Thursday, July 31, 2008

Abiding in the Spirit of Christ

“Walking in the spirit” is intensely personal and may not be semantically expressed in a one-size-fits all comment. Yet, I have a suggestion how we might each mature in this spiritual reality. (If the following does not connect with you, please forgive my presumption.)

Think about going through your day to day life. Involvement in discussions at work bounces back and forth between two dually existing levels of communication. We are focused and professionally speaking the expected/required, and we share personal exchanges with co-workers. We seamlessly, relatively speaking, switch back and forth between the "professional" and "casual" registers of speech. The cadence, vocabulary, and intent of the thoughts involved to construct the varied speech often completely alter; and this is accomplished with very little calculation. We are the "trained" worker and our natural self at once.

For example, we are communicating professionally on the job and a co-worker with whom we are relaxed individually quips about the work, a customer, the weather or the President. A rejoinder in kind out of our mouth is immediate. That answer back, detached from the professional mode of speaking, springs from whom we are emotionally and largely separated identity-wise from the moment before when we were fully engaged in professionalism. The professional register is put on and maintained to meet the job requirements. Underneath this vocal register and the thinking that supports it is our personality. Is this dual condition not an "abiding" in our casual personality while fully engaged in the “dress” of professional responsibilities?

Now think about how on top of it all, we run “sub-programs” of thought where we comment to ourselves, feel things in response, notice details and make mental observations. The inner self exists with links to our dispositions shaped by our born natures, our experiential nurturing, and our adult, active choices. We experience the level of exchange with others in the outer world simultaneously with our on-going observation, analysis, and emotional response of the inner-person. When the personal or casual register is employed with others, we speak from the condition--whatever it is--of this inner sub-program. This inner level is our soul and its state.

“Abiding in Christ” simply means monitoring the flow of the inner sub-program and accepting training of this inner person. Therefore we actively make decisions to keep the inner thoughts and feelings lined up with knowing our life-force is alive from Christ because He has caused our redemption and rebirth in Spirit, and we exist in His Presence. The soul, its feelings and thoughts, are not what is important. Thoughts and feelings are what is experienced and as such are indicators, but these are not the reason one exists. His Truth is important. Living as a vessel filled by Him achieves His purpose and is why we exist. This is what is important.

We train the inner flow by making active decisions to reject thoughts and especially feelings that are not of Jesus. Making active decisions is a function of an individual's will. Feeling insecure or uncertain? Does He feel insecure or uncertain? Revenge or hate? Does He want revenge against or experience hate for other humans? Feeling afraid and want comfort? Does He wish to escape reality and provide Himself wanton pleasures? No. Neither does your new creature in Him. So, we must sort the inner world. We seek to know His in-dwelling reality of supernatural love which is His Spirit and which we feel with Him. We seek to have His light shine upon and convict when our thoughts and feelings are simply of our soul. We seek to have His light confirm when we are resting in Him.The mechanism which enables this understanding and insight is the connection between a Living God, who in every moment is personally engaged with us, and our conscience. If a conscience can be seared, is it not also made more sensitive? An ever more sensitive conscience is evidence of a growing maturity in the spirit of Jesus.

Maintaining this attitude might be called taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Walking through life monitoring this inner flow, thus actively seeking to be sensitive to our conscience will guide what springs from our casual register of speech in day to day life. This is a function of knowing we are with Jesus and appears to others as if we are deeply connected to an unusual ability to love.

We are…in spirit.

Nothing to Debate. Much to Discuss.

I ended the last post with ...

"Impossible," you say? "Unrealistic!" "I am not there, yet," followed by a friendly but rueful chuckle.

You never will be! It must and will only be accomplished as we learn to rest in the in-dwelling Presence and exchange our way for His. Oh and to make this not be hard, God allows unlimited attempts to understand abiding in Him.

I was going to take the discussion of forgiveness a little further, and I still may; however, look at the above. The first line is where we naturally are and the second is the spiritual reality we must enter.

