Summary: How are you doing in the sincere love department? How are you doing in the zeal department? How are you doing in the blessing department?
THEM KOINONIA KOOKS
INTRODUCTION… WORDS THAT HAVE TWO MEANINGS (p)
Words sometimes have two meanings. For example…
“Bark” can mean the sound a dog makes or the bumpy skin on trees
“Blue” can mean a color or can mean a feeling of sadness
“Cobbler” can mean a person who fixes shoes or a wonderful fruity dessert
“Stamp” can mean the cost it takes to send a letter or what we do with our feet on a bug
“Season” can either mean a time of the year or to add spices to something while cooking
You probably can come up with some very easy examples yourself of words that have several meanings. The meaning of the word is based on the context of the sentence. We know this about these words and many words like them. We learn about such things in elementary school.
The month of April at NBCC we have been looking at “Fellowship.” I know we had Easter this month so we have not done as much with “Fellowship” as I would like, but we are still focusing on it some. I want you to know what I am talking about when I use the word “Fellowship” because like some of these other words, it can have two different meanings in Church.
First, the word “fellowship” can be a verb that indicates that people are talking, eating together, or doing some type of activity. It is an action word usually associated with food! Ice Cream Fellowship, Chili Cookoff Fellowship, or some other churchy-food-fellowship. This type of fellowship is an event where people gather for the purpose of getting to know one another.
Second, the word “fellowship” can be a noun that means a communion of people who have joint participation in an organization or in a particular effort. The word means the unity that should exist within the Christian church which is the Body of Christ. In Acts 2:42, the verse that is driving our theme until 2020, the word used in that verse is “Koinonia” and means “the called out ones” or the committed group of believers. “Fellowship” is a distinct group of believers. We are the Koinonia Kooks.
When we look at the word “fellowship,” we are talking about the second meaning. We are not talking about having a conversation over a banana split, but rather the unifying faith and way of living that binds us all together in this place. The passage we are looking at today is a passage about “The Fellowship” and it is a bit of a fire hydrant. What I mean by that is the passage is full of truth about what a church should be, what we should not do, and commands for people in the fellowship to follow. The passage is verse after verse about who we should be as part of the “Fellowship” and it is verse after verse after verse in a constant flow about “the fellowship” and it does not let up.
READ ROMANS 12:9-21
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do 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. 20 On 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." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
As I mentioned before, this passage is full of truth about what a church should be, what we should not do, and commands for people in the fellowship to follow. Do you see what I mean about a “fire hydrant” passage… each verse showers us with truth after truth?! Let’s step in front of the fire hose of these verses and let it soak into us this morning as we process what we have read.
As I read the passage, I noticed several statements that started with the word “be.” These are phrases and verses that show us who we are to be on the inside. Being part of the fellowship means our attitudes, emotions, thought life, and motivations are changed by Jesus Christ to be more like Him. This is not an all-at-once step, but rather a process throughout our lives of becoming more Christ-like. Sometimes, for me at least, it feels like two steps forward and one step back, but it is a process! We need to be constantly moving forward in these areas.