What is Fellowship?

One of the most wonderful gifts that God has given His children is the comfort of others who share their faith. In Galatians 6:2, the Apostle Paul told his congregations to “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ”. And in Galatians 6:6, he said, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.”

Further, in Ephesians 2: 19-22 said, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord; In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

These words coupled with words such as fellowship, fellowsoldier, fellowworker, fellowdisciple, fellowlaborouer, and fellowservant indicate the bond that God’s children should have and the love toward one another that should emanate to and from them. Fellowship is another such word that Webster’s dictionary defines as “companionship”, and “the company of equals”. This describes a kind of kinship or friendship that God encourages among believers.

Similarly, if we were to relocate from the North to the South for an extended period of time we may begin to adopt the southern drawl of the region. In other words, what we surround ourselves with will leave its mark on us. Thus, God warns us not to have fellowship with evil and says in 1 John 1:6-7, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness. We lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

As the Apostles traveled from city to city to bring the gospel to others, they looked for someone they knew, someone in their congregation of believers. If they found none and were to preach to those they wished to convert, God would choose someone in that city to help them and believe in their cause. They loved being with the believers and the new converts and those willing to listen because in that group they felt comfortable and comforted.

God wants no less for us. He knows that when we are tired, or overburdened, or if we feel defeated, those who are close to God and who share their faith will help them and uplift them. They can pray together, and break bread together as the Apostles did. It is this spiritual comfort that encourages Christians to have fellowship with one another. But it is also because we can find godly advice in this circle as well as any needed admonition.

Sometimes we don’t recognize when our path is a dangerous one and those who do can remind us what Ephesians 5:11 says: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” And in 1 Corinthians 10:20, “But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.”

It is also comforting to know that when we do make a mistake we are still loved and still welcome in the circle of believers. 1 John 1: 3 tells us, “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 in Galatians 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Fellowship with other believers should be an important factor in the life of a Christian. We will never be pulled in two directions when we share good food, camaraderie, or some form of entertainment because we will all be like-minded and cognizant of how God wants us to behave. Our fun will be good, healthy fun and our conversations kind and often about our faith or those who we can help.

What we seek to understand of scripture can also be revealed to us as we share conversation with believers. When one is weak in faith they can be strengthened, when one lacks understanding they can be taught, when one is weary, they can be uplifted. When our children are exposed to the conversations of believers they too are blessed with the increase of their own faith.

The hand of friendship we receive, and the trust we can have in those friendships is precious. The conversations and the role models bring us consolation, comfort and love as well. Philippians 2:1 tells us, “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit……” And in Philippians 3:10 we are told, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

If we have never been offered the hand of friendship from those in our congregation then we should extend our own hand. Galatians 2:9 gives us this example: “….they gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen…..”

As Christians we will find a blessing in imitating the actions of the Apostles as scripture relates in Acts 2:42, “And they continued stedfast in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” And in Colossians 4:11, “……….These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *