The First Church of Acts II : God's plan revealed

All Bible verses quoted are from NIV, if not otherwise mentioned

Church as a Community

What is a Community?

A “Community” may be defined provisionally as a social collectivity bound by a common identity, values, and norms


The modern Jewish Kibbutz share many similarities with the first Christian Church.
Knowing the modern Kibbutz will be helpful to understand the first Church.

A kibbutz (Hebrew: קִבּוּץ / קיבוץ, lit. "gathering, clustering"; plural kibbutzim) is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture.

The kibbutz (Hebrew word for “communal settlement”) is a unique rural community
It is a society dedicated to mutual aid and social justice
It is a socioeconomic system based on the principle of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation of production, consumption and education
It is the fulfillment of the idea “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”

The Kibbutz member is part of a unit that is larger than just his own family.

The first kibbutzim (plural of “kibbutz”) were founded some 40 years before the establishment of the State of Israel (1948).

Degania Alef

Degania Alef was the first kvutza (in Modern age) established in1909 by Zionist pioneers in Palestine, then under Ottoman rule.
It was established in northern Israel.
It was founded by a group of ten men and two women at a place known in Arabic as Umm Junieh or Umm Juni.

Degania Bet was established to the south in 1920.

Today some 270 kibbutzim, with memberships ranging from 40 to more than 1,000, are scattered throughout the country.
Most of them have between 300 and 400 adult members, and a population of 500-600.
The number of people living in kibbutzim totals approximately 130,000, about 2.5 percent of the country's population.
Most kibbutzim belong to one of three national kibbutz movements, each identified with a particular ideology.


Most kibbutzim are laid out according to a similar plan.
The residential area encompasses carefully-tended members' homes and gardens, children's houses and playgrounds for every age group, and communal facilities such as a dining hall, auditorium, library, swimming pool, tennis court, medical clinic, laundry, grocery and the like.
Adjacent to the living quarters are sheds for dairy cattle and modern chicken coops, as well as one or more industrial plants.
Agricultural fields, orchards and fish ponds are located around the perimeter, a short tractor ride from the center.
To get from place to place within the kibbutz, people either walk or ride bicycles, while electric carts are provided for the disabled and elderly.

The kibbutz functions as a direct democracy.
The Kibbutz is governed by a system of direct participatory democracy, where the individual can directly influence issues and events in the community.
The general assembly of all its members formulates policy, elects officers, authorizes the kibbutz budget and approves new members.
It serves not only as a decision-making body but also as a forum where members may express their opinions and views.

Contributing to the State

The kibbutz is not only a form of settlement and a lifestyle; it is also an integral part of Israeli society.
Before the establishment of the State of Israel and in the first years of statehood, the kibbutz assumed central functions in settlement, immigration, defense and agricultural development.
When these functions were transferred to the government, the interaction between the kibbutz and the society at large decreased, though it never stopped completely.
Besides active involvement in the country's political life, the kibbutz has also carried out various national tasks over the years.

Economic policy

The Kibbutz operates under the premise that all income generated by the Kibbutz and its members goes into a common pool.
This income is used to run the Kibbutz, make investments, and guarantee mutual and reciprocal aid and responsibility between members. 
Kibbutz members receive the same budget (according to family size), regardless of their job or position.
In terms of education, all children start equally and are given equal opportunity.
In this mostly self sufficient community, the collective as well as the work ethic play a major role.

There are Kibbutzim where the members receive differential salaries and pay for services, but in all the Kibbutzim which have chosen the differentiation model, the members are "insured" regarding the minimum income level.

Kibbutz Today

Today, the Kibbutz movement is undergoing a process of change.
Some aspects that in the past were included in the public domain are now under the care and responsibility of each member and his or her family.
Somewhat romanticized in the past, the Kibbutz of today has evolved dramatically and the focus of Kibbutz life on society has substantially diminished.

Aliyah and Kibbutz

The Kibbutzim have been involved historically with Aliyah and continue to be interested in this important aspect of building the country. 

Aliyah (Hebrew: עֲלִיָּה aliyah, "ascent") is the immigration of Jews from the diasporas to the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel in Hebrew).
Also defined as "the act of going up"—that is, towards Jerusalem—"making Aliyah" by moving to the Land of Israel is one of the most basic tenets of Zionism.
The opposite action, emigration from the Land of Israel, is referred to in Hebrew as yerida ("descent").
The State of Israel's Law of Return gives Jews and their descendants automatic rights regarding residency and Israeli citizenship.

