This is a partnership featuring co-operation, a merging of ideas, and surrendering of personal agendas for the common good of all involved, rather than being individualistic or operating in isolation.

As we co-operate with others, diligently working together for a joint goal, we can accomplish more than if we strive alone. We are on earth to ‘do life’ with one another,

United we stand, divided we fall

even if the relationships are messy at times (Neh 4:6). Teamwork requires each member to fulfill their responsibilities while considering the rights of others, with the payback being the help, support, stimulation, safety of accountability and appreciation for the ability of others.

We should be interacting with others in such a way that we are inspired and challenged to live more Christ-like lives, as were the early church converts when they met together to worship collectively and grow in the faith (Prov 27:17; Act 2:42-47). There is an added dimension when we join with others who have a similar desire to “Praise God together” (Ps 34:3). As Christians, we are joint heirs with Christ, working together with Him and like-minded others to build His Kingdom. There should be a common bond of support, encouragement and spurring one another on in the Christian walk (Mk 16:20; Rom 8:17, 15:30; 2 Cor 6:1; Heb 10:24). “All things work together for our good if we love Him” (Rom 8:28).

Togetherness calls for tolerance, submission and the outworking of the fruit of the Spirit as we are being built into a temple for God. Each believer is an essential part of the whole, yet the attention is not on individual “living stones” but rather on the overall structure which reflects Christ (1 Cor 3:9; Eph 2:21, 4:16; 1 Pet 2:5). Using other NT images, together we make up His Kingdom, together we are His body.

Marriage is a joining together of two people into what is designed to be a lifetime commitment and mutually enjoyable relationship, as opposed to the common ‘living together’ relationship of the unmarried cohabiting (Mt 19:6). It is also used as the symbol of the ultimate consummation of Christ and His people (1 Thes 4:17; Rev 19:9).

As we take on the characteristics of those we associate with, we need to ensure we are not led astray by the lifestyle of the ungodly as we endeavour to win them for Christ.

In respect to our being saved there is a working together of God and us. Scripture is clear that God determines who will be saved, calling such ones chosen and elected for salvation (Rom 8:29,30; Eph 1:5,11; 1 Pet 1:2; 2 Pet 1:10). Our responsibility is to believe and receive Christ as Saviour (Jn 3:16; Rom 10:9,10). So although God knows and God chooses who will be saved, we must choose Christ in order to be saved. God does not violate our free will by choosing us and redeeming us. Rather, He changes our hearts so that our wills choose Him. With our limited knowledge and understanding we don't know who will turn to Christ thus we are to take the gospel to all (Mt 28:18-20; Act 1:8).

See also: belonging, co-operation, individual, individualism, relationships, salvation, support, teamwork, unity.


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