Biblical fellowship for believers revolves around communal bonding, sharing faith, and supporting one another in accordance with God’s teachings. Rooted in passages like Acts 2:42 and 1 John 1:7, it stresses the importance of genuine, Christ-centred relationships. Believers are encouraged to gather, worship, and engage in mutual encouragement. This fellowship extends beyond mere social interaction to create a spiritually enriching environment where individuals grow together in faith. The Bible highlights fellowship as a cornerstone of the Christian journey, fostering unity, love, and collective growth within the body of believers.

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Read the Notes from Open Door 2024 – Test 3 – Fellowship

Today we continue our miniseries on the Open Door for 2024. The tests we must overcome to prepare for the next amazing move of God around the globe. I hope you realize by now that God is testing His people so they will be ready for the next shift in expanding His kingdom on earth. You are most likely being tested right now, maybe in one of these areas, or maybe in something completely different.

The reason I choose to focus on these particular tests is that these are the weapons the enemy tried to destroy during the lockdowns. Today’s topic is particularly an important aspect of growing our Church, so please pay special attention to what the Holy Spirit reveals to you today!

Today’s test is the test of Fellowship.

Test 3: Fellowship

Philippians 2:3–11 NASB95 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

A reminder this is why I call unbelievers: prebelievers.

Over the lockdowns, as a church, we were able to fulfill most aspects of the church online, but one very critical aspect of the church that we were unable to replicate is the need for fellowship. This was very concerning for me. So much so that we spent most of last year focusing on the “one Anothers” of the Bible. The Bible has a whole lot to say about being a community of believers. And I believe this to be a critical loss for the modern church. It’s something I believe the modern church has lost touch with. I believe it’s something we need to focus on and put into practice. Remember from last week, the book found right after the Gospels is called the book of Acts, not the book of beliefs. Yes, it’s good to believe, but a true belief needs to be put into action.

James 2:14–26 NASB95 14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

So you can see, it’s not good enough to have the belief that fellowship is a good thing in a Church. We must actively pursue it. Yes, it will cost you time, energy, and other things, but what in life do you desire that costs nothing? Don’t say Love…Love comes at a very high price!

So let’s get into this topic with the expectation that we are each going to do something about it!

The word fellowship is derived from the Greek word koinonia. Koinonia can be defined as “holding something in common” and is specifically used 20 times in the New Testament.

Philippians 2:1–2 NASB95 1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

Acts 2:42 NASB95 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

1 John 1:6–7 NASB95 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Koinonia describes the unity of the Spirit that comes from Christians’ shared beliefs, convictions, and behaviors.

When those shared values are in place, genuine koinonia (biblical fellowship) occurs.

This fellowship produces our mutual cooperation in God’s worship, God’s work, and God’s will being done in the world.

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 NASB95 9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

You’ve probably heard the phrase over the last few years, “We’re all in this together.” I found it laughable when people living in a multi-thousand square foot house with everything they needed were telling those who they’d never meet and have nothing… we’re in this together. Really? Are we?

Again, words are meaningless unless the action backs it up. So when I as a Pastor say those words, I’m hoping and praying we are a community that backs it up. I realize that only occurs when we’ve taken the time prior to build the relationship to a point where they can withstand the coming challenges.

The early Church knew this principle. In fact, without following it, they would have ceased to exist.

The contrast amazes me between the early church and the modern church. Today, we get together for a few hours on a Sunday morning; very few Christians even attend weekly, so you may see each other a few times a month. You may converse with a few people…sharing pleasantries, then go about your regular routine for the remainder of the week.

But look at the early church.

Acts 2:42–47 NASB95 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Devoted themselves

Together and had all in common

Sold their property

Eating together house to house

Results: And the Lord added to their numbers day by day

The Bible tells us in Hebrews

Hebrews 10:25 NASB95 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

But what are the benefits of investing in Fellowship?

Here are just a few of the many benefits:

Spiritual Growth: Fellowship provides an environment where believers can learn from one another, share insights from Scripture, and grow spiritually through mutual encouragement and accountability.

Emotional Support: In times of joy, sorrow, or difficulty, fellowship offers a network of support and comfort. Being surrounded by a community of believers who care for one another fosters emotional well-being and resilience.

Unity and Harmony: Fellowship promotes unity among believers, fostering a sense of belonging and shared identity in Christ. Through fellowship, differences can be bridged, and unity in faith can be strengthened.

Service and Ministry: In fellowship, believers can discover and use their spiritual gifts for the edification of the body of Christ. Serving together fosters a sense of purpose and fulfillment as believers work collectively to advance God’s kingdom.

Accountability: Fellowship provides a context for accountability, where believers can hold one another to biblical standards of living. This mutual accountability helps guard against sin, promotes personal growth, and strengthens the integrity of the church community.

Encouragement and Inspiration: Fellowship offers opportunities for believers to encourage and inspire one another in their walk with Christ. Through shared experiences, testimonies, and prayers, believers can uplift and motivate each other to persevere in faith.

Witness to the World: A vibrant fellowship community serves as a powerful witness to the world of God’s love and transformative power. By demonstrating genuine love, unity, and care for one another, believers reflect the character of Christ and attract others to the gospel.

John 13:35 NASB95 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.”

King’s Table – Meal together Small Groups Hospitality – Invite someone over for a meal or coffee…board games etc. Serve Together – Join together and do something for someone else Social Activities – Plan a games night or gather together to watch a Hockey game Pray Together Social media, join conversations on our Kingdom Way Connections group

Stop thinking you’re all alone in this. We need to learn how to work together then and only then will we see the fulfillment of God’s promises.


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