No Individual Christians

We are part of a body, we need to stop conforming to the world’s view that we are individuals.

In Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” there is a scene where Brian is addressing the crowd, and he says, “You’re all individuals!” To which a lone voice from the back of the crowd replies, “I’m not!”
That really appeals to my sense of humour.

But in our modern Western world, we’re very much trained to think and act as if we are all individuals. In Eastern cultures, people are much more raised to think of themselves as part of a family, part of a nation. And they live and make decisions based on the good of those units, not just on what they perceive as best for themselves.

In the Old Testament we see that the Jews clearly thought of themselves as part of something bigger. And saw an obligation to live for the benefit of the Jewish nation.
But in the New Testament too, there is abundant teaching that we are part of the church. We are part of a body. And in fact, we are not individuals.

So when Westerners become Christians, we need to consciously make a decision to change our thinking. We need to ask Yeshua to change our minds, (literally). To transform our minds, as Paulus wrote in Romans 12. So that we have the same thinking as Yeshua. We are part of a body, and we desperately need to stop conforming to the world’s view that we are individuals.

As you read the Bible, particularly the New Testament, you will often see the word “you”. If you have a Newberry Bible, or the Little Watchman Translation, you will be able to see whether this is singular or plural. Most often it is plural. Most often, it is a command, or instruction, or advice, or teaching for a group of people, not for you as an individual. And it is meant to be taken and acted upon by the group acting together.

I have written elsewhere about The Great Commission is a Team Command, but take John 15 for example.
“I am the vine, you are the branches”.
We usually interpret that individually. “I am a branch”.
But it’s plural. What if this is not for individuals but for us as a group?
What if our church is a branch?
How does that make our interpretation and application of this verse different?
What if our church got cut off the vine for not bearing fruit?

What if it’s a nation?
What if this was a reminder to the Jews who were listening of Isaiah’s prophecy of the fruitless vines?
What if it’s our nation? What will happen to us if we don’t abide in Yeshua? As a nation.
What will happen if we do?

As you read the New Testament, look at what you’re reading as if you are only part of a group.
The holy spirit living in us, as a group.
God saving us, as a group.
Becoming a mature Christian, as a group.
Being the body of Yeshua, as a group.
Reaching the world with the gospel, as a group.

How would that change how you live?
How would it change who you love?
How would it change your ministry?

How would it change you?
How would it change your group?

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