What does the New Testament teach about our obligation to the local brotherhood?
We are going to look at nine different obligations this morning. They are directed to the body as a whole, not a particular individual.
The goal of this message is to remind us of our obligations to each other and to the local body we belong to.
Local churches can struggle. We some churches in Revelation that weren’t doing so well. Let us do our part as individual members of the church to make sure that doesn’t happen.
- We have a duty to encourage our brothers and sisters in the church. Colossians 3:16
- We have a duty to admonish our brothers and sisters who aren’t obeying Jesus. 1 Thessalonians, Luke 17:3, Galatians 6:1
- We have a duty to speak the truth. The mature body is not swayed by the winds of doctrine, it will always speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4
- We have a duty to forgive each other. The Lords Prayer says that we are to forgive everyone, but there are also verses that specifically call us to forgive our brothers and sisters. Colossians 3:13 – When offenses happen we are obligated to forgive. We are also obligated to do our best not to be the offender.
- We have a duty to put up with each other. When someone is “driving us crazy” we may be tempted to avoid them or talk badly about them. Paul tells us here that we have an obligation to “put up with them” – Colossians 3:12-13, Ephesians 4:1-2
- We have a duty to obey our church leadership. Hebrews 13:17
- We have a duty to use our gifts to serve. 1 Peter 4:10 – everyone has been given some means in which they can serve God within their local church. Romans 12:3-8 – use your gifts, but don’t think too highly of yourself, respect the feelings and concerns of others.
- We have a duty to value each member. 1 Corinthians 12:21-27 – Every member of the body is part of the body and is necessary. Our desire would be to see each part of the body doing well. If our brothers and sisters are doing well, we will benefit from it as members of the same body.
- We have a duty to pursue love for all. 1 Thessalonians 3:12, Colossians 3:12-14 – put on love, without love the local body is not going to be bound together in harmony. 1 Peter 4:7 – Above all, keep loving each other earnestly.
There are a few requirements for many of these duties. They are a hard, if not in possible to be doing if we aren’t in a “long term” relationship with a local relationship with our church. Those requirements would be to be a Christian, and to belong to a local body.