OceanSide church of Christ
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CHRISTIANITY: A LIFE OF RELATIONSHIPS
Victor M. Eskew
A. Christianity is definitely a life that involves relationships with others.
1. The most important relationship that we should sustain is a relationship with God.
a. God’s plan of reconciliation and our obedient faith to that plan has made this relationship possible.
1) Ephesians 2:16
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
2) Galatians 3:26-27
For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
b. We also share in relationships with those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ (I Pet. 1:22).
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeign love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
B. As we think about relationships with other, I want us to consider four actions that revolve around relationships.
I. WE NEED TO MAKE RELATIONSHIPS
A. We need to take the initiative to form relationships with others.
B. Jesus was the Master at making relationships with others.
1. He formed very close relationships with twelve men known as His apostles (Matt. 4:18-19).
And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: fro they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
2. He formed a relationship with a tax-collector name Zaccheus (Luke 19:5).
And when jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zaccheus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
3. He formed a bond with a woman of Samaria at the well of Jacob (John 4:7).
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
C. Many of us have been cast into situations wherein we must form relationships with others: work, school, sports, and clubs.
D. We need to form relationships with as many as possible that we contact on a regular basis: Wal-Mart, convenience store, restaurants, doctor, dentists, etc.
E. We also need to seek to make relationships in the church. So often our relationships are casual and superficial.
II. WE NEED TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS
A. Our God understood relationships and the need to nurture them.
B. In the New Testament we find 32 “one another” duties set forth.
1. 26 positive
2. 6 negative
C. If we all followed these injunctions, we would have stronger relationships.
1. Mark 9:50
Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
2. John 13:34
A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
3. Romans 12:10a
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love…
4. Romans 12:10b
…in honour preferring one another.
5. Romans 12:16
Be of the same mind one toward another.
6. Romans 14:13
Let us not therefore judge one another any more…
7. Galatians 5:26
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
III. WE NEED TO HEAL RELATIONSHIPS
A. Relationships are tied together by several things: commonality, conscious decisions, trust, duty, likemindedness, rules, communication, service, expectations, and love.
B. When any aspect of the relationship that ties it together is violated, the relationship is wounded.
C. We need to seek to heal these relationships as quickly as possible.
1. Matthew 5:23-24
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that they brother hath aught against thee; leave there they gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to they brother, and there come and offer thy gift.
2. Matthew 18:15
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
3. James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteos man availeth much.
4. Colossians 3:13
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
D. The Bible also warns about our continued anger, fighting, and divisiveness (Gal. 5:15).
But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
IV. WE NEED TO SEVER RELATIONSHIPS
A. Not all relationships are healthy and safe for us.
1. Evil companions
a. Proverbs 1:10, 14
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not….My son, walk not in the way with them; refrain thy foot from evil.
b. I Corinthians 15:33
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
2. Angry people (Prov. 22:24)
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.
B. Not all relationships are scriptural for us to maintain.
1. Herod was in an adulterous union with his brother Philip’s wife (Matt. 14:4).
For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
a. NOTE: It was nor Roman law that forbade the relationship.
b. It was God’s law that made it unlawful.
2. We should not be in relationships with false teachers (II Cor. 6:14a, 17).
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers….Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
3. The unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11).
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
4. We should persist in fellowship with brothers and sister in Christ who persist in immorality or in walking disorderly (I Cor. 5:11; II Thess. 3:6).
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
1. They are gifts from God.
2. They are necessary for each one of us to have.
3. They can benefit us or harm us.
4. They can be strong, but are very fragile at the same time.
B. As Christians
1. Let’s strengthen our relationships with Jesus Christ.
2. Let’s nurture our relationships with one another.
3. Let’s sever any unhealthy, unsafe, and unscriptural relationship that we have with others.
4. Let’s seek relationships with those in the world with the intent of leading them to Jesus Christ is at all possible.