Social Interaction Amongst Brethren
Outline By: Brian A. Yeager
A. We know that kingdom/church is to be focused on spiritual rather than social affairs (Romans 14:17).
1. The local church is to assemble for spiritual edification and comfort (Ephesians 4:16 and I Thessalonians 5:11-14).
2. The local church is obviously to assemble for worship (Acts 20:7).
3. The local church is to assemble for spiritual decision making and action regarding such (Matthew 18:15-17, Acts 15:1-30, and Romans 15:25-27).
4. The local church is to assemble to receive information regarding spiritual matters (Acts 14:22-27).
B. Where does that leave us for social interaction? Should we just be around our brethren for spiritual matters and the world for social pleasure? How would that help us and not hurt us (I Corinthians 15:33)?
1. How can we know one another if we only spend time together when we assemble for the work of the church (Acts 20:18)?
2. How can we exhort one another properly, if we only see or talk to each other one time or twice per week (Hebrews 3:13)?
3. We know we are all busy, cannot possibly talk to every brother or sister every day. How though can we be content not really knowing how each other are doing at all (Ephesians 6:21-22, Colossians 4:7-9, I Thessalonians 3:6, and III John 1:3)?
II. Body: Not The Assembly, But From House To House (Acts 2:46).
A. As individual Christians, we have the work of hospitality to perform one toward another (Romans 12:13 and I Peter 4:8-9).
1. I say “as individual Christians”, for there is certainly a difference in the work of the church and that of individual Christians (I Timothy 5:3-16).
2. We understand this clearly in how marriage and martial responsibilities are for Christians, but not the local church (I Corinthians 7:1-5).
3. Socially, there are certainly differences in what we are authorized to do when assembled as the local church than when we are in our own homes (I Corinthians 11:16-34).
4. Therefore, we must consider how we as individual or concurrently [more than one, but not the whole body] need to share social time together (Acts 16:13-15).
B. How does only spiritual time fit into the mindset that we, as brethren, are a spiritual family (Ephesians 2:19 and Ephesians 3:15)?
1. During “worship services”, I am not going to find out that a brother or sister is sorrowing after something I should join them in or rejoicing in something I should join them in (I Corinthians 12:26).
2. When you think of a “dinner table discussion” with a family, isn’t there much there spoken that would not be during times the church assembles that we can and should know about our spiritual family members.
a. Some brethren won't come before all and tell of a need because they are "bear it alone" minded and such isn't necessarily wrong (Galatians 6:4-5).
b. However, if you are much a part of that brother or sisters life, won’t you be more likely to see the need rather than needing to hear of it (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)?
c. Won’t that help you be a brother or sister in times of both spiritual (Romans 15:1-3 or James 5:19-20) and physical needs (I John 3:14-18)?
C. Regarding the spiritual state of one another, how much can you really see just during times wherein the church assembles in a controlled environment wherein things are decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:40)?
1. How can you know the “real me” [as opposed to appearances] when the times we are assembled are times to easily “fit in” because of the controlled environment (Matthew 7:15-20)?
2. If we are to mark individuals as good examples, doesn’t that infer that you will see things of them in private that are not publicly known until you make that known (Philippians 3:17; cf. III John 1:12)?
D. How can we be examples to each others as older, younger, parents, husbands, wives, etc. if those parts of our lives are not shared (Titus 2:1-8)?
1. It takes more than talk to be an example (I Thessalonians 2:10 and I Timothy 4:12).
2. Open the doors and windows of your life so that your brothers and sisters in Christ can know you fully (i.e. II Timothy 3:10-11).
III. Conclusion: Our conversation [lives] needs to be known “more abundantly” toward one another (II Corinthians 1:12).
© 2016 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager