New Testament churches were
a community. It was more than just seeing each other once or twice a week across
the isle at a church service. Rather than being a collection of families, the
entire church was one big close-knit family. They were part of each others' lives.
They cared for each other.
But they didn't just have community. They
had shared theology. In fact, their very sense of community came from their shared
The Apostle Paul remarked about this in his first epistle
to the Corinthians.
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be
no divisions among you; but that ye be
perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same
the same thing. The same mind. The same judgment. No divisions. The early church
communities shared not just their lives with one another, they were of the same
mind when it came to doctrinal questions and the same judgment when it came to
moral questions. Building community for community sake is not what the New Testament
describes. What they had was not just community in a social sense, but community
in the sense of doctrinal consensus.
In John's gospel, Jesus taught
about this kind of unity. In fact, Jesus' defined the church community in terms
of a family that kept the teachings of our Father.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will
keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make
our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:
and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Fathers
which sent me...If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as
I have kept my Fathers commandments, and abide in his love. These
things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that
your joy might be full...Neither pray I for these alone, but for them
also which shall believe on me through their word; That they
all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may
be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
John 14:23-24; 15:10-11;
in Luke 8, Jesus defined "family" as a group of people who follow the
teaching of the Father.
There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent
unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto
him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered
them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about
on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For
whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and
Mark 3:31-35 (Luke 8:19-21) |
goal is to be a part of building that community. If this is your goal also, we
hope that you will take a little time to look around our website, drop us an email,
and maybe even come by and see us.
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