Summary: As we grow and mature as believers in Christ, we will find that fellowship is vital to living. More specifically, fellowship with our Savior is key to real living.
Fellowship: What a to Live! – Part 2
Scripture Reference: Romans 12:9 – 21
Last week we left off talking about fellowship and its value to the life of the believer’s for his/her growth and development. We are reminded that as we live for discipleship, the chance to bear the life of Christ in a Christless world, as we live to worship, the chance to honor God in a godless world, we also have the chance to fellowship in an isolated and lonely world.
We defined fellowship as the opportunity to share our lives with others in order to strengthen, encourage, and build one another up through Jesus Christ.
Someone once said that the idolatry of individualism in our culture has influenced even the way we think about spiritual growth. So much of the teaching on spiritual formation is self-centered and self-focused without any reference to our relationship to other Christians.
This is completely unbiblical and ignores much of the New Testament. The truth is that Christians need relationships to grow. We don’t grow in isolation from others. We develop in the context of fellowship.
Dietrich Bonhoffer, the German pastor who was martyred for resisting Nazis, wrote a classic on fellowship, Life Together. In it, he suggests that disillusionment with our local church is a good thing because it destroys our false expectations of perfection.
The sooner we give up the illusion that a church must be perfect in order to love it, the sooner we quit pretending and start admitting we’re all imperfect and need grace. This is beginning of real community.
Bonhoffer said, "He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter... If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even when there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty.
If on the contrary, we keep complaining that everything is paltry and petty, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow..."
From Romans 12 I had address the cornerstone of a developing a healthy fellowship began with our relationship with the Savior.
I. Fellowshipping With The Savior (Romans 12:1 – 2)
As we grow and mature as believers in Christ, we will find that fellowship is vital to living. More specifically, fellowship with our Savior is key to real living.
God was so committed to fellowshipping with us that He came and occupied a temporary body like ours to helps see and even greater way to have fellowship with Him as the Father…
According to verses one and two in this passage, you developed fellowship with God by…
A. You Give Him Your Body
Before we trusted Christ, we used our body for sinful pleasures and purposes, but now that we belong to Him, we want to use our body for His glory.
B. You Give Him Your Mind
God transforms our minds and makes us spiritually minded by using His Word. As you spend time meditating on God’s Word, memorizing it, and making it a part of your inner man, God will gradually make your mind more spiritual (see 2 Cor. 3:18 ).
C. You Give Him Your Will
We surrender our wills to God through disciplined prayer. As we spend time in prayer, we surrender our will to God and pray, with the Lord, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” We must pray about everything, and let God have His way in everything.
I can have unbroken fellowship with my Savior by giving Him by body, my mind, and my will.
II. Fellowshipping With The Saints (Romans 12:3 – 16)
When Saints are communing with Jesus Christ, the dynamic of this fellowship will automatically overflow into their relationships with other believers. Our horizontal fellowship is simply an overflow of our vertical fellowship.
In short, we belong to each other, we minister to each other, and we need each other. What are the essentials for spiritual ministry and growth in the body of Christ?
A. Honest Evaluation (v. 3)
3. For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
There is nothing more harmful to the body of Christ than those of us who overrate or overestimate themselves. The same cross that was needed to get me in Christ is the same that was needed to get you in.
The same blood that was shed for my sins no matter how many was the same blood that was shed for your sins no matter how few. The same Jesus that saved me from how far I was down is the same Jesus that saved you no matter how far up you were.