Anything Jesus says which we qualify as a "hard" word is so only because we approach it with our natural mind and heart. All the beautiful and spiritually accomplished concepts of the NT are only made authentic by abiding in His Presence within the Holy of Holies in our heart.

There is no other issue. Do we understand how to abide in the living Presence or do we not?

I have many thoughts from here but have a limited amount of time this morning. I would be keenly interested in your thoughts, dear reader!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How Hard is Forgiveness?

The teaching illustration of two posts back was intended as the introduction to a discussion on response to sin within a group of believers. There appears to me a gap between the instruction in Scripture and our practice.

Consider Jesus' instruction to forgive 7 x 70. He has just taught the way to address a sinning brother (show him his fault in private; if he refuses to acknowledge his fault, take another with you on a second attempt; if he refuses to acknowledge his fault, take it before all gathered together) when Peter asks, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"

Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven."

How many of us keep track of another's sin 490 times then on violation 491 refuse to forgive? None of us. Isn't that the point of Jesus giving us the number?

Yet, how many of us after the first or second time we are offended
think or feel something like, OK, I forgive him but I will not trust again. Or worse we enter into some degree of judgment against the other. Our feelings and related thoughts are the measure of the condition of our heart regardless of the religious spin we verbalize about ourselves. Mature faith will fully release within the heart all which is not a complete and renewed embrace of the other person. Everything!

I have watched myself and others harbor feelings other than love toward someone following some sin for which forgiveness has been requested and describe this state in "spiritual" terms such as, "He asked for forgiveness and I gave it. Now I'll wait and see whether or not he produces fruit that evidences true repentance." I could always find some "scriptural" reason for not fully trusting this person. At the very least, I would whine something to God about how hard His words were.Then one day God broke through into my hard heart: simply acknowledging how hard Jesus' instructions on the matter of forgiveness are without disciplining my internal emotional response is excuse-making. Worse, this state of non-compliance perpetuates my own spiritual immaturity.

And the "hardness" of God's expectation goes further! We should be able to move into the same release with the same brother/sister repeatedly. Up to 490 times? No, there are not limits.
Love keeps no record of wrong.

"Impossible," you say? "Unrealistic!" "I am not there, yet," followed by a friendly but rueful chuckle.

You never will be! It must and will only be accomplished as we learn to rest in the in-dwelling Presence and exchange our way for His. Oh and to make this not be hard, God allows unlimited attempts to understand abiding in Him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

South Carolina bound...

Our youngest son is graduating from US Army basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC. Tomorrow is a family day on the base before the ceremony Friday. Probably won't post again until later in the weekend.

See you then.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Here's a Tangent

In the field of teaching there is a tedious and occasionally baneful activity we are expected to accomplish: record-keeping. The outsider may think, "Oh yeah, grades and attendance, that sort of thing." If only that were the limit. I call it tedious because of the time consuming nature of the activity. I call it baneful because of the possible consequence of the content required.

A current educational buzz word is documentation. In our school system, teachers are told quite plainly that administrators will back us up (in confrontations with parents, especially confrontations which enter the legal domain) as long as we have documentation. This means that for all decisions I make, whether of academic or a disciplinary nature in the life of one of my students, I need documentation that justifies my decisions.

This is good...mostly. Teachers cannot operate as loose cannons, specifically in regards to the content of one's teaching. The expectation is teach a state approved curriculum and use strategies supported by research as best practice. Since I am not observed constantly, documentation of planning, evidence of process and student products must be supplied on demand to an administrator when he or she asks. Documentation requires mandated curriculum and best practices be evidenced by these artifacts. Reasonable? Yes. Tedious? Insanely so, but nonetheless important.

I must also document why I have decided to answer a student's inappropriate behavior. Johnny refused to complete a math assignment today. Johnny appeared distracted by another student's appearance. I gave him preferential seating to remediate his lack of effort. (Professional speak for Johnny would not leave the little girl in front him alone, so I made him move his desk over by the wall.) Again, the reasonableness of this is apparent. When I take the significant step of intervening in a child's life by calling for a parent conference or sending a student to the principal's office, the documentation is useful in establishing patterns of student behavior and teacher intervention strategies.This answers some automatic questions--Is the teacher unfair?--while providing information that can guide effective questioning--What has been attempted; what has not?

