Relationship and Community in Christ

God created us to live in “relationship” and “community” with Him and with each other. What does this mean?

According to Merriam-Webster.com, a relationship can be defined as “the state of having an aspect or quality that connects two or more things or parts as being or belonging or working together or as being of the same kind.”  A community is defined as “a unified body of individuals.”  Relationship implies connection; community implies unity.

In Genesis 1:26-27, we are told that unlike the other creatures, God created mankind in His own image.  We live eternally, communicate, and have emotional connection with others.  God uniquely created mankind for the purpose of having a relationship with Him.  Plants and animals do not have the capacity for intimate relationships, either with God or with each other.  Only mankind, created in the image of God, has this capacity.  At the time of the Creation, Adam and Eve lived in perfect relationship and unity with God and each other.

Mankind, however, severed our relationship and community with God and each other through our rebellion against Him.  It began with the fall of Adam and Eve in Eden, but has continued with the sin of every human being since, except for Jesus Christ.  Our sin has broken our relationships and destroyed the community for which we were designed.  We have thrown away our connectedness and unity with God and each other.

From Genesis 3:15 through the rest of the Bible, we read the process of God’s redemptive work.  We read how God has made provision to restore the relationships and community mankind has thrown away through sin.  This provision culminated with the work of Jesus Christ of the cross.  This restoration, however, is not automatic; each individual must choose to accept or reject Jesus Christ as the only provision for the restoration of a connection with God, of right connections with each other, and of unity with God and each other.

The task of personal evangelism is to be used by God as an instrument to proclaim the Gospel message of how Jesus Christ alone is the means to a restored relationship and community with God.  This relationship with God is the only basis for restored relationships and community with each other.  Our severed connectedness and unity can only be reinstated through a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  God’s most earnest desire is to restore us to the pre-Fall state of perfect relationship and unity – for eternity.

Our task in evangelism is to allow God to use us to achieve that purpose.  However, in order for us to be used, we must first have a restored relationship and unity with God.  We must ourselves be saved.  Additionally, we must allow God to work in our own lives as we work through our own restoration process.  We must be growing in our relationship and unity with God and others if we are to be effective tools in the hand of God.  Then, the unsaved can see the difference Jesus Christ has made in our lives, and desire the same kind of restoration for themselves.


I originally wrote this in 2010 for a class in personal evangelism at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

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