The Apostle Paul routinely uses metaphoric language throughout his letters to articulate a “Christians” need to be connected to a community of believers. The intent of his statements is to convey the importance for believers to come together as one body in a “relationship with God through the Spirit and, as a consequence of this, its holiness and the wholehearted service it should render to God (Banks, 48).” Through all of Paul’s letters, Philippians 3:8 is the only one reference in which he mentions the name of Christ in an individual manner (“my Lord”) as every other reference to Christ is made in a group sense (“our Lord”). Paul understood that we were called by God individually but understood and articulated that a call to faith in Him was not an individual endeavor.
It is clear that God always redeemed any group of people as a whole and not single individuals. As a result, it is imperative for a believer in Christ to become involved in a community of believers since that is where they are called to exist as Christians in order to experience the appropriate environment needed for discipleship. In regards to this topic, Joseph Hellerman stated in When the Church Was a Family that “[p]eople who remain connected with their brothers and sisters in the local church almost invariably grows in self-understanding, and they mature in their ability to relate in healthy ways to God and to their fellow human beings (Hellerman, 1).”
Thus, the life of a Christian should not be disconnected from a community as it will result in them lacking spiritual growth due to a lack of Christian relationships (Hellerman, 2). Hence, it is imperative for Believers in Christ to not overlook what Paul articulates in his letters concerning the need for them to place focus on shaping their relationships with other Believers within a family oriented community. Therefore, it is the hope of this post to articulate the foundation of Biblical community in regards to our individual need to draw near to God as one family in fellowship with Christ that is centered in Trinitarian Love in contrast to our modern view of community.