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6 // A Radical Community

Characteristic 2: Love

Read Acts 2:42-47 & John 13:35 – Characteristic 2: Love

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

The early church was devoted to the fellowship, that is, they lived in a way that valued others higher than themselves (Phil.2:3-4) and prioritised being together (Heb.10:25). The second century writer Aristides of Athens wrote this of the early Christians “They abstain from all impurity in the hope of the recompense that is to come in another world. As for their servants or handmaids or children, they persuade them to become Christians by the love they have for them; and when they become so, they call them without distinction, brothers. They do not worship strange gods; and they walk in all humility and kindness, and falsehood is not found among them; and they love one another. When they see the stranger they bring him to their homes and rejoice over him as over a true brother; for they do not call those who are after the flesh, but those who are in the Spirit and in God.” I love this witness of how the early church lived and there is so much for us to aspire to in their testimony. 

They lived in purity with an eternal perspective rather than a ‘get it now’ attitude.  They ‘persuade’ those close to them to follow Jesus by how they love them.  They accept everyone into the church ‘without distinction.’  They worship with authenticity in the Spirit . They open their homes to strangers and treat guests like family.  Overall you just get a sense of what a loving community they had become and this was leading people to Jesus every day. This must surely challenge us?

Pray today:

· Thank God for our amazing church community, especially the Life Group leaders and the many testimonies we hear of the impact this has on people.

· Reflect on the testimony of the early church. Is there anywhere God is highlighting where you could get involved and help?

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