This morning started with a session in “Gospel in Life” by one of my favorite living preachers, Timothy Keller. This time, the sessions focus was the topic of community. (you can download his notes here).
1 Peter 2:9 is his passage of focus:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Some of his points are that:
1) Holy Nation – a new community which exemplifies what the world would be like under the Kingship of Jesus Christ. Different, distinct from the world and the people around us.
2) Royal Priesthood – Priests bring the needs of the people to God, and their job is the bring people to God, and pouring themselves out in order to do so. Deeply involved in the lives of the world and the people around us.
I like what he said about being “Distinct FROM the people of the world, FOR the people of the world.”
He goes on to say –
- You cannot know God apart from community – fellowship groups and friendships – “When God summons you into a relationship with Himself, he always summons you into relationship with others that know God”. Are you regularly meeting with people to pray and dissect the word of God together, and do life as followers of Christ together?
- You cannot change deeply apart from community. When the Gospel changes me, it enables me to enjoy others in an atmosphere of honor. Until you learn to go deep in community, will you be able to become the person God wants to shape and change deeply.
- You cannot win the world apart from community. Although in and of itself, it is very different from the Gospel, Community is a way to model the Gospel.
John 17:23 ” I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”