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5.  Fellowship




“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  (Acts 2:42)
 

Fellowship Defined


The Greek word for fellowship is:

2842 koinonia {koy-nohn-ee'-ah} from 2844; TDNT - 3:797,447; n f

AV - fellowship 12, communion 4, communication 1, distribution 1, contribution 1, to communicate 1; 20 1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse 1a) the share which one has in anything, participation 1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy 1b1) the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship (in fulfilling the apostolic office) 1c) a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship.

In essence it is the gathering together of those who have commonality in thought, action, deed, purpose and speech towards the development and strengthening of the fore mentioned.
 


We enjoy fellowship with God through;


Knowledge of His will:
Job 22:21 “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.”

John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”


Agreement with His designs:
Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”


Mutual affection:
Rom 8:38, 39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


Enjoyment of His presence:
Psalms 4:5-8 “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. There be many that say, Who will show us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety.”


Conformity to His image:
1Jo 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

1Jo 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”


Participation in His felicity:
1Jo 1:3, 4 “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. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”

Eph 3:14-21  “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen..”

 

We have fellowship with each other through;


Duties:
Rom 12:4, 5 “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”

1Co 12:4 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit”

Phi 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”


In ordinance:
Heb 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Act 2:46, 47 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”


In grace, love, joy, etc.:
Mal 3:16 “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

2Corinthians 7:13 “Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.”

Phi 2:1-3 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Gal 5:22, 23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”


Mutual interest, spiritual and temporal:
Rom 12:5-10 “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”


In sufferings:
Rom 15:1, 2 “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.”

Rom 12:15 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep”

Gal 6:1, 2 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”


In Glory:
Rev 7:9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;”
 


False fellowship


The scripture provides warnings towards those we would have fellowship with or the actions that can ensue:

1Co 15:33, 34 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”

Eph 4:14  “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

Pro 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

2Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

 

Unity


It is God’s desire that we be brought into unity. Our fellowship should have continuity and oneness of mind. As we grow in Christ the unity of fellowship should be the result.

Eph 4:1-6 “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Eph 4:13 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

Food for Thought


What have you learned regarding fellowship that you may not have already known?

What benefits have you experienced from a time of fellowship?

Have you ever experienced a time when you wish you could have fellowship but physical limitations prohibited it?

From what you have learned is there an aspect of fellowship that you intend on exercising?