same meaning.) Third most common is to “encourage one another.” Fourth is a four-way tie of “live as members of,” “live in harmony with,” “lovingly serve,” and “lovingly bear with.” Several other commands are mentioned only once.

First-place “loving one another” is there by God’s inspiration and the frequency of its mention is significant. Loving one another is mentioned at least twelve times. The significance is further explained in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. Love is foundational. The less frequent commands--such as instruct, comfort, bear burdens, lovingly bear with, forgive, submit to, teach and admonish, stir up, and confess sins to--must be built upon the foundation of love. If I admonish out of frustration rather than love, I’m making noise and not honoring God. If any of my Christian activities of service, discipleship, evangelism, teaching, or even the one-anothers are not founded upon love, then I’m making noise. I am nothing; I gain nothing.

I can accomplish this only by God’s grace through faith, motivated by His love for me. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and remind yourself of God’s love for you and how to approach the one-anothers: love first, for God’s glory, not just a bunch of noise.

1 Comment

Hey garth,
just commenting on what you wrote. The one anothers are a great indicator of where a church is at in it's spiritual maturity. I struggle with though the paradox of the one-anothers and the attitude/motivation for doing/being them. Does that make sense? It's kind of like a chicken or egg thing. Those seeking after and being transformed by Christ Jesus want to do those things that please and glorify Him, yet pursuing those things without Love is meaningless and doesn't glorify Him. On my best days I find myself yielding to and obeying Him and seeing those one-anothers flow from a heart and soul that is thankful and loving, but on most days I struggle with just connecting with Him. I babble a little, sorry. The question I ask and pursue in my own life is does one foster Love for for Him inside ones self which motivates the selfless loving acts of the one-anothers, or does one do the one-anothers despite and in-spite of ones motivations allowing the outward actions of our obedience to change our inward motivations? What/how do you handle that paradox?

I enjoy these post you all are putting on. I know it is a superficial way of being part of the church body and becoming a little more vulnerable with you, but I appreciate the opportunity none the less in the place in life and work that I find myself in. So thank you.

Is there any blog that is more informal where notes and prayers and blessings and discussions can be spoken and worked out with others in Grace church of the valley?

God be,

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