In the New Testament, we see that the church basically means people who are believers/followers of Jesus and how they relate to each other. The dynamics of a church is the dynamics of a family. Even the terminology of being “born again” is that one is born again into a family. Jesus introduced God as our Father. The Church is the family of God.
The Church is not what happens when we meet once a week. It is about what we are 24/7. Even when not meeting, there is a sense of belonging, a sense of accountability.
2. Metaphors used for the Church
The key metaphors used in the Bible for the church:
- Family of God – Ephesians 1:5
- Body of Christ – Jesus is head, we are members of the body; bride of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:26, Romans 12:5-8, Ephesians 4:25, 1 Corinthians 12: 7, 1 Peter 4: 10)
- A building made up of people. 1 Peter 2:5, Ephesians 2:20-22
3. Dynamics of a Family
In the body of Christ, something going on in any person’s life is as much a concern as something going on in one own’s life. We are members of Christ’s body collectively, and also, individually are members of each other:
- 1 Corinthians 12:26
“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it”
- Romans 12:5-8
“..so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.”
- Ephesians 4:25
“..therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”
- 1 Corinthians 12: 7
“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
- 1 Peter 4: 10
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God”
4. The “One Another” Passages
A group of any size will have issues – financial, health, marriage, issues with children, etc – who should take care? In the Bible, we do not see a model of a professional clergy or a leader taking care of all the congregation. The family of God ought to take care of each other. There are about 36 “one another” passages in the New Testament. Some of them:
- John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- 1 Cor 12:25
so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
- Galatians 5:13
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
- 1 Peter 4:8
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
- 1 Peter 4:9 9
Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
- 1 Peter 4:10
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
- Galatians 6:2 2
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
- Ephesians 4:2
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,
- Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
- Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor
- Ephesians 5:21
..and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
- 1 Peter 5:5
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
- Romans 15:7 7
Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
- Romans 15:14
And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.
- Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
- Hebrews 10: 24-25
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
- James 5:16 16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.