Summary: This is a great passage on fellowship. If we’re going to grow warmer through fellowship, we need to follow these 10 commandments.
“The 10 Commandments of Fellowship”
Some kids were asked to write letters to God. Here’s what some of them had to say.
Dear GOD, it rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about You that people are not supposed to say, but I hope You will not hurt him anyway.
Your friend (but I am not going to tell you who I am)
Dear GOD, is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?
Dear GOD, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother.
Dear GOD, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.
Dear GOD, did you really mean, "do unto others as they do unto you"? Because if you did, then I’m going to fix my brother!
Dear GOD, I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.
Sound familiar? So much for the perfect family!
Last week, we were reminded that we are a family of believers.
There’s more to this family than weekly reunions.
God has given us 5 purposes to fulfill in this family.
Every commandment given to the NT church can fall into 5 basic purposes:
Fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism, and worship (or 5 M’s).
This is so important, we’ll be looking at these 5 purposes over the next 5 weeks.
If we’re to be a healthy church, we need to be a balanced church.
We need to be purposeful about fulfilling these 5 purposes.
Today, I want to focus on the purpose of fellowship.
I want to ask the question, How can we grow warmer through fellowship?
To answer that question, I’d like you to turn to Rom. 12:9-21.
Here we have a great passage on fellowship.
There are actually 24 commands given here, but we can group them into 10 Commandments.
I call these the 10 Commandments of Fellowship, because we’re going to discover 10 keys to growing warmer through fellowship.
Romans is an in depth explanation of the Gospel; doctrinal and practical.
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. 17DO NOT REPAY ANYONE EVIL FOR EVIL. BE CAREFUL TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF EVERYBODY. 18IF IT IS POSSIBLE, AS FAR AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU, LIVE AT PEACE WITH EVERYONE. 19DO NOT TAKE REVENGE, MY FRIENDS, BUT LEAVE ROOM FOR GOD’S WRATH, FOR IT IS WRITTEN: “IT IS MINE TO AVENGE; I WILL REPAY,” SAYS THE LORD. 20ON THE CONTRARY: “IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM; IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM SOMETHING TO DRINK. IN DOING THIS, YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21DO NOT BE OVERCOME BY EVIL, BUT OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.
1. Love one another. v. 9-10
9LOVE MUST BE SINCERE (without hypocrisy). HATE (detest) WHAT IS EVIL; CLING (stick like glue) TO WHAT IS GOOD. 10BE DEVOTED TO ONE ANOTHER IN BROTHERLY LOVE.
Love – agape, unconditional, sacrificial love (like the love Jesus has for us).
Brotherly love – family love, the love that parents have for their children.
Devoted and brotherly love - actually different forms of the same root word.
Philostorgos and philadelphos (cf. Philadelphia)
City of Brotherly Love (or Shove)
Illus. Martha E. Garrett, East Wenatchee, Wash. Christian Reader ("Lite Fare.") Carol, a gracious clerk in our local Christian bookstore, often refers to a church as "the body." One week, many devoted members of a local "body" had come to the bookstore to buy birthday gifts for their pastor.
On Saturday, that pastor, John, stopped at the store. He told Carol about the surprise party his congregation had given him the night before. Carol’s heart was touched. Spontaneously, she leaned forward and exclaimed, "Oh, John, I just love your ’body’!"
True fellowship means that we love one another.
2. Honor one another. v. 10
HONOR ONE ANOTHER ABOVE YOURSELVES.
NAS – Give preference to one another in honor.
Honor – something weighty, valuable, high esteem, dignity, respect.