Christians sometimes treat the church as if it were optional. They believe they don’t need the church, that they are fine on their own. But that simple isn’t true. Christians are designed for community.
When we believe in Jesus, we are born again. We are made anew. We become a new creation. Along with those things, I would argue we are born again into community.
Christians Are Born Again Into Community
Our God is a communal God. The Trinity has existed in community from eternities past. As God’s creation, we have been created in His image, an image we are supposed to reflect. Part of reflecting His image includes living in community. Community we are born again into.
Christians being born into community is exemplified in Acts 2. During Peter’s Pentecost sermon many were cut to the heart, so much so that they turned from their sins to follow Jesus.
Exemplified In Acts 2
After they turned to Jesus we read starting in Acts 2:42:
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
What did they do after they were saved?
They didn’t branch off on their own. They didn’t say thank you but no thank you to fellowship in the church. Instead, they immediately gathered together in community with one another.
As a gathered community, they learned together, supported one another, and did life together.
Not Just At Pentecost
Christians gathering into community at Pentecost is not an anomaly. It is a reoccurring theme. As you read through Acts, as well as Peter, Paul, and John’s letters you see Christians gathering in community.
Whenever a missionary shows up and people are saved, a community of believers form, who learn together, who support one another, who do life together. All because Christians are born again into community.
By nature Christians are a communal people. God set it up that way. As His people, we should honor God’s design. We should be apart of a community of believers.
We need others with whom we can learn. We need others to support us, to encourage us, to care for us. We need others with whom we can do life together. It’s imperative we are apart of and invested in a community of believers.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you believe Christians are born again into community?
- Are you apart of a Christian community?
- Do you see the benefits of being apart of a Christian community?
Post adapted from my sermon Living in Community – Part 1
9 thoughts on “Christians are Born Again Into Community”
Great message Casey – i could not agree more!
Thanks a lot. I appreciate the encouragement. Thanks for sharing the post on Twitter as well.
It’s hard to answer the question without defining community more. If you are referring to the community you refer to in Acts, I’d have to say no. I don’t see a group of people DEVOTED to the apostles teachings, I don’t see a group of people gathered in homes and I certainly don’t see a group that sells all they have and giving to those in need. I know it could simply be that I don’t find myself doing that while it exists all around me. On the other hand, if community means meeting when the building opens up and doing some good outreach projects a few times a year, then yes, I can say yes.
Please don’t mishear me. That little soapbox I am standing on is only aimed at me. I’m working on looking in the mirror to see Jesus looking back at me but today it was still me looking back at me. I hope to be closer to the disciples in Acts tomorrow than I was today.
Living in community is difficult. Especially in the same way the early church did. I don’t necessarily think we have to sell all we have and move into a compound together, but I do believe we need to be gathering with one another on a regular basis. Probably more than once a week on Sunday, but probably no less than that.
If we are going months without attending a gathering of believers, we are avoiding Christian community. I believe our spiritual growth will suffer because of that. We need each other. We need each others prayers. We need to know what is going on in each others lives. We need to be around each other to do that. We need to be in community.
My prayer is the same as yours. That I would better take advantage of the community I have. I say that even as a pastor.
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