This is where the adjective "baneful" enters and the reason for this post. The documentation of behavior becomes part of a permanent file that follows the student through school, and when necessary, into court. Serious administrative decisions such as suspensions are sometimes made guided by the record. Court actions may include the system entering the child's life because behavior has become lawless or the parents are dragging the child through court in a custody battle. Either way, the child's permanent records from school will be used to address various issues.

Now all those little notes of documentation various teachers have written are not necessarily available, but classroom documentation has driven reports and analysis of the student by administrators, which will have resulted in various labels that "officially" describe the child. Be assured that by the time these labels are written into the permanent record, the child has been confronted with the words. Often. Do labels create a detrimental self-awareness? The record may influence a judge's decision-making, that's reasonable; but the emotional state of the child may have or may be changing. The documentation supports actions which may miss the mark of addressing the current needs of the child. This is especially true in court actions considering the slow nature of jurisprudence.

You may be saying to yourself, "If the child has earned the consequences of his or her actions, so be it." I understand and even accept that logic on the natural level. Sorting this out becomes the fodder of "conservative" versus "liberal" politics, but that can of worms is not the point of this post! I originally intended this as an introduction to the astounding power of God's plan of forgiveness 7 x 70 and love keeping no record of wrong.

But that will have to be another post now.
Ah well, until next time...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Judging Sin within a Body

No doubt, it will become a question in many a reader's mind what to do about 1 Corinthians chapter 5 in which Paul scolds the Corinthians for their lack of action against an immoral brother and then describes putting this one out of fellowship. He finishes the thought explaining that his instructions on not associating with "immoral" people did not mean the unenlightened masses of people who are without Jesus, but that he fully intended that those within the church be judged within the church.

How is Paul's action and subsequent explanation reconciled with other New Testament teaching on judgment?

In my view, this is not nearly as difficult as it appears on the surface. Like many other areas, however, in an attempt to practice this teaching within our modern context there are often muddying factors which leave a bad feeling in the soul over what is done "in the name of the Lord."

If the immoral brother had had the facts presented to him without condemnation, then he responded with conviction including confessed repentance that his behavior was abhorrent, would Paul have needed to address the issue? No, because the stain of the sin would have come under the blood covering of the Crucifixion. There is a hermeneutic harmony of Jesus' teaching about judging with right judgment in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus words about confronting a brother in Matthew 18 and Paul's instruction in 1 Corinthians. There exists an authorized judgment by a group of believers which is exercised against immorality defiantly held by someone professing Christ. (Other judgments, i.e. not taking a brother to court in 1 Cor. 6, are also the domain of the group, but that is not part of this post.)

The "muddying" factors that cloud this action include refusal to so judge, the process of the decision when it is made and whether or not the ones making the decision are actually moving in self-righteousness. Some groups of believers never address the continuing practice of immorality without repentance. The opposite pole is a group which addresses the issue with a cold heart of legalism, thus enduring a judgmental spirit that Jesus taught so clearly against. I was in a church once that turned someone "over to Satan." In fact, I observed two separate instances when several people were so condemned. I believe these people were mistreated, and God's intent to protect the body from a leavening effect of sin was missed.

The failing? The leadership made the call and brought it before the congregation as a finalized decision. Looking at Paul's instruction extrapolated further in chapter 6 and considering Jesus' teaching in Matthew 18 against the occurrence of a refusal of someone to reconcile with the truth, it is a judgment by the whole family which is authorized and not an action of a few hierarchical leaders.

I think more often, much more often, a confrontation with sin results in repentance. The strict action of shunning is rarely required. The rub is we do not have the patience to forgive 7 x 70 and continue to love keeping no record of wrong. That will be the next topic. :^)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good Judgment

I have pondered what to write next for days, but "judging with right judgment" is relatively easy and I need not be long-winded here.

