How’s Your Fellowship?

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
I John 1:3

Through the writings of John in his first epistle, we can see his desire for believers to enjoy the unity that fellowship in the spirit of Christ can produce. Philosophy, methodology and personal ambition within the body of Christ will almost always be divisive, but true worship of the person of Christ will bring believers to a common point of focus and will draw our attention away from those things that would divide us.

John testified in the verses preceding this one, of what he had seen and heard as he experienced Christ. Fellowship with Christ should always cause us to reach out for fellowship with others. We can experience Christ through the revelation fo His written word and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The doctrine of Christ becomes the central basis for fellowship with both God and other believers. If there is not agreement on the doctrine of Christ, there is no basis for the type of fellowship that is described here.

There is a progression of fellowship. We begin with our own fellowship with Christ. Then we relate what we have learned of Christ with other believers. This ultimately leads to simultaneous fellowship with Christ and believers. Anytime believers are together, focused upon Christ, this level of fellowship can take place, Matthew 18:20. This presence of God is via the indwelling Holy Spirit. As believers, our fellowship should always manifest the presence of God. The Greek word koinonia describes this fellowship as literally being communion with God.

Personal fellowship with other believers happens on three levels: 1) the idle, shallow chit-chat that characterizes so much of our discussion of the inconsequential. 2) An intermediate level where things of common interest are discussed. 3) A deeper level of fellowship that is based upon a discussion of the things of God. This is fellowship that is focused upon worshipping God through His Word. It is at this level that koinonia occurs. Sadly, many believers spend very little time at this level of fellowship. It seems that most of the time we are bogged down in the first two.

This fellowship is never negative. Interaction between believers that includes gossip, criticism, ungodliness, deceit, or immorality does not fit the biblical description of koinonia. If it is not koinonia, then Christ is not a part of it.

We should always remember that grace is the basis of our fellowship with the Father. The work that Jesus did on Calvary was to bring us to a place of unity with the Father. We should let that same grace of God extend through our hearts to others by the Holy Spirit.

10 responses to “How’s Your Fellowship?

  1. AMEN

    This post I think is the very best I have read at Heavenly Heartburn.

    This particularly I enjoyed.

    but true worship of the person of Christ will bring believers to a common point of focus and will draw our attention away from those things that would divide us.

    This is so well put is this your own writing?

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. These are part of my notes from a series of lectures I delivered at a local Bible institute. I may share more of them from time to time.

  3. thanks for the reminder of what fellowship should be among Believers! sometimes it seems people get too caught up in “life” to take a step back and get back to what life is all about – others, relationships, truth, and seeking Him.

  4. Gordon,
    Great thoughts on fellowship. More than thoughts though,they are the Biblical fellowship that is needed in every Christ centered church.
    Thanks also for listing my blog as one to read. At least the Looking For Jesus – Genesis series.

  5. yea, sad to say but i see very little of #3. i would say we are definitely malnutritioned when it comes to true relationship and community. may God help us and give us a desire to be what He gave His life!

    thanks for sharing and many blessings to you.

  6. This is right on. You know, we receive enough criticism and negativity from the world. We shouldn’t have to concern ourselves with handling that of our brothers and sisters. But all too often we find ourselves working things out with fellow believers, and we’ve lost precious time to win lost souls to Christ. Good post!

  7. Well, Since you ask, my fellowship is awfull. I see the people at my church at church and that’s it. “A deeper level of fellowship that is based upon a discussion of the things of God” does not happen. I greatly admire my pastor. My wife and I often talk about his love for the Lord and dedication to church we attend. He doesn’t feed us though.

    There’s an elderly woman at our church. I learn more from just thinking about her being faithfuly at church whenever the doors open for basically EVER…70 years? 80? I can’t remember…at the same church. I bet she’s heard a zillion sermons. I always wonder how she get’s anything out of the same sermon over and over and over again at our church.

    Here’s our Sunday.
    The chit chat about who’s sick and dying and if we missed church the oblitory questions of where we were.
    Then there’s the excusses for people who aren’t there.
    Then we have a Sunday School lesson that no matter what it’s on always turn into a sermon on salvation. Not much interaction.
    Then more people come and talk about who’s sick and dying.
    Then we have another sermon on salvation. Nothing to challenging.

    I tried to stir things up in disipleship training once. There wasn’t much of a reaction so were back to Baptist Adults. At least this month is pretty interesting stuff. I personaly was tired of teaching about Catholics.

    I suppose that’s why I decided to start blogging. I have all this stuff in me and nowhere to get it out at. I can’t wait for class to start again.

  8. Glad all of you stopped by.

    Michael, sorry to hear things have been difficult for you. I would encourage you to focus first on your fellowship with Christ, then let that flow to others.

    I realize that this is often easier said than done, but remember that the Apostle John had some wonderful fellowship with Christ while in exile on the Isle of Patmos.

    Hang in there, brother.

  9. Gordon, excellent post. I am so blessed to be in a church where discussion of the things of God is our main way of life.

    Our adult Sunday school is a revolving program of multiple teachers. We have done the Purpose Driven Life, the Purpose Driven Church, and John Bevere’s Under Cover Series, just to name a few.

    In our church, I teach what is labeled a “Bible Study and Discussion Forum” This is where we as a group search scripture for any questions someone would care to ask….as long as they are biblical questions. I am not strict on how much of the particular chapter we are on gets reviewed in a particular week.

    I would rather help to further someones’s walk with the Lord by showing them answers for their questions with applicable scripture….no tangents fare allowed for current events, movies, etc!

  10. I thought the best comment “Philosophy, methodology and personal ambition within the body of Christ will almost always be divisive,” I wish I had said it. Most excellent thought.

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