The “One Anothers” of Scripture

The “One Anothers” of Scripture Hero Image The “One Anothers” of Scripture Hero Image

When we talk about community at Watermark—and, to be fair, we do talk about it a lot—we are really just using the word as shorthand for living out all of God’s instructions for His Church. As we also like to say, Christians don’t go to church; we are the Church. God’s people are the Church when we love and serve each other in the way that God has designed us to live together.

That’s why, in the Bible, there are many passages that tell believers what we should do for one another. These “one another” verses can only be lived out in relationship with other believers. Since there are, by my count, over 50 “one another” commands in the New Testament, it is a lot simpler to just use terms like “community” or “be the Church” to refer to them all. However, since it is also helpful to understand the biblical basis behind living in community, we wanted to list the verses out here for reference.

Love One Another
  • “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
  • “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
  • “These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” (John 15:17)
  • “Love one another with brotherly affection.” (Romans 12:10a)
  • “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)
  • “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
  • “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more.” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10)
  • “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)
  • “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
  • “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11)
  • “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” (1 John 3:23)
  • “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
  • “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:11-12)
  • “And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.” (2 John 1:5)
Honor One Another
  • “Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10b)
Greet One Another
  • “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.” (Romans 16:16)
  • “All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (1 Corinthians 16:20)
  • “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (2 Corinthians 13:12)
  • “Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” (1 Peter 5:14)
Welcome One Another
  • “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)
Show Hospitality to One Another
  • “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4:9)
Have Fellowship With One Another
  • “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
Agree With One Another
  • “…agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11b)
Live in Harmony With One Another
  • “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” (Romans 12:16)
  • “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5)
Be at Peace With One Another
  • “Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mark 9:50)
Be Kind to One Another
  • “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted…” (Ephesians 4:32a)
Forgive One Another
  • “…forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32b)
  • “…and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:13b)
Bear With One Another
  • “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
  • “Bearing with one another…” (Colossians 3:13a)
Bear One Another’s Burdens
  • “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
Comfort One Another
  • “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another…” (2 Corinthians 13:11a)
Care for One Another
  • “That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25)
Confess Sins to One Another
  • “Therefore, confess your sins to one another…” (James 5:16a)
Pray for One Another
  • “…and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16b)
Encourage One Another
  • “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
  • “Therefore encourage one another…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11a)
  • “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Build One Another Up
  • “…and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11b)
Exhort One Another
  • “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)
Instruct One Another
  • “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
Teach and Admonish One Another
  • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
Sing With One Another
  • “Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” (Ephesians 5:19)
Stir Up One Another to Love and Good Works
  • “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)
Do Good to One Another
  • “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Serve One Another
  • “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
  • “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)
Wash One Another’s Feet
  • “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.” (John 13:14)
Wait for One Another
  • “So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.” (1 Corinthians 11:33)
Be Humble Toward One Another
  • “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5)
Submit to One Another
  • “Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
Speak the Truth to One Another
  • “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25)
  • “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.” (Colossians 3:9)
Do Not Speak Against One Another
  • “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” (James 4:11)
  • “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (James 5:9)
Do Not Judge One Another
  • “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” (Romans 14:13)
Do Not Provoke One Another
  • “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another…” (Galatians 5:26a)
Do Not Envy One Another
  • “…envying one another.” (Galatians 5:26b)

Clearly, the most common phrase in this list is “love one another,” but really all of the verses are about loving one another—because love is an action, and because all of God’s commands can be summarized as loving God and loving your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14). Living out these verses in community is how we can love—and be loved—by one another.