MEN’S RETREAT 2017
The “One Another” Verses in the New Testament
- One sex (male or female) is not right while the other one is wrong. They are just different. But women gather and connect naturally and easily. Men are more individualistic and are generally not great communicators. We need to work at being a connector with those around us.
—“According to statistics, the average man over 35 years old does NOT have one close friend.” (See Why Are Men Leaving the Church?, online article by Steve Sonderman for AG Men.)
—About 95% of men say they don’t have male friends. Less than 1/3 of men in church say they have a friend. (See Why Men Matter—Both Now and Forever, Online article.)
- The question arises, “Why is this?” One reason is that society tends to condition men to be tough and hard. But we need to redefine manhood as a combination of strength and vulnerability. Showing vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.
FROM BELIEVING TO BELONGING
- The word church is found in only two passages in the gospels (Matthew 16:18; 18:15-18).
Matthew 16:18 “…I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
- This refers to the UNIVERSAL church. Local churches may come and go but the universal church will never be stopped.
Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more… . And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church.”
- This refers to the LOCAL church. You obviously can’t tell it to everyone in the body of Christ at large. This refers to a local assembly.
—The universal church is invisible. It is a spiritual thing. You can’t see or feel it. It is made up of believers all over the earth.
—The local church is visible. It is a tangible thing. You can join with, be part of and enjoy it.
- When we are born again, we are automatically a member of the universal church. But we should take the next step and become a part of a local church. Rick Warren said, “You became part of the human family by your first birth, but you become a member of God’s family by your second birth” (Purpose Driven Life, pg. 118).
- “You are called to BELONG, not just BELIEVE. …While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private” (pg. 130).
- “The church is indestructible and will exist for eternity. It will outlive this universe, and so will your role in it. The person who says, ‘I don’t need the church,’ is either arrogant or ignorant. …The New Testament assumes membership in a local congregation” (pg. 132).
- Though pastors are imperfect and not without fault, every Christian needs a shepherd. There is no such thing as a perfect church, but there is a perfect church for you.
- “When it comes to fellowship, size matters: Smaller is better. You can worship with a crowd, but you can’t fellowship with one” (pg. 138).
- You can only have fellowship in a smaller gathering. This is why being involved in a small group is so important to becoming connected with other believers.
- Rick Warren also said, “Authenticity is the exact opposite of what you find in some churches. Instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, there is pretending, …and superficial politeness but shallow conversation. People wear masks, keep their guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in their lives. …It is only as we become open about our lives that we experience real fellowship” (pg. 139-140).
TWO LEVELS OF FRIENDS
Proverbs 18:24 (MEV) “A man who has friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
- The word friend in its various forms is found three times in this verse.
Vs. 18a “friends” – (SC 7453: rea) an associate; a neighbor
Vs. 18b “friendly” – (SC 7489: raa)
Vs. 18c “friend” – (SC 157: ahab) a friend; someone with whom we share real affection
- There are two main levels of friendship spoken of in the book of Proverbs.
Vs. 18a “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…”
- The first part of this verse talks about associates or neighbors.
Vs. 18b “…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
- The second part of this verse uses a different Hebrew word for friend and speaks of a close, intimate friend. (See The Beginning of Wisdom, pg. 178, Bob Yandian.)
Proverbs 17:17 (MEV) “A friend loves at all times [NLT: ‘is always loyal’], and a brother is born for adversity.”
- Learn to keep confidences. The word “secretary” speaks of one who is entrusted with secrets.
- Some relationships are high maintenance and others are low maintenance. Some people are often offended, highly reactive and always upset. This is a high maintenance relationship.
- Healthy relationships are low maintenance.
- We have friends we may only see once every six months or a year. Sometimes it is even longer. But we pick up right where we left off because are expectations are not too high.
Example: I have taken several personality tests over the years, and I have discovered that I am a true introvert. I get my energy from being by myself and recharging my battery by staying at home. My wife gets her energy from being with others—going out and having fun. I have to force myself to reach out and get together with others. It does NOT come naturally for me.
THE “ONE ANOTHER” VERSES
- There are dozens of Scriptures in the New Testament that contain the phrase “one another” in them. It is almost impossible to walk out these commands if we only come in contact with our fellow Christians for a brief time on Sunday mornings. Many come late, leave early and never actually connect with other believers.
- There are over forty-five different “one another” passages in the New Testament. We will be quickly highlighting twenty-five passages below.
- We should not be an isolated or unconnected follower of Christ.
