In my message this past Sunday on Community, I concluded by saying the greatest enemy of building NT community is self-love. The gospel, however, puts our attention on God and others. Here's how we can apply the gospel to everyday issues that will help us build community.
What if somebody wrongs me?
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
I'm tired and I get asked for help
But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service
coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. (Philippians 2:17)
I start asking, ‘How will this affect me?’
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of
others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus … he humbled
himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:4-5,8)
I open my wallet?
See that you also excel in this grace of giving … For you know the grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you
through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:7, 9)
Friends urge me to join them in sinful behavior?
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same
attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin … They think it
strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they
heap abuse on you. (1 Peter 4:1,4)
I find other Christians difficult to get on with?
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
I get in a position of power.
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants
to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but
to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:42-45)
I see other Christians in need?
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we
ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and
sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (1 John 3:16-17)