Fellowships of Fantasy and of the Family of God
Moviedom of Hollywood and Television has marketed many spins on fellowship since the turn of this century as the following title movie bills reveal:
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Fellowship of the Dice (2005), Rise of the Fellowship (2013), Artifice: Loose Fellowship and Partners (2015), The Fellowship Of The Shamolyn (2017), and The Fellowship of the Farmers (2017).
I’ve seen none of these flicks nor is it my desire. Christendom knows fellowships far superior and has known them since the very first of centuries.
One of the earliest was the “fellowship of the apostles” enjoyed by them and soon after by the 3,000 souls saved at Pentecost (Act 2:42). Included and binding to this fellowship is the reality that all believers are “called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9). This fellowship is the church of God amongst whom obedient believers enjoy the “fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” (2 Cor. 8:4). We minister to one another with our giftedness, our physical and practical help in times of need, our emotional and prayer support, and at times our prudent financial aid.
James, Cephas, and John, “pillars” in the Jerusalem church, extended to Paul snd Barnabas “the right hands of fellowship” in affirmation of their unique calls to ministry (Gal. 2:9). Shared among us is our understanding, if not intellectual certainly existential “the fellowship of the mystery”—the living Christ within (Eph. 3:9), a “fellowship in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5) made possible by the “fellowship of the Spirit” (Phil. 1:5).
In time, as we walk with our Lord, we experience surprisingly, then learn reluctantly, then value profoundly “the fellowship of his sufferings” (Phil. 3:10) which bonds us deeper in true “fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn. 1:3).
Such superior fellowships require our diligence to retain, to keep pure from other so-called “fellowships” in this damaged and dirty world (1 Cor. 10:20, Ps. 94:20, 2 Cor. 6:14, Eph. 5:11, 1 Jn. 1:6-7).
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