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The First Community


According to a 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center, a little over half of all U.S. adults say that they have looked for a new religious congregation at some point in their lives. For Christians, church should be more than a social convention—it should be an important part of their spiritual identity. This month we will be learning about the nature of the church and its ministries.

Although the church had its birth on the day of Pentecost, its roots go back much further. In a way, the idea of a people of God goes all the way back to creation. In Genesis 2 we learn that God’s vision for humanity was one in which those He created would not live in isolation (v. 18). Community is more than a sociological phenomenon, it is a divine creation.

The Genesis account reveals two important features of the nature of this first community. First, it was diverse. God created humanity to reflect His image through the fundamental difference of male and female sexuality. They were alike and yet different.

Second, the two that made up the first human community were mutually dependent upon one another to fulfill their calling. Because Eve was bone of Adam’s bone and flesh of his flesh, she was the only one suitable to share in the mission of forming the society that God had in mind.

By the end of our study, we will see how God plans to fulfill this grand vision for His creation. We will also learn of the role that the church plays in this plan. At its very center we will find Jesus Christ. He is the chief cornerstone upon which the church is built (Eph. 2:20).

Pray with Us

Praise the Lord for the Moody alumni serving the Lord around the world. Praise Him also for the work of our Alumni Association, headed by Nancy Hastings (Andersen ’80), as they keep more than 47,500 alumni connected to Moody and each other.

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include Dangerous Virtues: How to Follow Jesus When Evil Masquerades as Good (Moody Publishers), The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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