Our Social Gospel

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Ordinary Guy (TM)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. ---- John 13:34,35.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ---- I John 4

A Trinitarian Basis for focusing on relationships and community

We worship no hermit God. We worship no loner king on a silent throne.

The God of the Muslims perches on a lonely stool, unable to reconcile his justice and mercy, a solitary and capricious being. Our God lives in an eternal fellowship of light and love.

God is one, yet is never alone and is never selfish. He is always full-to-overflowing with joy and fellowship and He is always self-giving.

We worship a God who lives in perfect community, who expresses perfect relationship and whose love spills over such that He has created a whole universe to be witnesses to this love. Heaven is but a boundless ocean of this love and the saints will swim in this love for eternity future, the loving embrace of child and Father that, once begun, is never old and never ceasing.

We worship God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit who dwell together in a perfect communion of love. We worship a God of relationship, a God of community, the Father perfectly and eternally loving the Son in communion with the Holy Spirit and the Son perfectly and eternally loving the Father in communion with the Holy Spirit. What is more, praise God, once we are saved we are baptized into His Triune name.

The depth of this Trinitarian love goes beyond all human understanding, though some have attempted to coin new words to even get a glimpse of the glory of this relationship. The term perichoresis was coined by the Early Fathers to describe how this relationship was so close that there was actual mutual indwelling of all the divine Persons in one another. You cannot get any closer than that!

This selection below from John’s Gospel displays this glory:

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. ---- John 17

A relational and community focus in our own lives

Now, let us fall from the breathtaking heights of the Trinity to our own humanity....

From our very creation in the image of God we are created as beings in community, in fellowship. We are created into families. From Ephesians 3:15 we even see that God is the model on which all human families are based. Verily, any concept of human relations and fatherhood owe their existence to the indwelling knowledge of God and his nature as Father, a communal Being.

When we fell, we did not fall individually as the angels, but we fell communally, in Adam. We are relational beings created from the loving hand of a relational God; communal beings who fell corporately, are saved into community and will be raised together in Christ. Yes, even our salvation is tied to community, to relationship. No-one is saved by religion, rites or rituals. We are saved by relationship. One is saved individually, but one is saved into a community, one body, one loaf, one faith, one baptism.

How often we forget this....

This communal aspect is not always clearly seen in our individualistic West. Why do American evangelical Christians ask, “Have you accepted Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior,” Why is it not asked instead, “Has Christ adopted you into His universal body?”

One another...one another....one another...
Want a challenging and also a surprisingly deep theological study? Examine the “one another” verses of the New Testament. They will blow you away!
More thorough lists can be gathered, but examine my own short summary below:

• Honor and be devoted to one another - Romans 12:10
• Be in harmony with one another and not proud or conceited - Romans 12:16
• Be in a debt of love to one another - Romans 13:8
• Accept one another in order to bring praise to God - Romans 15:7
• Greet one another with a holy kiss - Romans 16:16
• Agree with one another and put away divisions - 1 Corinthians 1:10
• Serve one another - Galatians 5:13
• Bear with one another in love and be humble and gentle - Ephesians 4:2
• Be kind and compassionate and forgive one another - Ephesians 4:32
• Sing and praise God to one another - Ephesians 5:19
• Submit to one another - Ephesians 5:21
• Bear with one another and forgive grievances - Colossians 3:13
• Teach and admonish one another - Colossians 3:16
• Encourage one another - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
• Encourage one another daily - Hebrews 3:13
• Spur one another on towards love and good works - Hebrews 10:24
• Meet and encourage one another - Hebrews 10:25
• Love one another deeply from the heart - 1 Peter 1:22
• Live harmoniously with one another; be sympathetic, compassionate and humble - 1 Peter 3:8
• Give hospitality to one another - 1 Peter 4:9
• Be humble to one another - 1 Peter 5:5
• Love one another - 1 John 3:11; 3:23; 4:7; 4:11; 12; 2 John 1:5.

Just to be clear, when it comes to these “one another” verses, there are also some negative examples as well. For instance, do not put a stumbling block in a brother’s way by judging one another (Romans 14:3), do not bite or devour one another to the point of even suing one another (Galatians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:7), do not challenge and envy one another (Gal 5:26), do not speak against one another or complain against one another (James 4:11;5:9).
Getting past these negative examples, however, listing and reminding one’s self of these positive injunctions will go a long way in our interpersonal holiness and our communal lives as the Community of God.

Let us therefore give ourselves ample opportunity to show this love by enjoying rich Christian fellowship at every opportunity.

Let us get deeply theological and enjoy each other’s company in the Lord!


Puritan Board Junior
solid post

Welcome back Brother!
Really good solid post as we can not be reminded enough of the responsibilites we are called too in light of the special love ,mercy ,and privilege that our Lord has extended to us.
The "one anothering passages" as much as any other should motivate all of us to seek the Lord for divine enablement to carry own these known duties joyfully as service to our King.
Love In Christ,

5They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

6He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
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