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Love One Another

One Another  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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We love one another because we are members of the same family. https://youtu.be/2jOUB_aUykA

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Almost twenty years ago, social scientist Robert Putnam published a book titled Bowling Alone about the collapse and revival of American community. Putnam’s main point was that individual Americans were becoming more individualistic. He cited plenty of sociological data and demographic studies, but the title was drawn from the anecdotal consideration of one of America’s late, great communal pastimes—the bowling league. Where once men and women would congregate at their local lanes to experience camaraderie, teamwork, and the kind of social interaction integral to community happiness, more and more people were “bowling alone.”
In 2010, Putnam reported on a different trend, challenging some of his bolder claims about Americans’ personal isolationism, but the problem of cultural loneliness persists in various forms. If there is one thing that this time of physical distancing is demonstrating is of our need and desire to be together. People were not meant to be alone. We were not created to be independent. We need each other. I don’t know what our gatherings will look like in the future. I don’t know how we are going to accommodate all of the things we will need to consider, but I know that we need to be together. I am thankful we can live stream worship and I look forward to the day where we can be physically together again.
Love One Another
Almost twenty years ago, social scientist Robert Putnam published a book titled Bowling Alone about the collapse and revival of American community. Putnam’s main point was that individual Americans were becoming more individualistic. He cited plenty of sociological data and demographic studies, but the title was drawn from the anecdotal consideration of one of America’s late, great communal pastimes—the bowling league. Where once men and women would congregate at their local lanes to experience camaraderie, teamwork, and the kind of social interaction integral to community happiness, more and more people were “bowling alone.”
All of us long to know and be known. Even if you are an introvert, you need to have people close to you with whom you share a bond. Our desires goes beyond that. We long to be known and accepted. We desire the significance and the belonging that comes with a meaningful community. This appetite comes from our having been made in the image of God, who is a “community” by nature. God exists in three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally co-existing in total equality and mutual love.
When we are brought into fellowship with Jesus, we are also brought into fellowship with all others who are reconciled in Christ, in a community called “the church.” Sin and evil drive us toward isolation, and our culture and circumstances only adds to it. We want to be in meaningful community, to enjoy vibrant fulfilling relationships, but we can’t on our own. But where we cannot, God can. God has made a way—the way—to experience relationship with Him and with others that satisfies the deepest longings of our souls. That way, of course, is through Christ. Because of Christ, we are brought into relationship with God and we are brought into community with one another.
In 2010, Putnam reported on a different trend, challenging some of his bolder claims about Americans’ personal isolationism, but the problem of cultural loneliness persists in various forms. If there is one think that this time of physical distancing is demonstrating, it is this: our need and desire to be together. People are not meant to be alone. We were not created to be independent. We need each other. I don’t know what our gatherings will look like in the future. I don’t know how we are going to accommodate all the things we will need to consider, but I know that we need to be together. I am thankful we can live stream worship and I look forward to the day where we can be physically together again.
The gospel centers on relationships, and that is why we have both the freedom and the calling to invest in these relationships as fully as possible. Everything we do should be impacted by these relationships made possible in Christ. Love brought us into relationship, and that same love sends us out to bring others into the same fellowship.
All of us long to know and be known. Even if you are an introvert, you need to have people close to you with whom you share a bond. Our desires go beyond that. We long to be known and accepted. We desire the significance and the belonging that comes with a meaningful community. This appetite comes from our having been made in the image of God, who is a “community” by nature. God exists in three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally co-existing in total equality and mutual love.
When we are brought into fellowship with Jesus, we are also brought into fellowship with all others who are reconciled in Christ, in a community called “the church.” Sin and evil drive us toward isolation, and our culture and circumstances only add to it. We want to be in meaningful community, to enjoy vibrant fulfilling relationships, but we can’t on our own. But where we cannot, God can. God has made a way—the way—to experience relationship with Him and with others that satisfies the deepest longings of our souls. That way, of course, is through Christ. Because of Christ, we are brought into relationship with God and we are brought into community with one another.
This morning, we begin a brand new series about the relationship we have we each other, even during these days of physical distancing, not social distancing. I don’t like the term social distancing. We don’t have to be socially distant. We might need to be physically distant, but no government edict or evil virus can separate us from one another. We can socially and spiritually be together, even if we physically need to be apart. We are bonded together through the Holy Spirit. We are to love one another.

Love one another.

