“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
Community, according to Webster’s online dictionary, is the following:
“A group of people living in a particular local area. A body of people having common rights, privileges, or interests, or living in the same place under the same laws and regulations. Common character; likeness.”
The word “community” is used quite frequently these days. I understand why it is used and that the concept is important, but I wonder if, by using the word “community”, we may be cheating ourselves out of what really needs to be the focus:
Learning how to function as the body of Christ.
In the body of Christ, each individual has accepted the undeserved gift of Salvation. Because of Christ’s death on the cross, our sins are covered and we are in the process of sanctification. Then we are adopted into a family – GOD’S family!
- Sanctification: the process of becoming holy and perfect.
- Adoption: Once we become a Christian, God brings us into His family. We become His children.
Ephesians 2:19 tells us that we are members of God’s household. This is not a normal, earthly family. We have been plucked out of a lost, dying, disconnected world and placed in a family. The family of God. We were never meant to live independently from each other. If that were the case then we would not be referred to as “the body” of Christ. No part of the body can function on it’s own. Hebrews 10: 19-25 tells us to cultivate our relationship with God and then to nurture and cultivate our relationship with the body.
The body of Christ includes every single one of us who has been drawn into a relationship with Christ. We stand on level ground. At any given time, we should be able to turn to any person who is a member of the body of Christ and know that we will be cared for. Taking the time to remember our calling enables us to look beyond ourselves and see everyone as being a member of a family – whether it be online, in our church, or in our friendships.
19 Ways We Are Called To Care For One Another
- Pray for one another (Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; I Thess. 5:17;James 5:16)
- Encourage one another (I Thess. 5:14, 2:11)
- Edify one another (I Thess. 5:11)
- Exhort one another (urge to pursue some course of action; warn and advise) (Hebrews 10:25, 3:13; Phil 4:2, I Thess 4:10)
- Admonish one another (warning, reproof, teaching ) (Romans 15:14, I Cor. 4:14, Col. 1:28, 3:16, I Thess. 5:12, 14; 2 Thess. 3:15)
- Love one another (John 13:34)
- Care for one another. (I Cor. 12:25, Phil. 2:4)
- Bear with one another (Romans 15:1, Gal. 6:2)
- Forgive one another (Eph. 4:32)
- Help one another physically (Gal. 5:13) and materially (I Tim. 6:17, 18)
- Worship with one another (Heb. 10:24-25).
- Be devoted to one another. (Romans 12:5).
- Honor one another (Romans 12:10)
- Rejoice with one another (Romans 12:15)
- Serve one another (Galations 5:13)
- Carry one another’s burdens (Galations 6:2)
- Encourage one another (I Thess. 5:11)
- Offer Hospitality to one another (I Peter 4:9)
- Confess our sins to one another (James 5:16)
When we live this calling we become a light for a lost world to see and a haven for our family members. How have you been living out your calling? How have you been blessed by a member of the body of Christ?