One of our chief blind spots in considering the gospel has been to overlook the central importance of God's community. We tend to think about our individual relationship with Jesus without moving on to our community's relationship with Jesus. Our message is more good news of a new life than of a new society.
Nobody can emerge from a careful reading of Paul's letter to the Ephesians only considering an individual relationship with Jesus. For Ephesians is the community of God's people in relationship with Jesus. It sets forth God's eternal purpose to create through Jesus Christ a new society which stands out in bright relief against the somber background of the broken relationships and lives we encounter everyday.
This vision of a renewed human community is deeply stirring. At the same time, the realities of the lovelessness and sin in so many churches are enough to make one weep, for they dishonor Jesus. Yet increasing numbers of God's people are seeking the radical renewal of their community. For the sake of the glory of God and the good news about Jesus reaching others, nothing is more important than God's people becoming the new society.
Ephesians: Building A Community In Christ - John Stott. This book provides the framework for our Home Meeting studies. It explores a vision of the new society God for his church as seen through the lens of the Ephesian church.