Yesterday, we started a new teaching series here at Sawyers Church called “Relationships”. The Apostle Paul in his letters to churches and individuals spoke a lot about relationships. He encouraged his readers to keep the unity of the Spirit. Here is a sample of his teaching from Philippians 2 v 1 – 11 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Why did the Apostle Paul focus so much of his teaching on relationships?
I believe it is because our deepest need is to belong, to be in a relationship, to have a spiritual and emotional “home.” The very nature of God is to be in relationship: “God is love,” says 1 John 4:16. Love means relationship—the caring, committed connection of one individual to another. Like God, our most central need is to be connected. When God said that even in his perfect new universe, it wasn’t “good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18), he wasn’t just talking about marriage. He was talking about relationship—other people outside ourselves to bond with, trust, and go to for support. We are built for relationship. Attachment is the foundation of the soul’s existence.
We were made for RELATIONSHIP. Relationship with God and relationship with one another.