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All About Me

As we continue our look at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian Church, he’s speaking about how idolatry relates to the grey areas of sin.  This is an important issue.  The apostle now lays down the principle of participation.

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 participation 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 other places in Scripture.  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’re 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.

Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?  Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything?  No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.  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 10:18-21

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, sporting events, 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 spiritual sickness.

Paul tells us the bottom line.

Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?  Are we stronger than he?
“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 10:22-24

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 what’s right or wrong for me.  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?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

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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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Sharing Fellowship

meLyRzsThe Bible talks a lot about the fellowship that we share as believers. Fellowship is an interesting word. We throw it around a lot in Christian circles. Usually we just mean that we get together for meetings. I believe that we need a deeper understanding of it.

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 what it was like in the early days of the church. These are the things that the Christians of that era devoted themselves to. One of the things mentioned was the fellowship.

The word fellowship in this verse is the Greek word koinonia. It meant a sharing or a participation. That’s different than what some people think. Many times we assume that just because we come together for church meetings we’re having a fellowship. Many churches even use the word fellowship in their names.

The reality is that without any sharing or participation there can be no true fellowship. It’s when God’s people come together and participate in each other’s lives that true koinonia takes place. It’s giving and receiving help, encouragement, love and strength.

Even in the English language this word fellowship has a much deeper meaning than most church people realize. It actually comes from an Old English word. It has two parts. Fell, which means property, and low, which means to lay down. All together it means laying your property down. How often do we think of fellowship in those terms?

It seems that many Christians go to church for what they can get out of it. Does the church have everything I’m looking for? Does it have childcare, great music, and a comfortable sanctuary?

That’s not the attitude of fellowship. Fellowship is all about what I can contribute to the whole. What can I put in that will make the church better.

No, it’s not just about money. It’s about ministry, encouragement, leadership and a whole lot more that you’ve been gifted with. You’re blessed with the talents and resources that others need. That’s what you bring with you into the body of Christ.

We shouldn’t be trying to find the church that can best fulfill our wants and desires. Instead, we should be looking for a body of believers that will be blessed by the things that God has placed in us. We need to be sharers rather than just consumers.

We are not to live and act like the world does. Attending a church should not be like choosing a restaurant to go to or finding a daycare for our children. It’s a local manifestation of the Kingdom of God where I can plug into for mutual edification.

Be a part of the church in the true spirit of fellowship. Seek to be a blessing to others.

Question: How are you a blessing to the church you attend?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in Encouragement, Ministry, The Church

 

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The Joy of Fellowship

Everyone wants joy.  Unfortunately many Christians miss out on the joy that God wants them to have.  What is the key to the joy of the Lord?

I John 1:3-4 – 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.
(NIV)

The key to complete joy can be summed up in one word – fellowship.  Because of what Christ did on the cross, we can have fellowship with a holy God.  Then, because we are in fellowship with Him, we are also in fellowship with each other.  According to the Apostle John, that is the foundation for complete joy.

So many believers have no clue what fellowship entails.  The root word of fellowship means together, united, or beside.  It speaks about sharing in one another’s lives, not just sitting next to each other in a church service.  If the church was only about hearing a message about God, we could do that in front of a TV at home.  Fellowship is much more than that.

It is when those who have surrendered to the Holy Spirit meet together to share their lives with each other.  Those who have won a victory can encourage those who are in the middle of a struggle.  Those who have a testimony of praise can help those who are down.  The strong can pray for the weak.

Together, the whole body of Christ can be strengthened and built up.  We can hear the Word together, pray together, and share together.  The church is more than just a good organization, it is an organism.  It is alive and life giving to those who know what true fellowship is about.

Be an active member of the body of Christ.  Participate in the lives of others.  Allow the complete joy of the Holy Spirit to find a place in your heart.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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