Summary: Next in series on intentionality, this one focusing on the need for authentic fellowship.
#8 – Finding Fantastic Fellowship
March 9, 2003
How many here today would say that friendship is important?
I think everybody does, even those who don’t seem to have any friends.
Even Oscar the Grouch had friends – they were other grouches, but they were his friends.
And truth be told, everybody on Sesame Street was his friend, whether he wanted to admit it or not.
Friendship is important. Today I want to visit with you about a very specific and important aspect of friendship, and that is the issue of fellowship.
Fellowship is basically the developing and nurturing of relationships built on a common foundation in Christ. And it’s one of the tools God uses to help us become more godly.
It’s more than just a bunch of Christians getting together for any old reason, although I think fellowship can take place in any context, so long as the goal is the building up of each other.
What I want to talk about today is how we can achieve fantastic relationships of fellowship among the body of Christ.
And my fervent hope is that you will leave here today not just convinced of the importance of fellowship, but ready to act to make if more a part of your own life, as God is moving to help me make it more a part of mine.
The basis for our message is Hebrews 10:24-25, which is printed at the top of your note-taking guide. Please join me in reading this aloud:
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 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.
Today I want to offer four facts about fantastic fellowship that I think will go a long way in helping us understand the issue of fellowship, and give us some practical help in gaining better fellowship amongst ourselves.
And the first fact about fantastic fellowship is that…
Fact #1: Fellowship reflects the communion we
have with God.
Fellowship with other followers of Christ is possible only because of our fellowship with God Himself.
1 John 1:3 says:
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
Fellowship is based on relationship with other Christians. And that relationship is based on a mutual love for Christ.
A strong fellowship is reflective of the bond we share as children of God. Individuals who love God love each other. And they look to their benefit in all things.
We seek to help that person be all they can be in Christ, because we know that God loves that person with an infinite love, just as He loves us.
An authentic love for God results in an authentic love for people, especially the children of God.
A fellowship of people committed to mutual encouragement has fewer harmful conflicts. Paul talks about that all the time in his letters. Check them out sometime.
Fact #2 about fantastic fellowship is that…
Fact #2: Fellowship provides an avenue for
Verse 24 in our passage says:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
One of the goals of my pastorate here is to do just that: encourage you toward love and good deeds in Jesus’ name.
Some of the best ways of doing those good deeds are done in the context of fellowship.
Joining forces with someone with whom you have a relationship in Christ makes for a powerful witness to the community.
One of the best ways a church can shine in the community is to meet the needs of those outside the church and the family of God.
Ideas for this kind of thing include such things as throwing grocery showers for those in need of food or having car maintenance clinics for single parents who can’t afford an oil change or a new battery.
Our church participated in the Salvation Army’s bell-ringing campaign last Christmas. That was helping to meet a real need in the community in the name of Christ.
There are lots of ideas of service that will meet a real need, expose people to the fellowship of the church, and show the love of God.
Fellowship provides an avenue for Christlike service.
The third fact about fantastic fellowship is that…
Fact #3: Fellowship builds community within
When we are in fellowship with one another, it shouts to the world that Jesus Christ is still in the business of changing and repairing lives.