God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:9-10 KJV
God has called us unto the fellowship of his Son! Absolutely Amazing… thrilling and exciting. How does this wonderful truth impact our day to day life as individual believers? This video begins to explore that very question.
Trust you are blessed as you consider these truths.
This is the 6th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.
Jump back to the first video in this series…
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This is the 40th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of Titus. You can find the first video here.
God saved all kinds of people, even intelligent people!
The world thinks that Christianity is for the simple minded; this theory is blown out of the water by Dr. Luke, the most excellent Theophilus and various others in the New Testament. However, God needs all types and we do as well as we serve God.
Watch and discover how Paul values the company of the eloquent preacher Apollos and the legal brain of Zenas.
To be continued…
This is the 39th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of Titus. You can find the first video here.
A touching request from Paul to Titus. Paul would like his company. We all need friends, even the Apostle Paul!
Are you a friend who others long to see?
To be continued…
Last week we started a conversation about fellowship. As a review let’s remind ourselves that inherent in the principle of fellowship are three key ideas:
- Fellowship means being a part of a group, a body of people.
- Fellowship means sharing with others certain things in common such as interest,
goals, feelings, beliefs, activities, labor, privileges and responsibilities, experiences, and
- Fellowship means a partnership that involves working together and caring for one
another as a company of people, like a company of soldiers or members of a family.
So, how does this pertain to Boys Camp at Greenwood Hills? For one, the staff (counselors, directors, support staff, and the camp staff) are a group of people (clearly). These dear believers share certain things in common – a desire to serve Jesus Christ by serving His people at Greenwood and share in a concern for the spiritual well-being of the campers.
Usually the first two aspects are relatively straightforward. It’s the third aspect that becomes a little less clear, a little less obvious, perhaps a little less present in our idea of fellowship. You see, the concept of working together involves everyone pulling in the same direction, everyone rowing in the same direction, everyone marching to the same beat. This is where it gets a little harder, a little more difficult for some.
Well-meaning brothers and sisters can be rowing contrary to the group, marching to a different beat, and not pulling in the same direction. It’s happened before at Boys Camp and it happens all too frequently in the local assembly.
This year, we had 118 campers. That’s the highest number of campers we have had in a long, long time. One would think that the logistics would have been more challenging or that the stress level would have been higher, but it wasn’t. And the solution, as noticed by several counselors and staff, was that everyone was pulling in the same direction. There was no “lone ranger”, no counselor having his own agenda, we were all in fellowship. It makes all the difference in the world. So, in a year when directing the camp should have been harder (because of the number of campers), it wasn’t. It was the best year in seven years of directing the camp.
The same can be true in the local body. Well meaning Christians can actually hamper the progress of the meeting by failing to march together, by failing to pull in the same direction. This usually happens when brothers and sisters have their own agendas. And, franky, one can even isolate the agendas to a few key areas – music, youth work, women’s ministries, and use of gifts. These seem to be the areas within the assembly that seem to attract the most attention from individuals who are trying to “make a name for themselves” or “trying to shake things up.”
Here’s a simple test as to whether you are really in fellowship or not – whether you are rowing together or rowing contrary to the body – has it been necessary for the elders to spend an unusually large amount of their time “with you” in regards to one or more of these areas? If so, you might need to start rowing in a different direction.
Until next week, fulfill your ministry!
Last week, Scott was kind enough to cover for me while I had the privilege of directing Boys’ Camp at Greenwood Hills Bible Conference in Fayetteville, PA. While directing the camp, I couldn’t help but think of another important New Testament principle.
In Acts 2:42, the Holy Spirit caused Luke to write “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The principle of fellowship is noted early on in church history and I would like to explore it more this week and next week in my blog.
Before we start our study on fellowship, I want to remind everyone of what makes a New Testament principle. A principle is “a basic truth, law or assumption.” So, a New Testament principle is “a basic truth, law or assumption that was established or expounded upon in the New Testament for believers seeking to follow the Lord Jesus as His disciples, individually or collectively.”
