Basic Christianity: Community

Today’s post is part of a series to help us take what we learn on Sunday into the rest of the week. These posts summarize the main points from the week’s sermon and include questions for continued reflection and prayer. The posts in this series are written by members of our church’s Adult Christian Formation team.


Last Sunday, our service theme was “God is Love.” Pastor Bobby preached on community from the text 1 John 4:7-21. His main point was that God as Trinity is the source of the love that should shape our lives in community with others.

We all long for connection. Many of our most popular films and stories involve this longing for love. That longing comes from the fact that we are made in the image of God, who is love.

The origin of love is God’s own nature. 1 John tells us that, through Jesus appearing, God showed what the love of God is like. The life of God as Trinity has eternally been like a dance of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Jesus made this infinite world of love visible to us.

The essence of love is sacrifice. Jesus, particularly through his death on the cross, makes that clear to us. 1 John expects that followers of Jesus will love one another. That is the evidence we have to show that the gospel is true. By loving each other, we make the invisible God visible to people around us.

In response, we can let our love be practical and real. We should also remember that the love we trust (God’s love) makes us Christians, not the love that we exercise (our love). Nevertheless, if we trust in the love of God made visible in Jesus, our love for others will be real as well.

Questions for prayer and reflection:

  1. What did the Holy Spirit show you through this sermon and Scripture passage?
  2. How would you explain how God is love in your own words?
  3. What are some ways you have encountered the reality that God is love in your own life?
  4. Have you experienced love from other Christians in practical ways?
  5. Why do you think people outside the church might view Christians as unloving? How might those opinions change?
  6. Do you feel able to love other people like the three persons of the Trinity love and delight in each other? If not, what might be holding you back from that kind of love?