Community: God's design for His people
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:1-6, ESV)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
"Being worthy does not mean that we should try to deserve our place in God's favor. It means that we should recognize how much our place in God's favor deserves from us." ~ John Piper
"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness." (Galatians 6:1, ESV)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another...."
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44, ESV)
"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Matthew 5:46, ESV)
Week 4 of SALT 1 October – Community: God’s Design for His People
This weekend’s message spoke about a community among believers. We have already mentioned unity in the life group studies for this series. In fact just last week, we talked about how all believers, in addition to the Gospel, are united in the ordinance of baptism and communion. Community is something that is very important to God’s design for his people. Today’s study will illustrate just how important Community is to the believer by observing a few, often overlooked details from the story of Saul of Tarsus.
As a group, turn to and read Acts 9:1-31.
1. What do v1-2 tell us about Saul’s opinion of Christian community?
2. As a group, how would you describe what happens next in v3-8?
3. Look specifically at v6...Saul is told that he should go to the city and await instructions. NowlookatGOD’sinstructionstoAnaniasinv11-12,thatSaulhad been given a vision of Ananias’ coming. What can we learn from these two verses about community?
4. What was Ananias’ response, in v13, to GOD’s instructions about accepting Saul
into this community?
5. Saul began to immediately teach and preach in the Synagogues. All who heard were amazed. We even see in v25 that Saul had developed his own little community of disciples. How did this community help Saul?
6. After leaving Damascus, Saul heads to Jerusalem where he wanted to join up with the disciples. Was there reaction any different than Ananias’ reaction in v13?
7. ThroughBarnabas’recommendation,thediscipleseventuallyacceptedSaulinto their community also. How did this community help Saul in v26-30?
Community is vital to the believer...it is essential. There is not one example in scripture of an authentic follower of Christ that is not connected to the local body or Church. Saul, upon conversion, was given a vision of community and this community would save Saul’s life on multiple occasions. Not only that, but both Ananias and the disciples, embracing GOD’s vision, accepted Saul into their community. This community protected and nurtured Saul who, later in life, would go on to be the earthly father of many other communities through Church planting. The spiritual communities of Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Thessalonica, and Colossae, not to mention the individual lives of Timothy, Luke, Titus, Silvanus, Barnabas, and countless others, were all fruit of the original community to which Saul was accepted!