Summary: 3 Biblical Pictures of the community that we are to live out at the church, the body of Christ.
Phil. 2:4 “Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” (NIV)
This morning talk about what God has been teaching me about the kind of community that He desires for us to have in Him-Look @ 3 pictures/metaphors for biblical community, the kind of community that God expects us to have, the kind of community that X prayed for.
Through each of these we’ll see that true, biblical community flows out of our relationship w/ God and into our relationship with other believers.
Image #1:One body –Eph. 4:4 “We are all one body, we have the same spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future.”
A. We are to be one. Jn. 17:20-23 (read)
Our model for community is God-be one as he is one-God in three persons-Father, Son, Holy Spirit-still one God
Not here to try to explain the trinity-recognize the unity, oneness of God and point out that we have been created in His image and are now called to be one body.
B. One body, many parts.-God has made us one body w/ many members-all working together-all are nec.
Celebrate our oneness as part of the body of X (greet others)
PART 2-Brothers & Sisters
Second image-Brothers and Sisters-most common word used to describe the community of believers in the NT, more than any other figurative language, certainly more than the “called-out ones” (ekklēsia), or church.
Need to grasp the Jewish concept of family to understand what X meant when He established that as His followers we are brothers and sisters.
To the Jews the most imp. Family rel. was different than it is today.
Today-Married-Melea closest relationship, we built our family around that around our marriage relationship.
A. In Jewish culture family relationships were not centered around marriage, but blood relations.
Traced through bloodlines, specifically male bloodlines-so that only a father could pass on family membership to the next gen. not the mother.
Male-your concept of family would be
Father (received blood from)
Brother & Sister (shared blood w/)
Children (passed blood on to)
Bro & sis
But technically your children were not part of your “family” because their bloodline was traced through their fathers & that was their family.
So because husbands and wives had different fathers their primary allegiance was to the Father, Brother & Sisters not each other.
They had a different view of marriage-not for love or companionship, usually contractual-to strengthen a families power, wealth, etc.
So the emotional bonding we expect as a mark of healthy husband/wife relationship was normally characteristic of sibling relationships.
So if I had lived in that culture my closest family relationship would have been to my brother, not my wife-go to him for advice, comfort, etc.
Ill. Jewish book-Jubilees-rewrite of the book of Genesis from the 2nd century BC-tells of Isaac offering his final charge to Jacob and Esau.
“Among yourselves, my sons, be loving of your brothers as a man loves himself, with each man seeking for his brother what is good for him...and each one will love his brother with compassion and righteousness and no on will desire evil for his brother from now and forever all the days of your lives so that you will prosper in all your deeds and not be destroyed”
Now think about that in terms of what the Bible says to us about being brothers and sisters in X-re-read w/ bro in X.
“Among yourselves, my sons, be loving of your brothers (in X) as a man loves himself, with each man seeking for his brother (in X) what is good for him...and each one will love his brother (in X) with compassion and righteousness and no on will desire evil for his brother (in X) from now and forever all the days of your lives so that you will prosper in all your deeds and not be destroyed”
B. As Brothers and Sisters in X we should have that kind of loyalty and commitment to each other.
We are spiritually blood relations because of the blood of X, Brothers and Sisters-called to love and care for each other with the love of X.
PART 3-Holy Priesthood
I Pet. 2:5 “You also like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
A. We are to be a people who minister to each other.
Don’t go to church to minister-we are the church-this is just a building-you are the church-called to minister wherever you are.
Listen to these verses
Eph. 4:11-13-It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.