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Featured What does/should John 13:35 look like to you?

Discussion in 'Christian Spirituality Forum' started by Nancy, Dec 5, 2018 at 6:03 PM.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
    I know there are many ways to love a brother or sister in Christ but, what should that look like to those "without" the Church? Just looking for others thoughts ♥

    @"ByGrace"
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 6:16 PM
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  2. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit, it should look different than most of my posts on this forum.
     
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  3. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    1 Corinthians 13 provides all the details.
     
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  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    I would not agree, you are very hard on yourself...many of my posts have a sarcastic bent, and I am working on that, as it really does not fit me anymore. I have come a very long way with it though, lol!
     
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  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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  6. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Hi Nancy! I'm assuming you mean by this question, "What should we as the church look like to those looking in on us from the outside who are not a part of it." (There's another way to interpret what you are asking, but I'm assuming this is the right one).

    If that's the case, I would turn to Ephesians 4. I'll select out the verses that are most applicable:

    1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 [for] There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all... 11 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

    When Paul talked about "putting on the new man" in Ephesians and Colossians, he was talking about them all putting on Christ collectively. In other words, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit among them they were to become one body together, not in name only but in doctrine, in love, in true unity of heart, mind and soul. This is the meaning of this entire passage from start to end. A big part of entering into true unity with one another, however, involved speaking the truth in love, and by that he meant teaching and correcting one another in love according to the scriptures and through the Holy Spirit. So it was not just one big kumbaya, but a continual edifying of one another as the Spirit spoke the word of God through them to each other, to encourage and exhort, but also to admonish and warn when necessary (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15). This could sometimes generate resentments and anger, so there were commandments never to return evil for evil, but pursue only the good.

    That is what "loving one another" actually consisted of back in New Testament times: Teaching, edifying, encouraging, exhorting, and admonishing one another in love, through the Holy Spirit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 11:33 PM
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    "Hi Nancy! I'm assuming you mean by this question, "What should we as the church look like to those looking in on us from the outside who are not a part of it." (There's another way to interpret what you are asking, but I'm assuming this is the right one)."

    Spot on assumption! Yes, that is the vein I was asking in. I often wonder if newer Christians or unbelievers, who might be searching for the Truth would be turned away from some of the nastiness between those on this board who are identifying as Christians. I am not exempt from barbs here and there but, I have been feeling wrong about it for awhile...truth or not. Jesus did not argue with or chase after anybody to try and "make" them believe in Him...He didn't chase after the rich man who walked away sad, nor the Pharisees who walked away mad! lol. He spoke truth and left it at that. It seems there are very many on these forums who simply think they themselves have all of the truth and all else is wrong, God knows our hearts and that is what matters most to me. Thank you for the great script. references!
     
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  8. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Well, for starters here, keep in mind that the Forums are not really places where we can expect to see Ephesians 4 carried out. Forums are not like a denominational church where all the members are basically of similar beliefs. They are places where people from all sorts of different denominational and doctrinal backgrounds interact, and thus more like open marketplaces for the exchange of different perspectives and interpretations. I think many believers may be turned off, yes, because even at their most well-behaved, Forums necessitate that one be skilled in debate and apologetics, and go in with his or her armor on, because others will very quickly start picking apart what you post, and even insult and mock you over it. It's a battlefield, so you have to be prepared for a fight going in, and be ready to defend everything you say. Everything.
    This is very good. It means you are still hearing your conscience, and not allowing it to become seared by the environment. Many express being disturbed by some of the things they see being taught, but you can't allow that to change how you treat others. Even if someone is very skilled at deceiving others and leads many astray, we are still called to walk in love towards them as true examples of what Christians are supposed to be.
    Correct. You have to be prepared for the fact that many will not listen to you. I had a hard time with this for awhile. I can be persuasive, and when I found out I was not persuading people as much as I wanted to on the forums, I got a little peeved about it, LoL. But love allows people to believe whatever they wish to believe, and that's why Jesus didn't force Himself on anyone.
    Well, it seems this way because not many have the courage to openly admit when they are being proven wrong, since they lay themselves open to ridicule. But that doesn't mean they aren't considering things. When you get no response back, it sometimes means that the point you made was difficult to find exception with. That is something of an accomplishment in and of itself. If anything, it confirms that you see things others might not have considered yet and don't know how to counter. So I think people may listen some here and there, but if you want wisdom, the forums are more a place where you learn about yourself than anything. You find out if what you believe actually holds water; you find out if you can handle criticism and insults graciously; you find out how much love you have for others even if they are no so lovable.

    To me, these are the things forums are really good for. That and developing friendships with those you actually do have things in common with. But once you get to the place where you can even love others who insult to you, and bless those who curse you, you can get to the place of making friends with people who are diametrically opposed to you in their viewpoints, yet the two of you have learned to respect and appreciate one another in spite of it. This to me is a form of overcoming evil with good, because ultimately those who name the name of Christ should be on the same page.

    Forums will never be like the church Paul was talking about in Ephesians 4, but they can at least be places where you develop friendships while expressing your views, and that opens the door to better understanding of both yourself and others.
    You're welcome : )
     
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  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    You do have a wonderful way with words @Hidden In Him ... I agree with all you say. If per chance, an unbeliever who is truly seeking Him were to pop on here out of curiosity...I think our God would guide them, even on here, lol.

    "Forums necessitate that one be skilled in debate and apologetics, and go in with his or her armor on, because others will very quickly start picking apart what you post, and even insult and mock you over it. It's a battlefield, so you have to be prepared for a fight going in, and be ready to defend everything you say. Everything."

    Indeed! And, I am not skilled in the deep debates...unless I have a certain passion for it, perhaps. Maybe I am too simple? Lol.

