Summary: A sermon that explores unique componants of christian fellowship

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What are they based on.

Some years ago I went out to dinner with some Christian friends - in fact a lot of Christian friends - it was a great night one that will stand in our memories probably for the rest of our lives.

I have vivid memories of laughter and happiness - jokes and frivolity and good friendships based on our mutual love for Christ and our openness to one another.

Since that night some of us have gone on to serve God in various places - at least one has died others have become Pastors - formed ministries or just been faithful to God where they are another - the life of the party that night - in fact has broken up his family through adultery.

One of the great words that floats around the Christian church is fellowship it is a word that is used to describe deep relationships between people - it can be just as easily used in relation to the kind of relationship between people in say the red Cross or a Rugby club - Fellowship is not a particularly Christian phenomenon - it is part of being human.

I guess we could see some Maori people here on this plain some three hundred years ago gathered around an umu with a Moa cooking in it enjoying fellowship.

As a Christian church we need to ask what are is particularly profound about our time together our fellowship.

The book of Romans in the bible is a marvelous book and has had a profound effect on many people over many years -

It is helpful to look at one or two examples because it is these examples that give us some insight into what is unique about our Christian fellowship:-

On May 24th, 1738, a discouraged missionary went very unwillingly to a religious meeting in London. There a miracle took place. About a quarter before nine, he wrote in his journal, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given to me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.

That missionary was John Wesley. The message he heard that evening was the preface to Martin Luther’s commentary on Romans. Just a few months before, John Wesley had written in his journal: I went to America to convert the Indians, but Oh! who shall convert me? That evening in Aldersgate Street, his question was answered. And the result was the great Wesleyan Revival that swept England and transformed a nation.

Paul’s Epistle to the Romans has changed the lives of many. Augustine. Luther, John Bunyan and Wesley all trace their conversions to encounters with God’s truth in this letter. Countless other less famous men and women have encountered God in mighty ways through Romans.

There is something of an x factor in the book of Romans that locates the core of the Christian faith - the "x" factor is of course the cross and whatever it is that binds us together in fellowship obviously revolves around the cross of Jesus Christ

As Paul says in:-

1CO 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

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