The gospel centers on relationships, and that is why we have both the freedom and the calling to invest in these relationships as fully as possible. Everything we do should be impacted by these relationships made possible in Christ. Love brought us into relationship, and that same love sends us out to bring others into the same fellowship.
Romans 12:10 CSB
10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.
This morning, we begin a brand-new series about the relationship we have we each other, even during these days of physical distancing, not social distancing. I don’t like the term social distancing. We don’t have to be socially distant. We might need to be physically distant, but no government edict or evil virus can separate us from one another. We can socially and spiritually be together, even if we physically need to be apart. We are bonded together through the Holy Spirit. We are to love one another.
This verse will be our new theme verse for the series. As many of you will know, the word love has multiple words in the Greek language. Eros is the sexual and physical expressions of love. Agape is self-sacrificing love. Phileo is known as brotherly love or family love. The word Paul uses in is phileo.
 Love  one another.
CSB

φιλόστοργος - (phileo) - authentically loving, tenderly devoted, full of tenderness.

It is the innate love of a mother for her children. It the love shared between a devoted husband and wife. It is the love between parents and children or brothers and sisters. It is this authentic love, tender devotion, fully tender love, we are to have for one another. It is a shared love between people who genuinely share a bond in Christ.
10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.
It is important to note that phileo is not an inferior type of love to agape love. It is a different type of love. It is a concept that is repeated throughout the New Testament.
This verse will be our new theme verse for the series. As many of you will know, the word love has multiple words in the Greek language. Eros is the sexual and physical expressions of love. Agape is self-sacrificing love. Phileo is known as brotherly love or family love. The word Paul uses in is phileo.
φιλόστοργος - (phileo) -  authentically  loving, tenderly devoted, full of tenderness.
1 Thessalonians 4:9 CSB
9 About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.
It is the innate love of a mother for her children. It is the love shared between a devoted husband and wife. It is the love between parents and children or brothers and sisters. It is this authentic love, sincerely devoted, fully tender love, we are to have for one another. It is a shared love between people who share a bond in Christ.
Hebrews 13:1 CSB
1 Let brotherly love continue.
It is important to note that phileo is not an inferior type of love to agape love. It is a different type of love. It is a concept that is repeated throughout the New Testament.
1 Peter 1:22 CSB
22 Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly,
2 Peter 1:7 CSB
7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
CSB
9 About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.
We are brothers and sisters through Christ Jesus our Lord. We are united by a love that other people only see in natural born families. The word phileo was generally only used of human family relationships. We should miss each other and desire to be with each other. The Bishop of Constantinople, Chrysostom, said,

“You should love one another because you are brothers and have been born from the same spiritual womb.” - Chrysostom

We were born by the Holy Spirit into the family of God. All believers are part of the universal church made up of all believers of all time. We are brothers and sisters in Christ and the defining mark of a true believer is the love we have for one another.
John 1
John 13:35 CSB
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This is a point of reflection. Do you miss being with other believers? I am not asking if you miss the role you perform. I am asking, “Do you miss the fellowship, the presence of being with other believers?” Is absence making your heart grow fonder or colder? Absence can have both effects.
This is a point of reflection. Do you miss being with other believers? I am not asking if you miss the role you perform. I am asking, “Do you miss the fellowship, the presence of being with other believers?” Is absence making your heart grow fonder or colder? Absence can have both effects.
CSB
If you have ever spent time apart from loved ones, perhaps you have felt these effects. If you are away from a cherished loved one, absence makes the heart grow fonder. You love and desire to be back with that person, spending time with them, and enjoying their company. However, if you are away from a person you really don’t like all that much, absence makes the heart grow colder.
1 Let brotherly love continue.
During this time of physical separation, it is important that we do not allow our hearts to grow colder toward one another. The longer this goes on, the easier it will be to allow other things to get in the way of connecting with other believers. We will look for other things to fill the void. We will turn to other distractions.
We must work to maintain our bonds of love. We must work to love one another. How do we do this? How can this time of physical separation be a time of growth in our love for one another? Interestingly, the command in is one command “Love one another” and the second half of the verse 10 and verse 11 has some of the ways we do it.
CSB
I am not going to spend time breaking each one of the phrases down completely, but I would encourage you to study them. Put them into practice.
22 Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly,

How do we demonstrate our love for one another?