    "But that doesn't mean they aren't considering things. " <---Amen, seeds :) I do know that since I have been on this forum, since May, that I have learned as well as un-learned many of my previously held views. Not all are set in cement as yet but, getting closer as I ask for His guidance and understanding.

    "but you can't allow that to change how you treat others. "
    Yes, it's our behavior/re-action that God looks at. Returning in kind, if it is nasty is never right, IMO.

    "To me, these are the things forums are really good for. That and developing friendships with those you actually do have things in common with. But once you get to the place where you can even love others who insult to you, and bless those who curse you, you can get to the place of making friends with people who are diametrically opposed to you in their viewpoints, yet the two of you have learned to respect and appreciate one another in spite of it. This to me is a form of overcoming evil with good, because ultimately those who name the name of Christ should be on the same page."

    I am happy to say that this has been happening with me, at first I just wanted to block people, I do not do that anymore, I have also come to like and respect several on here who I do not agree with...even in the most important (to me) doctrines. I still do have a bit of a hard time when somebody infers that another is "not saved". I will continue to pray on those ones ;)
    Thank you for the thoughtful and well written post!

     
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  10. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    The same love as Jesus...between ourselves. We are to always walk in that love. The world rejects that love. But the brethren are mightily encouraged by it.

    We are to also look after each other...in both spiritual and earthly needs.
     
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  11. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this is a better forum than most. That's why I'm here. :)
    It's like anything else. The more you learn, the more you can learn. And the more experience you have at watching how different people approach different issues, the more you gather in where they are coming from. Took me a long time to come to grips with what some were saying as members of different denominations, but you slowly start putting things together over time. If they debate you on a more scholarly level in quoting the Greek or Hebrew, that can be more daunting at first. But even that is really just a matter of getting your feet wet with it and then slowly picking up things as you go, buying a few reference works, or finding some good ones online, etc. You just have to keep growing is all. I truly wish I had gotten started when I was first born again (age 21), but not everyone realizes just how much the war takes place one the field of ideas, not right away anyway. I was pretty simple too at first. We all are.
    And staying teachable and humble is really the smart thing to do. Like you, I tend to thank people when they teach me something I didn't see before, or compliment those who I see have some good insights to offer. Even when I don't always agree with them on other things. Episkopos and I have gone round and round on some things, but I've complimented him publicly on some of the things he's said that I thought were outstanding. I actually look to do that with everyone here whenever I can, because the heart of God is goodwill toward men.
    Things can really come around with some you'd never expect. I didn't think Dave L and I were going make it. He rubbed me the wrong way so bad at first I had to warn him it was about to be ON!, LoL.

    [​IMG]

    But then to my surprise things sort of worked out. Now I don't mind him at all (although I now know what to expect, LoL).

    Just spent the last two days into it kinda bad with bbyrd, which I haven't enjoyed. But I expect we'll work things out just fine. There are one or two here that I think really don't like me, but I believe even those can be worked out with time. It's a smaller forum, so it's more like a true community, and communities are kinda like families. You get used to one another after awhile, whether you wanted to or not : )
     
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  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    "Yes, this is a better forum than most. That's why I'm here. :)
    Or, maybe it's a better forum because you are here :)

    And, yes, Dave and Epi. I like them very much (now, lol) even though we do not agree on several things. I know pretty much what the regulars believe by now, and even though we might disagree, we love each other ♥ Well, okay-I am still working on one or two! :oops:
     
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  13. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I can take that much credit. But I would give some to @lforrest. I think he does an excellent job. I also think there are several here who in general set a very good tone, like @"ByGrace" , @amadeus and a few others, yourself included : )
     
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  14. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Just keep on giving the glory to God! Only He gives any real increase!
     
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  15. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    Say what you mean and mean what you say. That principle practised will make you stand out like a pimple on a ducks tail.
     
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  16. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    LoL. That's kind of a "unique" analogy, but I get what you mean... I think. :)
     
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  17. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    From an outsiders point of view I think they would expect a number of things in a church which espouses to love everybody. You will have a church filled to overflowing with all manner of people from all cultures, languages, and backgrounds. There will be representatives from all age groups, and all income brackets. They will all mix and mingle with one another without prejudice or judgement. Young will freely mix with an elderly person as easily as with one his/her own age. The poor, the disabled, the new immigrant, the politician, and the scholar should all equally be on good terms, be caring for and caring about one another, without resentment or favoritism. If God is no respecter of persons, (in other words not putting anyone on a pedestal or chopping the legs out from anyone who gains attention) [which we call tall-poppy syndrome in NZ] then neither should His people.
    That to my mind is love demonstrated, and the kind of church/group/fellowship we should be revealing to visitors. All the time.
     
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  18. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    What earthly minded political sociologists might say it ought to look like, and what spiritually minded believers would say, are likely going to be different. (Interesting that in Acts there was already the issue of people with different Hebrew and Greek perspectives causing tensions.)
     
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  19. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    Two things:

    1) This passage was Jesus' sendoff to His disciples of that time. To them, as Paul also did, it was an appeal to be of one mind, having one Head, which is Christ.

    2) But to the gentiles to follow, to be a disciple of a disciple of a disciple, with men following men, down through all generations of these times, was not the same thing. No, unless we can have that discipleship with Christ alone, then we do not share in Christ as brothers. Paul contends with this with the Corinthians, because some were saying “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Thus, if we follow the teachings of men who do not agree...then these are not family.

    The body of Christ is one. As Paul taught, "For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church."
     
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    " No, unless we can have that discipleship with Christ alone, then we do not share in Christ as brothers."
    Yes, that is obvious,
    To me a disciple of Christ IS a true believer and follower and, IMHO-the Church (true, in Christ Christians) should be helping, meeting and eating meals together on a regular basis...the world needs to see the love of true Christians for one another. Or how else: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
     
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