real sex. real community.

This past summer, my small group dug into understanding what authentic Christian community looks like to God and how He intends the body of the Believers to come together for His glory.  To continue the conversation, we began reading Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity by Lauren Winner a few weeks ago.

Discussing what true Christian community looks like is easy to do, living it out is harder.  I might say on Tuesday that accountability is important and essential to my walk with the Lord, but

Will I actively invite my sisters in Christ into the details of the date with my boyfriend from the weekend?

When I say, “Well we weren’t perfect,” will I be honest when they ask the tough follow-up questions?

Will I really desire my sisters in Christ to come around me and speak truth in love to me?

They have a responsibility to ask the tough questions.  Winner writes,

But the Bible tells us to intrude– or rather, the Bible tells us that talking to one another about what is really going on in our lives is in fact not an intrusion at all, because what’s going on in my life is already your concern; by the dint of the baptism that made me your sister, my joys are your joys and my crises are your crises.  We are called to speak to each other lovingly, to be sure, and with edifying, rather than gossipy or hurtful, goals….Speaking to one another about our sexual selves is just ONE instance of a larger piece of Christian discipleship: being community with one another.

As one blogger comments,

“Yes, getting saved is essential. But it’s just the beginning. It’s impossible to stay grounded in the faith and grow in spiritual maturity without living in community with other followers of Christ.

Christian discipleship and community– they go hand and hand.  The early church was a model for this fruitful life of bringing glory to God, Acts 2: 42-44,  46-47:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Finally, experiencing genuine Christian community is an opportunity for my Christian sisters to extend grace when I stumble and to come alongside me in joyful celebration of demonstrated obedience to the Lord. Winner writes,

God elects the People of Israel as a body He sustains them as a body.  And finally, He redeems them as a body.”


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