How many ways can we love one another? Guest writer and pastor Paul Tautges counts 37 ways. Consider using this list to discover how you can love the people in your church. His article appeared first here on his website and is used with permission.
A local church is not built by one man, or even a few men, but by every believer being actively involved in ministry through evangelizing the lost people in their lives and serving their fellow Christians. A quick glance at the practice of the New Testament church reveals that they thought very little about programs and very much about relationships.
Consider the disciple-making that would naturally take place in the life of a local church if every believer would practice the loving, one-another ministry that the early churches first read about in the instructions they received from the apostles:
- Be devoted to one another (Rom. 12:10).
- Give preference to one another (Rom. 12:10).
- Be of the same mind toward one another (Rom. 12:16).
- Accept one another by withholding judgment (Rom. 14:1).
- Accept one another by showing deference (Rom. 14:1–5; 15:7).
- Esteem [highly regard] one another in love (Rom. 14:5; Phil. 2:3).
- Build up one another (Rom. 14:19; 1 Thes. 5:11).
- Counsel one another (Rom. 15:14).
- Serve one another by showing deference in matters of liberty (Gal. 5:13).
- Bear one another’s sin burdens (Gal. 6:2).
- Be gentle with one another (Eph. 4:2).
- Be kind to one another so as to preserve unity (Eph. 4:32).
- Speak truth to one another (Eph. 4:25; Col 3:9).
- Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21).
- Show compassion to one another (Col. 3:12).
- Bear with the inherent sinfulness of one another (Col. 3:13).
- Forgive one another (Col. 3:13).
- Use Spirit-filled, Word-saturated music to teach and admonish one another (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19).
- Comfort one another with the hope of Christ’s return (1 Thes. 4:18).
- Encourage one another (1 Thes. 5:11).
- Live in peace with one another (1 Thes. 5:13).
- Seek good for one another (1 Thes. 5:15).
- Encourage one another to forsake unbelief and hardness of heart (Heb. 3:13).
- Stimulate one another to spiritual growth (Heb. 10:24).
- Encourage one another by faithful participation in your local church (Heb. 10:25).
- Confess sins to one another (James 5:16).
- Pray for one another’s spiritual and physical healing (James 5:16).
- Be long-suffering and patient toward one another (1 Peter 4:8; Eph. 4:2).
- Be hospitable to one another without complaint (1 Peter 4:9).
- Serve one another (1 Peter 4:10; Gal. 5:13).
- Act in humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5).
- Show holy affection to one another (1 Peter 5:14).
- Participate in the holy walk with one another (1 John 1:7).
- Refuse to become resentful toward one another (1 John 3:11–12).
- Give sacrificially to meet one another’s needs (1 John 3:16–17).
- Fight fear together by growing in love (1 John 4:18).
- Walk in truth together (1 John 3:18; 2 John 1:5).
The Christian life is all about relationships. It’s God’s design for our personal growth, which then translates into church growth—the real kind. Loving one another is a powerful evangelistic tool, as Jesus says:
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35).
Recommended Resource: Counseling One Another: A Theology of Inter-Personal Discipleship