Keep love for the other person the main focus. Draw from Jesus within and speak the truth in love. The truth being simply what you observe in the material world. Keep condemnation out of your heart.

Some relationships include judgment on a regular basis: parent/child; teacher/student; employer/employee; policeman/ get the idea. All of these relationships are fruitful when the judgment needed simply observes the facts and uses these appropriately toward an outcome which is natural in the context of the relationship. Replicating this believer to believer is a supernatural experience from which we cannot shrink away. What the world sees and judges us by, and thereby "judges" our God is our love one for another.

Simply put to judge (analyze, objectify, discern, critique, estimate, categorize) without condemnation is a hallmark of love.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Self-Protection: a Root of Judgment

In addressing judgment in the last post as an ill of the Body of Christ, I intended a generalization which I trust is understood only as a description of the negative power of a particular disposition of heart and the consequence of the same. I do not intend to be critical for the sake of throwing stones, however, critical analysis cannot frame a suggestion for more life without naming that which bleeds the spiritual life from Christian fellowship. Drawing an analogy from growing plants, plants grow best in fertile soil. Introduce poisonous chemicals into good soil, and the quality of the soil becomes a non-issue. The plant will show signs of distress; at some notch, the concentration becomes deadly.

An individual believer's responsibility within the Body is possibly summarized as loving service. Referencing the list of "one another's" from the post The Commission of Community as the basis of my summary, it is a given there are other directives for Body life, as well. Carrying judgment into the exchange between believers is the antithesis of loving one another.

I will not list the possible areas of judgment. That list is despicably familiar. I suggest an individual fix, however; and I hope you will recommend your insights for the same.

Judgment builds out of a need to protect ourselves. Self-preservation and being one's own advocate for safety within a group are powerful internal motivators of the natural man. When our conscience is not clear, i.e. we are bearing the burden of a sin or sins that we do not fully trust is covered by the Cross, we expect others to judge us. If this is a motivator for the heart, the language chosen in communication is intended to create a veil of protection or to deliberately insulate by emotional distance from others.

Often we feel a need to protect ourselves from others' sins, as well. Within relationships, sin affects those who share life with the sinner. The level of relationship is commensurate with the impact level of sin beyond the life of the actively sinning person. I think this is a major dynamic across the centuries in the development of Christian practice of church administration. Leaders are desired who are in control of a group, in part, to ensure the sins of brethren are contained within the parameters of the sinner's life. But whether or not that be true, I suggest we judge others as a means of protecting ourselves from bearing the collateral fallout of consequences a sinning brother or sister faces.

You can name other reasons judging occurs. The fix is to judge our own hearts and repent when our language or attitudes are intended to create a distance between ourselves and our brothers and sisters. Is someone irritating or unpleasant to be around? Maybe the problem is really not the other person, but the inability or refusal, perhaps, to love unconditionally. Remedy? Switch from viewing the person with the natural heart and rely on the fullness of the righteous heart of Jesus within by His Holy Spirit. What occurs is the removal of judgment, replaced by trust in Christ. Where trust abounds for Him, there is no need for the limited self-protection judgment provides. In such decisions, Christianity crosses from theological construct into a spiritual application of the supernatural reality we know as believers. Abundant life results.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Responsibility within the Body

Jesus walked from the Mount of Olives through brilliant morning sunshine toward the Temple. He was noticed and recognized. The flocking after Him occurred this Jerusalem morning, as well. Those of the city who already whispered in reverence, "He is the Messiah," those who hoped He was and the merely curious angled as close as possible in their steps on the chance of hearing or seeing some encounter between Jesus and anyone else. His words comforted or jarred but were never like the numbing discourse of the other rabbi's.

Entering the Temple courtyard, Jesus stopped and slowly turned gazing upon the forty or so people who had formed in His wake. His feet shifted easily, and the sound of His sandals scraping the grit on the flooring stones of the Temple could be heard over the quieting group. Many already standing in the Temple court gathered themselves in without speaking, swelling the crowd of followers. Though no one announced, "Be quiet and the Rabbi will teach," all knew He would soon loose His knowledge and insights upon the crowd. His hands opened toward the people, then palmed down toward the ground and everyone settled there. He sat down and began to teach them.

