A Church Isn’t A Church Without Fellowship

Sermon Titled “Walk In The Light” (1 John 1:7) – based on Week 11 of the Experiencing God study – Sunday 28th March, 2015

  • 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin. 

Being the church that God calls us to be requires that we understand and comply with God’s expectations of us. First of all, if we are related to Christ, we are also on mission with Christ, meaning that the work He came to do is the same work that we are sent out to do (1 John 20:21 “as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you”).

In order to do His work, we must adjust our lives to Him and let Him work through us to fulfill His purposes and draw the world to Him. While our intentions are often good, we still seem to somehow turn the focus back on ourselves, saying things like, “God, I want to do your work, but first, please bless me, bless my family, bless my circumstances.” What we don’t realize is that we are already blessed – every time we step out in faith and obedience.

A second and crucial component of doing God’s work, is recognizing that fellowship with one another, and not just with Christ, is absolutely necessary. The Greek word “koinonia,” translated as “fellowship,” is used twenty times in the Bible. Christians partnering together with God and with other believers, in a spirit of faith, love, and encouragement, depicts the true essence of what a church should be.

A church that demonstrates koinoinia, for example, is a church that is looked upon by the outside community with admiration and respect; it is warm and inviting. On the contrary, a church with division amongst its members causes outsiders to remain skeptical. If what they see is a group of believers who profess to love God, yet do not love one another, they see a poor expression of Christianity. The only way that a church can avoid the latter scenario is by learning to love as God loves; that is, by learning to love those who are difficult to love (including each other), thus discovering in the process that the capacity to love grows greater and greater.

A final component of being a Spirit-led church, is to take preventative measures against falling out of a right relationship with God and out of fellowship with other believers. Blackaby highlights four specific threats that church members should aim to combat:

  1. Making their first love something other than God (Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other Gods before me”)
  2. Allowing a pastor, or deacons, or influential business persons to rule over them (the church must submit to God’s sovereign rule)
  3. Settling for a spectator versus participant role, or experiencing the church culture and programs without actually experiencing God (church members should encourage each other to regularly experience God in a real and personal way)
  4. Trusting in people and things instead of trusting completely in God

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