- The verses we see below are only a partial list:
Mark 9:50 “…have peace with one another.”
John 15:17 “These things I command you, that you love one another.” (“Love one another” is found in about ten New Testament references.)
Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, …giving preference to one another.”
Romans 12:16 “Be of the same mind toward one another.”
Romans 15:7 “Therefore receive one another…”
Romans16:16 “Greet one another…”
1 Corinthians 12:25 “…care for one another.”
Galatians 5:13 “…through love serve one another.”
Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another…”
Ephesians 5:21 “submitting to one another…”
Colossians 3:9 “Do not lie to one another…”
Colossians 3:13 “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another…”
Vs. 16 “…teaching and admonishing one another…”
1 Thessalonians 4:18 “Therefore comfort one another…”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “…edify one another…”
Hebrews 3:13 “…exhort one another daily…”
James 4:11 “Do not speak evil of one another…”
James 5:9 “Do not grumble against one another…”
Vs. 16 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another…”
1 Peter 3:8 “…having compassion for one another…”
1 Peter 4:9 “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”
Vs. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another…”
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
- Paul clearly shows us in the New Testament that—as members of the body of Christ—we are not independent. We need one another and the gifts that other members of the body have.
—If you had every gift and every office you would need no one else.
—If you had every gift and office you would be Jesus.
- There are three stages of growth in our lives:
- Dependence: At this stage, we need others to take care of us. But as we become adults, we grow out of this stage.
- Independence: Here we are able to take care of ourselves. This is good but there should be one more stage of growth.
- Interdependence: As we mature and grow up, though we can take care of ourselves we still recognize that we are strongest when we work together.
- The spirit of love focuses on our similarities. The spirit of division focuses on our differences.
- A famous quote along these lines says, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” (Some say this was a quote by John Wesley, others say it originated with Augustine and still others say it was spoken by a 17th century German theologian.)
- In essentials, we must be unswerving.
Example: We must not compromise the Lordship of Jesus, His virgin birth, His bodily resurrection, the authority and inspiration of Scripture, etc.
- But in non-essentials, we should be sensitive and tolerant.
- I won’t allow a minor doctrinal disagreement to hinder my fellowship with a brother or a sister in Christ.
- I know that we need to be careful of error and false doctrine. The books of 2 Peter and Jude, amongst others, address this. But just because someone teaches something different than you do, does not automatically make them a false teacher or a false prophet.
- We can actually feel justified in our criticism, believing that we are right and that they must be wrong. But remember that the spirit of love never divides.
- I won’t curse what God is blessing! I want to rightly divide the Scriptures but I don’t want to walk in a critical spirit.
- We all have our favorites and there is nothing wrong with that but we must receive from and embrace the entire body of Christ.
- No one person or camp will have the full counsel of God. But collectively, we—the body of Christ—have the mind of Christ. To do this we need to embrace the whole body of Christ.
THE POWER/PRINCIPLE OF ONE
- We must shift from an audience to an army mentality.
—An audience comes to church each week to watch the show (church service). When the show is over they go home to live their lives.
—An army gets connected, get involved and works as a team to reach a common goal.
- To walk in healthy, long term relationships, we must understand the principle of one.
- The Trinity is three Persons in one essence. “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God,
the Lord is ONE” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
- When we are saved, we become one spirit with the Lord. “He who is joined to
the Lord is ONE spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17).
- When we are married, we become one flesh with our mate. “The two shall become
ONE flesh” (Ephesians 5:31).
- The church is to walk in one accord and one mind. “…being like-minded, having the same love, being of ONE accord, of ONE mind” (Philippians 2:2).
- The Bible is a history of the devil attacking the principle of one.
Genesis 11:6 (NIV) “The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.’”
- We can see that there is power in unity—even when the unity goes against the plan of God. This wasn’t even the unity of the Spirit.
- There is a difference between unity and uniformity.
- unity – harmony, agreement
- uniformity – conforming to one pattern
- Unity isn’t uniformity. It is coming together with one purpose and one mind.
- One minister said, “Broken relationships are never of God. Satan’s math…is always ‘subtraction’ and ‘division.’ God’s math is always ‘addition’ and ‘multiplication.’”
- Many believers never get past a spiritual wound. Christians can go to church for years but not really grow or change because they are not healed emotionally.
- Resolution seldom comes by sorting out who was right and who was wrong. It is only when the love of God touches wounded hearts that broken relationships can be healed.
Example: Read about the five lessons we can learn from Be as Wise as a Goose. MFM