Many people believe God is real and God loves them. That belief ought to make you more secure, happier, and more humble. But beliefs don’t automatically turn into changed thoughts and feelings and behavior. Beliefs have to be turned into changed character through Christian practices, through spiritual disciplines.
Over the next three sermons we’re going to look at different aspects of community-building. The importance of Christian community is masked when we read the Scripture. Because we are Americans, in many cases we’re individualistic, and we tend to read the Bible through individual lenses. Also, the English language doesn’t have a second person plural pronoun. So when we read the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says “you must do this,” we read it as how God wants us to behave individually. Actually, almost all the pronouns in there are “you all”—they’re plural. What Jesus is saying is “I want you to be part of a community like this.”
Let’s begin looking at the importance of Christian community. From Romans 12, I want to pull out three things we’re going to learn about community: 1) the family nature of Christian community, 2) the graciousness of it, and 3) its ultimate source.
This sermon was preached by Dr. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on May 25, 2008. Series: Practicing The Christian Life. Scripture: Romans 12:9-21.
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