Thursday, 10/18/18 – Discipleship: Fellowship

In 1964 Barbara Streisand released the song “People.” Originating from the play Funny Girl it’s refrain, “People who need people / Are the luckiest people in the world,” struck a chord with many. It was subsequently recorded by Andy Williams (1964), Johnny Mathis (1965), Aretha Franklin (1967) and many others.

NASA spends millions researching and experimentation to learn just how long a human can tolerate being apart from other people before it affects their mental well-being.

Inmates who transgress prison rules are sometimes placed in “Isolation,” being denied contact with other persons as a deeper punishment for their behavior.

“Isolation pay” is given to those whose employment removes them from the presence of others for extended periods of time. In fact, during WW II an error in paperwork doubled the isolation post of my father serving as a radio operator during the war. He suffered an emotional breakdown which continued the rest of his life.

Clearly, we are communal creatures. Our Creator designed us this way with purpose.

Sin however has made us think we can be independent. The vigor of youth supports this notion as we hit life feeling we can do anything! When the wheels begin to fall off, we scramble to repair them, but eventually we discover we cannot. Sadly, for many, this discovery may take their lifetime.

It is essential that every believer understand Gods design for community. Coming to Christ is not about you finding some power to make your independence successful! No, no! It is about you laying yourself before your Creator Whom you have come to see loves you, and giving to Him your life to do with as He knows best. You give Him yourself and surrender to His design for you. It is a design that includes community: brothers and sisters in a much larger Family of God, the Body of Christ of which He is the Head, His Church.

Consider the following insights from the scriptures…

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Eccles. 4:9-10)

John attributes fellowship as an aspect of his motivation in sharing the gospel: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

Four times in his gospel (John 13:34; 15:12,17) and six times in his epistles (1 John 3:11,23; 4:7,11,12; 2 John 5) John reiterates Jesus’ command to “love one another.”

In fact a simple study of that phrase alone will give one a good idea as to the importance of fellowship and our need for “one another” as we journey this life of faith.

Scripture teaches us to be kind, even prefer one another (Rom. 12:10), greet one another (2 Cor. 13:12), bear the burdens of one another (Gal. 6:2), to forbear [put up with] one another, and forgive one another (Col. 3:13). We are to be teaching and admonishing [warning] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Col. 3:16), and we must comfort (1 Thess. 4:18), edify [build up, encourage] (1 Thess. 5:11), exhort (Heb. 3:13), provoke to love and good works (Heb. 10:24) one another, and to not stop meeting together (Heb. 10:25).

Throughout scripture the Church, the Family of God, is likened to a Body, of which Christ is the Head. It doesn’t take long for any one of us to realize how interconnect our bodies are. Just stub your big toe or bang your index finger with a hammer and you’ll see. (Read about this more in 1 Corinthians 12.)

Billy Graham was a great servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. After most every public preaching of the gospel Billy would add, “… and go to church this Sunday.”

Christian fellowship is essential to your spiritual growth and is another key component to discipleship.

Are you looking for a church home? Why not stop by our church, take out “three try challenge” and decide if it might be a home for you too. Whatever you decide, find yourself in a good Bible-believing, Truth-teaching church this Sunday. You need it, and it needs you!

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ?
Or, perhaps you would you like to know how to begin this journey and take the very first of the First Steps by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

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