Grace, Community and Unity
If you’re a follower of Christ, I wonder: How big of a deal to you is Christian community? (Living life connected in relationships with other people who are following Jesus.)
How about Christian unity? (Earnestly living as if, “I am on the same team as anyone whose hope is in God’s grace to save sinners through Christ!”)
The German Pastor and Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer believed that our answers to those questions will correlate with how big of a deal we make of God’s grace.
In his book Life Together (written all the way back in 1939) Bonhoeffer writes, “Christian community is not an ideal which we must realize, it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate. The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our fellowship is in Jesus Christ alone, the more serenely shall we think of our fellowship and pray and hope for it.”
Think about the depth and gravity of that statement.
According to Bonhoeffer, Christian community and unity are inseparable results of what Jesus has done on the cross. He has already established them completely through his death and resurrection! Therefore, our goal in the Church (the global body of Christ) is simply to live out who we already are as a result of God’s grace.
The Apostle Paul writes about this theme in Ephesians 2:19-22,
“…You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Think about that image.
God has drawn together people from every background to become a new community – one that is founded in and characterized by His grace.
Jesus has constructed the Church to be a representation of the gospel to the world.
We were made to show the world the power of God’s grace to unite, connect, and restore, and we can do so by building and prioritizing authentic, faith-building relationships with one another as well as proactively “rooting on” our partners in faith at other gospel-believing churches.
The reality is, we are one in Christ! Let’s simply live in light of who we already are as a result of God’s grace in our lives.
Josiah joined Orchard Hill's Adult Ministry Team in the Spring of 2018 as Director of Young Adult Ministries. Prior to coming to Orchard Hill, Josiah served as Director of University Ministries at Evangelical Community Church in Bloomington, Indiana from 2012 to 2018.
Josiah is a Graduate of Grove City College, where he met his wife, Brittany, competing on the Track and Field team together. Josiah and Brittany were married in 2009, and then lived in Tennessee where Josiah coached Track and Field and Cross Country at East Tennessee State University and Milligan College from 2009 to 2012.
Josiah and Brittany enjoy spending time with family and friends in the Pittsburgh area, participating in endurance sports, and are dedicated to finding out which coffee shops in Pittsburgh make the best cookies.
Josiah is currently completing a Master of Art's in Christian Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.