The Church 24/7
The Church 24/7:
Being in community isn't about going to an event each week, it is about life on life intentional discipleship with one another. But if you don't understand the gospel and its implications then joining a community will feel more like a duty than an enriching privilege.
“In its simplest form, the gospel is God’s reconciling work in Christ – that through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, God is making all things new both personally for those who repent and believe, and cosmically as He redeems culture and creation from its subjection to futility.” - Matt Chandler
This gospel (good news) is the only truth that brings us together as Christians, it is the only truth that we gather around together, it is the only truth that calls us to give our lives for. The gospel is the objective reality that Jesus Christ came, He lived perfectly, He died our death and He rose from the grave to show off who He said he is. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh and it is because of this glorious gospel that we can even call ourselves Christians.
You see first and for most, the gospel is not primarily about you but it is about God and what he is doing to restore the world back to himself. It is because of the beautiful gospel that we are able to rightly view the world, ourselves and also the communities that we are apart of.
Love For God Drives The Love For People:
Loving God is not an obligation that we have, for through the work of the gospel we grow by grace more in love with God through the empowering of the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit's job is to teach, train, transform us into the things of Christ. "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority...He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you (John 16:13-14)." Our love for God comes from God, our love for others comes from God. It is God's purpose to produce in His children genuine love, love that is not fleeting or fake but love that is true and everlasting.
As fallen humans we can not truly orchestrate within ourselves a love for God and a love for others. If you are personally trying to love God out of your own obedience and not through the perfect obedience Christ worked on your behalf, you will truly be crushed. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)." Our love for God and love for others must be in response to God's grace in Jesus Christ. We cannot produce pure love for God and others, this type of pure love only comes from God and His desire is to change us to love like He loves us.
Gospel Driven Community:
If you are a Christian, being a part of a community is biblical. How they look may vary by location, but over all God knows that we need community, and that is one of the reasons God orchestrated the church to come about. The Author wrote to the Hebrews, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25)." In this passage the author is addressing Christians and he is stating that as Christians we should not neglect meeting together regularly because we are put in community to encourage and strengthen one another.
Sinclair Ferguson says it well about the importance of community, "We are not saved individually and then choose to join the church as if it were some club or support group. Christ died for his people and we are saved when by faith we become part of the people for whom Christ died." The reason we constantly emphasize people to join a Gospel Community is because we truly believe that as Christians we were saved into a community. Community is where our discipleship in Jesus is worked out. Community is a place of safety, a place to share life together, a place to grow more in love with God and people.
The gospel has restored us to God and made us His sons and daughters, heirs to God and fellow heirs with Christ. Through the work of Jesus in the gospel, we get to be devoted to one another as family because Jesus devoted Himself to us. As a family of people saved by Jesus, Jesus now sends us on mission, just as Jesus was sent by the Father but we get to be sent on mission together and not alone. Gospel communities are built on the truth of the gospel that saves and restores people to God and brings them into His family as group of people commissioned by King Jesus to go into the entire world and make disciples of all nations—starting right in our own city and neighborhoods as GCs on mission for Jesus. Gospel Communities is a place where people grow as disciples of Jesus, while growing to make disciples of Jesus.
Ultimately, this is why we desire for people to join Gospel Communities: to see God work in and through the community of people for His glory and our joy.