4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:4-5 New International Version
Genuine community begins with a genuine and continuing relationship with Jesus Christ. As the head of the church, Jesus is the source of our unity and oneness. Because we are connected to Christ by faith and by the Spirit, we are united in Christ by faith and by the Spirit. If we don’t honour the Lordship of Christ as our King and Saviour (Philippians 2:9-11), then we won’t value community and contribute to its life, growth and purpose.
To love Christ is to love the people whom He died for and has incorporated into Him and included into His church.
The finished work of Jesus not only dealt with the sin that separates you from God, it also dealt with the sin that separates and builds barriers between you and others. As such, there is no ground or place in any church community for racism, gender oppression and class status—for in Christ there is no longer race, gender and class pride and prejudice. There is no lesser “someone” in the family of God. To allow such things to persist is not obeying the gospel of the Kingdom.
The early church had to learn the lesson to stop treating certain people as “clean” and other people as “unclean”—for out of His great love God has made everyone clean in Christ. It is still a lesson we need to learn and put into practice today.
We are one family and a new humanity and one community of new creation in Christ. In such a glorious setting, old fears can be overcome, risks can be taken and the proclamation of the gospel can be expressed more fully. In other words, if we are willing to do for each other what Christ has done for us, this new experience in community will seem like a foretaste of heaven.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.