CSB

1. Show honor to one another.

7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
Romans 12:10 CSB
10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.
We are brothers and sisters through Christ Jesus our Lord. We are united by a love that other people only see in natural born families. The word phileo was generally only used of human family relationships. We should miss each other and desire to be with each other. The Bishop of Constantinople, Chrysostom, said,
Hold each other in deep respect. Think the best about other believers. Hold each other in deepest regard. Be a person who is worthy of honor. Conduct yourself well and be honest. We can show honor to one another in many different ways. Submitting to leadership is a way to show honor. Obedience is a way to show honor. Gratitude is a way to show honor. Selflessness is a way to show honor. Many people think hate is the opposite of love, but really selfishness is the opposite of love. We show honor to one another by praying for each other and by listening to each other. Show honor to one another.
The next three concepts are found in .
“You should love one another because you are brothers and have been born from the same spiritual womb.” - Chrysostom
Romans 12:11 CSB
11 Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.

2. Be motivated.

We were born by the Holy Spirit into the family of God. All believers are part of the universal church made up of all believers of all time. We are brothers and sisters in Christ and the defining mark of a true believer is the love we have for one another.
Romans 12:11 CSB
11 Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.
CSB
Zeal is about being willing, energized, and motivated. Be willing to do whatever whenever. Don’t grow weary in well-doing. Don’t be lazy in your relationship with other believers. Call one another. Check in on each other.
With the world in so much turmoil, it can be hard to find the energy and motivation we need for the day. Some days it can feel like all of our energy is spent before we have done anything. Stay motivated. Stay on target. The mission hasn’t changed. We are still to take the gospel to the world. The method of how we do things is in flux, but we must remember our mission.
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

3. Be passionate.

This is a point of reflection. Do you miss being with other believers? I am not asking if you miss the role you perform. I am asking, “Do you miss the fellowship, the presence of being with other believers?” Is absence making your heart grow fonder or colder? Absence can have both effects.
Romans 12:11 CSB
11 Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.
If you have ever spent time apart from loved ones, perhaps you have felt these effects. If you are away from a cherished loved one, absence makes the heart grow fonder. You love and desire to be back with that person, spending time with them, and enjoying their company. However, if you are away from a person you really don’t like all that much, absence makes the heart grow colder. Maybe, you even being to forget about the people to whom you were once connected.
When you have a passion for something, you have a great desire for it. You want to see it done well. You won’t settle for anything less than the best.
What is something you are passionate about? What is something, when you do it, you do it with everything you have. Are you that passionate about the kingdom of God? Do you desire to see the kingdom of God expanding to influence our community? Are you passionate about seeing God’s name glorified?
During this time of physical separation, it is important that we do not allow our hearts to grow colder toward one another, forgetting about each other. The longer this goes on, the easier it will be to allow other things to get in the way of connecting with other believers. We will look for other things to fill the void. We will turn to other distractions.
Be passionate in the Spirit. Be on fire for God. If your relationship with God is passionate, your relationship with your brothers and sisters in Christ will be as well. We should have a passion, a great desire, to be united with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

4. Serve the Lord.

We must work to maintain our bonds of love. We must work to love one another. How do we do this? How can this time of physical separation be a time of growth in our love for one another? Interestingly, the command in is one command “Love one another” and the second half of the verse 10 and verse 11 has some of the ways we do it.
Serving the Lord intrinsically involves serving others. Jesus said if we give a glass of cold water in his name is it as if we are giving it to him. He said, in , whatever we did for the least of the brothers and sisters, we do for him. We serve our brothers and sisters and thereby, we serve the Lord.
Many people think hate is the opposite of love, but really selfishness is the opposite of love. This is possible through the transforming power of the gospel.

We are to love one another because we are members of the same family.