The First Christian Church

Acts 2: 44 – 47
44  All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
46  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,
47  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  (NIV)

1.   Lived Together
2.   Gathered daily
3.   One accord and singleness of heart
4.   Worshiped daily
5.   All things common
6.   Sold possessions and parted to all men as every man had need
7.   Having favour with all the people

What is the content of the Bible?

The Bible is the story of Man.
Bible is not the story of God.
God does not contain in the Bible.
God has no beginning, no middle, no end and no story.
God is not time bound, not a created being.
He is the creator of the entire Universe.

Hence the Bible is the story of Man.

Who is Man?

Man is a creation of God.
God created Man with a purpose to subdue and rule the earth.
God placed Man in the Garden of Eden and delegated all authority to him over the earth.

Genesis 1:28   God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Man is a Kingdom

One who has authority to subdue and rule is definitely a King.
It needs no more explanation.

Man is more than a King
He is a Kingdom.

A kingdom Man is a man who rules according to God's rule.
As a kingdom Man, we have been commissioned by heaven to rule on earth.
We represent the King.
As His representative, there is much more to us than you may have even realized.

God’s Plan for redeeming the Earth

In the Garden of Eden something tragic happened.
Man fell to the temptation of Satan.
God pronounced punishment for all those parties in the disobedience.
After that God announced His plan to redeem His Kingdom.

Genesis 3:15   And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.   (KJV)

Genesis 3:15 is commonly called the “Protevangelium” — signifies the idea of “first gospel proclamation.”

This is the first prophecy of the coming of Christ.
Not only is this a prophecy of his birth, but it is a prophecy of his work.

The verse includes three things concerning Christ:

(1)      His incarnation, that he should be the seed of the woman. 
(2)      His sufferings and death, pointed at in Satan's bruising his heel, that is, his human nature. 
(3)      His victory over Satan.
The verse provides the very first Biblical glimpse of God’s plan of redemption.
It focuses ultimately upon the final thrusting of Satan into the eternal hell of fire.

Revelation: 20: 10  And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Seed

The seed of the woman is to be understood as either one individual or a group of people whose appearance would be some time in the future.
It was a promise of someone or some people to come.

Many commentators understand it to refer initially to redeemed humanity and then ultimately to Jesus Christ.
Therefore the seed of the woman began with Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve.
Cain, the first son, would not qualify because he was a murderer.

The comment of Eve, upon the birth of the third son, Seth, seems to show that she understood Abel as part of the fulfillment of the promised seed.

Genesis 4: 25   Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.”

Genesis 4:25
And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed. (KJV)

Seed -  zera (Hebrew) - zeh'-rah -   seed; figuratively, fruit, plant, sowing-time, posterity, carnally, child, fruitful, seed(-time), sowing- time

So it is right to assume that God had in mind the descendants of Adam through Abel or Seth (a group of people) and ultimately Jesus.

From the declaration of Eve about her third son, Seth, God started to work out His plan.
His plan was to create a group of people with God as the King.
God planned to create a group of people which includes our Lord Jesus.

Why a Group

1.      Seed of woman is her descendants, ultimately Jesus Christ.
2.      God’s plan to subdue earth is by multiplying.

Genesis 1: 28   God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Execution of the Plan

God’s plan is to restore the lost Kingdom through a community of people with Jesus Christ as their King.

Execution of the plan started with Abraham.

It does not mean that God was silent or absent or inactive in between Adam and Abraham.
He had been meeting people, talking to them and revealing Him and His plan of restoration of the Kingdom.

Genesis 5: 24  Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Jude 1: 14, 15
14   Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones
15   to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

With Abraham God started creating a community for restoring the Kingdom.

1.      God called out and separated Abraham from the land of his forefathers, his relatives and friends, with a divine protection pronounced upon him by God.
2.      God promised to bless him, multiply him into a new nation with descendants as much as the stars in the sky.

Later the promise was confirmed with a covenant between God and Abraham.

Genesis 12: 1 - 3
1     The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
    “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
    I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 17: 1 - 8
1           When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
    Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
    Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,
    “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.
    No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
    I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.
    I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
    The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

The family of Abraham was the first people group or community God chose to fulfill His own prophecy about the restoration of the Kingdom.

See how large the family was -

The following are the words of the eldest servant of his house (probably Eliezer) to Laban, Rebekah’s brother:

Genesis 24: 35   The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.

