by Tony Nester

Sources of Security: Community
Tony R. Nester
I Peter 2:1-10

Jesus gave us more than himself, he gave us each other. He commanded us not only to love God, but to love one another.

Holy Communion, which we share in this morning, is more than our communion with God; it is our communion with each other, for we together are the Body of Christ, each a different member of that Body.

So today I want to talk with you about the third source of security in this three part series on sources of security in an insecure world. Two weeks ago I spoke about character. Last week I asked you to think about commitment. Today I want us to look at the third "C": community.

When the first Christians came to faith in Christ they immediately discovered a new sense of community. The Holy Spirit not only converted their hearts to God through Christ, but also turned them toward one another in Christ.

The New Testament, as John Wesley, was fond of saying, knows nothing of solitary Christianity. The Scriptures refuse to believe that there could be such a thing as un-churched Christian.

Listen again to Peter's words and notice that when he says "you" he doesn't mean individual believers, but believers who are joined to one another in a new experience of community:

{9} But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. {10} Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

Paul Tournier, a Christian counselor, once said that no one can develop his or her life into its intended fullness without feeling understood by a at least one other person.

This is why people fear banishment or exile. It's why solitary confinement is considered the worst form of incarceration. It's why horror movies feature plots about being the last man on earth.

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