Monday, March 28, 2011

Fellowship of Believers

I am just now listening to John Maxwell’s Audio CD’s from Christmas of 2009 that my wife gave me.  They have been on the shelf for quite some time and I haven’t had time to.  He spoke of key principles that are good for teaching discipleship and in mentoring relationships in the church as we read Scripture:
1.  Relationships
2.  Attitude (Luke 9:23, Romans 12:1-2, John 15, etc.)
3.  Equipping (Eph. 4)
4.  Leadership (1 Timothy, Titus, Eph. 4)

I want to pick on relationships today.  Many people in Fannin County you will find claim to have a relationship with the Lord but do not have relationships with other believers or a body of Christ.  We find a picture of the early church in Acts:  “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”  (Acts 2:42)

The New Testament Greek word for fellowship is “koinonia” and it would mean “living together in community".  It seems as I read this there were relationships built with other believers as they gathered together as ‘community.’  In 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 Paul writes to the church in Corinth that “its parts should have equal concern for one another.”  In Romans 12:10 Paul writes to the church in Rome, “Be devoted to one another with mutual affection.  Honor one another above yourselves.”
How can we do these things as believers when we don’t gather with the saints (our brother and sisters in the Lord) as community?

In may cases in the New Testament, believers are urged to EXERCISE their spiritual gifts with one another.  In Hebrews 10:24-25 the writer says “and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  This is to serve and minister to one another as we live together in community.   

Don’t take this “gathering as community” for granted.  God did not desire for any of His children to be “orphans” in His family.  He desires for us to be together and to worship Him with love and devotion as children to a loving and gracious Father who has a plan of salvation by grace through faith through His Son, Jesus Christ…Sleepy Disciple


Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear B,

Thanks for the invitation to read and comment. I hope you and your family are doing well.

I think I have seen these kinds of people:

One category: People who do not fellowship with the church because they do not love the brothers because they do not know the Lord.

Another category: People who do not fellowship with the church because they are too prideful to submit to its doctrine and discipline.

A third category: People who do not fellowship with the church because it is so corrupt they are repulsed by it.

Love in Christ,


Gene Pool said...

"Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."