Mar 9

Session 1 Recap: Lane, “Why Are Friendships So Important?”

2013 | by Michael Kelshaw | Category: Clarus 13

Editor’s Note: Michael Kelshaw is the Head Minister at Trinity at the Marketplace in Albuquerque NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of Timothy Lane’s message from Friday evening at Clarus, March 8, “Why Are Friendships So Important?,” from Ephesians 4:1-16.


The 2013 Clarus Conference (One-Anothering the Word) is concentrating on the necessity of relationships within authentic Christian community. Dr. Timothy Lane opened by showing us Paul’s emphasis of the importance of relationships and how Christian relationships should look.

Dr. Lane unpacked the passage by asking three questions:

1. Why are our relationships so important?

Ephesians 4:1-16 gives us a great vision for why we need relationships with one another. The language of Ephesians 4:12-16 is all about being built up, growing up, and maturing. We need relationships with one another so that we might become more like Jesus, Himself—being conformed to His image. God is accomplishing something greater in relationships than we even thought—not just giving us happiness or intimacy—but making us into the very likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. The reason why our relationships are so important is because of the glorious thing that God is doing in them.

2. What are some basic gospel virtues (character qualities) that are essential to this?

Dr. Lane, then defined the virtues that Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:2: humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with one another in love. Humility is the ability to look at your own sin before we look at other people’s sin; gentleness is when one’s strengths and gifts are bridled by the gospel to empower others, rather than manipulate them; patience relates to how we deal with the sinful offenses of others; while forbearing love relates to how we deal with what simply annoys us. Both patience and forbearance have to do with being humble and gentle with someone for a really, really, really long time. This is how we are to walk in the grace of God in relationships.

3. Who is going to enable us to do this?

The reality is that we often are not humble, gentle, patient, or forbearing. So who will enable us to do this? Paul points us to Jesus—not just as a model—but also as Savior! Jesus is not just humble, gentle, patient, and forbearing, but he is humble, gentle, patient, and forbearing WITH US! Because Jesus saves us and acts toward us in this way, in His grace, we are able act this way toward others.

In Ephesians 4:4-6, Christian community is grounded in the Triune God, who redeems sinners and welcomes them into the rich communion of the Trinity. As His redeemed people we can enter into relationships in profound ways—but only because of His grace. That means that we are bound to one another in profound ways because of what God has done, and He enables us to now move out into relationships with other people.

Dr. Lane reiterated that this topic is vital for us to consider because our very sanctification is involved. So let us ask God to grow us in “One-Anothering the Word” with each other by His grace, for His glory, and for our joy in Him.