Summary: We are saved to be in fellowship (community) with other believers. This sermon encourages God's people to be committed to greater relational and service involvement in their "community of faith."
Grow at GBC Through Fellowship
Series: Get on the Ship
January 27, 2019
Blurb: We are saved to be in fellowship (community) with other believers. This Sunday, worship with us and hear Pastor Sligh explain what results when we are committed to fellowship with a local community of faith.
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEXT: Acts 2:42-47 – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all [who] believed were together and had all things in common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and [shared them with all, as any had need]. 46 And they continued daily with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, [share their meals together] with [glad and sincere hearts], 47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily [those being saved].”
Illus. – The huge redwood trees in California are amazing. They’re the largest living things on earth and the tallest trees in the world. Some of them are 300 feet high and more than 2,500 years old.
You would think that trees that large would have a deep root system, reaching down deep into the earth, but that is not the case. Redwoods actually have a very shallow root system—only about 4-6 feet deep, and no taproot. However, the roots of these trees are intertwined; they’re tied in with each other; interlocked. Thus, when the storms come and the winds blow, the redwoods still stand. With an interlocking root system, they support and sustain each other.
They need one another to survive—and so do we!
Because of this, God has given us His Church, the Body of Christ on this earth. When we come to faith in Jesus, the Bible teaches that we are baptized into Christ, and all those baptized into Christ are also baptized into a family—the body of Christ the Church.
God does not intend for us to exist as lone ranger Christians but in fellowship together with other believers because we NEED one another, and it doesn't go so well when we’re alone.
JOKE: A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagonload of wheat on the road. A farmer who lived nearby came to investigate.
“Hey, Willis,” he called out, “forget your troubles for a while and come and have dinner with us. Then I’ll help you turn your wagon back over.”
“That’s very nice of you,” Willis answered, “but I don’t think Dad would like me to.”
“Aw, come on, son!” the farmer insisted.
“Well, okay,” the boy finally agreed, “but Dad won’t like it.”
After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked the host and said, “I feel a lot better now, but I know Dad’s going to be real upset.”
“Don’t be silly!” said the neighbor. “By the way, where is he?”
“Under the wagon,” said Willis.
See, when we face problems and struggles alone, or when we as believers leave our brethren to handle life on their own, people get crushed by the weight of it all. Our text portrays in glowing detail the first church and its deep fellowship with one another.
Verse 44 says, “all who believed were together.” It wasn’t easy to be a believer in the first century. They faced persecution and opposition and ostracism. So, the early believers bound together in fellowship because they needed one another.
Even today, there’s strength in numbers in the midst of the world’s rejection and unbelieving family members and friends, not to mention our own doubts, temptations and sin. It’s tough…but God has not left us on our own—He has given us each other.
Look at the fellowship portrayed in our text: They devoted themselves together to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers in verse 42; they shared resources with one another in verse 44; they worshipped together in verse 46.
When we commit ourselves to fellowship with believers in a local church, there are several things we’ll experience:
I. THE FIRST IS “COMMUNITY.”
The dictionary defines “community” as: “A unified body of individuals with a common character, with common interests, and who share joint ownership and participation in something.” When people are “in community,” that means that despite all their differences and all their various interests, desires, goals, professions, shades of color or ethnic backgrounds, they’re unified, with a common character and common interests and ownership and participation in something important.
It occurred to me this week that Gilligan’s Island is a good analogy of Christian community. Anyone my age loved Gilligan’s Island when in real time, but I bet all you youngsters watched reruns of the TV series. The storyline of each episode about a small community of seven castaways is, oddly, a clear illustration of what the idea of community means to us as a church.