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Our Relationship with God – And With Each Other

The Gospel According to the Fellowship Hall

The primary “death” in the fall of mankind is the death of our relationship with God. Because of sin, we are separated from him. But you will notice in Genesis 3, that Adam and Eve’s sin doesn’t just separate them as individuals from God. It separates them from each other (Gen. 3:16). Sin has relational impact all around.

We even see this division reflected in the Ten Commandments. You will notice that the first four commandments correspond to our vertical relationship—Have no other gods, don’t make any idols, don’t take the Lord’s name in vain, and keep the Sabbath. And then the second table corresponds to our horizontal relationships. Jesus Christ himself summarizes the Law using this vertical/horizontal construct, as well:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39).

Our Relationship With God

The Ten Commandments and the Great Commandment remind us that our sin sets us in hostility with God and with our fellow man. Therefore, the gospel of Jesus Christ must bring reconciliation on both of these levels too.

The gospel doesn’t just unite us to God, but unites us to God together. In fact, the gospel truly believed serves to reconcile sinners one to another. The New Testament refers to this community of reconciliation in Christ as the church! We see lots of pictures in its pages of the reconciling work of the gospel in community, but one of the most vivid—at least in portraying how the gospel works practically among the relationships of reconciled sinners in the church—is found in Romans 12:9-18:

Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.