The Birth of the Church as the Final Community

The Birth of the

Church Community

From a family unit to a nation, God's intention for mankind to live harmoniously as a community has blossomed. We remind ourselves that a community is: people living and sharing together. In a strong community, the less strong are cared for by the strong, and the battlers are cared for by the comfortable. Whether a community was a "micro" or "macro" community, they began to take on an identity referred to as "culture". Their clothing, music, food, use of time, means of existence, ceremonies, festivals, and forms of relating to each other, all varied. The community that God raised up was Israel. Their culture was intended to be characterised some unusual traits such as justice, forgiveness and equity (examples: Deut. 4:7-8; Lev. 25:10-19; Dt. 20:10-12; Lev. 19:36; Dt. 25:13).

1. Although God had established an agreement (covenant) with Israel which was to be the hub of their culture, what came of it? (Isa 5:24; Jer. 6:19; Hos. 4:6; Amos 2:4)


2. Within this agreement, there was a penalty for Israel's disobedience? What was it? (Deut. 31:16-18; 2Ki. 24:13-14; 2Ki. 25:11)


3. What do we know about the culture to which Judah was eventually exiled?

(Isa. 14:4-6; Jer. 20:4; Nahum 3:1-4)


God's people became a community absorbed by another. This led to their exile. They then became a community within another. Those that remained faithful to God were referred to as the Remnant (2Ki. 19:31; Ezra 3:8). God still wanted them to be a distinct holy community. They were to take an active interest in the welfare of the larger community in which they lived (Jer. 29:7).

Parallels for the Church

While the concept of God's community was thought of as being the exclusive privilege of one nation (Israel), it was always God's intention for all people to be involved.

4. How does the passage in Hosea 1:10-11 indicate this intention? (Rom. 9:26)


5. God's community here on earth is not limited by nationality (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). What are the requirements for entering into God's community today? (Acts 15:8-9)



The Church as a Community

The Church is a unique community. Unlike most other communities, it is not defined exclusively by race, family, or locality. It is a world-wide community. The basis of its sharing and living together is not based on human ideology, but upon a Person (Mtt. 16:18). Entrance into this community is not gained by money, friends, popularity, achievements, or heritage (Eph. 2:8-9). The bonds between community members are often stronger than between blood relatives (Lk. 14:26; Jn. 13:35).

6. What categories of people are mentioned in Galatians 6:10, and what distinction is made between them?


So close does the Bible regard the community of believers, that they are frequently refered to as "brothers and sisters" (Matt. 12:50). When the New Covenant Church commenced, it was noted for its strong degree family-like community.

7. How do the events recorded in Acts 2:44-45 accord with the concept of the Church being like a family/community?






& rules,

& respect for authority,

& the stronger providing for the not-so-strong

& God's Word, Church discipline.

& Submission to God's appointed leaders

& Stronger Christians helping weaker ones


& numerous families relating to each other, bound by a patriarch,

& God was the instigator and centre of their community

& God was apart of their everyday lives.

& numerous families relating to each other, bound by Christ as their Head.

& God was the instigator and is the centre of the Church.

& God is apart of the entire everyday life of a believer


& As a part of micro-communities, they were a vital part of the national community.

& Although belonging to a local church, every believer is a vital part of the whole Body of Christ.


& They were foreigners in a godless land.

& The Church today is a foreigner in the midst of a godless world



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© 2001 Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania