~ What Is Christian Fellowship? ~

fellow

What is true Christian fellowship? It has been said that fellowship is just a bunch of fellows on the same ship, however, it is far more rewarding and enriching than that. There is a wonderful exchange that takes place when Christian brothers and sisters come together in true fellowship.

The key is; true Christian fellowship only occurs when you are interacting with the people who God has ordained you to connect with.

The Greek word for fellowship that you usually see in the New Testament is: “koinonia,” This word has a very intimate meaning and has to do with communion, joint contribution, joint participation and a sharing of something that goes beyond what a single individual can contribute. It is a partnering together to share God on a level that cannot be attained by an individual. It is an activity that brings Jesus into your very midst and produces dynamic discipleship and enriches relationship with God on a personal and corporate level.

Matthew 18:20 ~ For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

God has called you to a particular fellowship, a company of believers that you are to be in relationship with. It is impossible to mature as a balanced Christian without this God ordained fellowship. You have a supply that is needed in that fellowship and the fellowship has a supply that you need also. The supply is both spiritual and natural and it is necessary for balanced growth and maturity in the body of Christ, and for you as an individual.

Ephesians 4:16 – From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Notice in this passage that supply comes from the joints in the body, not the parts of the body.

A joint is where two parts meet together, like your elbow or knee. That joint causes both parts to be more effective, more mobile, and increases the ability and strength of both connected parts. It is no coincidence that Jesus used this analogy. If you have ever had an injured joint like an ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist, you know how debilitating and restricting it can be. If you are not connected properly to the local assembly where God has called us, you hinder the overall effectiveness, productivity, and strength of the body of Christ. Not to mention yourself.

There are people who claim that they can worship God and be just fine without going to church or being around other believers. This is a deception of the enemy to prevent them from getting connected to the life of the body. It is a ploy to keep the branches disconnected from the vine so they can’t bear fruit. It keeps them from maturing and renders them ineffective and unproductive.

Hebrews 10:25 ~ And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

It is important that you be in the right circle of people so that you can experience this kind of fellowship. You don’t need to interact with every person on the planet, but you do need to find your place in the body and develop those relationships around you. It is this kind of fellowship that brings joy to your relationship with God and others.

Almost all of God’s blessings come through relationships. He uses people to bless people. When you are in true fellowship the blessings flow freely. They flow to you and they flow through you. Make it a point to develop and invest in those relationships.

Give yourself to walking in the light of true fellowship, for to fellowship with the body of Christ is just another way to fellowship with Him. In fact, there are realms of God that you will NEVER experience if you don’t engage in this type of “Body Interaction.” As you fellowship together there is a cleansing of sin that allows you to draw closer to God and to each other.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

6 responses to “~ What Is Christian Fellowship? ~

  1. English Rose Fenton

    If we are one of Christ’s sheep, we shall all be taught of the Lord.

    You say that divine healing was in the atonement which Christ procured by His suffering and death on the Cross. We do not believe that at all, though know it is in the charismatic teaching.
    If Christ paid the price for all our sins and sicknesses, then ALL would certainly be healed. We all have to die, and more often that not, it is through illness. However, having said that, God in His sovereign will, can choose to heal physically, of course, and I know that He has done so. But to claim that physical healing was in the atonement is error. We are to pray for the sick, of course, and God in His mercy, may choose to heal. We cannot make a doctrine out of one single scripture, namely 3 John verse 2 “ B eloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as they soul prospereth.” This is only speaking to the beloved again, and it is a greeting only which we would like to give to any of our brethren or sisters. Many of God’s people have been severely tried both in health and in dire circumstances, not even having sufficient money for food, or raiment. God also chastises us, because He loves His own, and therefore, as I have proved over and over again that “His grace IS sufficient, His strength is made perfect in weakness……” Also “most gladly will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of God may rest upon me.”

