There’s a lot of talk in Christian circles about “community,” “spiritual friendship,” and “doing life together.” It sounds like something we all want in our churches, and we work hard to create it. We start programs and provide groups for every age and life circumstance. We offer the best coffee on Sunday mornings so people will linger and talk. We organize fun events and get-togethers.
But is all of that really community?
Community is God’s idea. He is a community in Himself: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Triune community has existed for all eternity past, loving, serving, exalting, and glorifying one another within the Godhead. When God created mankind, He chose to share that community with us so that we could experience the love and fellowship God has always known.
Genesis 1:26 tells us that God created mankind in His image. One of the ways we image God is by being in community with others. That’s why God said that one thing was missing in His creation (Gen. 2:18). He created Eve to live in community with Adam, and together they would reflect the Triune community. And they did so, until they fell into sin and broke community with God and each other.
Jesus came to redeem and restore us back into right relationship with God and one another. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus created a new community, the Church. This new community is made up of redeemed saints, who, by faith, are adopted into the family of God. The Church is a family, and we are all children of God, making the relationships we have with other women in the church even closer than a sister. “I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18).
The Greek word koinonia is used in the New Testament to refer to the new relationship formed among believers united in Christ. It is most often written as “fellowship” in our Bibles. When the early church met together, Luke tells us, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42)...
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