Summary: Sometimes Christians speak in "Christianese". We talk in terms and words not in common usage outside the church. "Fellowship" is one of those words. This sermon is on our fellowship with God and our fellowship with our fellow man.
Mice Story -- Three pastors met and were talking over conditions at their churches.
The first pastor said, "You know, since summer started, I’ve been having trouble with mice in my church. I’ve tried everything----noise, spray, cats---nothing seems to scare them away."
The second pastor said, "Yeah, my church too. There are hundreds living in the basement of the church. I’ve set traps and even called an expert to get rid of them but nothing has worked so far."
The third pastor said, "I had the same problem, so I baptized all mine and made them members of the church... haven’t seen one since.
Fellowship is one of those “Church” words. It is a word that isn’t commonly used by non-Christians. It is also a word that is miss understood and misused by Christians.
We have our fellowship hall, our fellowship dinners, our fellowship meetings. ect. But what exactly is fellowship? What does it mean? How does it relate to God, to Christians, and to non-Christians.
Is fellowship a potluck dinner? – It could be.
Is fellowship a S.S. class? – It could be.
Is fellowship joining the church? - It could be.
Is fellowship becoming a Christian? – It could be.
The dictionary defines “fellowship” as: - Companionship, friendly association – Mutual sharing as of experiences, of activities, of interests – A group of people with the same interests, brotherhood.
The Greek word for fellowship is “koinonia”, and it 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.
Fellowship is Vertical and it is Horizontal.
1. Vertical is our relationship with God.
2. Horizontal is our relationship with our fellow man
This morning we’re going to briefly cover these two areas in the life of the Christian, which need to be saturated with this idea of fellowship.
I. Fellowship With God. - Vertical Relationship
(Talk briefly about the fall and the events leading up to it before reading scripture.)
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
This morning I want us to notice these final three words. – “Where art thou?”
You can almost feel the longing in God’s heart as He says those words. Prior to this man had had unbroken communion and fellowship with God, but it was different now. Man no longer was waiting for that time with God. Adam was now hiding but God was seeking. Something had happened in that relationship. SIN
Ever since that fellowship was broken, mankind has been trying to get it back. Man tries Religion but to no effect. He pursues pleasure to fill that emptiness but he is still empty. - Sex, wealth, power, alcohol, drugs, pleasures - Nothing satisfies. Everything that man attempts to restore that missing something in his life leaves him empty.
Nothing can fill that emptiness but God – Fellowship with God.
Catechism QUESTION “What is the chief end of Man?” ANSWER “To Glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
1. Relationship is the Basis of that Fellowship
Fellowship with God is first of all relational. - Sonship
1 John 1:3 - That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 1:9 - God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sonship is established when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior and are born again into the Family of God.
2. Sin Breaks that Fellowship
a. God is Holy. Sin hinders relationship.
Just doing good works doesn’t restore the estrangement of a relationship. It involves making things right. If a man and wife have an argument, just buying her a box of chocolates doesn’t solve the whole problem. Whatever is hindering the relationship has to be dealt with. --- Unfaithfulness – bad temper – selfishness, ect.
b. Confession – What is it? It is simply agreeing with God.
c. Some people have a “Sadaam Hussain” God. The life their lives in fear of crossing Him or they will be put
before the firing squad.
3. The Benefits of that Fellowship
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.