“The gospel creates community. Because it points us to the One who died for his enemies, it creates relationships of service rather than selfishness. Because it removes both fear and pride, people get along inside the church who could never get along outside. Because it calls us to holiness, the people of God are in loving bonds of mutual accountability and discipline. Thus the gospel creates a human community radically different from any society around it.” – Tim Keller
Tuesday night life group has been an amazing tool of redemption in the lives of many of us. The grace of God has become more real and tangible to me than I have ever experienced before, and it is because God is using his church as a means of grace to provide healing.
It has been so amazing to continually watch Christ work through this little body every Tuesday. I have personally been able to experience and see many of you be tools of God’s grace in the lives of others and in my own.
I have seen people encourage one another to rest in gospel grace when their world is falling down around them and they feel lost and without hope. Some of you have shed tears with others who are hurting, and have allowed yourself to be vulnerable with them when they have been made vulnerable by sin, pain, and hurt. Some of you have seen your sins in light of the gospel of grace and the shed blood of Jesus and you have been transparent and open in confessing your struggles, your bad motives, and your improper heart postures because of sin, and God has been able to use his church as a means of grace to provide healing. We have been able to rejoice in seeing God’s faithfulness in many of your lives through jobs, school, marriage, and kids. Many of you have come with a hunger for the word of God and a desire to know Him more, and we have been able to see God grow us deep in the gospel, allowing that to shape and mold how we study and read the Bible. We have seen that a robust Christology helps us to truly know God beyond head knowledge but in transforming our lives individually and corporately.
The gospel has been transforming us together. Charlie Marquez, (a blogger for Liberate ministries) has written a recent article on Christian community, and as I was reading it I kept thinking to myself, “this is what we are experiencing at roots!”
He says, “As the good news is proclaimed, God’s people will begin to understand the reality of their sin and the rescue available in the gospel. This and this alone – will release people from the need to be what they know they are not. The gospel alone goes ahead of the systems and ministries that we typically associate with “community.” As the body of Christ begins to rest in what Jesus has done for them, the fear of rejection will begin to subside. We are now free to admit our daily sins and struggles and graciously accept one another with the acceptance which we have received. … We will discover that, though our sin runs deeper than we had ever imagined, the lavish grace of our Savior runs deeper still. … This is community, and it’s not nearly as elusive as we thought it was. It is simply the fruit of the grace of God at work in the lives of God’s people as they believe and preach the gospel to one another.”
This is a beautiful picture of what God has been doing through Tuesday nights, and I cannot believe that God would grant us the grace to be able to go through this redemptive process together.
God has used Tuesday nights for healing in my own life in so many ways, and to see the love that God is producing in us, for each other, has been beyond transformative.
In being able to experience what God has been doing through this church I now realize how skewed my concept of what true Christian community was, and I am beyond words to express how thankful I am that God has given me grace to experience redemption through a community being redeemed and to be able share life with you all through this process.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14
Love you all.