Sermons

Summary: AS A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH FAMILY WE ARE PART OF AN INVISIBLE FELLOWSHIP. WE SHARE OUR JOYS AND SORROWS, TRIUMPHS AND TRAGEDIES

CHURCH: THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD

1 CORINTHIANS 1:1-9

FEBRUARY 17, 2019

WE ARE CONTINUING WITH OUR SERIES ON THE CHURCH AND HOW TO APPLY IT TO OUR CHURCH HERE IN CAMPBELLTON. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THE CHURCH AS A “FELLOWSHIP” OF BELIEVERS.

WE HAVE ESTABLISHED THE FACT THAT THE CHURCH IS NOT THE BUILDING WE WORSHIP IN. IF YOU WERE TO TAKE AWAY THIS BUILDING WE COULD STILL HAVE A CHURCH IN CAMPBELLTON. THE CHURCH IS NOT MADE UP OF EVERYONE WHO ATTENDS A CHURCH EITHER AS NOT EVERYONE WHO COMES TO CHURCH IS “BORN-AGAIN.”, OR A BELIEVER. MANY PEOPLE WHO ATTEND CHURCH ARE WHAT WE WOULD CALL SEEKERS OR PEOPLE SEEKING ANSWERS.

THE CHURCH IS INDEED A “FELLOWSHIP” OF BELIEVERS, BUT WHAT IS A “FELLOWSHIP”? AND HOW DOES IT APPLY TO THE CHURCH?

ESSENTIALLY, A “FELLOWSHIP” IS A GROUP OF PEOPLE, WHO COME TOGETHER ON A REGULAR BASIS, UNITED BY THE CONVICTION THAT WHY THEY ARE JOINING TOGETHER IS RIGHT, AND THEY WILL DEFEND THEIR POSITION NO MATTER THE CONSEQUENCES.

WHEN WE SAY THAT THE CHURCH IS A “FELLOWSHIP” WE ARE SAYING THAT WE ARE A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD, AND THAT HE AND HE ONLY CAN PROVIDE OUR MEANS OF SALVATION AND HAVE SURRENDERED OUR LIVES TO HIM. IT MEANS THAT WE FOLLOW THE LEADING OF CHRIST AS OUR LORD, REGARDLESS OF OUR PERSONAL FEELINGS, AND ARE WILLING TO LIVE OUR LIVES ACCORDING TO OUR BIBLICAL STANDARDS.

IN THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCH THE BODY OF BELIEVERS COMES TOGETHER AND MINISTER TO ONE ANOTHER. THEY HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND PRAY TOGETHER. THEY EXPERIENCE THE MOVING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AS HE TOUCHES HEARTS AND DRAWS THEM CLOSER TO GOD. THEY SEE PEOPLE HEALED AND RELATIONSHIPS MENDED. IT’S LIKE GETTING A FORETASTE OF WHAT HEAVEN WILL BE LIKE.

THE BIBLE DESCRIBES BEING A PART OF THIS FELLOWSHIP IN ROMANS 12:15:

ROMANS 12:15: REJOICE WITH THOSE WHO REJOICE; MOURN WITH THOSE WHO MOURN.

THE CHURCH AS PART OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD SHARE A BOND THAT ONLY TRUE BELIEVERS CAN SHARE. WE HAVE TO REALIZE THAT NOT ALL PEOPLE WHO ATTEND CHURCH ARE BELIEVERS. SOME PEOPLE ARE SEEKERS, THEY SEEK INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN. THERE ARE OTHERS WHO ATTEND CHURCH BECAUSE IT IS SOCIALLY ACCEPTED TO DO SO. IT IS GOOD P.R. AND CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS IF PEOPLE SEE YOU IN CHURCH.

DAVID JEREMIAH SAYS THAT TO BE PART OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCH IS THE MOST EXCLUSIVE/INCLUSIVE THING YOU CAN EVER DO. IT IS EXCLUSIVE BECAUSE THE STANDARDS ARE HIGH. JESUS SAID:

JOHN 14:6: JESUS ANSWERED, “I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME.

THIS MEANS THAT THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN BECOME A PART OF THE “FELLOWSHIP” OF THE CHURCH IS BY ACCEPTING CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR AND LORD. IT IS THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL GET TO HEAVEN. I KNOW THERE ARE MANY RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD TODAY AND THEY ALL WANT YOU TO BELIEVE THAT IF YOU FLOLLOW THEM YOU WILL GO TO HEAVEN, BUT THE BIBLE SAYS THERE IS JUST ONE. IF YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THE BIBLE. IN THIS WAY IT IS VERY EXCLUSIVE.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THIS EXCLUSIVE GROUP IS ALSO THE MOST INCLUSIVE GROUP YOU CAN FIND. IT IS OPEN TO EVERYONE TO BE A PART OF.

ROMANS 10:12-13:

FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JEW AND GENTILE—THE SAME LORD IS LORD OF ALL AND RICHLY BLESSES ALL WHO CALL ON HIM, 13 FOR, “EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.

WE CAN ALL BE A PART OF THIS FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS. WE CAN SHARE THE COMMON BOND OF JESUS LOVE AND GRACE, SAVED BY HIS MERCY AND THE BLOOD THAT COVERED OUR SINS ON CALVARY.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:21: GOD MADE HIM WHO HAD NO SIN TO BE SIN FOR US, SO THAT IN HIM WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.

ONLY BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS CAN SHARE THIS COMMON BOND OF JESUS GREAT GIFT OF SALVATION. AND TODAY IF YOU HAVEN’T BECOME A PART OF THIS FELLOWSHIP, LET ME TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON.

BACKGROUND TO CORINTH:

THE GOSPEL WAS FIRST PREACHED AT CORINTH BY PAUL ON HIS SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY, AROUND A.D. 50. HE LIVED WITH AQUILA AND PRISCILLA AND PREACHED IN THE SYNAGOGUE UNTIL OPPOSITION FORCED HIM TO MOVE TO THE HOUSE OF TITIUS JUSTUS.

PAUL REMAINED IN THE CITY 18 MONTHS.

HE REMAINED IN CONTACT WITH THE CHURCH THROUGH A SERIES OF FOUR LETTERS, TWO OF WHICH WE KNOW AS FIRST AND SECOND CORINTHIANS. IN THESE LETTERS HE ADDRESSES MANY OF THE PROBLEMS THE CHURCH WAS FACING. PROBLEMS SUCH AS DIVISION (1:11), IMMORALITY (5; 6:9-20), AND QUESTIONS CONCERNING MARRIAGE, FOOD, WORSHIP AND THE RESURRECTION.

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