Abraham’s Community

With the call of Abram, later named Abraham, God began a people whose descendants are living in ethnic purity to this very day.

God had promised that He would send a Deliverer to undo the curse of sin that befell the human race when Adam and Eve sinned. (Genesis 3:15)
After Cain killed Abel, God gave them another son whose name, Seth meant "the appointed one".

God later choose Noah, a descendent of Seth and a righteous man, to save mankind when God judged the wicked men on the earth in the Great Flood.

Through Noah's son Shem, in the ninth generation, God choose another man named Abram (meaning "exalted father") to be in the lineage of Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

1.   God created the Abrahamic community
2.   The community has God as its King

Genesis 17: 7   I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

Genesis 17: 7  And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. (KJV)

3.   Largest community in the world
4.   Accommodates people from all races, languages, countries and people groups

Genesis 17: 4  “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

5.   Open to this day … (may close doors after the gathering of them by Jesus Christ)

Matthew 25: 10  - 12 
10  “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11  “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12  “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

Matthew 7: 21 - 23 
21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22   Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

6.   Everlasting

Luke 1: 30 - 33 
30  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
31  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
33  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Matthew 6: 13   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Revelations 22: 5   There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

Abraham is the father of all the Jews

Matthew 3: 9   And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

Abraham is the father of all New Testament believers

Romans 4: 16   Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

Galatians 3: 29   If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

A separated community

Abraham and his household lead a separated community life from all other people around.

1.      A different God from other people around Abraham – Yahveh the Lord
2.      Different way of worship, culture and lifestyle
3.      Sojourners travelling to another  land

Genesis 12 : 1 - 9
1    The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2     “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
   I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
   So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.
   He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
   Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.
   The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
   From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
   Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

Ethnically pure

Until this very day the child of Abraham, the Jews have remained an ethnically pure people.
They, of all the peoples on earth, are the only people on earth that can make that claim
It seems it would be impossible for a people to remain ethnically pure for four thousand years.
And in truth it would be, except that God made an unconditional promise to Abraham.

The continuing fulfillment of that covenant can be seen today.
The Jews have been scattered all over the earth in every continent.
Almost every city in the western world has a population of Jews.
For example, many people from all over the world have come and settled in the United States.
However, most immigrants in a generation or two lose their ethnic identity and become simply "Americans".
However, the Jews have remained a pure people and retained their identity as Jews.
Clearly God has done this and is keeping His promise made to Abraham.

Instances of living as separate Community

Jacob and his children chose the North East part of Egypt, near to Canaan to dwell.
They did not live among the Egyptians intermingling with them.

Genesis 47: 6  and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

Israelites made an aliah under the leadership Ezra and Nehemiah
They re-built the wall of the city

Nehemiah 7: 1  After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed.

They also built the altar for sacrifice.

Ezra 3: 1 - 3
1           When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled together as one in Jerusalem.
2           Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God.
    Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.

Then they gathered together to hear the Laws read aloud by the scribe and priest Ezra.
After hearing the Law read for seven days and on the eight day, they renewed the covenant with God.

Nehemiah 10: 29 - 31  
29   all these now join their fellow Israelites the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.
30    “We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons.
31   “When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts.

Israelites in the desert

These are the words of Balaam, the diviner:

Numbers 23: 9   From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them.
I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations.

Numbers 23: 23, 24
23   There is no divination against Jacob, no evil omens against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
24   The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till it devours its prey and drinks the blood of its victims.”

Progressive Revelation

A concordance search will indicate that the name “Abraham” occurs some 230 times in the Bible. Included in this number is the appearance of his name 67 times in the New Testament. “Abram” occurs in the Old Testament another 60 times.

The principle of progressive revelation is very evident in the Book of Genesis, especially regarding the Abrahamic Covenant.

Genesis 12:1-3
Covenant introduced, but only in very general terms.

Genesis 12: 1 - 3
1    The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
   “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
   I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

The Covenant was fourfold:

(1)       God would make Abraham's descendants a great nation.
(2)       God would bless Abraham materially and make his name great.
(3)       God would protect Abraham by blessing those that blessed him and cursing those that opposed Abraham.
(4)       God would bless all the families of the earth through Abraham.

There are personal promises made to Abram, as there are collective promises made concerning his offspring.
In general terms, God promises Abram that He will give him many descendants, and that He will also give him the land of Canaan.
Abraham will be the touchstone for the blessing or cursing of all mankind.
Those who bless Abram will be blessed, and those who curse him (or esteem him lightly) will be cursed.

