God's Plan In the Church:

Study Guide
by David Chadwell

Lesson 1  |  Lesson 2  |  Lesson 3  |  Lesson 4  |  Lesson 5  |  Lesson 6  |
  Lesson 7  |  Lesson 8  |  Lesson 9  |  Lesson 10  |  Lesson 11  |  Lesson 12

Lesson Six

The Christian community was to be superior to the Jewish community. The Jewish community was founded on (a) the heritage of a family that became a nation and (b) the living God. The Christian community was to be superior to communities existing in the non-Jewish world. Those who left the various kinds of community in the pagan world were to become part of a superior community.

What made the Christian community superior to the all existing types of communities? Superior politics? wealth? religion? family ties? economics? No. Love made it superior. It was not the emotion we call love; it was the commitment that Jesus called love. This love developed a deep emotion that produced feelings more important than physical existence. But this love was not rooted in feelings. Its roots were in a commitment to seek the highest good and best interest of others. Deep feelings and emotions naturally arose from this commitment.

The Lord Christ, our Savior, is the example of that commitment. It is clearly seen in his crucifixion for the sins and failures of all people.

Without this love, the Christian community cannot exist. When a Christian abuses or neglects this love, he or she abuses and neglects the community. Anyone who destroys this love destroys the community.

1. Read John 13:34,35. Context: Jesus was speaking to eleven of his disciples the night of his betrayal.

  1. What was the new commandment he gave to them?
  2. Specifically how were they to love each other?
  3. If they loved each other in this manner, what would everyone know?

2. Read Romans 13:8-10. Context: in the application section of Romans, Paul explained how Christians who function as the body of Christ treat others.

  1. What debt will a Christian always owe?
  2. The Christian that loves others also does what?
  3. All the commandments of the law regarding the proper treatment of people will be properly obeyed if a person does what?
  4. Love does not do what? Therefore, love is what?

3. Read Galatians 5:13. Context: After proving that non-Jews who were baptized into Christ were as fully Christians as were Jews who were baptized into Christ, Paul gave them some practical teachings about living and acting as responsible members of the Christian community.

  1. Their freedom in Christ was real, but they were not to misuse their freedom. What would be a misuse of their freedom?
  2. How was their freedom to be used?

4. Read 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13. Context: Paul offered a prayer for these Christians before he made his final requests of them.

  1. Paul prayed that they would increase and abound in what?
  2. If they did grow in love as he prayed, what would the Lord do to their hearts?
  3. When would it be obvious that the Lord had established their hearts in this manner?

5. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12. Context: These are some of the final requests Paul made of them.

  1. They did not need anyone to write them about what?
  2. God taught them to do what?
  3. Though they were doing this, what did Paul request?

6. Read 1 Peter 1:22,23 Peter was writing Christians who suffered for their faith. He urged them to make a total commitment to holiness.

  1. Their obedience to the truth did two things: it purified their souls and produced in them what?
  2. What were they to do for each other from the heart?
  3. Notice that Peter connected obeying the truth, purifying the soul, mutual love, the new birth, and the Word of God.

7. Read 1 John 3:11,23; 4:7,11,12; 2 John 5.

  1. What was the message heard from the beginning?
  2. What is his commandment?
  3. What is the connection between love and being born of God?
  4. When does God make his dwelling place in us?

Love is the foundation of the Christian community. The Christian community cannot exist without love. It cannot fail with love. How can we produce and nurture this love so that we can be the community of God?

David Chadwell

Christians Nurturing Christians Study Guide (lesson 6)
Wednesday evening Bible class, Summer Quarter 1999
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Copyright © 1999
Permission is granted to freely copy and distribute with text unchanged, including author's name.
next lesson

Lesson 1  |  Lesson 2  |  Lesson 3  |  Lesson 4  |  Lesson 5  |  Lesson 6  |
  Lesson 7  |  Lesson 8  |  Lesson 9  |  Lesson 10  |  Lesson 11  |  Lesson 12

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell

Link to West-Ark Home Page
West-Ark Church of Christ