Within minutes, a swirling noisy group entered the courtyard and drowned out Jesus' words. Several men easily identified by their garb as scribes and Pharisees pushed a frightened young woman before them while other men just behind shouted epithets against her. This raucous cluster split the listeners apart scattering them like startled livestock. Jesus stood to face men who shoved the trembling woman to the ground at His feet. The sun felt glaring and hot in mere seconds as a tense hush stalked the courtyard in sharp contrast with the quiet harmony of only a few moments before.

John 8: 4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" 6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."

Reflecting on the above story, what do we make of it? Forgiveness covers adultery perhaps.

Take in the next verse. 12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

The adulterous woman was in darkness, no? This passage is often used to teach about the forgiveness of God toward sinfulness, and since we are all sinners we should not judge others. But there is more to infer. The Pharisees follow immediately with a charge that Jesus is testifying falsely about Himself being the Light. Jesus challenges them, as well, and the confrontation continues with the Pharisees claiming their lineage from Abraham. Their claim is intended to establish their right position before God. Jesus counters and places Himself before Abraham leading to the Pharisees wanting to stone Him.

The whole scene does include the extent of God's forgiveness toward sin. However, I think the woman being forgiven adultery is the prelude to the point of the passage. Within the story those who would condemn her are told to cast stones if they are without sin. The passage ends with these same men identified as denying God. Are they not the "darkness" to which Jesus refers in verse 12?

The Body of Christ suffers today intensely from condemnation and judgment. Within local bodies identified as being of the same mind by denominational doctrine, the willingness of people's hearts to look judgmentally upon one another with condemnation rather than unconditional love scores the light of fellowship with darkness.

I cannot change everyone, but I can decide differently for myself. How about you?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Believer's and Believers' Responsibility

Individuals related to one another and working together can be a very strong force. This is true in the natural as well as the spiritual. The Tower of Babel is the story of man's cooperation as a community to achieve an end which was of the spirit, or disposition of the enemy: Pride.

In my natural circumstances, I work with a community of professionals. Our collegiality and effectiveness has drawn the attention of a Harvard educational researcher recently and won recognition from the Positive Behavior Support program of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. What we have together has been established over the years as a disposition to professionalism. It is a "spirit" we hold as a group. I note this here only as a real example of group dynamics which are not labeled a "spiritual" endeavor by most people. I see it routinely as a spiritual experience but that is another story.

The Body of Christ is identified by participants as a spiritual reality on earth. This entity, called the Church, is a composite of individuals. Each member is joined to the whole by an individual response to the gospel message of peace and reconciliation with God the Father through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Once found in Christ and thus as a group member, individual believers have many responsibilities. These become or are sometimes mandated in the Bible as a mutually held responsibility of the Body, as well. Numerous places in the NT instruct believers to fulfill varied imperatives. Romans 12 is just one example. Effectiveness at these responsibilities is a consequence of only one issue, maturity in the spirit or disposition of Jesus. This maturity may be identified by individual and corporate fruit which is described by the Bible as fruit of the spirit. This fruiting is a function of abiding on the vine of Jesus. This "fruit" or evidence of maturity in Christ is that which reflects the spirit or disposition of Jesus.

Being at rest in the in-dwelling Christ and thus being fully clothed emotionally (being reactive and responsive to others based on a heart reality not an intellectual view) in the disposition of Jesus is maturity as a believer and produces the glorious earthly reality of Christian fellowship in spirit, which is church body life.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Corporate Body-life

The quality of our corporate Body-life experience grabs my thinking often. What is it? Why is it? How does it reflect the Father's glory? How does it not? What is the responsibility and effect of a pastoral heart? What is the responsibility and effect of the believers who are no longer strangers and aliens, but as fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Eph 2:19-22)

Is there a normative Christian Body-life?

