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Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3394
East TN (for now)

 Re:

Quote:
by havok20x
Proverbs says there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

Jesus said there is no greater love than a man lay down his life for his friends.


I've been following this thread but what is "no greater love than to lay your life down"? I believe that it goes way deeper than what I was taught in Sunday school and what I used to think.

What I believe now is when my sister offends me or hurts me, when my brother has said something very cross or even my spouse, that there is no greater love than me laying down my life (my response, my opinion on the matter, my jealousy, my offense), for my friends (family also) and just loving them no matter what.

Then they see that there truly is a friend that sticks closer than a brother! And that would be Christ in me, the hope of glory!!! We must die to ourselves (laying down our life) for our friends and family.

Just my two cents!! :)
God is faithful!!!
Lisa


_________________
Lisa

 2018/4/25 13:15Profile
TakeUptheCross
Member



Joined: 2016/8/10
Posts: 242
Germany

 Re:

Brothers and sisters,

I follow the thread and read through your posts with great interest. But I am not able to answer each post (and I do not find it necessary). This discussion has been imo very productive, and may God bless you for your input! :)

@AbideinHim

Quote:
They are the children of God, and because they make distinctions between themselves and other children of God, they do not on that account cease to be the children of God.



Exactly! And that's one of the reasons why I want to strive to love all children of God, no matter if they are of the same denomination like me or not. Denominations is a broad theme but I would briefly add the following: every genuine movement of God could later turn into something "denomination-like". I think that's the way many of the denominations came into being (correct me, if I am wrong).

Non-denominational churches tend to have sometimes (at least from my experience) also the taste of "denominationalism". So if you take for example the "local churches" - their way of worship is very specific for "the local churches". The problem is, I think, not so much in the name of the Church - as in the way how we understand and practice brotherly love.

 2018/4/25 16:23Profile
TakeUptheCross
Member



Joined: 2016/8/10
Posts: 242
Germany

 Re:

@StirItUp

Quote:
This may be splitting hairs, but...... are we friends or brothers and sisters in Christ?



I think havok20x adressed your question very well. We are both family (with all children of God) and friends (with some). But let me give you some background to my question and you will understand perhaps why I asked so.

I currently go to a Pentecostal church in another town (40-50km away from mine).That's not because I have specifically sought for "Pentecostal" church. I've been to several churches in my town and did not want to remain there because imo, shortly said, I was doing myself spiritually speaking more harm than good. Then I learned about that church from a sister, who goes in similar church in her town. And I've been going there since Feb 2017. (btw these are russian-german congregations).

One day in February, I was out with my sister in the city and while we were walking, I saw posters with Bible verses and people who share tracts. We walked by them and I noticed they were not JW, so I decided to take a tract and talk a little bit with them. It turned out they were Baptists and they invited me to their youth meeting the same day. We went and had really wonderful fellowship. Since then I've been to their meetings several times, although I continue to go regularly to the meetings of my church.

Since then I've tried to talk with brothers and sisters (from the Pentecostal "camp") about fellowshiping with Baptists. And some are very reserved, others go to extremes. But somehow I hear about similar reactions from the Baptists. Now, I do not know how is it in USA, but here in Germany (and perhaps especially among some russian-german churches) there is almost something like enmity: Baptists forbidding believers in their congregations to even talk with Pentecostals; claims that tongue-speaking is devilish; thoughts that non-tongue-speakers cannot go to heaven; requierements to proclaim that tongue-speaking is not of God etc. - these are the things that I have heard of. Shocking!

So my question came like: if I go closer to these people, and visit their church often (cause it is in my city) - would it be harmful to my faith. Can they be my friends or I must keep distance? (Some worry that they could drag me into false teachings, especially when we speak about baptism of the Holy Ghost). Would it be harmful for me and my spiritual walk if I go to both churches as times allows me and make friends with believers from both churches?

You know what StirItUp, it is easy to say "We are all brothers and sisters", while everybody remains in 'his house' where he feels comfortable. But I ask myself sometimes: Do I love somebody, even in my local church, so much that I would be ready to give my life for them? How can you love somebody you do not really know? And how can you "lay down your life for your friends", if you never in the first place befriend certain people (in this case Baptists)?

I personally believe that there are A LOT OF THINGS my local church can learn from this particular Baptist church that I visited. I so much love to see how they "dive into the Word", the teaching and preaching of the Word. And I do realise that neither all Baptist churches, nor all Pentecostal churches are good. Perhaps also not all Baptist would accept me, and some Pentecostals are going to think I am weird...

Anyways, I think the label does not guarentee spirituality but "those who are led by the Spirit are children of God".

"Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." - 2 Tim 2:19

P.S. Edit to add and correct

 2018/4/25 16:56Profile
StirItUp
Member



Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re:

Dear sister,

My point is not that we cannot be friends or that friendship is not important. Friendship is usually limited to a few people in our lives, if that many. Even Christ did not share His earthly life equally intimately with everyone.

My actual point is that we forget the labels, the denominational barriers etc and receive each one who calls himself brother and is proven by his confession and practice to be so in truth, no matter where he or she may fellowship.

"3Make
every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through
the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one
Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when
you were called; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6one God and Father of all, who is over all
and through all and in all."

Those who believe and practice by any other rule are in danger of despising the Body of Christ and are not obeying Christ's command that we love one another and thus prove the sincerity of our faith.
There should be no question because:" he who loves has passed from death to life"

He who does not love his brother cannot truly love God or know God...

God bless,


_________________
William

 2018/4/26 7:14Profile
havok20x
Member



Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 786


 Re:

Takeupthecross,

I want to encourage you to read the book, "The Insanity of God" by Nik Ripken. There is a lot in that book that has little to do with this discussion, but there is a WHOLE LOT that has everything to do with it.

You asked, "How can you love somebody you do not really know?"

The love we have one for another has been given to us. It is not a result of knowing one another, but of the Spirit of the Living God making us alive in Him. There is a sense of fellowship and love that is inexplicable that Christians experience for one another, even though they do not know one another. Many believers have given their lives firstly for the Lord and also for the brethren--many of whom they do not know.

Although it is true that there are brothers with whom I am closer than others, I'd lay my life down for even the least of them, not because I have attained to some special spiritual standard, but because of what Jesus has put inside of me--the same thing He has put inside of you.

 2018/4/26 9:09Profile
TakeUptheCross
Member



Joined: 2016/8/10
Posts: 242
Germany

 Re:

Quote:
My actual point is that we forget the labels, the denominational barriers etc and receive each one who calls himself brother and is proven by his confession and practice to be so in truth, no matter where he or she may fellowship.



Amen, somebody! :D Absolutely agree with you!

Quote:
There is a sense of fellowship and love that is inexplicable that Christians experience for one another, even though they do not know one another.



You are right. And Jesus Christ does not call us to lay down our life for the spiritually grown up brothers and sisters, but even for "one of the least of these my brethren". Perhaps everybody would lay their life for the pastor, the elders, the strong in the faith. But even the least one is your brother / sister and you should him/her in the same manner. And isn't this the love that will shock the world?!

Praise the Lord for the Church of Christ, the Bride of the Lamb and for the Love that the Lord pours out in our hearts!

Thank you all for this very encouraging discussion!

 2018/5/3 10:35Profile





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