Summary: I want you to see the benefits of true fellowship; to understand what fellowship will do!
TEXT: Romans 12:9-16
TITLE: What does Fellowship do?
TOPIC: The Playing Church part 2 - Fellowship
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, March 9th, 2008
PROP.: I want you to see the benefits of true fellowship; to understand what fellowship will do!
INTRODUCTION: Good morning. At this time, our Jr. Church is dismissed. Would you please pass those little black attendance pads down your pew so that everyone has an opportunity to sign in.
This month, our focus is on becoming the church of fellowship. Last week we looked at what is fellowship. We learned that fellowship is: Centered on Faith, Fellowship feels like family, and Fellowship looks like friendship.
I want to review the definition we gave you last week:
“The intimate sharing of our lives together under the rule and reign of Christ."
Today, we are going to continue exploring how fellowship can practically affect our body here at Burnside Christian Church.
ILLUSTRATION: APPENDIX…what does it do? Raise your hand if you have had your appendix removed.
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Scientists discover true function of appendix organ
By Barbara Miller
Posted Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:17am AEST
Scientists say the appendix might have been a place for good bacteria to localise in, like a little cul-de-sac away from everything else [File photo]. (Reuters: Pascal Rossignol )
It has long been regarded as a potentially troublesome, redundant organ, but American researchers say they have discovered the true function of the appendix.
The researchers say it acts as a safe house for good bacteria, which can be used to effectively reboot the gut following a bout of dysentery or cholera.
The conventional wisdom is that the small pouch protruding from the first part of the large intestine is redundant and many people have their appendix removed and appear none the worse for it.
Scientists from the Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina say following a severe bout of cholera or dysentery, which can purge the gut of bacteria essential for digestion, the reserve good bacteria emerge from the appendix to take up the role.
But Professor Bill Parker says the finding does not mean we should cling onto our appendices at all costs.
Up until recently, doctors weren’t exactly sure what the appendix was responsible for.
Basically, doctors have discovered that the appendix is responsible for helping digest food! It is the storehouse for good bacteria that helps digest food. When you need extra food digesting bacteria, it assists to provide more bacteria.
But maybe you feel the same way about fellowship as you do your appendix.
You know it exists, but until it goes terribly wrong, you don’t necessarily care what it is or how it works? You’re pretty sure it’s important and that it exists. But you are not sure what fellowship does.
T.S.: What does Fellowship do? Let’s look this morning at the benefits of fellowship.
Let’s read our text this morning:
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
The first thing that Fellowship does is…
1. Increases Devotion (responsibility) to one another (vs. 10)
In our foundation text (Acts 2:42) I want you to be aware of something important. We know that the early church was devoted. But did you see something? It is this little three letter word that DOES appear in the Greek. The three letter word: ‘the’ is a very specific word. It is an exclusive word. It separates something from everything else.
ILLUSTRATION: If there were a group of pencils on the floor, and I asked you to hand me a pencil, well any pencil will do. But if I said, hand me THE pencil…well then you know there is a specific pencil that I’m looking for! A pencil that is separated from all other pencils.
The early church devoted themselves to THE FELLOWSHIP. Fellowship is used as a noun instead of verb! Acts tells us that the early church was essentially devoted to each other. To those included in that specific fellowship! Why? Because they knew each other! They shared their lives with one another! They connected on different levels.
So it makes sense that Paul encourages Christians to be devoted to one another in Rome. You see, Paul writes this letter to the Christians in Rome. He hopes to visit the INFLUENTIAL city of Rome, but has not yet done so at the time of this letter.