Summary: Fellowship with believers is not an option. It is in real relationships and connection with other believers that we are built up, encouraged, enriched to grow in relationship to fellows believers and representing Jesus Christ.
Intro: In Paul’s and Peter’s letters we are called living stones and a Holy Tabernacle where the Holy Spirit lives. If you remember from last week the proper and stable construction of that place for the Holy Spirit to live doesn’t happen by accident.
Jesus desired then and now that the body and bride would be healthy. The three pillars that rest on the stable and secure corner stone of Jesus Christ are truth, faith, and love. If either the cornerstone or the pillars are missing the house cannot stand.
Also remember that a healthy church is intensely devoted to God’s Word. As a New Testament church we are devoted to God’s word because we are devoted to Jesus who is the living Word of God. If we are devoted to God’s word we will practically live out its principles and precepts. Why? When God says thou shalt not, He is saying hold up that will hurt you. When He says thou shalt not, He is saying that will help you to be healthy and holy.
If we love God and live according to His word then we find that He wants us to connect through Christian fellowship. I love the way that the message translation of 1 Corinthians 1:10 says it,
“I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.”
Why did Paul say you must learn to be considerate and cultivate? Because as human beings being considerate of others needs does not come naturally!! What a beautiful picture we have to learn to be like Jesus. Like a young boy learns from his father how to cultivate fertile ground, breaks the ground, fertilizes, plants, and finally reaps a harvest based on learning to cultivate the ground. We also as Christians must learn to cultivate life around Jesus Christ. Here in Acts 2 the Greek word Kononia means to share all things in common!!
Is it possible to really have this type of community? Yes it is. We know this because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have this type of unity between them.
2) A Healthy church is devoted to fellowship (Acts 2:42) (connecting in real loving relationships)
Philippians 1:3-5 “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, 4 always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
Jesus Himself said in Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.
Our character is developed and built by closeness to Jesus and closeness to others that are walking close to Jesus. We are built up into the image of Jesus. This does not happen alone or by accident. It happens as we fellowship with believers around God’s word!
1) Our connection with Jesus is strengthened