Romans 12 begins the last major section of Paul’s great letter. In these concluding chapters Paul gives practical teaching on how the theology of the gospel that he has outlined in Chapters 1-11 is put into practice in the lives of the people of the church. It is often the pattern in Paul’s teaching that he gives a theological explanation followed by practical application. This pattern shows that Christian life is dependant on, and flows from Christian doctrine. In the words of Douglass Moo ‘All theology is practical and all practice, if it is truly Christian, is theological’. We must never separate these two things, because if we do our theology will become purely academic and theoretical and our practical teaching will become moralistic and based on our effort not the grace of the gospel.
In order to make this gospel theology practical I’d like us to take some of the ‘one anothers’ of the New Testament (the teachings of the scriptures that speak on how to relate to ‘one another’ as God’s people – many of which are found in Romans 12). To do this I’d like us to consider a list of 15 ‘one anothers’, and ask the question how well we as a church, and also we as individuals, do with these things. I’ve put together a short survey to help us see what we feel our ‘one another’ strengths and weaknesses are as a church body. Take the survey by clicking here.
Once we have done this, over the next few weeks I’d like us to think creatively in our home groups how we can practically strengthen the areas that we are weak in as a church and also as individuals. This will involve finding new ways of loving one another and it will involve us taking action! In doing this by the grace of God the church will be richer and stronger, and ultimately more gospel and Christ centred.
15 One Anothers from the New Testament (there are more if you feel you have mastered these!)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love (Rom12:10)
Honour one another above yourselves (Rom12:10)
Live in harmony with one another (Rom12:16)
Greet one another with a holy kiss (Rom16:16)
Be patient, bearing one another in love (Eph4:2)
Be kind and compassionate to one another (Eph4:32)
Admonish one another (Col3:16)
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph5:21)
Encourage one another (Heb 10:25)
Build each other up (1Thess5:11)
Confess your sins to each other (Jas5:9)
Pray for each other (Jas5:16)
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (1Pt4:9)
Each should use whatever gift he has received to serve others (1Pt4:10)
Love one another (Jn13:34 and many more)