By Ed Wittlif
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28 NASB).
Community is a powerful word. It pictures a group that are together in harmony and agreement. That is what God's people need to be. Jesus said the love His disciples have for one another is what proclaims that they truly are His. Without that mutual love, there is no community, only divisions.
The first letter to the Corinthian church points out their lack of community. They were divided as to whom they followed, they were divided by class, and they certainly were divided over spiritual gifts. Paul said they ought to be one "so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another" (I Corinthians 12:25).
We see a great sense of community in Acts 2:43-47. Because the members demonstrated love for one another, many joined their community. They spent as much time as possible with each other. Two powerful reasons given for us to come together is to encourage each other in faithfulness and to stimulate each other to good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Jesus tells us that if our becoming His disciples costs us our physical family, we will gain much more in our spiritual family (Mark 10:29-30).
The world is full of temptations trying to draw us away from Jesus. Satan is also active in trying to get us to give up. That is why we need to be a community. It is tough to go it alone. Therefore, be an active part of the community of God's family.
- Ed Wittlif is from Denver, CO; via the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. Joe Slater serves as minister and he may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com