Jesus did something radical and powerful. He began and established a group of people who only have the identifying mark of love. Most groups establish and identify themselves by like interests, race, ethnicity, or economic situations, but it is not to be so in the Church. We don’t have affinity groups where we divide ourselves up by our interests. We are not to divide ourselves up by anything. We are to be united in love.
In you are on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media, you will find groups for just about everything. You will find tattoo fans, baseball fans, and fishing people. You will find knitting groups, bikers, and nature lovers. You want a group, somewhere out there is a group for you. In Christ, it is radically different. There are no dress codes, language barriers, ethnicity, or race. There is no diet, uniforms, or wearing hats. There is only love. Followers of Jesus are identified by their love for one another.
The early church understood this. They demonstrated love for one another.
Acts 2:44–45 CSB
44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need.
This love in action and their love made a profound impact on their city. Others saw their love and were impressed by it. Many people came to faith in Jesus because of the testimony of the early church. What if that was true of us? What if people saw how much we love each other and it impacted them. They said, “I am not sure about this whole Jesus thing, but look at the way they love each other.” “I want relationships like that in my life.”
Don’t you think that would be of major impact in our communities? Don’t you think that would be of major impact on those who do not know Jesus? We must love one another. It is what it is all about. The love of Father should flow through us and should impact those around us. I think, especially in these days, it is not going to be theological arguments and apologetics which change the world. It is going to be the power of the love of Jesus in us. Love one another and fulfill the law of Christ.
Brothers and sister, I have two things I want you to do. This week and every week of this crisis, call at least five of your brothers and sisters in Christ and pray with them. Make it different people each week if you can. Praying for one another is one of the ways we show we love and care.
Second, try and meet a need someone else needs. I know this is going to be especially challenging in this day and time, but when you are calling people and praying with them, you may learn of a need to person has. What can you do to meet that need?
These are just two ways I though of where we can practically show love for one another, but I am open to suggestions. One of the benefits of having church online is that you can talk during the sermon. :) In the live chat, if you have an idea of how we can show love to one another during this time of physical separation, put in in the live chat or in the comments below this video. We can learn from one another as we work to love one another.
Pray.
Father God, thank you for your great love. We would not even know what love is unless you first loved us. You demonstrated your love for us. You reached down from heaven to earth and showed us love. Strengthen our bond of love for one another. It is challenging in these days. We have so many pressures, stresses, and anxieties. We have so many things which try to push us apart. Don’t let us fall victim to evil. Deliver us from isolation. May your will be done in us and through us. Strengthen our love. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
I am not going to spend time breaking each one of the phrases down completely, but I would encourage you to study them. Put them into practice.
Before we go, I want to talk to those of you who may be listening who have never experienced the love of God before. Let me tell you what Jesus has done for you because he loved you so much. Jesus was born of a virgin and without sin; Jesus became sin for us. You are a sinner. Your sin leads you to do ungodly things and separates you from the God who loves you. We have a sin problem inside of us. Jesus went to the cross and shed his blood. He died and he rose again. He did all of this because he loves you and he wants to save you from your sin. He wants to transform you, so you can experience his goodness, so we could experience his grace. He wants to heal you and bring peace to your life. It is time for you to surrender to Jesus. If that is you this morning, would you pray with me…
How do we demonstrate our love for one another?
Let me tell you what Jesus has done for you because he loved you so much. Jesus was born of a virgin and without sin; Jesus became sin for us. You are a sinner. Your sin leads you to do ungodly things and separates you from the God who loves you. We have a sin problem inside of us. Jesus went to the cross and shed his blood. He died and he rose again. He did all of this because he loves you and he wants to save you from your sin. He wants to transform you, so you can experience his goodness, so we could experience his grace. He wants to heal you and bring peace to your life. It is time for you to surrender to Jesus. If that is you this morning, would you pray with me…
1. Show  honor  to one another.
“Heavenly Father, forgive me for my sins, make me clean. I ask Jesus to be my Savior and to be the Lord of my life, first in every way. My life is not my own, I give it to you. Thank you for new life. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
CSB
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, please contact me. You can contact us through the live chat on the side or you can email me. We want to help you grow and understand the decision you have made to follow Jesus.
10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Dr. Benjamin Karner - pastorben@fbclaredo.org

Pastor Felipe Arias - pastorfelipe@fbclaredo.org

Also, if you need prayer or have another need, please contact me. We are praying for you and want to do our very best to stay connected with you, even during this time of physical separation.
Hold each other in deep respect. Think the best about other believers. Hold each other in deepest regard. Be a person who is worthy of honor. Conduct yourself well and be honest. We can show honor to one another in many ways. Submitting to leadership is a way to show honor. Obedience is a way to show honor. Gratitude is a way to show honor. Selflessness is a way to show honor. Many people think hate is the opposite of love, but really selfishness is the opposite of love. We show honor to one another by praying for each other and by listening to each other. Show honor to one another.
The next three concepts are found in .
CSB
11 Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.
2. Be  motivated .
Zeal is about being willing, energized, and motivated. Be willing to do whatever whenever. Don’t grow weary in well-doing. Don’t be lazy in your relationship with other believers. Call one another. Check in on each other.
With the world in so much turmoil, it can be hard to find the energy and motivation we need for the day. Some days it can feel like all our energy is spent before we have done anything. Stay motivated. Stay on target. The mission hasn’t changed. We are still to take the gospel to the world. The method of how we do things is in flux, but we must remember our mission.
3. Be  passionate .
When you have a passion for something, you have a great desire for it. You want to see it done well. You won’t settle for anything less than the best.
What is something you are passionate about? What is something, when you do it, you do it with everything you have. Are you that passionate about the kingdom of God? Do you desire to see the kingdom of God expanding to influence our community? Are you passionate about seeing God’s name glorified? What gifts, talents, abilities, and passions do you have which you can use right now to minister to other brothers and sisters in Christ? God can use you right now to be a blessing to other brothers and sisters in Christ.
Be passionate in the Spirit. Be on fire for God. If your relationship with God is passionate, your relationship with your brothers and sisters in Christ will be as well. We should have a passion, a great desire, to be united with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
4.  Serve  the Lord.
Serving the Lord intrinsically involves serving others. Jesus said if we give a glass of cold water in his name is it as if we are giving it to him. He said, in , whatever we did for the least of the brothers and sisters, we do for him. We serve our brothers and sisters and thereby, we serve the Lord.
We are to love one another because we are members of the same  family .
Jesus did something radical and powerful. He began and established a group of people who only have the identifying mark of love. Most groups establish and identify themselves by like interests, race, ethnicity, or economic situations, but it is not to be so in the Church. We don’t have affinity groups where we divide ourselves up by our interests. We are not to divide ourselves up by anything. We are to be united in love.
If you are on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media, you will find groups for just about everything. You will find tattoo fans, baseball fans, and fishing people. You will find knitting groups, bikers, and nature lovers. You want a group, somewhere out there is a group for you. In Christ, it is radically different. There are no dress codes, language barriers, ethnicity, or race. There is no diet, uniforms, or wearing hats. There is only love. Followers of Jesus are identified by their love for one another.
The early church understood this. They demonstrated love for one another.
CSB
44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need.
This love in action and their love made a profound impact on their city. Others saw their love and were impressed by it. Many people came to faith in Jesus because of the testimony of the early church. What if that was true of us? What if people saw how much we love each other, and it impacted them. They said, “I am not sure about this whole Jesus thing, but look at the way they love each other.” “I want relationships like that in my life.”
Don’t you think that would be of major impact in our communities? Don’t you think that would be of major impact on those who do not know Jesus? We love one another. It is what it is all about. The love of Father flows through us and should impact those around us. I think, especially in these days, it is not going to be theological arguments and apologetics which change the world. It is going to be the power of the love of Jesus in us. Love one another and fulfill the law of Christ.
Brothers and sister, I have two things I want you to do. This week and every week of this crisis call at least five of your brothers and sisters in Christ and pray with them. Make it different people each week if you can. Praying for one another is one of the ways we show we love and care.
Second, try and meet a need of someone else. I know this is going to be especially challenging in this day and time, but when you are calling people and praying with them, you may learn of a need that person has. What can you do to meet that need?
These are just two ways I though of where we can practically show love for one another, but I am open to suggestions. One of the benefits of having church online is that you can talk during the sermon. :) In the live chat, if you have an idea of how we can show love to one another during this time of physical separation, put in in the live chat or in the comments below this video. What we will do is compile a list of these suggestions and post it on Facebook, Faithlife, and our website. We can learn from one another as we work to love one another.
Pray.
Father God, thank you for your great love. We would not even know what love is unless you first loved us. You demonstrate your love for us. You reached down from heaven to earth and showed us love. Strengthen our bond of love for one another. It is challenging in these days. We have so many pressures, stresses, and anxieties. We have so many things which try to push us apart. Don’t let us fall victim to evil. Deliver us from isolation. May your will be done in us and through us. Strengthen our love. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Before we go, I want to talk to those of you who may be listening who have never experienced the love of God. Let me tell you what Jesus has done for you because he loved you so much. Jesus was born of a virgin and without sin; Jesus became sin for us. You are a sinner. Your sin leads you to do ungodly things and separates you from the God who loves you. We have a sin problem inside of us. Jesus went to the cross and shed his blood. He died and he rose again. He did all of this because he loves you and he wants to save you from your sin. He wants to transform you, so you can experience his goodness, so we could experience his grace. He wants to heal you and bring peace to your life. It is time for you to surrender to Jesus. If that is you this morning, would you pray with me…
“Heavenly Father, forgive me for my sins, make me clean. I ask Jesus to be my Savior and to be the Lord of my life, first in every way. My life is not my own, I give it to you. Thank you for new life. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, please contact me. You can contact us through the live chat on the side or you can email me. We want to help you grow and understand the decision you have made to follow Jesus.
Dr. Benjamin Karner - pastorben@fbclaredo.org
Pastor Felipe Arias - pastorfelipe@fbclaredo.org
Also, if you need prayer or have another need, please contact me. We are praying for you and want to do our very best to stay connected with you, even during this time of physical separation.
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