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A People Growing Together Toward Maturity

Often in our thinking about spiritual growth, we tend to stay fixed on our personal, individual relationships with God. Because of the shaping of perspective we have received from an individualistic western culture, it is more difficult to imagine (1) God having a relationship with a community, but in fact, much of the Bible assumes this very point. When God speaks, he speaks most often to the people as a whole.  It means that (2) the community is a something together that we are not merely as a collection of individuals who happen to share the same interests. 

In Exodus 19:5-6, we find the foundation text: "Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples.  Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be more me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation."  There is much to ponder in these short verses, but right now let's train attention on how God's people are a something together.  You...

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