Summary: This is the final message in this 4 part series that has been dealing with how to keep our fire for God through spiritual disciplines. This message deals with fellowship with other believers.
“The Cure for the Common Cold” part 4 (Getting warm with fellowship)
Brian A. moon
Story – When I was a little kid my grandmother had a house in a relatively new neighborhood that was still under construction. Right behind her house there was a huge sandlot that was being prepared for a new home. My friend and me used to play in this lot all the time and this time we found a 10-foot deep hole. I being the brave little idiot that I was decided we should jump down into the hole and play around. After a few minutes I realized that we had a problem, the top of the hole was about 5 feet above my arms when I reached up to get out… we were stuck. I tried to climb out but the sand kept falling off the wall of the hole back on me. I tried to pull on the roots that were sticking through the hole and they would just break off. Then my friend had an idea, if I got on his shoulders and stood I could get out and then go get a ladder to get him out. So I got up on his shoulders and just managed to get out of the hole. Then I went and got a ladder and he climbed out too.
The point of that little story is this, because we worked together we were able to do something that we could not have done on our own. And that is what we are going to be talking about tonight, we are going to be talking about fellowship… Before we look at just what that word is all about and why we need it, lets rewind and see where we have been these past 4 weeks:
We began this series called “The Cure for the Common
Cold” because we were looking for a way to keep our fire, and passion, for God all year round. Not just at special events. We found out how to do this from a verse in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 2:4 –5 “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” NRSV (italics mine)
The last part of that verse was the key, doing the works we did at first, or things like reading our Bibles like we talked about in the first week. We also talked about praying and looked at some common approaches to prayer, and then last week we looked at giving of ourselves. We found out that the extent to which we discover and develop our spiritual gifts, the more we will find ourselves fulfilled and happy people. All of these things like reading our Bibles, praying, giving, and now this week with fellowship, all are tools we should use to develop a passion for God that will last!!! As I said before tonight we are going to be talking about fellowship, which is a weird word that is not used a lot today so the first thing we might want to look at is:
What is fellowship?
Webster’s Dictionary defines fellowship as this: “Fellowship – Friendly relationships, companionship, and the union of peers or friends.”
When I think of fellowship though I think of more than just that definition, I think of more than just companionship. A dog can provide companionship and friendly relations, but to me fellowship is the sharing of experiences with other people that make us a part of each others lives. It could be eating out at a restaurant and having a blast, or it could be worshiping God on a Sunday morning, or talking in huddle group or small group. It is a time that we connect with other people on a deep level. Ok, but why do I need this, why do I need to “connect with people on a deep level, especially Christians?” The short answer is because God has told us to… God never intended for the Christian life to be a lone ranger life. That is why we have churches, and youth groups, and families, and communities. We need other people!!!
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them…” NRSV (italics mine)
While you might not immediately see the fellowship part of this verse let me explain a little. The phrase “Baptizing them” is the key to understanding why we need other people. You see the first step for any new believer in first century Christianity was to get water baptized. The reason was because it made a public profession that you were putting Christ in the top spot of your life. This welcomed you into a family, a family of other believers who had made the same commitment. This new family worked just like any other family… they supported you, cared for you, challenged you and so on. Here is a picture of what this looked like 1900 years ago…