We are members belonging to one another.
Jehovah is helping us “to serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zeph. 3:8, 9) He is training us to fit into his eternal purpose. What does that include? He purposes “to gather all things together in the Christ.” (Eph. 1:9, 10) Yes, he wants to unify all willing creatures throughout the universe, and he will succeed in doing this. Does that help you to see the need to work unitedly with Jehovah’s organization? Jehovah is teaching us to attain unity now, with the objective of having unity forever. Again and again, the Scriptures tell us to “have mutual concern for one another,” to “have tender affection for one another,” to “keep comforting one another,” and to be “building one another up.” (1 Cor. 12:25; Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:18; 5:11) Jehovah knows that Christians are imperfect, and this may make it challenging to be united, so we need to work at “freely forgiving one another.”
Symeon [Peter] has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.
At a meeting of the governing body of first-century Christians held in 49 C.E., the disciple James stated the above. This new people bearing Jehovah’s name would include both Jewish and non-Jewish believers. (Rom. 11:25, 26a) Later, Peter wrote: “You were once not a people, but now you are God’s people.” Peter outlined their mission by stating: “You are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies’ of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Pet. 2:9, 10) They were to sound forth the praises of the One they represented and publicly glorify his name. They were to be courageous witnesses for Jehovah, the Universal Sovereign, “to the most distant part of the earth.”
“Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said: “Yes.”
Roman citizenship offered valuable rights and immunities. Paul made use of his Roman citizenship on several occasions. Faced with scourging in Jerusalem, the apostle asked a Roman officer: “Is it lawful for you to scourge a Roman who has not been condemned?” It was not. When Paul pointed out that he was a Roman citizen by birth, “the men who were about to interrogate him under torture backed away from him; and the military commander became afraid.” (Acts 22:25-29) Paul’s citizenship under Roman law affected how he was treated in Philippi. (Acts 16:35-40) In Ephesus, the city recorder referred to the Roman legal system after he had calmed an angry mob. (Acts 19:35-41) Paul’s legal appeal while in Caesarea opened the way for him to make a defense of his faith before Caesar. (Acts 25:8-12) Thus, Roman law made possible “the defending and legally establishing of the good news.”