I don’t know what you think about church, but if you’re like a lot of Easter-only people I meet today, you’re not too impressed.
You know you should go to church, but sometimes you wonder why? Sometimes it seems like church just gets in the way of your walk with the Lord Jesus.
There’s a paragraph in First Peter, 1 Peter 2:1-10, that might change your mind about church. It describes the type of church every believer should want to go to.
Not because you have to, but because you want to.
Not because you’re driven by guilt and shame, but because you’re pulled by mercy and grace.
Not out of duty, but desperation—because you know you can’t live without it.co
When I read this amazing description of the church, I find the four marks of a radically healthy New Testament community. “Community” not in the social media definition of the word, but in the genuine sense of the word—depth of relationship and life-changing. To be radically healthy is to transcend the tired definitions churchianity offers and to settle for nothing less than the real thing.
A radically healthy New Testament community is a nourishing community. Since you have new life and are called to a new way of life, stop hurting one another so that you can be nourished by the Word of God and grow up! Why? Because you’ve all tasted the grace of Jesus (1-3).
Interesting isn’t it? Peter connects our capacity to be nourished by the pure milk of the Word to the harmony of our relationships!
A radically healthy New Testament community is a connecting community. “Remember you are not an institution,” says Peter, “you are a living spiritual temple of holy priests the Father is building on the precious and living foundation of His Son, Jesus Christ.” Why? Because you believed in Jesus and you will never be put to shame! (4-6)
Interesting isn’t it? Peter connects the depth of our relationship with Christ to the depth of our relationships with one another!⇦Tweet that!
A radically healthy New Testament community is a distinctive community. Peter continues, “Remember that your trust in Christ sets you apart from everyone else—you build your life on the very Person the rest of humanity stumbles over” (7-8, Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 8:14).
Interesting isn’t it? Peter connects our impact for Christ in the world to our clear understanding that this world is not our home!
A radically healthy New Testament community is an awesome community. Read your “press release” from heaven: You are a special community—a chosen generation of royal priests, a holy nation, a special people. You have a special calling—to proclaim your praise of the One who called you out of darkness. Why? Because you have obtained mercy! (9-10)
Interesting isn’t it? Peter uses some of the most exciting language in the New Testament to describe the church!
Who wouldn’t want to go to that type of church, the church Peter talks about in his letter?⇦Tweet that!
I wonder if we spent less time asking ourselves how to grow churches and more time asking God what church should look like more people would be excited about the churches we already have and more vested in the community God calls us to be a part of.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
Question: Why do you feel we don’t experience more community in our churches?