Summary: This is a sermon about christian fellowship and it’s place in worship.
There are many passages which I could have used this morning to speak of fellowship and its place in our worship. This is the third aspect of our purpose as a Church in maturing disciples. However, I chose this one because I think it really strikes at the core of what real fellowship is characterized by.
As a result of Jesus atoning work on the cross and his position as High Priest there are three things in this passage we are exhorted to do in order to properly mature as a body of believers. The exhortations say, let us…
1. DRAW NEAR with…(v. 22)
a. Sincerity (a true heart)
We cannot hope to have meaningful fellowship with God if our hearts are not sincere. God knows our hearts in spite of what our lips might be saying.
b. Security (assurance of faith)
We can come honestly before God because we know our faith is not in vain. We have assurance that by His grace we are saved through faith. We didn’t earn it and we can’t lose it.
c. Salvation (sprinkled hearts)
What a beatiful picture we have of the atoning work of Christ. His blood literally covering our sin so that we might be counted righteous before a just and holy God.
d. Sanctification (washed bodies)
I thank God that He doesn’t simply leave us where He found us. He dwells within and begins that process of making us into His likeness.
2. HOLD FAST the confession of our hope without wavering. (v. 23)
Today there are so many who miss out on the blessings that God has in store for His relationship with us because they go through life wavering on what they believe. Instead of getting into the word and realizing there is a definite message that is unchanging they cling to whatever fad or trend there may be within religious circles. Verse 23 ends so appropriately with "He who promised is faithful".
3. CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER in order to stir up…(v. 24-25)
I like the tradition concerning the apostle John. How as an old man he would be carried into the Church and asked to say a word. It is said that he would always say "little children, love one another." What an incredible word for the Church today. We ought to have love for one another as well as those around us in our communities whom we hope to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
b. good works
This is the service aspect of our love. We ought to be about the business of doing God’s work as He has called and gifted us accordingly. These works ought to be done both in and outside the Church walls.
NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER
Have you ever heard someone say that they could be just as close to God on the golfcourse or creek bank on Sunday morning? I have heard it many times and this is my reply. Yes you can, but why would you want to? It is possible that one could live a christian life apart from the Church proper but in isolation you would miss out on all of the benefits of coming together and exhorting one another to these wonderful things God has given.