You Can Change 18: How can we support one another?

These are my notes and some reflections on Tim Chester’s book: You Can Change

Change in the Bible is a community project

A Community of Change

1. Change is a community project

When Paul is talking about becoming mature in Christ – he is talking about the body as a whole.  It is the Christian community that together displays God’s wisdom.  That means sin is a community concern – it impedes the growth of the community as a whole.  My sin stops me playing the role God intends for me and that means that the church as a whole suffers and fails to grow in the ways it ought.

2. Community is  the God-given context for change:

Christian community gives us models of Christ-like behaviours – not just godliness but also growth and grace.  Our different experiences of grace become part of the rich council that we in the church have for one another.  There also exists within the Christian community a collective perseverance, stronger than any one individual.

Your church is not simply a collection of random individuals.  But Christ has selected these people to create a perfect fit – placed in your life to help you change.   God is using the different people, the annoying people to trample on your idols, to reveal your sin and to change your heart.

A community of Truth:

Paul says we grow in maturity by speaking the truth in love to each other (Ephesians 4:15).  We need to be communities where everybody is speaking the truth to everybody.  We must stop stroking one another’s sinful desires in the name of grace or authenticity.  We meet together so that we can encourage one another – we come together to proclaim the worth of God to one another.  We will only speak the truth effectively to one another in the context of daily loving relationships.  A shared life beyond attending a service together once a week.

A community of Repentance:

We do not rebuke one another day by day, and when we do it creates a sense of crisis and rebuke becomes confrontation.  That may at times be needed but it can often be avoided if rebuke becomes a normal part of the way we disciple one another.  As Tim is regularly asked by a friend: “What is the question you don’t want me to ask you?”  Allow a daily, weekly accountability of sin and openness to minister the truth of the gospel to one another.

A community of Grace:

We can be communities of repentance only if we are communities of grace.  I am then free to portray myself as I truly am, a sinner who constantly receives grace from Christ.  We can rejoice in being “a messy community of broken people.” (p177)  “Mess reflects… a culture of grace.”(p178)

~ by John on February 3, 2011.

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