NT Tuesday: ‘One Another’ Verses in the New Testament
The only topic that came to my heart and mind was writing on the “one another” passages in the New Testament. But, I said to myself, “self, that isn’t a New Testament principle.” Ah ha! Little did I know that I would sit through a message on Nehemiah and be told that the “one another” passages in Scripture are in fact a New Testament principle. Therefore, this week’s blog post is on the “one another” passages found in the New Testament.
Let me explain why I agree with the Bible teacher who declared that as New Testament principle practicing saints, we ought to pay heed to the “one another” passages.
Principles should change our practice – it’s that simple. If we are going to adhere to New Testament principles, than our lives (not just our meetings, but our individual lives) ought to look much, much different than the world.
Let’s consider some of these passages…
Confess our sins to one another
“Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16.
In this verse, we are instructed to participate in two different activities as part of our relationship with each other in the body of Christ. The first is to confess our sins to one another. Interestingly enough, it does not say to confess our sins to a robed clergy, to a recognized elder, to a Bible teacher, to a deacon, etc. It says to confess our sins to one another.
While Jesus Christ’s work on the cross has made it possible for us to confess our sins directly to God, there are some benefits to confessing our sins to each other in an appropriate manner.
Certainly, if we have wronged a person, we ought to confess our sins to that person and ask for forgiveness. Likewise, if we have sinned publicly (or been caught in a sin and it becomes public), there is a necessity to confess our sins to the local church and others who may have been offended by the sin.
If we need support or accountability, confessing our sins to one another has a benefit. I have sat with more than one young man who has confessed his addiction to pornography. Even as they were confessing them, there was a burden that was being released and now shared by another brother. Accountability, love, grace, and forgiveness are often needed during these times.
Pray for one another
Notice how closely, confessing our sins, praying and healing are connected. It would do us well to take note of this relationship. I would suggest that our prayers are hampered when we fail to confess our sins and likewise, holding in unconfessed sins is certainly not healthy.
Prayer is powerful!
Prayer benefits the one praying and the one who is the subject of the prayer.
Prayer aligns our thoughts with God’s perspective on things.
Prayer forms a bond between brothers and sisters that is not easily broken.
We need to pray because it expresses our dependence on God.
We need to pray for others, because it expresses our love for them.
We need others to pray for us, because it allows them to show their love for us. Let us be prayer warriors during our time here.
More on the “one another” passages next week – unless the Lord Jesus comes back – oh, what a thought… until then, fulfill your ministry.
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