The last article I wrote concerned the heart motivation we all follow. I’d like to present the second major theme/ topic (which I had mentioned incredibly briefly) that God spoke to me and taught me about over the past nine months of studying the bible- community. This idea of community isn’t just about a couple of families or a few people living in a house together, but it is the idea of people needing one another and for those following Christ, the necessity of other Christians around them. I will open with this idea and expound upon it, please don’t let me lose you as this statement might shock some readers:

Jesus + Just You is not enough in your life.

In the beginning God created man. We know that Adam walked in the Garden of Eden with God in the cool of the day, this would seem like it was a physical thing, not just a metaphor for his commitment to God. God gives him a job, to take dominion over all of creation, which he does. God and Adam were satisfied in one another, right?

Well, God would be satisfied without Adam, because he is self-sufficient, not NEEDING man, but wanting man. While on the other hand it would seem that Adam was missing something. God had created him, he walked physically with him in the Garden and even gave him a task to keep him busy, and yet, Adam was lacking something. As far as we know, biblically anyway,

Adam was the only person to walk with God in the flesh more than once before Jesus, and still he was incomplete.

Adam was the only person to walk with God in the flesh more than once before Jesus, and still he was incomplete.

Adam was missing community. He had everything he needed except another person. God assesses the situation and, as always, knows exactly what to do to resolve it and set everything right. It would be ignorant to assume that Adam didn’t walk with the Lord in the Garden after this or that he only spent time with Eve; but this radical change would have totally shifted the focus of Adam and in my thoughts he would have had to learn how to divide his attention and priorities.

In the New Testament, each person that is spoken of has community around them. Although it might look like Paul is traveling alone a lot, as you read the epistles and study Acts we would find that Paul was rarely alone and one of the few times he would have been alone was in prison as he wrote Colossians. Yet Luke is still there, or nearing the end of his life as he wrote 2 Timothy. Even John when he is exiled to Patmos would not have been alone, for this was a prison island, and as tradition has it, he worked in a mine during his exile upon this island off the coast of modern day Turkey.

Man was made for godly community.

This idea comes out in all of the letters of Paul, from talking about the church being unified in the midst of racial disputes in Romans, to the return of a slave and the requested acceptance as a brother in Philemon. Over and over Paul uses the idea of a body to speak of the believers that are called together, and a body is not separated, when it is it fails and those dismembered parts deteriorate rapidly unto death . Peter speaks of the church of Christ as a royal priesthood, a group of people who represent God to the people and the people to God.

In English, we lose the nuance of the pronoun “you” that is used by Paul when he is speaking of the body of Christ or the believers as the temple of God. This word in the original Greek would be better translated “y’all” in passages such as 2 Corinthians 6:16 and Ephesians 2:22, which shows us that the church was always meant to be in community with one another. Even Jesus’ great commission to his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 is a call to make disciples, those who would learn and grow together in community. The Christian life is never a lone ranger game.

Why do we need to live in/ intimately be a part of community?

Believers are referred to as living stones in 1 Peter 2 and a stone that is not used with the other stones of its likeness to complete the project for which it was cut and shaped will be completely useless and will not serve the purpose for which it was designed. Secondly, in the second apostolic prayer of Ephesians, in chapter 3,

it would seem that a person can only truly understand all of the depths of God’s love when they are in community with others.

it would seem that a person can only truly understand all of the depths of God’s love when they are in community with others. Thus, the full revelation of God that is available to men is only fully available through other people.

Community is an essential part of every Christian walk and if you are lacking community, please seek it out, it is necessary for us to come to the unity of the faith and to grow into the body that Christ most desires for us. And Jesus wants to be in the center of all of those relationships, showing the partnership of God and man was the plan all along. It is through seeing God and man working together that we truly understand that man will be satisfied in life with godly community and relationship with God.

Christer Bergus
Christer Bergus has been a missionary with YWAM for the past four years, preaching the gospel on three continents, introducing the lost to Christ, and teaching the Bible throughout the communities he's visited. The desire to constantly know God as the men and women of the Bible did spurs him on in his pursuit of the Lord and knowledge of God. Discussing the deeper things of the faith is one of his largest passions, resulting in dialogue and conversations centered around theology and Christ.