In Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus, author Bill Clem explains that Christian communities serve as witnesses to show what the kingdom of God is supposed to look like. They model grace, love, forgiveness, truth, and identity. They demonstrate...
- Love: “People will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
- Peace: “Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thess. 5:13).
- Hospitality: “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Pet. 4:9).
- Service: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13).
- Instruction: “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another” (Rom. 15:14).
- Care: “That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another” (1 Cor. 12:25).
- Forgiveness: “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Col. 3:13).
- Kindness: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
- Submission: “Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21).
- Honesty: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices” (Col. 3:9).
This gives you the idea that gospel community is nothing short of imaging God one to another. This means mirroring to others the transformation that Jesus is doing in each of us individually. This means championing Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This means being a community that calls for sin to be dealt with rather than excused.
This article is adapted from Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus, by Bill Clem.
In order to have a vision for community, we need to understand the purpose of community.
It is dangerous and tempting to change behavior without also changing heart and mind.