At Remedy, we talk a lot about community or being connected. Our calling is to preach the gospel, and part of the gospel is restoration. God restores our relationship with Him and with one another.
God designed the church to meet the needs of the Body, and to communicate the character and goodness of God to the people. But the process of building community takes time – it takes time to get engaged in the lives of other people, and it takes time to let them be engaged in your life.
The world tells us to be independent and self-reliant, but those are not biblical principals. We are in desperate need of one another, and we are created for community.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3
We are all coming out of world values, systems, and thought processes in which we formerly walked. The basis for community is that no one is better than anyone else. Community starts with the fact that we are all broken people who need Jesus – there is no room for pride in community.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Ephesians 2:4-5
God saved us together with Christ. We are one Body with many parts, and we are one with all who are in Christ. This is not just an illustration, but a practical reality. We weep with those who weep, and we rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). When one part of the physical body hurts, the whole body reacts, and it is the same with the Body of Christ.
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:6-9
God raised us up and seated us with Him. Grace is essential to community – all that is good in us is Christ in us, not a result of works, so that no can boast. We’re all saved by the incredible grace of God. We have to come into community humbly, knowing that we are saved by Jesus and what He has done, not by anything we have done.
But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,…and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. Ephesians 2:13-14, 16
Christ broke down the wall between Jew and Gentile. We put up walls of education, culture, language, ethnicity, and finances, yet Christ came and broke down these things that divide us. Christ alone is our hope and our peace, and He removes the dividing walls between us.
When we think of peace, we think of a lack of conflict. In Hebrew, peace has a greater message: Peace is the absence of conflict, but it also encompasses a sense of wholeness or completeness. We need Christ for community, and we’re only whole when we come together in Christ. If we want people to see Jesus, they need to see a group of people who have the hope of Jesus, and are full of love and generosity.
We See Community in God
We need community because we are designed for community. We were created in the image of God, and God has always existed in community from the beginning of time:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [a]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
We see community in God’s triune nature – for all eternity, God has existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We were created in God’s image, and so we have an innate need for community.
One definition of community is “a network of people with common agenda, cause, or interest, who collaborate by sharing ideas, information, and other resources.” The world wants to be a part of something, and so we all seek out community on a sports team, in a class, or at work. But our community is usually based on situational things and circumstances. True community is based on the person and work of Jesus, and the only way we can get into true community is through Jesus.