Scriptural Metaphors for Community


I have been preaching on community lately. In my studies, I ran across several metaphors in Scripture characterizing the Christian life as a community. Here is what I found:

The Church is the Body of Christ

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Ro 12:4–5)

Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Co 10:17)

The Church is the Household or Family of God

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mt 12:50)

So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.” (Ga 4:31)

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Eph 2:19–22)

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,” (1 Pe 1:14–15)

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (1 Pe 4:17–18)

The Church is pictured as a flock

Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Lk 12:32)

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (Jn 10:16)

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Ac 20:28–30)

Question for Reflection

  1. What are other biblical metaphors for community?


Want to learn more about community? Check out:

8 thoughts on “Scriptural Metaphors for Community

  1. Pingback: Behold, My mother and My brothers! | Christadelphians : Belgian Ecclesia Brussel - Leuven

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  3. Pingback: Why Don’t People Participate in Christian Community? | Christianity Matters

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  6. Pingback: 4 Reasons Christian Community is Important | Christianity Matters

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