What a powerful day in the Lord yesterday! Using Acts 2:42-47, I outlined what a “Christ Community” looks like.
1. COLLECTED COMMUNITY-God has instituted the church, the Body of Christ, to represent Jesus on earth.
The first century church took it seriously. They knew that in order to become what Christ intended they become on earth, they had to come together and spend time together in worship, Bible study and service. Yes, they had their individual lives, but they had a life together that was fulfilling, compelling, and energizing. Acts 2:46 says it made them glad!
- COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY-I love the “all in” feeling I get when I read the Acts passage. EVERYONE was filled with awe. There were miracles and signs and wonders taking place in their worship services! What Jesus had done on earth was being experienced and multiplied through His Body. ALL the believers were together and were into it. They had everything IN COMMON. They sold what they had to meet the needs of people in the community. The energy in those settings must have been explosive!
- CARING COMMUNITY-We recently were nicknamed the “hospital on the hill” by someone in our community. That was beautiful because it is what a Christ Community ought to be known for. Christ never said, “I am too tired to care.” He never said, “I don’t have the money to care.” He never said, “It is someone else’s responsibility to care.” Remember, we are to do the ministry of Christ on earth. Caring for one another and for the hurting people in our communities is paramount.
- CORRECTIVE COMMUNITY-This whole “everyone in” collaborative and caring spirit that was exhibited in the first century church was so much the norm that in Acts 5 just three short chapters later when Ananias and Sapphira lied to the apostles they were called out on it. Accountability was super important in the early church. If someone stepped out of God’s way, one of the bretheren or sistern stepped into their face! Hypocrisy wasn’t tolerated.
Proverbs 12:1 says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
The goals of discipline include:
A desire to keep a person from being lost to Satan
To prevent hurt and misunderstandings
To protect the unity of the church
To keep families from falling apart
To keep us from accepting false teachings, (Acts 20:28-31)
To keep someone’s personal witness from being compromised
To keep the witness of the entire Body of Christ intact.
5. CELEBRATORY COMMUNITY-Acts 2:47 says they were praising God and enjoying the favor of the community. They were winning at home. They were high fiving each other. They were exchanging their God-stories. When one person won they all won. They were happy for each other and there was no spirit of competition.
Appropriate celebration gives God glory! And it bolsters our sense of connectedness, collectedness and collaboration!
I believe every one of these Christ Community characteristics in one way or another would be attractive to people on the outside looking in. How NT can we get? How much can we look like the first century church? How much can you and I look like Jesus here on earth as we live out that goal in a Christ Community?
Make it a great week as you represent Christ on earth!