11. Christ as CommunityThe primary topic of the apostles as they wrote their letters to the churches was on the relationships of Christ between believers inside His church. They did not talk about "in heaven after we are dead," except in brief passage, presenting that existence as limited and temporary, and they never once told their readers to "get out and save the lost."
Thus, if we are to implement the primary teachings of the apostles in our lives, we must do that as the Church together. We are not "waiting to die and go to heaven" for all that God speaks to be fulfilled; we are going to Church, for all that God speaks is fulfilled only in Church.
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).
Christ is a many-membered body.
Yet this Christ is not just a "Body" as an idea, but as family, real people, members one of another, brethren walking together in all the practical realities of life, loving one another with a pure heart fervently.
Christ is Christian Community.
Lesson 11.1 The Early Church introduces us to the church of Acts 2-8, a church that entered into the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles in early form immediately after being born again and immersed into the Holy Spirit. This way of living together was entirely spontaneous, coming out from the heart of each individual member of Christ, and not by any dictate or control.
Lesson 11.2 The Essence of Family discusses the reality of brethren seeing and treating one another as family. In this lesson, I present some of the glimpses of real Church Life that I was privileged to experience through my own years in Christian community. It is only by walking together as family that we discover the true riches of Christ that await.
Lesson 11.3 Abounding in Love places the powerful verses of the New Testament regarding relationships in the Church as the foundation upon which we see that Christ is indeed love together. This essence of Christ found only in and by Christian community is the only real evangelism God intends to cause the world to believe and to know.