“Were part of the family that's been born again; part of the family whose love knows no end; for Jesus has saved us, and made as His own, now were part of the family that's on its way home. And sometimes we laugh together, sometimes we cry; sometimes we share together, heartaches and sighs; sometimes we dream together of how it will be, when we all get to heaven – God's family! (Written and composed by Lanny Wolf – 1974)
As I mentioned in a recent lesson, the above lyrics fittingly describe the Lord’s church. The apostle Paul wrote, "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD…" (EPH 2:19) Moreover, in 1 TIM 3:15 he added, "I write so that you may know how you ought to CONDUCT (behave) yourself in the HOUSE OF GOD…" Specifically, the Bible reveals 9 obligations that Christians have one to another.
1. We must love one another – 1 Pet. 2:17. (Keep in mind that genuine love must be demonstrated – 1 John 3:18)
2. We must forgive one another – EPH. 4:32.
3. We must comfort and edify one another – 1 Thess. 5:11.
4. We must provide physical or material assistance to one another – Gal. 6:10, 5:13.
5. We must visit one another – especially widows, shut-ins, the sick and those that require encouragement – Jam. 1 27; Mt. 25:36.
6. We must pray for one another – 1 Tim. 2:1.
7. We must try to rescue those that are going astray – Gal. 6:1; Jam. 5:19-20.
8. We must discipline one another when needed – 2 Thess. 3:6, 14; Rom. 16:17.
9. We must strive to inspire and motivate one another when we assemble – Heb. 10:24-25.
Remember – being part of God's family means more than coming together several times a week for Bible study and worship. It means fulfilling the obligations of an eternal family!
Jesus, always Jesus!