Thoughts on Christian Community

If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. – 1 John 1:7

How great a joy it is to walk among our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. This is not just a hopeful ideal to consider in our minds, but a reality we must carry out daily. Our unity in Christ, as one body, is no little blessing. Like all God’s gifts, we could never claim to have earned it on our own merit.

Jesus lived among His enemies. In His final hours He was deserted and abandoned by those who lived among him. If we follow His example we must also live among and minister to those who dramatically oppose our own worldview. Which means that time shared with our family ought to provide us a welcomed sense of comfort.

As pastor/martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer states in his book about Christian fellowship, Life Together, “Without Christ there is discord between God and man and between man and man. Christ became the Mediator and made peace with God and among men. Without Christ we should not know God, we could not call upon Him, nor come to Him. But without Christ we also would not know our brother, nor could we come to him.”

In Paul’s letters we see this love on great display, through his prayer for, encouragement toward, and instruction offered to the congregations of the scattered church. When Paul writes to Timothy, he remembers his tears. He longs to see him again, so that he might be filled with joy (2 Timothy 1:4).

Our battles on earth can be difficult, maybe even impossible, to approach without the aid of others. It helps to recall the ways God has been so kind to allow us to live within and among a local faith community. Together we are able to serve others, and receive these blessings ourselves, as we pursue holiness together. This participation should not be considered a strenuous obligation, but rather a great privilege!

Kevin Wilder

Posted on: March 12, 2014 - 8:00AM

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