How Important is the Fellowship of Believers?

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

March 10, 2012

This entry is part 27 of 30 in the series Featured Bible Study: 30 Christian Basics

Welcome to “Featured Bible Study: 30 Christian Basics.” To see all the authors and titles in the series, please go here. Subscribe today to receive the ebook on this series.

The life of a New Testament believer does not end with accepting the Lord Jesus in his life and living on a secluded mountain. As much as the cross restored a vertical relationship between God and man, it also restored the horizontal relationship of men with one another. Remember that the story doesn’t end with the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

It goes on to say in Acts 2:42-47, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Fellowship with other believers is extremely important. That is what changes an assembly or a congregation into a church. The one reason we emphasize on being an active member of a local church is that you will have fellowship with them. You will have people who could pray for you and hold you accountable. Church is more than a service; it is a living organism. It is a body whose head is Christ Himself. And as long as all the parts of the body are connected to the head, they will work in perfect unison with each other.

The first century church used to meet up every day and partake of in the Lord’s supper to signify their fellowship and union with Christ and with each other. It might not be practical today to do it daily, but it is an essential commandment by Jesus at the last supper, that we observe the Lord’s Table in His remembrance!

Moreover, the term “one another” is mentioned 54 times in the New testament which goes on to teach and encourage us on how to have a healthy relationship with one another. Let me just mention a few of them here:

Love One Another

According to me, this is most difficult of all the commandments. Because at times, I find some people whom I don’t really connect with. They don’t think like me, they don’t talk like me, their interests and mine don’t match either. How do I ever love such a person? Interestingly Jesus raised the standard of love with His life. In the Old Testament, the standard of love was “Love your neighbour as yourself” Leviticus 19:18. In the New Testament, Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12

This does seem difficult and often impossible with all the diverse and different people out there in the church! But it surely is possible to do the same as long as we abide in Him who is Love. John 15:9

Serve One Another

Love is not a only a matter of your words or feelings but is best expressed in your service to one another. The early church literally sold their inherited and hard earned property and belongings to be able to serve the less fortunate ones within the church. Today we all love to give for charity and to ministries, however often neglect that brother in the church who cannot afford his children’s education in a good school or that sister who doesn’t have enough funds for her marriage.

May I challenge you to go out of your way to serve someone in your church who really needs it? It doesn’t matter if the person reciprocates the kindness or not, can you be kind to them and serve them just as Jesus commanded us to, in John 13:14?

Edify One Another

Most of us are experts in dispensing advice and supposedly ministerial content at one another but how often do we really uplift a brother or a sister who is struggling in his or her walk with God? How often is your speech gracious and seasoned with salt as God expects from us? (Colossians 4:6) How often do we really take time to pray for a person whom we are so quick to correct and advise on various matters? If you are really concerned about your brother’s and sister’s spirituality, cry out to God for them before you can approach them or correct them.

Will you take efforts to genuinely edify a brother and a sister today? Will you push him or her to see and enter their God given destiny?

Below is a listing of few of those 54 verse references to the Greek word Allelous, translated as “one another or each other”.

I encourage you to spend some time studying these verses to see how you can implement them in your life. You will be surprised how much we miss out without the Word of God.

Mk. 9:50 “….Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.

Jn. 13:14 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

Jn. 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Rom. 12:10 Be devoted to one another with mutual affection. Honor one another above yourselves.

Rom. 12:16 Live in harmony with one another.

Rom. 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another….

Rom. 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

1 Cor. 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

1 Cor. 11:33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for each other.

1 Cor. 12:24-25 ….But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

Gal. 5:13 ….But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

Gal. 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Gal. 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.

Eph. 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Eph.4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Eph. 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs….

Eph. 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Col. 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.

Col. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

1 Thes. 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thes. 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

Heb. 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

James 4:11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another….

James 5:9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged….

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed….

1 Pet. 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

1 Pet. 5:5 ….All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

What does fellowship with other believers mean to you? Are there any more points you would like to add to these mentioned above?

Next in the series: Full Truth About the Second Coming of Jesus to the Earth


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