We can study, identify and reason over church history and the fragmentation of the Body of Christ. Is this a work of God? Is it a function of falsehood within believers? I read voices that speak in both of these directions. Clearly experience points to a great expanse of diverse Christian expression within the denominational matrix. Yet, there is a common thread if we will choose to recognize such. We are growing together in a love which is nothing short of the reality of the Spirit of God. We can experience a mutual love for one another. Will we pursue love as normative or remain disenfranchised from one another over territorial beliefs?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

All those One Another's

The verses placed in yesterday's blog entry drive home a clear point when taken as a whole, I think. Accepting some restated one-another's, there are thirty-plus directives on how to feel about the person next to you who professes Christ, whether he or she is in the pew with you or in the next seat on the plane is not delineated.

I remember the first time anyone showed me a list like that. It made a lasting impression on me. I was a Christian school principal. I gave the whole list to my secretary and asked her to turn each one into a small banner with her computer. (She was whiz with stuff like that!) I then placed these banners around the school in the wall space above doors and lockers. Whenever and wherever you looked up were these words on how to treat the people around you. Don't know if it mattered to the kids, but it helped me, our staff and the parents.

What if these truly defined our relationships within the Body? I am a romantic come to Christ. My faith fills the piece of my heart (Remember me talking about the imagination?) that wants life to be beautiful. A social fabric pieced together on these simple words would strengthen everyone. So, why not? The Holy Spirit must be at work to see such come to pass. Why doesn't church always feel like these words?

I know what I think. What do you think?

Oh, and calling it the fruit of the fall, though essentially correct, is too easy. Be specific.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Commission of Community

The sharing of the Love of Jesus through fellowship in the spirit is one of the most sublime experiences on earth. There are individual experiences that equal or surpass what one may find in this community...the day of revelation that Jesus Christ is Messiah, the day of marriage, the birth of children come to my mind; but while walking on earth as a Christian and being assaulted every day with the pain and upheaval of human society, those moments spent with others in Christian fellowship fill with a breeze from heaven itself. If this cannot be said or agreed upon, whatever the reason, the exploration of that lack is a separate discussion. This post touches on the wonder of God's provision through the corporate experience.

Drawing from reader's comments about the topic of Christian community as the Body of Christ:

Life shared within the Body is
  • the fulfillment of the Crucifixion and Resurrection
  • the venue for spiritual growth
  • participants are contributors to the life it contains
  • the vessel of Jesus' omnipresence with a global and local reach
  • the place in which the believer may partake of the character of the Lord
  • the expression of God's authority
Each of these thoughts from my brothers is significant. I would agree with each completely. I offer additionally for your consideration this list of New Testament instruction and beauty about life in the Body.

Mr 9:50 - ...Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.
Ro 12:5 - we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Ro 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

Ro 12:16 - Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly
Ro 13:8 - Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Ro 14:13 - Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.

Ro 14:19 - So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Ro 15:5 - Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

Ro 15:7 - Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

Ro 15:14 - And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.

Ro 16:16 - Greet one another with a holy kiss.

1Co 12:25 - so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another

Ga 5:13 - For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Ga 6:2 - Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Eph 4:2 - with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

Eph 4:25 - Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Eph 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Eph 5:19 - speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

Eph 5:21 - and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Php 2:3 - Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Col 3:9 - Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

Col 3:13 - bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Col 3:16 - Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1Th 3:12 -and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;
1Th 4:18 - Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1Th 5:11 -Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

1Th 5:15 -See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

Heb 3:13 -But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Heb 10:24 -and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

Heb 10:25 -not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Jas 4:11 -Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

Jas 5:9 -Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

Jas 5:16 -Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

1Pe 1:22 -Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

1Pe 4:8 -Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

1Pe 4:9 -Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

1Pe 4:10 -As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1Pe 5:5 -You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

1Jo 1:7 -but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1Jo 3:11 -For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;

1Jo 3:23 -This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

1Jo 4:7 -Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

1Jo 4:11 -Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another

1Jo 4:12 -No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

2Jo 1:5 -Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.