Jesus saves individuals, but he does not save individuals to live individualistic lives. The Scriptures teach that, when we came to Christ, we became one with his people. “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12.13). What God has done breaks down racial walls (“whether Jews or Gentiles”) and transcends socio-economic condition (“slave or free”).Come to our worship service any Sunday and you will see this verse in action. People with very different ethnic backgrounds, financial circumstances, and political views nevertheless live in joyful, loving community with one another. How did we do it? We haven’t. In fact, we couldn’t. We’re way too broken to make this happen. But the Spirit has done it for us. And it’s given us a taste of heaven here on earth.
Lone rangers are dead rangers. The Bible never commends people to live independent lives. Instead we are to live life together, to come alongside one another every day (“as long as it is called Today,” Hebrews 3.12). Sunday-only Christianity is not the vision of the New Testament. Since the Spirit has united us to one another and offers grace to us through one another, we seek every opportunity to walk with one another, to serve one another, to go beyond the religious facades, truly to know one another. Our aim is to live out the community that is ours because of Christ, to enjoy the fellowship of the Spirit that Jesus won through his death and resurrection. So stay tuned: in addition to the informal opportunities that we already pursue—chatting over coffee, meeting with prayer partners—we plan to pursue more intentional opportunities for pursuing Christlikeness in the context of relationships.
The New Testament sets forth dozens of “one another” commands, all stemming from the supreme one another that Jesus gave us: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13.34). As a congregation we take our responsibility to every other member seriously. In coming days we hope to affirm a new church covenant that informs our relationships and underscores our commitment to one another.