"...there are Christian communities all over the world where true, sacrificial, serving, supportive love is to be found. Where such Christian love flourishes, its magnetism is almost irresistible.”- John Stott, The Contemporary Christian
We Are Family
The Good News of Jesus not only reconciles us to God, but it reconciles us to one another and forms us into a community of faith for the sake fo the world.
Or to put it another way, when we become Christians, we come to know God as our perfect heavenly Father, and we are made a part of a new family both eternally and right now. And as we grow in following the Lord Jesus Christ, we begin to take on the family image.
Jesus taught and modeled a new way of being human, one that loves God and loves others. In fact, he said to his disciples shortly before he was crucified,
"A new commandment I give to you, that you should love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35).
Jesus envisioned a community of followers who would live lives of love toward one another, just as he did. In fact, this notion of "one-another"-ing is descriptive of how Christians should live in this world.
- Love one another (Romans 13:8; 1 Thess 3:12)
- Welcome one another (Romans 15:7)
- Serve one another (Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 4:10)
- Be kind to one another (Eph. 4:32)
- Comfort one another (2 Cor. 13:11)
- Outdo one another in showing honour (Rom. 12:10)
- Encourage one another (1 Thess 4:18)
- Build one another up (1 Thess 5:11)
- Pray for one another (James 5:16)
- Stirp one another up to love and good works (Heb. 10:24)
- Show hospitality to one another (Rom. 12:13; 1 Pet. 4:9)
- Forgive one another (Col. 3:13)
As you can see, the New Testament envisions a life for the follower of Jesus that is a life shared with the family of God. We're not meant to follow Christ all by ourselves but rather in a community of folks who seek to live out the Gospel in the way they relate to one another.
We are disciples
A person who is a Christian has responded to the Good News about Jesus by turning from their sin and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. Having been transformed by the Hero of the story, we become his followers seeking to tell about and to live out his Gospel.
In a world of strife, conflict, bitterness, and revenge, Jesus calls us to be a different kind of human, one that loves God and loves others. And he gives us his Spirit to empower us to live this sort of life (Gal. 5:22-23).
So to say we are disciples means that we are apprentices of Jesus learning from him and seeking to follow him in community with one another. And we do this in obedience to Christ and for the sake of the world.
As Tim Chester & Steve Timmis write in Total Church,
"To be a community of light from which the light of Christ will emanate we need to be intentional in our relationships—to love the unlovely, forgive the unforgivable, embrace the repulsive, include the awkward, accept the weird. It is in contexts such as these that sinners are transformed into disciples who obey everything King Jesus has commanded."
At New City Church, you will find a community of people who are imperfect, broken, and sinful. But you will also find a community that seeks to be the community of Jesus learning what it means to love God and to love one another.
Be sure to check out our Life Groups section to find out more about small community groups meeting in homes seeking to flesh out this life together as we practice one-anothering one another.