Summary: Calling Christians to a deeper commitment to the church and to their walk with the Savior.
Before we begin, what is, exactly, fellowship? The Greek word for fellowship, “koinonia”, 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 life of the body of Christ.
This morning we’re going to briefly cover the three areas in the life of the Christian, which need to be saturated with this idea of fellowship.
I. With God and Christ Jesus
1. I Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
2. Fellowship with God is so essential and so foundational for the life of the Christian that I am not sure that I can adequately cover it in just one sitting. This fellowship is a necessary element in you maintaining your faithfulness to Christ.
a. This fellowship is achieved and strengthened in so many ways. Every time that you sit down and study your bible, pray, and worship Him, either in private or in a group, you are working at the goal of establishing this fellowship.
b. But it goes even deeper than that. Your fellowship with your savior is deepened and strengthened when every time you decide to walk your talk. Everywhere you go, and everything you do has to match up with the claims that you make about your faith in God. If not, your fellowship with him suffers.
c. And that fellowship is strengthened every time that you get together with other Christians for the purpose of fellowship.
3. This bonding and communing with your savior, who gave His life for you on the cross at Calvary, is the most intimate, meaningful, and purposeful of all relationships, ahead of even the relationship shared between a man and his wife.
4. Fellowship with God is also a necessary element in one of the most important goals in the life of the Christian, and that is molding yourself into the image of the Savior, and taking on His likeness. More of Him, and less of me.
a. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to THIS world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect.”
II. With Non-Believers
1. This has got to be one of the most difficult areas in the life of a Christian. It has to have such a perfect balance in order for us to be able to be effective not only in our personal walk, but also in our evangelistic efforts. Not to mention for us to have a scriptural perspective on the world.
2. Please turn with me to 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
3. We need to understand something very important today. Fellowship and friendship are not the same. . . they are 2 different things altogether.
a. Friendship is, of course, being friendly with another person. Friendly gestures, friendly talk, friendly card games, friendly is friendly.
b. But fellowship is something that is shared by a group of people with the common bond that is the blood of Christ. Fellowship includes friendship, but it also includes some things that you can’t “get” anywhere else. Things like, accountability, exhortation, encouragement for you faith, and the big one. . . a commandment and blueprint from God Himself!
4. Another way we should look at it is from the flip side in that from a one aspect, we do need to be nothing more than friends with people of the world, until the time, of course, when they become fellow Christians. A friendship with someone can allow you to be in the world, and not OF it. BUT, if you have fellowship with the world, it not only puts you in the world, but it makes you OF the world too! And that is the reason for the need to find that perfect balance!
5. We can’t forget that we do have an urgent responsibility to non-Believers. That responsibility is laid out for us in the Great Commission, in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. . .“
6. And we need to also keep in mind 2 Peter 3:9, which reads, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for ANY to perish but for ALL to come to repentance.”
a. We cannot become lax in the stand that we take with our non-believing friends, co-workers and family members. Of course it would be easier to just remain comfortable and never bring up the topic of God or salvation, but what good are you doing that person when you do that? NONE! In fact, you’re doing them bad!