I was talking to a friend a while ago who reads my blog from time to time. He mentioned that I have written a lot about the Christian community as of late. I don’t deny it. There are a number of New Testament passages that are so foundational to this new passion and desire about the health of the local church and to find a better, more biblical understand of the body of Christ. Today, I’m going to keep the commentary to a minimum and leave you with a bunch of verses that have been on my mind.
I have also been reading ‘The Compelling Community.’ I’ve been enjoying it on the iPad but a friend was at the Gospel Coalition, Toronto, on the weekend and picked me up a hard copy of the book. You need a hard copy of a book this good! So here’s a number of verses for you to consider and at the bottom will be the link to 20 quotes from ‘The Compelling Community’. Please take the time to read and chew on the verses and the quotes. See and savour them and they may be the start of a journey in tweaking your ideas about the local church.
 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:13-16 ESV)
 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,  and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,  so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:8-10 ESV)
 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:15 ESV)
 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
(John 17:22-23 ESV)
 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:14 ESV)
 And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation, (Revelation 5:9 ESV)
 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. (Titus 2:2-6 ESV)
 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
(1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV)
 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17 ESV)