We live in a culture of loneliness. People no longer visit each other’s homes and have friends over for dinner. In fact, membership in local civic clubs, PTA, and other organizations is nearly half of what it was 25 years ago. Real, authentic community is essential if the church is going to escape the same fate.
We Were Designed for Community Fellowship: vv. 42-44
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common.
1. A community of love . John 13:34-35
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
A. Accept one another. Colossians 3:12-14
B. Value one another. Ephesians 4:16
C. Serve one another. Galatians 5:13
D. Encourage one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
E. Forgive one another. Ephesians 4:32
2. A community of faith . Philippians 3:20-21
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
3. A community of wisdom . Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Real community is hanging out with a spiritual purpose.
We Have Been Called to Cultivate Christian Community: vv. 45-47
Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
1. Intentionality . 1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
The experience of authentic community is one of the purposes God intends to be fulfilled by the church.
2. Inclusiveness . Galatians 3:26-28
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Our church exploded in growth because the people loved being together.