Please note, that in the early church, the saints devoted themselves to fellowship. They didn’t just “have fellowship” but they devoted themselves. This means that it was a priority and was purposeful, something that was meaningful to them, something in which they invested their time and resources.
Our common conversation about fellowship falls far short of defining real fellowship. We somehow confine fellowship to that which takes place in between meetings and often involves coffee and conversation. While that may be good, it’s not the biblical concept of fellowship. I am guilty of this type of talk too – especially when it provides justification for certain activities.
For example, I enjoy (or at least I did last year, this year it hasn’t been much fun) watching the Phillies play at Citizens Bank Park. So, if I take another young man from the assembly with me, we can call it “fellowship” and it seems far more spiritual than it really is! But, that kind of activity also falls far short of the biblical concept of fellowship.
Let’s look at how Mr. Webster defines fellowship. According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary it means: (a) companionship, company, associate (vb.); (b) the community of interest, activity, feeling or experience, i.e., a unified body of people of equal rank sharing in common interests, goals, and characteristics, etc.; (c) partnership, membership (an obsolete usage but an important one. It shows what has happened to our ideas of fellowship).
There are three key ideas that come out of this:
- Fellowship means being a part of a group, a body of people.
- Fellowship means sharing with others certain things in common such as interest, goals, feelings, beliefs, activities, labor, privileges and responsibilities, experiences, and concerns.
- Fellowship can mean a partnership that involves working together and caring for one another as a company of people, like a company of soldiers or members of a family.
Joe Reese, a gifted Bible teacher, has pointed out that another good definition of fellowship is “two fellows in a ship rowing in the same direction.” You can see how that meets the 3 key ideas.
So what does this have to do with Boys’ Camp at Greenwood Hills? Tons, but we’ll have to wait to next week for the connection and the application to our relationship with other believers in the local assembly.
Until next week, fulfill your ministry!
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Photo credit: R0uge (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Galatians 6:3
When it comes to local fellowship, there are some very clear and direct words concerning how we think about ourselves in relation to others. Paul in Philippians 2:3 reminds us, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Not very difficult to understand what Paul is saying, is it? He then goes on to give us the extent to which that applies by showing us the Lord’s example of humility and sacrifice on the cross. The Saviour laid down His life for His enemies. That’s not a small thing. We have the perfect standard of sacrifice as our goal to emulate.Read More
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6: 14-15
I was confronted with this question yesterday as I listened to a visiting speaker at our Family Bible Hour. It really hit home just how black and white the scriptures can be sometimes. When others sin against me, whether intentionally or unknowingly, how am I to respond? My natural tendency is to want to get back. I want to see that other person punished for what they have done. Surely there needs to be some kind of torture inflicted so that they pay for their crimes. Let’s not forget that the Bible does say that I don’t need to forgive someone unless they repent and ask for it right? Well, wrong.Read More
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same [tuning] fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Can you imagine what it must have been like? “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity, all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47. What a fellowship they must have had! What a connection within the body of Christ! Every single day they got together to worship, fellowship and grow together. Is it any wonder that people were being saved EVERY day? This is such a far cry from many churches (including our assemblies) where the vast majority of believers only get together on Sundays. Even the “faithful few” are adding one, maybe two extra days to serve alongside their fellow believers.Read More
Do you have an interest in Missions? Are you interested in the Middle East’s recent events? Do you live in the New York City – Philadelphia metropolitan region? If so, Digital Sojourner recommends this Saturday’s Missions Conference: The Middle East, Saying What is Not Said.
The conference, hosted by Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc., will focus on the recent, tumultuous events of the Middle East from a perspective that is not given by the media.
Lord willing the conference will be held at the Lincroft Bible Church, 790 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ from 10a – 3p on Saturday November 12th… arrive early for coffee and fellowship starting at 9:15a. Infant and childcare provided, so bring the entire family.
More information is available from the conveners here.
See you there!Read More