Love one another. It's one of the greatest, simplest and most difficult commands Jesus gave. And when it comes to the church, sometimes it seems impossible.
How can we achieve unity within the diversity of the body of Christ? Gerald Sittser examines the "one another" statements throughout the New Testament to distill much-needed biblical wisdom for loving each other even in the midst of controversies and stalemates. Speaking from his own pastoral experience with the best and worst of church life, Sittser helps us understand more fully what the love Jesus commanded actually requires and shows us how to live it out—through struggle, servanthood, compromise and sacrifice.
"Jesus' best-known command, 'Love one another,' is also the least obeyed. It's the most difficult thing Jesus asked us to do. Jerry Sittser doesn't make it any easier, but he shows how it is possible. He does it by embedding the love command in a network of New Testament 'mutuality commands' that support and nourish Jesus' command to love. This is accurate exegesis embraced by passionate concern and worked out in contexts in which any of us can recognize ourselves; the result is a book that will develop spiritual maturity in its readers and deepen the life of love in the church."
"Sittser emphasizes particularly the importance of admonishing brothers and sisters in loving, nonjudgmental ways which will help Christians become all that God intended them to be."
"His chapter on forgiveness is some of the best writing on the subject I have ever read."
Sittser's expositions of Paul's pastoral thinking are often insightful and almost always helpful. It might form a supporting text for a local church studying what the Bible says about Christian fellowship or pastoral care. It would also provide warmth and breadth for the thinking of pastors, elders or deacons, possibly on a retreat
Join the author and explore the mutuality commands left by Jesus that teach and illustrate how to obey Him and put love into action.
The author goes into the other commands which teach love in action. The author does not try to tell us what we should do, but the words of the Bible and how they can be used to help us learn to live together and even to love one another are explored in detail.
Love One Another takes the emphasis off church growth tactics or the latest trend in motivational preaching. Instead, Sittser shows a church being the body Jesus intended-redeemed sinners loving one another.
There are so many interesting facets to this book; it could be worthwhile as a study for small groups in the church. The discussion guide in the back of the book would be so helpful that any lay person could lead the discussion.
A much needed how-to book on healthy church life.
Somehow though, it's not like every other book that is designed to compel the Church towards love; it's full of practical steps to a love that goes beyond barriers, acknowledging those around us, encouraging, forgiving and confessing.
Preface to the New Edition
1. The New Commandment
2. Welcome One Another
3. Be Subject to One Another
4. Forbear One Another
5. Forgive One Another
6. Confess Sin to and Pray for One Another
7. Serve One Another
8. Encourage One Another
9. Comfort One Another
10. Bear One Another?s Burdens
11. Stir Up One Another
12. Admonish One Another