Fellowship With God And His People

In this study, we will see what the boundaries and limitations are. Some people will ignore the limitations for the purpose of maintaining unity. They will dis-regard the truth by their compromises

We will see who we are not to fellowship.

We will see who we are to fellowship.

We will see why we are to fellowship.

And we will see how we are to fellowship.

Psalms 94:20 (NKJV)

Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, Have fellowship with You?

If you sin and do not repent, then you do have fellowship with evil and or any other description of iniquity.

1 Corinthians 10:20 (NKJV)

Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

You shall have no part with demon worship. Neither should you have any part with false worship in whatever form it takes.

2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

As we can easily understand the comparisons of light to darkness, we should understand the difference or comparisons of good and bad. When we join ourselves in company with those who are evil or bad, then we are associated with their titles and descriptions. It is like going into a saloon and not drinking alcoholic drinks. If someone sees you going in or coming out, what do you think that they will assume.

Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV)

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

This command is violated more often than not. Because we have worked with and labored with some for long periods of time, we have built up a freindly relationship. But if all of a sudden they start to teach and practice sin, we must expose them. We should not start an argument that clouds the truth for the sake of our physical friendship. Many brethren have this problem when one turns out to believe or teach false doctrine, however small or minute we might perceive it to be.

Who are we to decide who we are to fellowship. God gives us plenty of instructions of what to avoid. By implication we learn that we are even to avoid them that practice or teach these things.

Galatians 2:9 (NKJV)

and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Compare this with the teaching of 2 John 10-11.

1 John 1:3 (NKJV)

that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Fellowship with God and Christ and the Holy Spirit, are equal. When you fellowship those who have a good spiritual relationship with God, you are one and the same. Any relationship that we have with any party of the God-head, automatically gives us the same relationship with the other parts of the God-head. They are one and the same. If I have a relationship with God and you have a relationship with God, then we automatically have a relationship with each other.

1 Corinthians 3:9 (NKJV)

For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.

How many parables of Jesus can you recall from this one verse alone?

Definition of the word "fellowship".

2842. koinonia, koy-nohn-ee'-ah; from G2844; partnership, i.e. (lit.) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction:--(to) communicate (-ation), communion, (contri-), distribution, fellowship.

Let's see how this word is used in scripture. When we learn how it is used in scripture, then we can know how we are to use it in our lives and conversations. This is written because many have given the wrong application to the word fellowship.

1 Corinthians 1:9 (NKJV)

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

"were called" is used a lot in scripture. "church" comes from a word (ekklesia) which means the called out. We were called out of darkness. We were called to partake of the heavenly calling. God calls men everywhere to repent. We as christians were called out of the world into His realm for a purpose.

Acts 2:42 (NKJV)

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The early church had relationships that indicate cooperative collective actions.

2 Corinthians 8:4 (NKJV)

imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

This gift is the contribution for the needy saints of Jerusalem, which Paul was gathering up to send to them.

Ephesians 3:9 (NKJV)

and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;

The fellowship is the relationship. The mystery is that which had been unknown or known only in part. This outlines that the will of God has been for all men, everywhere, and at any time or dispensation. No matter what dispensation a person lived in, they were still subject to God's eternal purpose.

Philippians 2:1 (NKJV)

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,

Philippians 3:10 (NKJV)

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

The book of 1 Peter in chapters three and four detail a lot of how we partake or share in His sufferings.

Philippians 1:3-6 (NKJV)

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;

V5. The church at Philippi supported Paul in his evangelistic efforts. So, even though Paul was doing the preaching, they were having a part in the spread of the Gospel.

1 John 1:6-7 (NKJV)

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.

All of these above verses denote some type of relationship. Now let us look at some principles that apply to fellowship without the actual word being used. However, the same concept applies.

John 17:20-21 (NKJV)

"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; {21} "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

Being one with Christ makes us one with God. God in us. Christ lives in us. We dwell in the Spirit. We have communion with the saints. We are a part of the body of believers, which is the church, which is the body of Christ.

Romans 12:5 (NKJV)

so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Though we are individuals that have different likes and dislikes, and we have different abilities, we are all still a part of each other. We need to live in such a way that we contribute to the greater welfare of the church and not only for our own comfort and glory.

1 John 5:7-8 (NKJV)

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. {8} And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

Father, Son, Holy Spirit are one. Spirit, water, and blood are one. When we are baptized, we are buried in water to access the blood of Jesus, who was given to us by God and declared to us by the Spirit. Baptism is an act of obedience and is necessary for salvation. Without it, you cannot enter a relationship with Christ. You cannot be buried with Christ, and you cannot be in Christ without baptism.

Galatians 3:27-29 (NKJV)

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. {28} There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. {29} And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

There are many descriptions for christians and the church of which they are a part of. And though there are many titles by which they could scripturally go by, most choose to wear a title that bears their allegiance and signifies ownership. The name of christian.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (NKJV)

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, {20} having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, {21} in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, {22} in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

The church is to grow. We are built together. We are part of the church. We all have to work for the good of each other. Jesus started it all out by becoming the chief cornerstone.

3 John 1:8 (NKJV)

We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

All of our collective actions should be joined in one accord so that the truth be promoted and upheld above all other things. All of our actions should respect the truth. All of our actions should support the truth. When we find others willing to do this, then we have fellowship with them. Fellowship does not necessarily mean we are united in activity, but in purpose. This is how the individual congregations, which are autonomous, can decide who to fellowship and support or join. Though there are many good works that we would like to participate in, we must still hold to the truth and respect our limitations and boundaries.

Galatians 6:1-2 (NKJV)

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. {2} Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Humility is a very essential part of fellowship. We are not always supposed to be partners making equal decisions. We must recognize who has the ultimate authority and submit to it. We must also understand that we are here to help the church grow, we are here to be helped by the church to grow ourselves, but we are not here to have the church serve us. We and the church are to serve Christ.

Ephesians 3:5-7 (NKJV)

which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: {6} that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, {7} of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

All are equal in the sight of God. We should no more be looking for personal glory, than we should be commiting sin. The promise can only be given to those who are the children of God.

Philippians 1:27 (NKJV)

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

Need we say much at all about conduct? By our actions, our true selves will be exposed. We must conduct ourselves worthy of the gospel of Christ. This means that we learn, practice and teach the doctrine that God through Jesus Christ has revealed through the Holy Spirit. Read 2 John 9.

Romans 15:5-7 (NKJV)

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.

Outside of the obvious, there are many boundaries that every individual must determine for themselves. In matters of doctrine, the truth of God or His Word gives us the answers and guidelines. In matters of opinion we must be careful not to look down on others and judge them. We are to help each other to reach heaven, In matters of opinion, when we are constantly disputing among ourselves, then we have lost sight of true christianity. In matters of doctrine that we have scriptural authority, we must dispute publicly and renounce. We must consider and think on these things. We must pray for ourselves and our brethren that we may stand upright before our God.

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