How Faith + Fellowship = Christ-Like Effectiveness
Grab a place at the table, my fellow race-runners (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 9:26; Hebrews 12:4; 2 Timothy 4:7)!
This is the sixth course in a series of nourishing feasts cooked-up to remind us what FELLOWSHIP, COMMUNITY consists of for the Bible-loving Christian.
Please know that the reason we’re chewing, chewing, chewing on the subject of being born (as an infant), re-born (as in our adult conversion—having repented and beseeched Jesus come as our Savior and Lord) of Trinity, into a new family with no shame, a Christian Fellowship, a Community of Unity, and Great Commission Purpose…
…is that a) the world’s ways; b) our own fleshly default mode towards independence, autonomy, being “little gods”; and c) Satan’s manifold deceptions bent on isolating Christians in a whole host of ways… COMBINED… Has never been, in all of history, more prevalent, deep, multifaceted, and destructive than in our day. Ever…
One very good reason why… today… is that Jesus’ return is closer than ever and Satan is bent on keeping unbelievers unbelieving, and Believers as ineffective as can be.
Please chew on another perspective of our Training Table fare brought to us by AllAboutGod. You will recognize themes, references, applications, and more from the earlier Training Table fare we’ve been chewing on together. Please go deep into any areas that The Spirit enlivens within your heart and emotions, Beloved of God in Christ! And please take the next step we’ve been focused on: Make careful note of the ways God might be leading you to grow SO THAT you can share it IN A COMMUNITY. And make sure the sort of community you’ve invested in will love you enough, be truthful and accountable enough, to encourage the sort of growth God is after in your faith and conformity to Christ!
“Christian Fellowship – Christian Companionship
Christian fellowship occurs when two or more Christians are in one another’s company. The dictionary defines fellowship as “friendly association with others; companionship.” Christian fellowship, then, involves friendly association with other Christians. It means you choose Christians to be your companions.
Christian Fellowship – What Does it Mean for Me?
Christian fellowship begins through a process of adoption. Are you a Christian today? If you are, you have been adopted by God. You may have heard it said that we are all God’s children, but the truth is, we don’t become God’s children until we are adopted, through faith in Christ.
He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. (Ephesians 1:5)
If we were all God’s children by virtue of being His creation, then adoption wouldn’t be necessary. Ask any parents of adopted children and they’ll tell you the process is long, hard and painful! Why would God choose adoption if we were already His children? Because God longs to have you as His child, He sacrificed Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, on the cross in order to purchase your salvation.
So if you’ve repented and received Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, congratulations! You are now a member of God’s family, and shame no longer controls your life.
Christian Fellowship – Like-minded Communion
After adoption, Christian fellowship grows naturally. Because it’s natural for us to want to be around people like ourselves, in time you’ll find yourself desiring the companionship of people who think like you do. As a Christian, depending on where you live on this planet, your beliefs may now be in stark contrast to the society around you. That desire for fellowship with “like-thinkers” is God-given.
If you ignore it, or think that by hanging around with “Christians” your non-believing friends will think you’re not “cool,” you deny yourself the companionship of your new family members, stunt your Christian growth – and worse, you open yourself to risk, and the decrease of your Christian effectiveness in a dark and decaying world.
One phenomena common to all believers is the recognition that without Christ, our spiritual understanding was dark. Some even say, “It’s as if I stumbled in the darkness, and then God threw on the light switch.” Unbelievers are still living in spiritual darkness. While God desires that we live among them and share what we have learned with them, we are called to be separate in our choice of close companions, and for a very good reason! Paul tells us why:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? And what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)
If you seek out fellowship with other believers, you will find yourself surrounded by new friends who’ll think you’re very “cool” – because God thinks so, too! And through that new friendship, you’ll discover that the light only gets brighter… used for the purposes of moving into a darker and darker world.
Christian Fellowship – Where Do I Find It?
Christian fellowship is critical! Being in the company of people who think like you do is very important to your growth and survival as a Christian. If you live in a church-wealthy community, you are likely to find that companionship. Most churches offer some kind of small group experience that you can become a part of. If you can’t find satisfying fellowship at your church, it’s possible God wants to move you somewhere else or initiate the best process at your church. Consider the options, pray, and share your convictions with a few at your church… including someone in leadership! God will direct your heart, open and/or close doors, and grow your purpose and passion for doing the right thing.
But what if you don’t have great churches around you? Where then do you go to find Christian fellowship?” (by, AllAboutGod)
Stay tuned… attuned to the Spirit within!
Until we sup’ again, stay faithful, fit, in fellowship, and fanatic about how much God in Christ loves you “TODAY…” (Psalm 95:7-8),