Posted: almost 3 years Ago

Lesson Eight: Other Christians 

What is my responsibility to other Christians as a part of God’s family?  
When you received the Lord Jesus Christ you were born again into God’s family. This means that you have a new
Father. It also means that you have brothers and sisters in Christ as a part of the household of faith. Just like with
any earthly family, God’s family comes with certain privileges and responsibilities for every different member. This 
lesson is designed to acquaint you with your role in God’s family by addressing your relationship to other believers.  

  I.  You Have a Spiritual and Eternal Relationship to Every Other Child of God 
       A. Other saved people are your brothers and sisters in Christ.  

               - See the following passages that illustrate this point: John 1:12, Galatians 3:26, 4:5, 6:10,
                  Ephesians 1:5, 2:19, 3:14-15, 1 John 3:1.  

             1.    This means that lost people are not your spiritual brothers and sisters regardless of any other factors.  

             2.    God puts even more emphasis on our eternal, spiritual relationships than he does upon our physical 
                      kinship (Mark 3:31-34, 1 John 3:16).  

             3.    This also means that other genuine Christians, regardless of their denominational affiliation, are your
                     brothers and sisters in Christ as well.  

   II.   You Have Specific Responsibilities Toward Your Spiritual Family  

          If you study the words “one another” in the New Testament you’ll notice that there is a great deal of instruction on
          how the people of God are to treat other believers. Spiritual maturity demands interaction with others. If you can
          only get along with YOU, you are not spiritually mature! You’ll notice in most of the following areas that the standard
          for your treatment of others is God’s treatment of you – He certainly has set the bar high! 

         A.   You should love God’s people (John 13:34-35, 1 Peter 3:8, 4:8, 1 John 3:14-16).  

         B.   You should minister to God’s people, both spiritually and physically (Galatians 6:1-2, Romans 12:13, 1 John 3:17-18).  

         C.   You should pray for God’s people (James 5:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).  

         D.   You should comfort, edify (build up), and encourage God’s people (Romans 15:1-2, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13).  

         E.   You should serve God’s people with humility (Philippians 2:3-4).  

         F.    You should be patient with God’s people (Romans 15:5-7, Ephesians 4:2). 

         G.   You should be kind and forgiving toward God’s people (Ephesians 4:32).  

         H.   You should be honest with God’s people (Ephesians 4:25).  

III.   You Have a Part in Biblical Fellowship with Other Saints 
        Christian fellowship is not based on food or common worldly interests. Christian fellowship is based
        on our common fellowship with Jesus Christ.  

         A.   Biblical fellowship is the sharing of life and ministry with other believers (Philippians 1:3-6, 2:1-2, see also 2 Corinthians 1:11, 8:4).  

         B.   Maintaining fellowship with God’s people requires the exercise of spiritual character like humility (Philippians 2:3-8, Proverbs 13:10).  

         C.   When we do not have fellowship with the saints, it is an indication that our fellowship with Christ is not where
                 it should be (1 John 1:3-7, 1 Corinthians 1:9-10).  

IV.   The Bible Gives Instructions for Handling Offense Among Other Believers  
        The time will come when you experience hurt, disagreement, and offense at the hands of God’s children. 
        Many believers let these experiences get them out of fellowship with God’s people and ultimately neutralize
        their effectiveness for the Lord. You can not let every little conflict offend you (Psalm 119:165). In the cases of 
        serious offense there is a definite Biblical pattern for dealing with it.  

         A.   Address the offense with the party that has hurt you; this should be done personally and privately (Matthew 18:15).
                Most conflicts will be resolved at this stage.  

         B.   If the matter is not solved privately, enlist a mature and objective mediator that both parties will
                 respect (Matthew 18:16, 1 Corinthians 6:1-5).  

         C.   If the matter still cannot be resolved, take it to the church leadership so that the offending party might
                have the opportunity to submit to Biblical authority within the local church (Matthew 18:17).  

               1.    In some cases church discipline will be in order. Be prepared to support church discipline. There
                       are certain offenses that demand the attention of church leadership. 

                      a.    False doctrine (Romans 16:17) 

                      b.    Fornication/Intemperance (1 Corinthians 5:9, 11) 

                      c.    Refusal to work (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 11, 14) 

                      d.    Greed and covetousness (1 Timothy 6:5) 

               2.    The purpose of church discipline is repentance (Luke 17:3) and restoration (Galatians 6:1-2). 

               3.    Commit these situations to the pastoral leadership of the church (Hebrews 13:7, 17). 
         D.   Always guard yourself against a root of bitterness in your heart when facing conflict and 
                offense (Galatians 5:14-15, Hebrews 12:14-15).