This is a very skeletal, introductory promise.

The covenant will not be formally ratified until the sacrifice is offered in chapter 15.
And Abraham does not receive the covenant sign of circumcision until chapter 17.

Genesis 15:2 , Abram assumes that his “seed” will have to be an adopted servant from his household.

Genesis 15: 2  But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”

Genesis 15:4, God assures Abram that the promised “seed” will come forth from his own body

Genesis 15: 4  Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”

Genesis 15:5, God reveals to Abram that His plan is not to give one son to him, but descendents like starts in the sky, countless.

Genesis 15: 5   He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Genesis 17: 15, 16 - It is not until after the birth of Ishmael that Abram is told he and Sarah will be the parents of the promised child.

Genesis 17: 15, 16
15   God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.
16   I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

God progressively reveals His plans and purposes to Abram.
Because of this, we should expect the details of the Abrahamic Covenant to be disclosed progressively, over some period of time.
This is precisely what happens. And so it will suffice to say here that Abraham is the one whom God designates as the patriarch of the family from which the promised “seed” will come.
As the story of Abraham unfolds, more and more details concerning the promised blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant will be disclosed.

Progressive Revelation to Jesus Christ

Bible demonstrates the principle of progressive revelation.
Truth is seldom revealed all at one time and place (see Ephesians 2:8-10; 5:32).
It is gradually unfolded, through time.

For example, we are told that the seed of the woman would crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15).
We expect that “seed” to be – or to come from – the line of Abel.
Abel is killed by his brother, Cain (Genesis 4).

Still the line of the seed passes down through Seth to Noah, and then from Noah to Abram.

By the end of Genesis, we will be told that the “seed” will come through the line of Judah (Genesis 49:8-12).

Genesis 49: 1  & 8 - 12
1     Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

    “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you.
    You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10   The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11   He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.
12   His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.

We will later learn that the “seed” will come from the line of David (2 Samuel 7:10-16).

2 Samuel 7 : 1,  4, 16
1     After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him,

4           But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

16    Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

The identity of the line of the promised Savior continues to narrow, until the introduction of Jesus as the Messiah in the Gospels.

Adam and Eve – A Seed is promised
Abraham – Community formed

Community of Jesus

The community started with:

·     Adam, Eve and his children
·     Grew to Abraham and his house hold
·     Narrowed to Judah
·     Narrowed to David
·     Narrowed to Jesus
·     Grew to 12 disciples and all who believed in Him
·     To 3000 in the first Church (Acts 2)
·     Broadened wide to accommodate people from all nations, races, languages and social groups.
·     Still growing and narrowing at the same time to those who believes and accepts Jesus as their savior and Lord.

Jesus community started with 12 disciples
They lived together as one with the Lord.
Had everything common – one person held the purse
No private property within the community

Jesus addressed his disciples and the crowd that followed Him as a community.

Luke 12: 32    “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

John 10: 16    I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

John 10: 14    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—

The first Church at Jerusalem

The first Church at Jerusalem also was a close knit community
Because this is the plan of God to restore the Kingdom of God

Hebrew 8: 10   This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Revelation 21: 3   And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

Community means…..

1.   Real time

Community means availability. It means time spent together.

Time for conversation, interaction, and a deepening of communion, of intimacy between two or more people.

Community is never general or generic.
It is always specific and definable by people spending time together.
Now, time spent together does not guarantee community.
There has to be a certain quality to the time spent together.
Time doesn't guarantee it but it is a pre-requisite.

2.   Shared life

Community means a shared life.
This ties back in to availability but goes beyond it.
Our life in one regard is made up of time.
So if we want a shared life we must spend time together.
Resources also need to be shared.
Basically our checkbooks and our schedules can be a good gauge of community.

3.   Stability

Community means stability.
If we want to experience community we need to be rooted somewhere among some people.
If we constantly move on in search of greener pastures we will not be around long enough to grow the roots necessary for community.
Community cannot happen on the fly.
True community is a Biblical ideal

The church is spoken of in “family” terms frequently.
For any group to achieve community in the truest sense, it must undertake a journey that involves four stages:

1.      "Pseudocommunity," where niceness reigns;
2.      "Chaos," when the emotional skeletons crawl out of the closet;
3.      "Emptiness," a time of quiet and transition
4.      True community, marked both by deep honesty and deep caring.

Community does not meet all our needs,
God does.
Community is meant to grow us up.
It is not the “end all”.


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