The result of the Fall is that the whole human race now lives under the curse of sin. Fallen man is required to live by the knowledge of good and evil, always having to choose in his conscience which to obey. Everyone on earth, in every tribe and every nation, lives under this curse.1 As a result, individuals must spend most all of their time working by the sweat of their brow to provide food, clothing and shelter for their families.2 This is how the nations are commanded to live.
That is why most people have it in them to get married — to have a family and work hard to support them.3 Desiring to own property and make oneself comfortable is also an integral part of life for people in the nations. This is how they are expected to live — for themselves by providing for their own needs. This instinct is so strong that most people have anxiety over providing these things, worrying about it to the point that at times it consumes their whole life.
This way of life fosters independence and promotes living primarily for self and family. However, man’s Creator does not expect him to live any other way in his fallen state. He knows he can’t do it. Working for one’s own needs and the needs of his family is a marvelous provision for the nations. The “dog eat dog” atmosphere of living to “survive” and working to make a living is intended to cause men everywhere to see their condition and sense their need for God.
But our Master Yahshua commanded those who were to be His followers not to live like the nations, not to spend all their life’s energy providing for their own needs, consumed in the rat race of making a living. Instead He commanded them to seek first His kingdom, and He would provide all their needs.4 But for Him to do this, they would have to give up their own possessions5 and no longer live for themselves.6 So how were they to live?
The Master was calling them to a radical new life, a life of loving one another the same way He loved them.7 Each one of them was to look out for his brothers’ needs and not his own.8
The Holy Spirit made a provision for them to live this radically new way when He established “the Church” on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. (The Greek word translated “church” corresponds to the Hebrew word “edah,” which in English is better translated “community.”9)
This community was the perfect environment for all the disciples since they had given up their lives and their possessions in order to be baptised into Christ.10 Since His love had been poured out in their new hearts,11 they wanted to live for each other. He gave them a common life together in order that they could do what was in their hearts.12 This common life of mutual care is the life of love that must be perfected before our Master can come back for His Bride.13
It is also a foretaste of His kingdom, the life of obedience to His commands that will fill the earth when He comes back. This is what it means for us, His disciples, to seek that kingdom now14 in this present age. We are to demonstrate the life of the age to come as a light to guide all the nations.15 Living together in community, obeying the King’s commands, is the only way it can be done.
The Holy Spirit didn’t make a mistake in Jerusalem, did He? No, but the early church fell away from this life of love instead of bringing it to maturity. So it is difficult for people today to recognize community as the normal life of all true believers. But this life of love must be restored and grow to perfection in unity before He returns. He cannot righteously judge the earth if He has no witness of the kingdom, no life that convicts the world of its sin of unbelief.
Luke 12:30 identifies the nations of the world as those who seek for food and clothing while Luke 12:31 identifies the Master’s disciples as those who are not of the world, but seek His kingdom instead. The lifestyles in these two verses are kingdoms apart, making it clear how God’s called-out, set-apart people must live. The life of seeking His kingdom is the light16 that exposes the curse of sin that the nations are bound to live under. If we love Him we will obey Him17 and stop living like the nations — if we truly are His people.18