Key Text: Hebrews 10:19-25

One of the dominant themes throughout the Bible is that we are better together than apart. That’s because we are created in the image of God and because God exists in community, we are not better until we are in community with Him and with His people. We are infinitely better when we are reunited, reconciled, brought back into community with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Being a part of the body of Christ means that to be committed to God is to be committed to each other.

A summary of this passage is that Jesus in flesh was both High Priest and sacrifice, so that by His physical death and the shedding of His blood He has opened up our access to God. For those of us who are in Christ because our hearts are washed clean by His blood, we can ‘…approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.Hebrews 4:16 We don’t have to cower in His presence. We can enter His presence boldly because we belong in His presence through Christ.

The author of Hebrews shifts slightly to make another application of this gospel. Telling us the good news that it brings us into fellowship and community with God. Notice what it says: That as fellow believers, We are to be concerned about each other. ‘Consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.’v. 24

For all of us it means getting involved in one of our ministry areas serving, encouraging, giving hope to those feeling overwhelmed by life; it means helping shepherd God’s people.

We’re better when we’re together and committed to the well being of each other. For this reason Ephesians 4:11-12 So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

There are often misunderstood ideas of community. But is neither from the world of North Korean type communism or from the beige world of biscuits and tea. Community is from the world as God wants it to be. It is the gift of a rich and challenging life together, one that we need and can embrace with joy. At it’s simplest it is sharing a common life in Christ. It moves us beyond the self-interested isolation of private lives and beyond the superficial social contacts that pass for ‘Christian fellowship.’

A Way To See Christ In Others One of the most important ways the community helps us is by embodying Christ’s continuing presence on earth.

A Source Of Accountability and Guidance Community furthers our continuing conversion by being a place where we teach each other and hold ourselves accountable to each other.

A Place To Pray And Worship The community helps us grow, as it becomes a workshop for prayer and worship. By instruction and by example, the N.T. teaches us to pray and to pray for one another.

A Place To Serve The community is also where we learn to strip away our self-interest in order to serve others. It is here that we learn to share what God has given us, whether it is physical resource or spiritual gifts.

A Witness To The World The value of Christian community is bigger than just bringing the Body of Christ to strength and maturity. By our character and action, we bear witness to the power and presence of God in the world. We aspire be like Jesus and therefore, models of what God wants for all of humankind.

Ambassadors Of God’s Love We not only demonstrate God’s love; we mediate it. We carry‘the ministry of reconciliation’ 2 Corinthians 5:18 to those around us, taking God’s compassion and healing power into a broken world. The Biblical ideal of community challenges us to commit ourselves to life together as the people of God.

The practice of Christian community, quite simply, makes the gospel a lived shared reality

It strengthens us to live the life to which we are called; it conveys God’s life and power to the world at large… And it is necessary.

God, from the beginning, never intended that we should go through the world ‘alone’.

We cannot experience fully the power and delight of life with God without also being drawn into life together with those in Christ. Without experiencing such life together, we will not discover how wonderful the news about Jesus really is