Community of Believers

– Pastor Brandon’s article from the September 2017 Newsletter

In the beginning when God created man, he placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” And so from the man, the Lord made a woman and she was named Eve because she would become the mother of all the living. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply” and so, we have the beginnings of human community. In his wisdom, God has structured the world in such a way that we need each other. As he said, it is not good that any one of us should be alone. While that does not mean that every one of us is called to get married and have children, it is clear from the creation account that we were designed to live both in communion with God and in communion with other people.

The same concept still rings true in the age of the church in which God seeks “to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:14). Notice here that God is calling us out as a people, a corporate group rather than a number of rugged individuals. While we might like to imagine ourselves as independent persons, the truth is that we need each other far more than we often admit. Just think of the intricacies involved and the number of people it takes for you to have a bowl of cereal in the morning, and you’ll start to get the picture. This interdependence extends to our spiritual nourishment as well.

While we are all ultimately responsible for our own relationships with the Lord, God has called us to live in a community of believers from whom we receive and to whom we give help along life’s journey. Among this body, the love of God shines forth in a real and tangible way. We bear one another’s burdens and receive comfort and aid when things are tough. We challenge and encourage one another to grow in Christ-likeness. As we live life together, we are refined by God. We have all seen how a close relationship with another human being can shine light on aspects of our character that have yet to be transformed in Christ, and we are grateful for the grace and forgiveness of Christ as we bear with one another and forgive one another in love. For the scripture says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). And so it is with the community of believers.

With this in mind, I want to make you aware of several opportunities to connect with fellow believers and grow in your walk with Jesus. In addition to our regular Sunday services, I invite all adults to join us for one of our mid-week fellowships. We currently meet on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm, and beginning on Tuesday, September 19, we will also meet weekly at 9:30 am. Both of these gatherings will share a similar format. We’ll spend our time in worship, fellowship, Scripture, and prayer. Each week we will discuss the Scriptures of the previous Sunday’s sermon with the aim to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying to us through his word and to determine what our response will be. I hope that you’ll join us for one of these times as we come together to seek the Lord and spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

Pastor Brandon

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47 NIV)