Summary: This sermon speaks of the three of the top reasons fellowship is important. 1. Fellowship builds Friendships. 2. Fellowship builds Unity. 3. Fellowship builds God’s Kingdom.
Three Benefits of Fellowship
One Sunday morning a seminary student was in his car headed to Church. As he was leaving his dorm room the rain had started to fall and the closer he was getting to the church the harder the rain was coming down. The weather man had predicted severe weather that day – but he had decided to go to church anyway – because sometimes weathermen were wrong. As he drove along, the rain became harder and harder until it was almost a downpour – but he kept going. Then as he drove along he passed someone walking on the sidewalk. He pulled the car over to the curb and motioned to the pedestrian to get in car. The pedestrian came over, opened the door and got in. It turned out that the person walking that rainy morning was Professor Jones, an older dignified gentleman, who taught theology at the seminary. Professor Jones as close to retirement. The student had taken several classes from him.
The student said, “Professor Jones, what are you doing out on a day like this?” Professor Jones replied, “Well it’s Sunday and I’m on my way to church.” The student said, “Professor, didn’t you see the weather report? Didn’t you know that they had predicted rain for today? Why did you decide today to go to church?” Professor Jones replied, “I didn’t decide today to go church. I made that decision over 50 years ago when I became a Christian. When I gave my life to Christ I promised Him I would study His Word. I also promised I would do my best to follow His Word and that every chance I got I would be around His people – the Church. No I didn’t decide today to go to church – I made that decision a long time ago.”
What I would like to talk about this morning is Fellowship.
Fellowship is the relationship that we have with one another as Christians. It is based on the relationship we have with Jesus Christ.
When you and I became Christians three relationships changed.
A. Jesus became our Savior.
B. God became our Father.
C. The Church became our Family. In other words: believers are now my brothers and sisters in Christ.
In our opening story this morning Professor Jones realized this fact. When he accepted Jesus as his savior He not only committed his life to Jesus – he committed his life to fellowship with God’s family - the church as well. It’s like: When a person marries; he or she does not just get a new spouse – they also get an extended family - it’s a package deal.
This morning I would like to look at “Three Benefits of Fellowship.”
Let’s look at our text from Acts Chapter Two. Peter has just finished preaching and here is what happens:
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:41-47 (NKJV)
1. Fellowship builds FRIENDSHIPS.
The early church really was a close knit group. They were all together and had everything in common. I believe that the reason that the early church had such good relationships was because of their commitment to Jesus and each other. For you see:
Togetherness build RELATIONSHIPS.
Relationships build FELLOWSHIP.
Fellowship build FRIENDSHIPS.
Jesus said this about friendship:
“I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” John 15:15 (MSG)
Friends have intimacy with one another. They have built a relationship with one another. I have learned that most people want good friendships. If you want to build good friendships in the church then you need to get involved with things in the church. You cannot expect good relationships to be built if you are not fellowshipping with other Christians.
Fellowship can only be built with T – I – M – E.
I heard the story of a lady that began going to church. (That was a good thing.) She went to church for weeks. She was there every Sunday during those weeks. She would come by herself every Sunday morning. She would arrive right as the service began and she would be the first one to leave the church. She would rush out as the closing song would begin. The church that she attended had no greeting time so she spoke to no-one. I am glad that she attended those services – I hope she got something out of them – but that is not fellowship. That is church attendance. Fellowship begins with attendance – but it goes far beyond that. Fellowship is building ongoing relationships with fellow believers.