We’re in the middle of studying Hebrews 10 and defining four gospel-centered lifestyles. The first was a lifestyle of devotion, last week was a lifestyle of action and today is a lifestyle of COMMUNITY.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
When I read the Bible, and when I honestly examine my own life in light of the Bible, there’s one thing I always find: I am a gospel amnesiac.
A gospel amnesiac is someone who, in the middle of the duties and responsibilities of everyday life, forgets their identity in Christ and the new morning mercies they’ve been given by grace. In other words, every Christian who ever lived is a gospel amnesiac!
It’s so easy for us to forget the gospel. That’s why the author of Hebrews tells us to stir one another up. By meeting regularly and encouraging each other, we’ll be reminded of the Lord Jesus. It’s much harder to forget the gospel when you’re surrounded by community.
But if I’m honest, I don’t always like the idea of Christian community. First, it tells me that I’m not the independent person I think I am. I want to be like Frank Sinatra and say, “I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way.”
God ordained Christian community precisely because I can’t face life on my own. The fallen world will bring me to my knees, and if I did do life my way, it would be a complete and utter disaster.
Second, Christian community doesn’t allow me to parade my righteousness. If I’m in a healthy community where honesty and grace are prioritized, I won’t be able to show off how good I am. I’ll have my sinful and selfish heart exposed and I’ll have to admit to who I really am.
Brothers and sisters, don’t argue for your independence; there’s no safer place than to be a helpless child in the arms of the God of the universe. And please, don’t defend your righteousness; Jesus knew you had nothing to offer and he still went to the Cross to purchase you with his blood.
I would encourage you to immerse yourself in an intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered, grace driven and redemptive community. If you’re interested in learning about what that practically looks like, I explain it in my curriculum Your Walk with God is a Community Project.
Paul David Tripp