Summary: Christian fellowship is more than fun and games.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Nowhere in the N.T. do any of the Greek words translated "fellowship" imply fun times. Fellowship in the N.T. basically means sharing and self-sacrifice with other believers. The Greek word for fellowship comes from a root meaning common or shared. So fellowship means common participation in something either by giving what you have to the other person or receiving what he or she has. Give and take is the essence of fellowship, and give and take must be the way of fellowship in the common life of the body of Christ.
I. THE BASIS OF THEIR FELLOWSHIP
A. THEY SHARED A COMMON FAITH.
1. They complied with the Word of God.
A. They were not forced to comply.
B. They freely complied.
2. They continued in the Word of God.
A. They didn’t doubt it.
B. They didn’t deny it.
B. THEY SHARED COMMON FEELINGS.
1. They loved Christ.
A. What is it a sign of? Faith
B. How is it shown? Obedience
2. They loved the Church.
A. They were concerned each others well
B. They were committed to each others
II. THE BUILDING OF THAT FELLOWSHIP
A. REQUIRING TIME
1. Some people are too busy.
2. Some people don’t want to be bothered.
B. REQUIRING TRUTH
1. Requiring honesty about our capability.
“And sold their possessions and goods,
and parted them to all men”
A. The poverty that was sold.
B. The perjury that was spoken.
C. The penalty that was suffered.
2. Requiring honesty about our claim.
“Parted them to all men, as every man
A. Don’t be embarrassed to be frank
about your need.
B. Don’t be enticed to falsify your
C. REQUIRING TRUST
III. THE BLESSING OF THEIR FELLOWSHIP
A. THE ENRICHMENT
B. THE ENCOURAGEMENT
C. THEY ENJOYMENT
1. Joined together in prayer to God.
2. Joined together in praise to God.