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Text Box: True Love is an Equalizer


Text Box:  
(John 13:34-35 NIV)  "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
(Romans 12:16 NIV)  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
(Romans 15:7 NIV)  Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
(Galatians 5:13 NIV)  You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.
(Ephesians 4:2 NIV)  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
(Ephesians 4:32 NIV)  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
(Ephesians 5:21 NIV)  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
(Colossians 3:13 NIV)  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Text Box: The Spiritual Law of Love is a relational law.  How we treat one another and relate to one another as children of God is the fulfillment of God’s Law.  God is not pleased with us having a relationship with the law, nor with things in the world, nor with our own pleasures and desires—He wishes us to have deep and meaningful relationships with each other, Him being at the very center of those relationships.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV)  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
(Hebrews 3:13 NIV)  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
(1 Peter 1:22-23 NIV)  Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
All these “one another” passages throughout the New Testament, particularly the ones you will find beginning from Romans 12:16 onward, reflect the relational dynamics that prove Kingdom citizenship.
This week we will study these “one another” passages, which manifest God’s perfect love for His children in the way we are encouraged to put them into practice.  Taking these practical commandments to heart allows us to look deeper into the heart of God and deepen our bond with each other.  These “love practicals” emphasize our bond in the Spirit, our connectedness as members of the Body of Christ and our equality as children of God.
(James 2:8-9 NIV)  If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
Remember, love never fails! – 1 Corinthians 13:8a

In His Footsteps © 1998                                                   



Text Box: True Love is an Equalizer





Do you know what the “Golden Rule” is?  It is the same as the Royal Law.  Read James 2:8; Romans 13:9, 10; Luke 10:25-28.  If love is the fulfillment (accomplishment) of the Law, how do you know when you are not loving someone?  How do you know when you are loving them?  Does this kind of love have to do with how you feel about what you’re doing?   Does it have to do with how you feel towards the person who’s receiving your love?  Like we studied last week, loving those who love you back is not what the second mile  (Mathew 5:41) is all about.  Read Galatians 5:13-16.  Are you justified in flaunting your freedom and doing what your flesh craves?  What should you do with your flesh?  If you are being told what to do with your flesh, doesn’t that mean that you are generally inclined to give in to the flesh and be self-serving?  What is the result of giving into the flesh as opposed to listening to encouragement and reminders to serve one another in love (verse 15)?  What fruit will be the evidence of the fact that you walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25)?



Serving one another comes at a cost—a cost Jesus made us all aware of in Luke 9:22-26.  What did Jesus say had to happen to Him?  If you are going to follow Jesus, what must you welcome in your life?  Should you shy away from pain, sorrow or persecution?  Should you shy away from carrying a cross?  Does Jesus call you to live it up in the world or to forsake your own life to take up that cross?  If you are unwilling to give up your own life, will you find the life that Jesus has hidden for you (Colossians 3:3-5)?  Are you unwilling to forfeit your very self because you are too stubborn and selfish?  Are you that stupid? Let’s learn from the Samaritan what being merciful and loving your neighbor is all about by reading Luke 10:30-37.  Why do you think the priest and the Levite passed the victim by?  What could their justifications have been?  Are you in the habit of justifying yourself that way?  How was the Samaritan different?  Could he have justified himself the same way the Levite and the priest did?  Perhaps the Samaritan was a man aware of his need to be gracious.  Wouldn’t you want to grow in that kind of awareness?



The path to Freedom and Love in Christ is in terminating your instinct of self-preservation.  Read Psalm 73:6-11; Galatians 5:26-6:10.  Notice the similarity of verse 9 of the 73rd Psalm, to Mark 7:6.  What does verse 11 say about their attitudes?   If you tend to be conceited, can you help someone caught up in a sin?  Can you really fulfill the Law of Christ if you are not able to carry each other’s burdens?  Is verse 4 actually saying that you should be proud of yourself?  What should you take pride in, your sinful nature, or how you are handling the situations in a manner according to Jesus’ Law of Love?  Notice that the context of verses 2 through 5 show that we cannot help each other unless each one of us is able to take responsibility for his/her own actions.  It happens that at times, we all need help to continue our walk.  We stumble and fall, whether physically or spiritually.  We need to be helped to stand, and when we are standing, then we can help others to stand and walk as well.  If we are being leeches on each other, can you sincerely expect God to bless you with fulfillment?  Even though you may get weary, continue to persevere!  Take pride in persevering even when you are hurt, tired and insulted.  That’s loving the person.  Use every opportunity to do good, especially if the person is your brothers or sister  in Christ.  When you live for others, you live yourself.



The Path to Freedom and Love in Christ is in acknowledging that you are a part of a living, growing organism, and not an island unto yourself; that you need the other parts of the Body as they need you. Read Romans 12:16; 15:7.  Should there be any disharmony among believers?  What are you going to do if you develop an attitude with another believer?  What’s your plan?  Are you going to be proud or humble?  Will you accept your brothers and sisters as Christ has accepted them into the Body, or are you only going to associate with those you can relate to?  Is the church a place of socialization for you, or are you going to make it a place to praise God?  Search in your concordance for all the passages that contain the phrase “one another” in the NIV.  If you don’t have a concordance I will include a list of these passages: Romans 12:10; 13:8; 14:13; 15:14; 16:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2, 32; 5:19-21; Colossians 3:13-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24, 25; James 4:11, 12.  We will check some more out tomorrow, Lord willing!



The path to Freedom and Love in Christ is in realizing that God is shaping and molding you by His Body and through His Body.  Let go of whatever life you thought you had and whatever definition you were using of yourself.  You are new in Christ!  Check out the rest of the “one another” passages: 1 Peter 1:22, 23; 3:8, 9; 4:8-11; 5:5-8; 1 John 1:6-10; 3:11, 23; 4:7-21; 2 John 1:5, 6.  Let the Lord set you free from yourself, as you love one another!


Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10


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