Home Christian Lifestyle The Power of Fellowship Part 2 by Randy Bell

The Power of Fellowship Part 2 by Randy Bell

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When a person begins to follow Jesus, our Lord God wants his narrow road followers to take responsibility by making major life changes. No longer can you be a selfish individual, following your dreams and living your life, but instead you are required to enlarge your perspective and live in the counterculture of Jesus.

Acts 2 illustrates the immediate change God wants as this historical account reveals how 3000 STRANGERS turned from their sin and followed Jesus. It was not an individual and personal religious experience. It was a total transformation to a community of life involving all of Christ’s followers becoming BEST FRIENDS. It was an immediate alteration of thinking and living.

Their new life was based on four major changes of their lifestyle. “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 (NLT) By immediately making these four commitments to Jesus and His followers, they quickly became best friends together.

First off, these strangers from all over the Roman Empire took a risk and immediately joined the church, the rest of all the local followers of Jesus, and gathered with them to learn from the church leaders the teachings and mind of God. They did not go home for a private Bible study to decide for themselves what they would follow or not follow. They did not start a private family worship time as they preferred it with their children. They did not start a new small group that fits their fancy.

No, they submitted to the leadership and humbly listened and learned how to follow the Lord Jesus. The apostles’ doctrine was the teaching of Jesus’ commands. See Matthew 28. They joined the Christian collective and became important parts of the ministry. They immediately connected in fellowship with their new community of friends.

This is the second important life change that they fully committed themselves to on the very day they followed Jesus. Not months or years later when they got around to it. Fellowship is the real response of love to one another as commanded throughout the New Testament. God expects immediate action on your part. Love is not a feeling but fellowship in action.

And not only did they join the Christian crowd and learn the teachings and involve themselves in fellowship, they also joined the community by gathering in the homes of the fellow disciples of Jesus to eat together and celebrated the Lord’s Supper as a church. And also, they joined the large groups and together they prayed for God to continue His mighty work of salvation to others to come to know the truth.

But for this talk, we need to look closer at the responsibility of fellowship. You must participate in fellowship. This is not an option, but the will of God for your life.

Our fellowship together is defined from the Greek word koinoônia. It means a strong partnershipclose social uniondeep communication, and common sharing. Like a piece of plywood, God wants our local church families to be glued together in such a union that the pulling apart of any one Christian will hurt and scar the group. Honestly, isn’t this what being best friends is all about?

1/ Christ commands us to become best friends with his disciples immediately when we follow Him

So first let’s look at the words of Jesus. In John 13:34-35 (NLT) “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

  • We are to love each other just like Jesus loves us
  • We want Jesus to be our BEST FRIEND, don’t we?

2/ Jesus commands this because He wants the world to marvel and desire Him also

This is why fellowship is essential and commanded: I want you to see how comprehensive the Bible is in its’ Love One Another Commands. First, the Lord clearly demands that we, His followers are to LOVE EACH OTHER. This is not an option or suggestion, but His orders to us. And He explains how far this is to go in our lives.

John 15:12-14 (NLT)

12  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

13  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

14  You are my friends if you do what I command.

So the foundation of friendship is fellowship which is based on the fact that Jesus commands us, does not ask us to “Love one another” [John 13:34,35; 15:12,17] And as we understand that “God is love” [I John 4:8], we then have our standard or measuring rod to give us specific instruction of what this means.

He does not mean to just be nice or friendly

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