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Tag Archives: fellowship of believers

It’s All About Me – Or Is It?

DifferentI’ve taken a few posts to talk about our fellowship. It’s more than we think it is in the modern church.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 1:3-4

This verse talks about all that God has made available to us. Did you ever stop to think about this? Why has the Lord given us all of these great gifts?

“He loves me. He wants to bless me. He’s given me these promises.” ME, ME, ME!

That’s not the way it is. It’s not all about me. Listen to how this is written.

His divine power has given US everything WE need…through OUR knowledge of him who called US…he has given US his…promises, so that YOU (this is in the plural form) may participate in the divine nature…

This is about us as a body. When Peter says that we may participate in the divine nature; it literally says that we are fellowshippers in the divine nature.

What is the divine nature? It’s God’s way of doing things. Growth by germination. Planting, sprouting, growing, and bearing fruit. This can’t happen if I try to do it all on my own. I need the body of Christ. Only then can I escape the ruin that’s happening in the world.

God wants us to walk in a new nature. This only happens when I connect where God wants me in His Body. Only then will I experience the best He has for me.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

The real question is; do we want to walk in the resurrection power of Christ? If so, there’s only one path to get there. I have to participate, fellowship, in sharing His suffering. This is the death process that my old man must go through.

It literally says that I have to take on the same form as His death. It doesn’t sound pleasant or convenient, but the result is worth it. The way Paul puts it, he wants to somehowany way and at any cost – arrive at the resurrection power of the Lord.

But what will it take to accomplish this? Do you think that there’s any way to identify with Christ while ignoring His body on earth? Absolutely not! Fitting into the body of Christ plays a big role in conforming us to the image of Jesus.

Please realize that the suffering he’s talking about is not physical pain. It’s an internal discomfort to the flesh – our old sin nature. That’s why we need the church.

The growth doesn’t happen when the world revolves around me. But in the local church I need to think of the needs of others. I have to learn, by the Spirit, to be in unity with some people who are not like me. They might not think like me. There might even be some that I don’t like or, God forbid, that don’t like me.

It’s in the church that we grow together. We see things in us that need the work of the Holy Spirit to perfect. We learn about the grace of God operating in us. We find our giftings and callings.

Don’t take a light view of the fellowship we share. Without it we’ll never reach our greatest potential.

Question: How has fellowship with others changed your life for the better?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 

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It’s My Private Business

DoorI’m posting about the fellowship we share as believers. In my last article I asked if we saw ourselves as a part of something much bigger than ourselves. This is an important issue.

In dealing with the problem of idolatry in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul made an important statement.

I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
1 Corinthians 10:15-17

The first part of our fellowship that we need to understand is our fellowship with Christ. The words translated participation in this verse, are the same that are translated fellowship in the verses I looked at last time. We have a fellowship in the body and blood of the Lord.

In the celebration of the Lord’s Supper we’re showing a visible representation of our fellowship. It’s because of our connection to Christ that we are connected with each other. We all have a share in His body and in His blood.

It’s this concept of participation that should guide some of our actions. There are some who would say that it doesn’t matter what I do outside of the church. What I do in my private time is my own business. But is it?

Remember, it’s all about participation. Am I participating with the world in things I shouldn’t be involved in? That’s the issue Paul’s dealing with here.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.
1 Corinthians 10:21

Those are strong words. In context he’s talking about idolatry in a pagan temple. But this could apply to us as well. There are many things in society that could be seen as modern idolatry. Gaming, the internet, the entertainment industry, and a whole host of other things can steal our devotion.

Actually, anything that we participate in that causes us to reject time with Christ is idolatry. No, I don’t think we should be worshipping 24/7. But only serving God two hours a week on Sunday morning is a symptom of a spiritual sickness.

Paul tells us the bottom line.

“Everything is permissible” – but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Even things that are permissible, with no evil aspects, can be detrimental to your Christian walk. The fact is, being a Christian is not all about me. I’m a part of something bigger than myself. The fellowship I share is on a spiritual level. The things I do in the natural can have a spiritual effect.

This is key to understanding the fellowship we share. What I do as an individual affects the whole. That’s life in a body. When I stub my toe, my whole body is affected. This is a lesson the current generation of believers needs to learn.

Question: How does a person’s private life affect the whole church?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2015 in Fellowship, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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What is Fellowship?

CrossMost believers have no understanding of what fellowship is all about. I want to take a few posts to talk about it.

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. We write this to make our joy complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by 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, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:3-7

Our fellowship is in two directions. We have fellowship with God, as well as with other believers. We can’t live a healthy spiritual life without it.

It’s the basis of a joyful ministry and a fulfilled life. It’s how we tap into everything God has for us. Unfortunately, many Christians have no clue what fellowship entails.

The word itself, koinonia in the Greek, means partnership or participation. It comes from a root that means shared or common.

The Bible talks a lot about what we have in common. There’s our common salvation and our common faith. All of us who are in Christ have reached out to God – which is our common faith. We have all received from God – our common salvation.

The fact is, we’re all in this together. We’re all the same at the foot of the cross. But how do we view these things? Am I a part of something that’s much bigger than myself? Or do I view this walk as all about me? These are important questions.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:42

This verse talks about the attitude of the early church. It tells us the things that they were devoted to. The word devoted literally means to be strong, steadfast toward. These were the things that the New Testament church majored on.

We would probably agree with most of them. Hearing the teaching of the Word of God. Going to church and celebrating the communion service. I don’t think anyone would question the need to pray.

But fellowship; what about that one? Do we really need to be strong and steadfast toward that aspect of our Christian walk?

We are all a part of the body of Christ. Fellowship should be one of our main emphases. Without it our spiritual lives would shrivel up. We need to understand the function of fellowship in the believer’s life.

That’s the basis of this new series.

Question: How do you view fellowship in your spiritual walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
 

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