The very first thing God says is not good in the Bible is for man to be alone. God the Father, Son, and Spirit, have existed in community for all of eternity. We are all made in the image of God (after His likeness) thus we are built for community. We are built to know and be known, love and be loved, serve and be served, care for and be cared for by God and others. But community doesn’t come naturally, isolation does. The problem is sin. It separates us from God because it is cosmic treason against him and it separates us from each other because we are ashamed. Isolation is the response to sin and shame. We see Adam and Eve immediately hide themselves in shame after falling into sin. Our first parents hid and we have been hiding ourselves ever since. Adam and Eve used tress; we use TV, video games, social networking, work, hobbies, and many other ways to isolate ourselves. We isolate because we don’t want people to know our sin and because we don’t want to deal with other people’s sin.
The problem of isolation is massive and only growing worse in America. But we can have true community and here’s how: On the cross, Jesus was exposing your sin and defeating it by taking it on himself. Only by the great grace of God in Jesus Christ can we have peace with God and with one another. Only by and through Jesus can we have the true community that we are built for. You’ll never stop isolating—you’ll never experience the true community that you’re built for—until you see and trust that Jesus has both exposed and defeated your sin on the cross. Only then can you stop hiding your sin and will you stop hiding from other’s sin. Remember, the gospel says we’re more wicked than we feared, but at the same time more loved in Christ Jesus than we ever dared to hope.
Genesis 1:1-3, 1:26, 2:18, 3:8-9; Ephesians 2:13-16
Q.1 Was there anything from Sunday’s sermon or the big idea that was new to you or had an affect on you? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
Q.2 What specific idols in your life would keep you from community (what would be your reason for wanting to hide/isolate)? What specific idols would keep people in our culture (in and outside of the church) from being in community?
Q.3 In what ways do you try and isolate yourself? What steps can you/we all take to make sure we are truly in Community?
Q.4 What reasons do you think people would have for not liking you? Try and be very honest and specific.
Q.5 In what ways can we engage those around us and invite them into the community that they were built for? Try and be specific.
Spend some time talking and in prayer for specific people that Jesus has put on your radar to share the gospel with and/or invite to become involved in Ekklesia.
Jesus has both exposed our sin and defeated it on the cross. We can have community now and we will have community forever with the Redeemed and the Redeemer.
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure” – Revelation 19:6-8
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new…It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. – Revelation 21:3-6