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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Parnell

The Wonder of Christian Community (Ephesians 6:16-17 [18]

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.] —Ephesians 6:16-17 [18]

Our praying for others is a shield for us against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:18). That is an amazing reality about Christian community. God has designed it this way. We receive good by our interest in the good of our brothers and sisters. How often we take this for granted!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer helps us to recover its wonder. He writes:

The prisoner, the sick person, the Christian in exile see in the companionship of a fellow Christian a physical sign of the gracious presence of the triune God. . . .  let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren (Life Together, 20).

Grace abounds in the fact that we have fellowship in Christ with one another. And as it abounds, our resistance to Satan strengthens. In our concern for our brothers and sisters we become alert. We persevere. We stand.


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