The Community of Grace – Gospel in Life
Sermon

The Community of Grace

Tim Keller |  April 24, 2005

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Topics:
  • Stewardship, Generosity and Money
  • The Church (Unity, Fellowship, Leadership)
  • Worship
Duration:
40:24
Scripture:
Hebrews 12:28-13:9
SKU:
RS 181-12

Hebrews 12:28–13:9

Hebrews speaks to those struggling and almost ready to give up, offering a fresh perspective in chapter 13. This chapter isn’t just a list of religious duties, it emphasizes the crucial role of community. A community filled with grace is key to successfully managing life’s challenges.

1. The importance of Christian community

The heart of the universe is God’s presence, which we are naturally built to revolve our lives around. Through Jesus Christ, God’s once frightening and deadly presence can now enter our lives, raising the question of how to properly worship Him. The answer lies in the radical Christian community, where worship goes beyond rituals, becoming a deep involvement in relationships within the church and the city, reflecting God’s future community.

2. The intensity of Christian community

The radical concept of brotherly love, or “Philadelphia” in Greek, highlights the unshakeable commitment and closeness among believers, going beyond differences, disagreements, and even racial and cultural lines. Being in a Christian community is more than just attending services or learning teachings; it requires deep relationships and responsibility that significantly shape individuals. The powerful change brought by sincere Christian fellowship is clear in the experiences of those deeply involved in such tight communities.

3. The openness of this community

The essence of community is marked by intense love for each other and a welcoming attitude towards newcomers, as captured in the Greek concepts of “philadelphia” and “philoxenia”. The Christian view radically changes how we see money and sex, focusing on their role in building community rather than personal pleasure. The growth of Christianity in Africa and Latin America is a powerful contrast to Western culture, challenging the West to let the gospel shape them into a unique community.

4. Where in the world do you get the power to create a community like this?

The power of the gospel cultivates a strong, accountable community that is open to everyone. This message of extreme grace changes believers, setting them free from materialism and promoting contentment through the assurance of God’s everlasting presence. As receivers of divine hospitality, we are encouraged to extend the same to others, sharing our resources and homes, and in doing so, we experience God’s power and presence in our lives.

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