Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
What is Fellowship?
It is a joint participation in a common goal; a common action with a common goal.
The Apostle John would teach Christians that in order to have fellowship with God they had to walk in the light.
1 John 1:5-7 “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
By this very understanding we know that we cannot be in fellowship with just anything. This brings up the question then; “In what and with whom may a Christian have fellowship?”
Follow along this scriptural journey, as the Word of God defines the answer:
God, Jesus Christ, and others who are walking in the light!
1 Corinthians 1:9 “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Galatians 6:6 “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.”
The sufferings of Christ!
Philippians 3:7-11 “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
With other saints!
Romans 15:5-7 “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.”
With those who preach the Gospel of our Lord!
Philippians 1:3-8 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.”
“So, then whom or what may a Christian not fellowship?”
This is answered by a set of rhetorical questions that the Apostle Paul will pose to the Christians of Corinth. You see, there were those among them that claimed to be their brethren, but in fact did not reverence the word of God (by this we learn that it does not matter what anyone says they are – if their deeds represent something else – John 3:19-20; 1 John 2:3-6); to this, Paul will state:
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them. And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”
Remember that fellowship is joint participation and that it applies to a common goal. This short lesson is not to tell you to stay away from those who are not fellow soldiers of Christ; just the contrary, how will they hear the Gospel without teachers?
We simply cannot give them our approval, make them think that in any way their choice is acceptable to God, or share with them if they will not reverence the word of God to do their own will!
James 1:14-15 “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
James 4:1 “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”
We may know many good people by society’s standards and those who are good friends, even family members outside the Body of Christ that we care for a great deal. We can enjoy their company in wholesome things, do everything in our power to demonstrate He who rules our hearts (1 Peter 3:15); but we must always be on guard against sharing in any activity that would jeopardize our relationship in fellowship with the Lord!
James 4:17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Walk and Share in the Light Always!
David Hicks is the Spiritual Director at Recovery in the Pines, the premier Christian-based, extended-care, addiction treatment center, located in Prescott, AZ, offering holistic wellness for drug and alcohol dependency. For more information about Recovery in the Pines, go to its website at: http://recoveryinthepines.com/ or call at: (928) 308-4311 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org