Allelon: Discovering One Anothering

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By Steve Simms

The New Testament "one anothers" are instructions directing Christians how to relate to each another. They are based on the Greek word allelon that means "one another, each other; mutually, reciprocally." The Bible even goes so far as to say, in Romans 12:5, that we "are every one members of one another."  

Jesus used allelon when He said: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Love is reciprocal. It really can't be experienced by one.

The one another commands give us various, practical ways of demonstrating (and living out) mutual and reciprocal caring for one another. Therefore, our obeying the New Testament one anothers is essential if people are to know that we are Jesus' disciples and not just religious. Smith Wigglesworth said: "God has chosen us to help one another."

Andy Stanley put it this way: "The primary activity of the early church was one-anothering one another.” Andrew Mason points out that we need to be "intentional" about following the one anothers (about being mutual and reciprocal in showing love): "We can be intentional about getting people stationed at posts, plugged into programs and delivering curriculum but where are we intentional about one-anothering?" --Andrew Mason

"One anothering" that releases the unity of the Spirit can happen anywhere that two or three (or more) are gathered in the name of Jesus. Intentionally try it and see! (When we minister to one another the Holy Spirit begins to freely flow from our hearts, connecting us at a deep level.) "We are trusted to spread the spirit of love. Tenderness in judgment, the habit of thinking the best of one another." --Amy Carmichael

Without the active love and spiritual insights of one another, we get one dimensional and miss out on much of God's revelation. Here's a partial list of the New Testament one anothers. Which ones are you actively and intentionally doing?

  • "Love one another." (numerous places)

  • "Be devoted to one another." (Romans 12:10)

  • "Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:10)

  • "Live in harmony with one another." (Romans 12:16) "Build up one another." (Romans 14:19)

  • "Be likeminded towards one another." (Romans 15:5)

  • "Accept one another." (Romans 15:7)

  • "Admonish one another." (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16)

  • "Greet one another." (Romans 16:16)

  • "Care for one another." (1 Corinthians 12:25)

  • "Serve one another." (Galatians 5:13)

  • "Bear one another's burdens." (Galatians 6:2)

  • "Forgive one another." (Ephesians 4:2)

  • "Be patient with one another." (Ephesians 4:2)

  • "Be kind and compassionate to one another." (Ephesians 4:32)

  • "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs." (Ephesians 5:19)

  • "Submit to one another." (Ephesians 5:21)

  • "Consider others better than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3)

  • "Look to the interests of one another." (Philippians 2:4)

  • "Bear with one another." (Colossians 3:13)

  • "Teach one another." (Colossians 3:16)

  • "Comfort one another." (1 Thessalonians 4:18) "Encourage one another." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

  • "Exhort one another." (Hebrews 3:13)

  • "Stir up one another to love and good works." (Hebrews 10:24)

  • "Show hospitality to one another." (1 Peter 4:9) "Employ the gifts that God has given us for the benefit of one another." (1 Peter 4:10)

  • "Clothe yourselves with humility towards one another." (1 Peter 5:5)

  • "Pray for one another." (James 5:16)

  • "Confess your faults to one another." (James 5:16)