Summary: What is fellowship? Do you have fellowship? With whom do you have fellowship? With whom do you not have fellowship? Of what importance is fellowship to you?
Fellowship with God, Fellowship with one another
Sunday October 08, 2000
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
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.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Our subject today is Fellowship.
We invite you to study with us:
What is fellowship?
Do you have fellowship?
With whom do you have fellowship?
With whom do you not have fellowship?
Of what importance is fellowship to you?
Fellowship is the Greek word koinonia, and it means “having in common or sharing with.”
Christian fellowship means sharing the things of Christ. And to do this, we must know the Lord Jesus—not only know about Him, but know Him as our personal Savior.
In our day we have lost the true meaning of the word fellowship.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
I read a story that was told by Vernon McGee. And he told of the time that he used to go to Huntington Beach in Southern California and speak to a Rotary Club.
He said that the wonderful doctor who was the program chairman told him that they could probably take him once a year; so he invited him for either Christmas or Easter and told him to give them both barrels. He said he tried to give them both barrels, and since he is no longer program chairman, they haven’t invited him back!
One of the things he noticed in the place where the Rotary Club met was a large banner over the elevated speaker’s table with the words, “Fun, Food, Fellowship.”
Well, the food was nothing to brag about—embalmed chicken and peas as big as bullets.
The fun was corny jokes.
The fellowship consisted of one man patting another on the back and saying, “Hi, Bill, how’s business?” or, “How’s the wife?”
Then they sang a little song together.
That was their idea of fellowship.
Well, the Christian idea of fellowship is not much different.
When you hear an announcement of a church banquet, it is almost certain that you will be urged to come for food and fellowship.
What do they mean by fellowship?
They mean meeting around the table and talking to each other about everything under the sun except the one thing that would give them true fellowship, the person of Christ.
Now let me give you an illustration of one place where the word fellowship is used correctly.
Now suppose you wanted to know all about Shakespeare because you wanted to teach that particular subject.
You would go to Oxford University and attend the particular school specializing in that subject.
When you ate, you would sit down at the board, and there you would meet the other men who were studying Shakespeare, and you would meet the professors who did the teaching.
You would hear them all talking about Shakespeare in a way you never had heard before.
For instance, in the play Romeo and Juliet most of us think that Juliet was the only girl Romeo courted.
It is shocking to find that when he said,
“One fairer than my love! the all-seeing sun
Ne’er saw her match since first the world begun,”
That fickle fellow Romeo was talking about another girl!
You would hear many things that would alert you to the fact that you had a lot to learn about Shakespeare.
So you would begin to study and pull books off the shelf in the library and go to the lectures.