Preached by pastor Adam Sinnett on 8.30.2009
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This week we dove into the theme of community and unpacked it across the four acts of the story of God – creation, fall, redemption restoration. What we saw was that we’re not merely supposed to hold tight on our own and wait for eventual perfect community, but actually begin to live and experience it now within Jesus’ redeemed community, the church, until the perfect arrives. We defined Christian community as a group of followers of Jesus living shared lives worshipping God, on God’s mission, for God’s glory
ACT I. PERFECT COMMUNITY (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18)
God is not solitary, isolated, or disinterested but exists in a perfect community of persons as one God. Our Trinitarian God is completely self-sufficient, perfectly self-delighting, entirely self-glorifying, and self-giving. Within the Trinitarian Godhead there is full love, complete acceptance and perfect adoration. God is social, not solitary. As image bearers we too are created with a need to be in community, in relationships of self-giving and other-directed love. In such a community we experience what it means to be truly human. The first act of the story of God is a beautiful beginning to a story that is almost too good to be true – perfect community.
ACT II. BROKEN COMMUNITY (Gen 3:7-8)
The story of God moves on to the second act, known as “the fall”, where there is a horrific turn of events as sin enters into creation and the once harmonious community between God and man, and between Adam and Eve, was broken by sin. As a result of their sin, Adam and Eve hide from one another and God. Ever since, by nature and choice, we’ve done the same and primarily prefer to not be in real, regular, genuine community. This is not how we, as image bearers of God, were created to live. Fortunately, God has not left us in the second act with broken relationships and perpetually disconnected community if you trust the hero of the story.
ACTS III. REDEEMED COMMUNITY (Mt 5:14-16)
God himself came 2,000 years ago, as the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Jesus, was God’s promised Rescuer and Ruler, who lived our life, died our death and rose again in victory over Satan, sin and death. He did so as the first fruits of the new creation to bring forgiven sinners together under his rule to live lives of worship, in community on mission. Jesus came to reverse the effects of the fall and call forgiven sinners to live in communities of light that serve as outposts for the gospel in their given community.
ACT IV. RESTORED COMMUNITY (Rev 19:6-8)
We’ll live in redeemed communities that serve as outposts for the kingdom and communities of light until King Jesus returns to inaugurate the fourth act of the Story of God. Eventually, one day, the next act of the God’s story will begin and all things will be made new – fully restored. Redeemed community will be fully restored to perfect community, just like the garden. Once again, God’s people will be in God’s place under God’s rule. This is no fairy tale, but it is all about Jesus. God’s people really will all live happily ever after glorifying him, worshipping him and being satisfied in him forever together in perfect community.