20th August 2013

Live in Community 

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:44-47 (NIV) 

Have you noticed that our culture is a very individualistic one? Just think of how many times you see the word ‘personal’ used in our society.  We have personal equity plans, personal pensions, personal loans, personal stereos, personal trainers, personal computers—we even have personalised number plates on our cars. 

There is a danger, that as Christians, we might fall into this ‘personal’ trap when we speak of things like ‘my personal walk with God’ or ‘fulfilling my personal potential’. It’s as if we can live the Christian life all on our own and no one else matters. 

But God has made us as gregarious creatures; people who need others to survive—materially, emotionally and spiritually.  The New Testament is full of the language of community. It speaks of a flock, a kingdom, a nation, a family, a household, and on the Day of Pentecost the Christian Church was inaugurated.  God has called us into fellowship with others and he knows that we cannot develop and flourish as Christians if we do not have the help and support of others.  The Apostle Paul says, “…in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5).  He then goes on to show how individuals in the Christian community should relate to each other: “Live in harmony with one another…” (verse 16), and, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality”. (verse 13).  And that’s exactly what the early church did at the end of Acts 2 following the Day of Pentecost. 

So let’s acknowledge that we can’t get by on our own, and get to know one another in our Christian community.  Let’s “not [give] up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching”, as it exhorts in Hebrews 10:25.  Let’s get involved with one another, let’s share our lives together, and, “Accept one another…just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7). 

The Christian life is a commitment to Christ, but it is more than that. In Christ it includes a commitment to other Christians. 

Father, thank you for placing us in your church and giving us brothers and sisters with whom we can share our lives. Help us to love one another so that the world may know we are Christ’s disciples.

Study by Barry Robinson


barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square

Meeting time:
Saturday 2:30pm
Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone:  020 8202 3998
Email:   martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk

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