This week, R.C, Bridget, Carrie, Tyrone, Alison, and Andrew talk about the word “community” and how it is so much more than a buzzword; it is a reality of our new life in Christ.
Divine Life is Communal
God is not an individual but a community.
(Quotes and paraphrases are from “The Community Life” of God by Milt Rodriguez.)
“Our God is community. He is Three-in-one. He thinks in communal terms and He speaks in communal terms. He lives a communal lifestyle. He lives as three distinct Persons who all have their own unique personalities and yet are one. They live together, act together, they fellowship with one another continuously.”
Eternal, divine life is a life of community, co-working, co-operation, fellowship, self-dedication to one another and a laying down of life for one another.
Jesus, while walking the earth, displayed for us the community life of God.
“He never worked alone. He spoke the words from the Father. He did the works of the Father. He cast out demons by the Spirit (Matt. 12:28) Jesus lived by the life of the triune God.”
“As a person, He has a will and the power to chose. And He chose, as a man, to live and work in the communal life of God. He had a communal consciousness and was aware of where He had come from. He was not going to act independently from that community just because He was here on earth.”
“In fact, the Father sent Him to continue that fellowship, that corporate lifestyle, here on earth so that His disciples would begin to “see” with new eyes.”
“One of the greatest needs among believers today is to be able to “see” from this communal viewpoint.”
Divine Life Is Relational
There is a relationship between the Father, Son, and Spirit. All other “relationships” are but a reflection of that one relationship. (They are pictures of, reflect parts of THE relationship that exist between the Father/Son/Spirit.)
“There is only one relationship on earth that is NOT a picture or reflection of the divine relationship but IS rather an expression of the fellowship of the Godhead. This is the relationship of the members of the Body of Christ. This is because the Body of Christ is constituted for the specific purpose of expressing the community life of GOD.”
It is the body of Christ, literally. It was created to participate in and give expression to the communal life of God. This is why church is soooo much more than a group of people gathered together in a living room once a week.
Body life is the result of each member participating, partaking together in the communal, relational life of God. So that, just as Jesus displayed the community life of God while on earth, He can still continue to display that community life through his many membered body.
It is within this context, reality and understanding in mind that we’ll be speaking today.
- World System:
- Motorcycle and Street
- Work Groups
- Neighborhoods (HOA)
- Special Interest/Hobbies Clubs/Groups
- Facebook/Social Media Groups
- Going to a ball game or a sports bar
- everyone cheering together, giving high fives
- Playing on a team together – common goal/purpose
- Church “Friends”
- Nuclear Family
What are these counterfeit to? The Real Community. Why are these counterfeit? They are counterfeit because they center around something other than Christ Himself.
- Kingdom Vision–Eternal Purpose
- Christ Focused
- No Hierarchy
- Constant/Regular Contact
- Face-to-face contact
- In each others lives
- Live in close proximity to each other
- Your kids are my kids (and my kids are your kids)
- Open communication
- Transparent lives
- Decisions are made corporately
- Not cookie cutter groups trying to replicate each other
- Not a community of rules/laws
- Spiritual Communities
- Eternal Impact
- The local group may not stay together forever
- The goal is not for the group to last but for Christ to have His way
- Being built together as a spiritual house to express Christ
- There is a rub as stones are placed together
- There is a visible expression
- Life giving support, expression, serving, proclaiming, strength that flows naturally out of the Life infused through all the members
A major hindrance to the flow of communal life between the members of Christ’s body: Separation
- When being attacked by the enemy, the flesh wants us to separate from the community (to figure things out)
- When we are trying to make an important decision, the flesh says get away from the group and “noise”
- The flesh clouds our mind and decision making
Remember that we are “…convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 8:38-39
The Community Life of God by Milt Rodriguez