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Loving One Another: Accept, Honor, and Serve
John 13:34, Romans 12:10, 15:17
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: “Loving God, loving one another, and reaching His world” is more than a mission statement – it is a combination of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, both of which are given to us by Jesus Christ. While it is true that God loves the world as a whole, it is also important to note that God loves the church, in particular; thus, Jesus issues a “new” commandment for His disciples to love one another. Jesus demonstrates this special love by becoming a man in order to save humanity; by remaining sinless in order to give His life as a sacrifice; by humbling Himself in order to set an example for us to follow; and by persevering in His mission despite many obstacles. Though we cannot match the love of Jesus for us, we are called to replicate His love toward one another in order to honor Him, prove we are His disciples, and evangelize a world in need of Christ.
01. Accepting one another is rooted in Jesus’ acceptance of us. Whatever our differences may be, we are “one another” in Christ.
02. Honoring one another requires a servant mindset. Whenever we give deference to one another, we are demonstrating we are disciples of Christ.
03. Serving one another requires initiative. However the Lord may lead us, we are summoned to meet one another’s needs.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. How would you explain the difference between God’s love for the world and God’s love for the church? In what ways has God demonstrated love for the church and the world? In what ways are you loving the church? In what ways are you showing God’s love to the world?
2. What was the historical basis for washing others’ feet in the first century? How did Jesus’ actions resemble that of a servant? How does John’s account of this text resemble the narrative of Christ’s humility in Philippians 2:1-11?
3. What examples of foot washing (literally) are you familiar with in church history or your church background? Why isn’t foot washing considered an ordinance, such as baptism or the Lord’s Supper? How does foot washing point us to the gospel?
4. Discuss the impact of Jesus’ words, “a servant is not greater than his master,” as it relates to our call to serve one another. How can we show that we are servants of Jesus by serving one another? What practical ways can you think of that show others in our church that they are loved by the Lord and by us?
5. Consider ways in which loving one another will have a positive impact on those without Christ. How can fellow Christians improve in the areas of loving one another on social media platforms so the world can see our love? How can we improve in the areas of church discussion, ministry participation, and mission focus so Christ will be honored by our love for one another?
For Further Reading: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (Harper & Row, 1954); republished by HarperOne, 2009.