    Throughout the whole of the Bible, God shows His divine sovereignty. He chooses Jacob and not Esau, and even says that He loves Jacob but hates Esau. You will probably say that God does not hate anyone, but He does and this means what it says. It does not mean that He loves him less either. God is angry with the wicked every day – and who are the wicked? Those who are outside the Kingdom who do not and cannot believe in Christ, unless the Father draws them to the Son. Salvation is a work only of the Lord. We can do nothing to earn our salvation. But God does ask that we repent of our sins and turn to Him, when He opens our heart and we have the gift of repentance, and ask forgiveness for all our sins. He makes us alive spiritually before we can take this action. We cannot come to Christ all the time we are dead in trespasses and sins, for a corpse cannot rise up and see the Kingdom of God. It has to be the quickening power of the Holy Spirit. What a miracle of free grace and mercy, it is. The greatest miracle of all is the salvation of a soul, and it is ALL of God. His precious blood washes all our sins away, and we are clean through the Word.

    If you are able, do please get the Book “The Sovereignty of God” by AW Pink, not the abridged version printed by The Banner of Truth, but the original version, in all its fullness. God allowed us to read this at such a time in our lives, about 25 years ago, when we were seeing truly what the Scriptures were saying with enlightened eyes and God-given understanding.

    My apologies that this has proved to be rather long, but I pray that you might take the time to read it, and may the Lord, in His mercy, shine much truth upon you, as He did with us.

    We are here only to glorify the Lord, and this can only be in loving the Truth in His precious Word. Our love must be in Truth.

    Your servant, in the Lord, English Rose

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    • I am familiar with Arthur Pink. He was a Calvinist with a great anointing to teach; yet after years of speaking, teaching and preaching, Pink eventually gave up on trying to find a church where he could worship as a member. (Sound familiar?)
      Pink came to believe that there were no churches where he could participate or minister and he found no leaders that He could submit to. So he stayed home, with his wife, and typed his magazine. He gave up on the church, and while his gift of teaching was obvious, he couldn’t find a single pastor he could support or a single church he could even attend the last twenty years of his life. He withdrew and stayed home writing books on his OPINION of what God said in His Word. If this is not gross error, I don’t know what is. We are called to community, not isolation.

      It is interesting that the title and topic of the blog is Christian fellowship and you bring up the one person who understood it the least.
      Understand that any “book” you read other than the bible is just someone’s opinion and should be seen as a supplement to a diet of God’s Word. (including this blog)
      Pink’s understanding of the Sovereignty of God is complete error and is increasingly being rejected by many denominations, including Calvinist, Baptist, etc. Your comments about God’s Love and Hate seems to have been adopted from his writings. This being a teaching blog, I would be remiss to not tell you that it is wrong. For God so loved THE WORLD … not just the chosen. We love Him because He first loved us. He is not willing that ANYONE should perish …

      2 Peter 3:9 ~ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

      I am convinced that if Arthur Pink would have committed himself to being a part of the body instead of an amputated limb, He very well could have been one the greatest teachers in the last 200 years. However, without being a functioning, interacting part of the body of Christ, there are aspects of God which he will never understood or experienced. Although his gift of teaching was great, his understanding of the Word was very shallow in incomplete. Please don’t follow his example.

      I hope you have found, or find, a church Rose, somewhere you can serve and be served, learn and teach, love and be loved. I won’t comment on the rest because until this is set right … it will do no good. God can and will make a way.
      God bless you, and thank you for your comments.
      Jack

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  2. English Rose Fenton

    Dear Jack, Firstly, my apologies for not being able to reply sooner.
    Secondly, I do thank you for your sincere understanding of my predicament in not being able to fellowship with other like-minded believers. Yes, you are right, my husband/carer and I have close fellowship when we can. Right now I have no voice as my muscles are too weak to operate my vocal chords, but I am so thankful to the Lord that, despite, problems with my hands, they have improved sufficiently that I can once again type a little, when I thought I might have to give up altogether.

