The mission of First Baptist Church is to develop missionary disciples who worship God, grow spiritually, and share the Gospel and their spiritual gifts.
WORSHIP – Our lives are made to glorify God and recognize Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We love God by glorifying him through obedience and showing others what Jesus is like in our words and actions. (Luke 10:27)
GROW – Developing Disciples, Spiritual Growth & Maturity, Fellowship. We love each other as we mature to become more like Jesus and we help disciple each other to grow and mature spiritually. We do this through intentional fellowship and living life involved in each other’s lives. (1 Thessalonians 4:3 and Ephesians 4:13)
SHARE – Called to share the Good News of the Gospel and God’s love with our community & the world and to share our spiritual gifts and abilities. We love our local community and communities around the world by serving them and sharing the Gospel with them. God places believers together in local churches to be part of a living body each doing one or more parts. (Matthew 28:19-20 and Ephesians 4:15-16)
Series: Mission 2023
Our three-week series will be looking more closely at how we put this into actions of love – again individually and together as a church family. Worship and Love God. Grow and Love each other. Share and Love our community.
Today we will look at the second command: Grow or Love Each Other.
The apostle Paul describes the Christian life in human terms. When we are first born again, we are like spiritual babies who need easy to digest milk – or a basic understanding of God and His Word. We often struggle with the same sins and make the same mistakes. But, as we grow and mature spiritually, we can start handling spiritual bread and meat – or the deeper things of God. We still struggle with temptation and sin, but there should be clear growth. We should also see fruit or evidence of changes in our hearts, our thoughts and our actions.
Individually, we are called to sanctification. Our end goal is to become holy or set apart for God.
READ 1 Peter 1:13-16
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to become more like Jesus and less like the world. This is an on-going process – it doesn’t happen immediately when we trust Him as Savior. It’s an active process as Romans 12 and Colossians 3 tell us.
READ Romans 12:1-2
You choose to be transformed. It’s a continuing or ongoing process that requires renewing your mind through God’s Word. As you flood your thoughts and your mind with God’s Word and recognize it as the ultimate truth, thoughts of yourself and incorrect philosophies of the world begin to fade.
READ Colossians 3:5, 10
You actively choose to put off sinful thoughts and actions and to put on a new identity in Jesus. Sin doesn’t just happen, you choose to put yourself and your desires above God and above others. A believer is actively choosing love over selfishness.
And it’s a spiritual process as Colossians 1 tells us.
READ Colossians 1:9-10
We don’t do this out of sheer willpower but by the Word of God through the Holy Spirit at work in us. Each believer is to grow into spiritually maturity and to grow to live fully pleasing to God.
One third of the “one-anothers” directly command Christians to love one another.
- Love one another (Jn 13:34, 15:12, 17; Ro 13:8; 1 Th 3:12, 4:9; 1 Pe 1:22; 1 Jn 3:11, 4:7, 11; 2 Jn 5)
- Through love, serve one another (Ga 5:13)
- Tolerate one another in love (Ep 4:2)
- Greet one another with a kiss of love (1 Pe 5:14)
- Be devoted to one another in love (Ro 12:10)
While this next list of one-another verses don’t have the word “love” specifically in them, I think you will agree they could also be in the category of loving each other.
- Do not judge one another, and don’t put a stumbling block in a brother’s way (Ro 14:13)
- Greet one another with a kiss (Ro 16:16; 1 Co 16:20; 2 Co 13:12)
- Husbands and wives: don’t deprive one another of physical intimacy (1 Co 7:5)
- Bear one another’s burdens (Ga 6:2)
- Speak truth to one another (Ep 4:25)
- Don’t lie to one another (Co 3:9)
- Comfort one another concerning the resurrection (1 Th 4:18)
- Encourage and build up one another (1 Th 5:11)
- Stimulate one another to love and good deeds (He 10:24)
- Pray for one another (Jas 5:16)
- Be hospitable to one another (1 Pe 4:9)
One third of the one-another instructions encourage the unity of the church.
- Be at peace with one another (Mk 9:50)
- Don’t grumble among one another (Jn 6:43)
- Be of the same mind with one another (Ro 12:16, 15:5)
- Accept one another (Ro 15:7)
- Wait for one another before beginning the Eucharist (1 Co 11:33)
- Don’t bite, devour, and consume one another—seriously, guys, don’t eat each other (Ga 5:15)
- Don’t boastfully challenge or envy one another (Ga 5:26).
- Gently, patiently tolerate one another (Ep 4:2)
- Be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving to one another (Ep 4:32)
- Bear with and forgive one another (Co 3:13)
- Seek good for one another, and don’t repay evil for evil (1 Th 5:15)
- Don’t complain against one another (Jas 4:11, 5:9)
- Confess sins to one another (Jas 5:16)
About 15% stress an attitude of humility and respect among believers which is also an act of love.
- Give preference to one another in honor (Ro 12:10)
- Regard one another as more important than yourselves (Php 2:3)
- Serve one another (Ga 5:13)
- Wash one another’s feet (Jn 13:14)
- Don’t be haughty: be of the same mind (Ro 12:16)
- Be subject to one another (Ep 5:21)
- Clothe yourselves in humility toward one another (1 Pe 5:5)