I am firmly convinced that Satan loves division. One of his main weapons from the very beginning is to create division. He used lies to divide Adam and Eve from God and from the garden. He used jealousy to divide Cain and Abel and then Cain killed Abel. He uses things of this world and desires of the flesh to divide marriages. When Satan can divide our relationships, he can get our focus off God and unto what keeps you and I at odds.
Satan does this to our world. He divides people within nations. He leads us to focus on our differences and problems using that focus to divide us by gender, race, and geographical location. He uses similar methods to divide churches. God, on the other hand, emphasizes what makes our relationships with each other. God helps us to be united instead of untied.
God Helps Us to be UNITED Instead of UNTIED!
We see this in what God says we as Christians are to do FOR one another.
- Edify One Another – Rom 14:19, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. “ Mutual upbuilding is edification. Pick each other up, encourage your fellow man, praise the good in others.
- Admonish One Another – Rom 15:14, “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” Instructing each other in what is right; to gently restore or to direct each other is admonishment. I think of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.”
- Teach One Another – Col 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” One of the ways we teach each other in worship is by our singing. Other examples in Scripture demonstrate the importance of private instruction. I am thinking of Aquila and Priscilla pulling Apollos aside (Acts 18:25-26).
- Serve One Another – Gal 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” When we minister to or serve each other, we take our self out of the equation and focus on the other’s need(s). Volunteering to serve is a great reflection of what Christ did for us.
- Bear One Another’s Burdens – Gal 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” This is service taken to the next level. This is relieving physical, emotional, and as much is within our power – spiritual burdens. This is listening for the need and working to help. This is investing time and emotion into the relationship.
- Provoke One Another – Heb 10:24, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” Not provoke to anger or frustration but to love and good works. This is one goal of fellowship and gathering for worship. Our togetherness alone can stoke the fires, stir up the embers, that enflame our passion for Christ and godly living.
- Forgive One Another – Eph 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Forgiveness is not always easy. However, it is at the very least the kind thing to do. When we forgive, we are putting the Golden Rule into practice as we forgive others, the way we desire to be forgiven by them – and by God.
- Pray for One Another – Jam 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” We can pray for physical needs. We pray for spiritual needs – for increased faith. We can pray for God’s forgiveness and strength to avoid sin. But you cannot pray for me if we do not have a relationship where we can discuss our struggles (confess our sins to one another).
- Love One Another – John 15:!2, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Matt 22:39, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Despite the fact that I am not always loveable, God loves me; while I was still his enemy, weak, and sinful (Rom 5:6-8). If we love, we will want what is truly best for each other and we will do our best to keep the relationship healthy.
In this list of nine there are eleven “one another” statements that God know will keep us UNITED and not UNTIED, if we will just practice what God teaches.