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10/28/15 – Fellowship of Believers

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Believers is that they exercise fellowship; i.e., meeting together with a purpose to encourage one another. The verse above clearly states that God encourages this activity among Believers. 

An over simplification is to describe two extremes of fellowshipping.  One is worldly where the goal is to eat, drink, and be merry (get drunk).  At the opposite extreme is the Christian fellowship where the purpose is to grow in encouragement about living a life sold out to God.  There are plenty of fellowships that fall between these two extremes but God’s expectations are for Him to be recognized and honored at a fellowship with a heavy emphasis on Christians encouraging one another.

 

Many Christian fellowships are planned to celebrate certain holidays: Christmas, July 4, etc.  May I say that a Christian fellowship does not occur without the encouragement of Christians to be strong in their faith?  The beginning of the early Christian church emphasized the need for strong fellowship.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42-47

This passage is a strong support for the need for fellowship in every Believer’s life.  Notice that it included large groups as well smaller groups possibly consisting of two or three people.  In all meetings, they ate, praised God, and encouraged one another.  It even implies that other people favored their fellowships.  It appears there is a belief that a Christian can go it alone in this world.  Nothing could be further from the Biblical truth. 

God intends that we help one another.  God intends that you use your spiritual gift to help others grow in Christ.  You cannot do that by keeping a distance between your brothers and sisters in Christ.  You may not like to entertain – that is not the purpose of a fellowship.  You may feel uncomfortable around other people – these are people who God has purposed to help you grow in Christ.  Evangelism and discipleship are the two actions that Jesus assigned to the disciples (see Acts 28:18-20).  These cannot be done unless there are fellowships within the Christian community.  It may be that this is one reason that the church of today is not more effective.  We do not take the time to encourage one another through fellowships in our homes, churches, and other places.

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