    I do believe that you are most probably in the charismatic/pentecostal camp, by what you say. We were once there in our earliest years as christians but the Lord has blessed us abundantly, in that we had to come out and be separate, and my illness meant I was confined to bed for several years, but during that time, the Holy Spirit brought us to understand the total Sovereignty of God and what this truly meant.
    The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth and we must worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.

    Jack, God does not love everyone – He loves His own people, the lost sheep that He calls out from the world, from darkness to light, as He died for them. He did not die on the Cross for the whole of mankind, for if so, the whole of mankind would be saved, and they are not. You quote from
    2 Peter 3:9 but sorry, you have taken that particular verse out of its context. If you kindly refer to that whole chapter, you will see clearly to whom that Epistle was clearly directed, namely the “beloved” and who are the beloved – those who are in Christ. Also verse 8 also quotes “beloved”.
    The whole chapter is speaking only to God’s people who He has chosen – He chooses us before we can choose Him – He loves us first before we can love Him, as we are chosen before the foundation of the world.. …..

    (There is more but it seems that I am limited on the space).

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  3. Reblogged this on Mustard Seed Grill and commented:

    As technology grows, our human interaction declines. This is a tragedy and we must all make an effort to stay REALLY connected to one another.

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  4. Rose Fenton

    Have just read the above. I know that we must have fellowship, but what does one do, when in chronic illness/disability, unable to meet with others, and seldom any voice, also unable to tolerate any noise, too exhausted to travel and have to be much alone?
    My husband is my carer, so we take the scripture “When two or three are together, God is in the midst.” and we have fellowship one with another, when I am able.
    There are many true christians who are confined to home and bed.
    Therefore a computer is a precious means of some fellowship around the world, so I thank God for its use, to be used for God’s glory.
    Also, what does one do when all the churches in your area do not believe as you do? By this I mean, the Sovereignty of God, and believe that they can do something towards their salvation. God forbid! Christ died for His sheep and they are chosen before the foundation of the world. Christ paid the price for our redemption, completely. He makes us willing in the day of His power, absolutely nothing of us.
    Your comments would be appreciated.

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    • Dear Rose,
      My heart goes out to you. I agree that a computer and the internet can be a great tool for someone in your situation, and you can reap a tremendous amount of benifit from it. Unfortunately there are many that are more than able to get around fine and choose to forsake gathering together in favor of isolation and social media, tv, etc. That is a big proble. However, that is not your case.

      First let me say that fellowship with your spouse may be the most imortant fellowship you can get, so make the most of that. As far as your illness goes, I personally would be using every tool available to build my faith up and strengthen myself in God’s word so that I might recover quickly. There is no such thing as an incureable disease and there is nothing impossible for God. His redemption is complete and it includes divine healing for us, all we have to do is appropriate it by faith. It IS God’s will for everyone to be healed.

      I don’t understand why I can recieve healing very easy in one area and struggle to recieve it in another, but I know that the price for that healing has been paid for and I will continue to excersize faith for it no matter what my physical senses tell me.

      As far as your comment on the Sovereinty of God goes, I am not sure I understand. You will NEVER find a church body that agrees with everything you do or believe. I have been serving God for 25 years and haven’t found one yet, But I don’t let that stop me from interacting with the body of Christ. Just because my brother or sister does not believe as I do does not mean I forsake the relationship. I have led study groups, mens groups, bible studies and church groups that have had Catholics, Word of Faith, Baptist, Methodist, and Church of God all in one group. We had many differences in doctrine, but we all loved one another and that is what it is all about.

      And I am sorry, but if, by soverienty, you mean that we have nothing to do with our salvation, you are wrong. I hope I misunderstood that. Predestination does not apply to everything, especially to a free will. The bible says that it is God’s will that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), yet we see people perish every day. Soverienty is one of the most misundestood topics in the Christain faith. Yes God is soverien, and in His soverienty, He will not violate the free will that He gave us. Wills of man can change, God’s soverien will, will not. To understand God’s soverienty we must understand this.

      I pray for your healing, and that God will enrich you in all areas of your life.
      Bless you,
      Jack

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