LESSON 9 30/10/2016
CHRISTIAN RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE CHURCH
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 61, 80
Devotional Reading: Ps. 133:1-3
Topic For Adults: Be A Change Agent
Topic For Youths: Be Appreciative
Topic For Intermediates: Be A Good Follower Of Christ
Scripture Lesson: Rom. 8:25-27; Heb. 10:25; Eph. 4:13; Jn. 13:34-35
Memory Verse: A new commandment I give to you that you love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (Jn. 13:34a-35) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Love others Without Hypocrisy
The key ingredient in interpersonal relationships is love – God’s love (agape). This kind of love is a self-sacrificial love a love that cares for the well-being of others. However, only few believers, especially “Old-times”, are expressing this kind of love in the Church. Majority of believers today are expressing hypocritical love, love for what I can gain from you, rub my back, I rub your back kind of love. What kind of love do you have for the brethren? Check your heart and answer sincerely. God expects us to love unconditionally, sacrificially, be ready to share out of the resources not enough for our own needs, in honour preferring others, given to hospitality, etc.
Point of Emphasis: Let brotherly love continues
Prayer Point: Lord, help me to love other believers with God’s kind of love.
Those that have been called out from the world, from sin and from the Devil unto Christ are called Christians. Understanding that they came from different walks of life and different socio-cultural and economic backgrounds necessitates the need to examine the kind of relationships that should exist among Christians, whether in the same denomination or in the general body of Christ.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
PART 1: SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIPS (ROM. 8:25-27; HEB. 10:25; EPH. 4:13)
There are lots of issues under the spiritual relationships that must exist among Christians, but few will be discussed. The first thing that Christians must understand is their position in God. After the fall, all men became God’s enemies and were short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). God made a way of reconciliation through Jesus that whosoever (irrespective of race, language, social and educational status) believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (Jn. 3:16). As many, therefore, that accept the gospel and believe in Jesus and make Him their personal Lord and Saviour are then giventhe power to become sons and daughters of God (Jn. 1:12). By virtue of taking these steps, those involved have become God’s children through adoption and invariably they have become joint-heirs with Jesus (Rom. 8:25-27). At this stage, all Christians are members of God’s family on earth. They must see themselves as brothers and sisters of the same Father. This relationship is supposed to be stronger than the relationship that should exist among biological siblings because the precious blood of Jesus with which believers have been redeemed is better then the biological blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19)
The second level of spiritual relationship is in the area of regular and consistent fellowship (Heb. 10:25). This is necessary for members of God’s family to interact, share the word of God together which is able to build them to spiritual maturity; teaching and admonishing in paslms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord (Co. 4:16). Through this fellowship, believers will get to know each other better and will comfort one another in whatever challenges anyone is passing through (2 Cor. 1:4)
As we interact and teach ourselves the word of God, the expectation of God is that we grow to maturity and come to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). We have seen the light of Christ and are expected to bring others to Christ through preaching the word of God, teaching the word of God and we ourselves living the word of God.
PART 2: LOVE ONE ANOTHER (JN. 13:34-35)
In the biological family, naturally members love one another. Through this love, they defend one another, provide for the need of one another and do things in common. Even if there is dispute among them, irrespective of the nature of the dispute, they find a way of settling it amicably and restored the relationship. In Christendom, Jesus expects genuine and unconditional love that is deeper than that of the biological family among Christians.
When He was rounding off His ministry, He called His disciples together and told them that He was giving them a new commandment and which centered on agape love for one another. He told them plainly that love for one another would be their identity card as Christian among the unbelievers. It is a pity that many Christians have lost their identity card (love) and are now filled with hatred, suspicion, backbiting about other Christians. These must stop among Christians. We must go back to old time religion, where believers live together in unity, love and harmony, caring for one another. Let us overlook our differences and demonstrate genuine love with one another.
PART 3: SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS (GAL. 6:2, 10; ROM. 12:15; 1 COR. 12:26; MK. 10:19)
As human beings, Christian have emotions. We are not angels, neither are we immuned against the societal vices and challenges. This is the reason why we must interact with one another. We must visit one another. Through visitation, we will be able to know what a believer is passing through, pray with him or her, share God’s word with him or her to encourage him or her and do whatever is in our capacity to assist the person. The Bible says we should bear one another’s burden (Gal. 6:2)
As Christians, we must identify with other Christians in their moments of joys and sorrows. We should rejoice with those that are rejoicing and weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). We must understand that we are members of the same body and if one part of the body is honoured, all the body share in the honour and if one part is in pain, all other parts of the body suffer the pain (1 Cor. 12:26). When a fellow Christian is having ceremony, others must rally round him or her and ensure success of the ceremony. There must not be partiality or favouritism along ethnic or tribal line in the category of those who will attend.
In addition, Christians must not defraud one another (Mk. 10:19; 1 Cor. 6:8; 1 Thess. 4:6). It is an aberation for a fellow Christian to send you on an errand and you are looking for how you will cheat him or her by inflating the price. Also, we must be people of integrity by paying back whatever we borrow from one another. Do not say he is my brother, he cannot drag me to court if I do not pay him back. This is a wrong mentality. If you have not given it to him, please find a way of returning what you borrow.
God is expecting godly and healthy relationship among Christians. If we are able to live up to God’s expectation, we will discover that with just a little preaching, sinners; will be ready to give their lives to Christ and come to the church because they know that they will be showered with love and be secured among the brethren.
- When and how did man become God’s enemy?
- How did Christian become joint-heirs with Jesus?
- Mention some elements of Christians’ spiritual relationship.
- Why should Christian love one another?
- Enumerate specific actions Christian must do for themselves under social relationship.