Hebrews 10:23-25 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” NASU
Now to come to a conclusion in this examination of the Value of Corporate Gatherings, I ask, “What is a Covenant Community?” I offer no detailed definition and leave much room for you to amend and expand my simple definition but a COMMUNITY is a society of people having common rights, privileges, interests and living under the same laws, rules, and regulations and having a COMMUNITY SPIRIT.
- Exists when people are more concerned with the Corporate Local Body than themselves. The Body becomes more important than personal pleasures.
- Exists when individuals are knitted, built, fitted, framed, assembled, and joined together forming lasting relationships.
- Exists when people want to spend time together in both spiritual and natural activities.
- Exists when the elderly retain proper godly authority throughout their lives and are cherished and respected by the community.
- Exists when the family is in biblical order.
- Exists when humanism, selfishness, independence, and isolation are treated as intruding viruses. They are overcome and destroyed by applying the Word of God so that Covenant Community can be a reality.
How can the local church combat these antagonistic spirits? Romans 14:1-15:5 details seven vital attitudes necessary for successful community living which precedes successful corporate gatherings.
- An Attitude of Acceptance and Understanding of Each Other. (Romans 14:1-6)
The strong receive the weak without judgment. It is vital to give each other room to make mistakes and be different.
- An Attitude of Accountability to Each Other. (Romans 14:7)
No selfish conduct edifies. Accountability is not optional. Hebrews 13:3 commands us to exhort one another daily to be accountable. If we do not develop and maintain this attitude sin will prevail and we will see weak families, churches, and nations.
- An Attitude of Responsibility Concerning Each Other’s Walk. (Romans 14:13)
We must identify with the feelings of others and seek to gently but firmly restore them when necessary. We are to be people of refuge not insecurity.
- The Attitude of Sensitivity to Our Brother’s Weakness. (Romans 14:15,17)
The real issue is not eating but ‘personal rights’ and ‘freedom’. If something we do causes a brother/sister to be hurt and we know it, then we are not walking in love if we continue.
- The Attitude of Edification that Brings a Bond of Peace. (Romans 14:19)
Philippians 2:3 instructs us not to have an attitude of ‘selfish ambition’ and 2:4 – “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” (That is not meddling and being a busy body as some have used it to support).
- The Attitude of Not Being a Self-Pleaser. (Romans 15:1-3)
- The Attitude of Identification with Another’s Problems – Past and Present. (Romans 15:4-7)
We should strive and pray for the same kind of compassion that Jesus manifested and exhibited.
If we are going to have healthy Corporate Gatherings that are what God has designed and desires we must FIRST develop ‘Covenant Community.’ We must address our personal spirituality, detect and detest the spirits of the day, and develop covenant community attitudes.
In our Corporate Gatherings and Personal Lives we need to always seek to convey truth, conserve that which is gained, and allow the Holy Spirit to produce Spiritual Growth in us leaving behind what He leaves behind and taking into our lives that which He brings.
God bless you as you go through your day!