When we see the phrase “one another” in God’s Holy Word, it is making references to how we should interact with our fellow man and more specifically to other Christians, our brothers and sisters in Christ. First and foremost, because we have submitted ourselves to God in obedience through baptism, Romans 6:17, it is of the utmost importance to maintain a vertical relationship with our God in heaven by continuing to live for Him and abiding in His word, John 8:31-32. We must never forget that God is always there for us as our Comforter, and it is humankind who forgets because of tribulations, distractions, and outside interferences that cause us to become discouraged and to forget that God is an unending source of strength who is always there for us. 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the Comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” In Isaiah 41:10 God reassures us of His Omnipresence in our lives, “Fear thou not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” So then, it is very vital to our spiritual well being that we uphold our vertical connection with God through obedience and by “being steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, 1st Corinthians 15:58.
Additionally, we as members of the Body of Christ must initiate and maintain those horizontal relationships among brethren in order for the Body to stay strong, healthy, and grow. Christians in a local congregation such as ours here at the Southeast Body should be concerned about “one another” in all aspects, the spiritual as well the physical. We will highlight some of the ways how Christians should be very active in showing their concern for “one another.” Conversely, some dangers that are necessary to mention regarding member relationships in the body that we want to stamp out are divisions, isolation, and avoidance. When we have members of the church who are immature in the faith and unconcerned about caring for “one another” who prefer to separate themselves from other members of the congregation along the premise of social, political party, economic, or even racial lines, this is unacceptable by God and is very unhealthy for the local congregation and the Body of Christ. This “unchristian-like” behavior inhibits unity and cohesiveness and is like a cancer to the church that will not be tolerated by God nor should it be tolerated by any member of the Lord’s church! Romans 16:17-18, “Now I urge you brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” No one should elevate or esteem anyone or themselves as better, superior, or higher than any other member of the Body of Christ for we are all the same and each member plays an equally important role in the functioning and growth of the body. This lack of concern and respect for “one another” in the Body that often occurs is nothing new to God for it happened in the early stages of the church. Do you recall the problem that arose in the Corinthian church because of the possession and use of the 9 spiritual gifts and how some Christians in the Corinthian congregation thought that the gift of the Spirit they had been given (i.e., speaking in tongues) was superior than the other gifts which made them better than the others especially those who were not given one of the gifts of the Spirit? In 1st Corinthians 12:14-22, 24-26, God through the Apostle Paul addresses this problem and explains how important each member is in the Lord’s Church just as in our physical bodies each part is equal and plays a significant role. It says, “For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body”…dropping down to verse 24-26, “But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it…”
Earlier in this article, I made reference to 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4, (see above) it talks about that vertical and horizontal relationship we should have with Jehovah God and in turn, “one another.” Please note that it says “and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble.” This is what I mean by serving God through “one another” for we must be about actively showing our love for “one another’ by comforting and caring for “one another” as God is already doing for us! Consequently, there are many Scriptures in God’s Holy Writ that explains the many ways that members of the Body of Christ should be expressing concern for their brothers and sisters in Christ and their fellow man and we will highlight some of them. We as Christians should be concerned and looking out for “one another’s spiritual well-being, as Galatians 6:1-2 says “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” This scripture, my friends, is specifically talking about us (Christians) helping each other to overcome sin. Another way that we can help “one another” is by being around one another as often as possible (not just on Sunday). Now we gather on the first day of the week (Sunday) because God commands us, but also, for edification and encouragement, see Hebrews 10:24-25. Christians should be continually praying for “one another” because righteous prayer is powerful, James 5:16. In Galatians 5:13, the Bible says “through love serve one another.” Christians should “prefer one another” because of the strength we can draw from worship, study, fellowship and mutual support. The Apostle Paul sums it up in Romans 12:10-11 (read). Are you serving “one another?”