Summary: God's case has 3 basic ideas (Outline and material adapted from Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson's book, Building a Church of Small Groups, Chapter 1, In the Beginning, God: The Theological Evidence)
In his book, “Imagine Your Life Without Fear” Max Lucado gives some significant insight when he says,"Questions can make hermits out of us, driving us into hiding. Yet the cave has no answers. Christ distributes courage through community; he dissipates doubts through fellowship. He never deposits all knowledge in one person but distributes pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to many. When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries, when we mix, mingle, confess and pray, Christ speaks."
This morning we looked at the need for community from humanity’s perspective. This evening we will look at community from God’s perspective.
Thesis: God’s case has 3 basic ideas
1. The Godhead, the Trinity
Godhead is best described by the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy- God in 3 persons, blessed Trinity
What does this have to do with fellowship, with community? All 3 involved in creation:
1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1, NIV.
“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:2, NIV.
“Through him (the Word) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:3, NIV.
When God came to make man this is what he said: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...”” Genesis 1:26, NIV. To whom is God talking? Is God talking to himself? In a way. All of this demonstrates the relationships in the Godhead.
The Godhead comes to a consensus to create humans in His image. It is not enough to say God is interested in community. God, rightly defined and understood, is community. The doctrine of the Godhead is extremely complex and but this has implications for the importance of community. Since God himself lives and works in community and since we are created in God’s image, then we too are created in and for community.
In God there is the identity of the One, and yet there are Three in One. There is individuality in the Godhead. God exists in community. This picture of the Oneness of God should shatter our independence.
Let’s dig deeper into this statement, “Let us make man in our image.” What does this mean?
This means that humans have eternal souls in contrast to the animals. This is true and part of what is being said but not exactly.
Sure God gave humans a soul that distinguishes us from plants, animals, and other created beings. But He did more. God chose to give to us a distinct kind of relational DNA. God created us all with a “community gene,” an essential part of what it means to be a human.
All people have a great hunger for togetherness. If we treat this hunger as unimportant, we deny a big part of how we were created. When the church understands this, we validate the nature of the God whose image we bear. We need to work with the grain and not against it. We are created in God’s image; therefore, we are created for community.