All throughout the bible, community and friendship is brought up again and again because it’s incredibly important. Ecclesiastes says, “Two are better than one…For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up…And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (4:9-12). When we live in community, we are stronger together.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian during WW2, who escaped Germany, later to return to be with his countrymen, died in a concentration camp before the end of the war. He writes in his book Life Together, “God has put this Word into the mouth of men in order that it may be communicated to other men… He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ… they meet one another as bringers of the message of salvation.” Bonhoeffer goes from safety back into the fire because he knows he is called to bring the word of God to his brothers and sisters in his homeland.
We live in Christian Community so we can speak life into each other’s lives and back each other in times of trouble. The reason to build a gospel community is to build one another up, strengthening each other and reminding each other of what God has done for each of us. We build a community to stand strong in face of trials and struggles standing on the work of Jesus.
I am here to tell you God loves you and He is with you in all circumstances. You are here to tell me that God accepts me because of Christ’s work on the cross. We are here to say to each other to forgive those who hurt us because God forgave us when we hurled insults at Him and told Him we didn’t need Him. We preach to each other. We are here to go into dangerous situations just as Bonhoeffer did, to go proclaim truth to our community, even though it might cause us pain, because God desires us to take His message to the world and His plan is do to it through the local church.