My family and I recently attended a powerful conference at a church in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. The central theme for this conference on essentials of the Christian life was fellowship. 

At first, it sounds odd to think of fellowship as an “essential” of the Christian life. Had they already run through all of the important things to discuss and this was all that’s left? 

Far from it. In three days of consecutive expository messages from excellent preachers, the subject became crystal-clear as Scripture was opened and explained. 

Biblical fellowship means much more than just gathering in the same room with other Christians.  It’s more than simply meeting together for a common cause, or to share a meal, or to hear about one another’s life experiences. 

We may do all of those things and yet never experience biblical fellowship. 

Biblical fellowship is a group of diverse Christians who voluntarily open their lives to one another as a loving family because of their common love for Jesus Christ. 

We learned from the expositions that true fellowship isn’t automatic; it’s actually difficult regardless of your personality type. It takes work. It’s challenging for small churches as well as for larger churches.

The difficulty is that in either case you’re still dealing with sinful people. 

Some of the common obstacles to biblical fellowship are:

  • It opens our lives up to exposure and examination; it makes us more accountable…
  • We’re afraid people will notice the differences between what we say and what we really are…
  • We love doing other things more than obeying what God says about our fellowship…
  • We’re lazy and don’t want to make the effort to get into the nitty-gritty with fellow believers…
  • We may think we’re already “strong” and outgoing in that area and thus never learn its true biblical meaning…
  • Or it may indicate that we aren’t true believers if we have no love for the brethren… (1 John 3:10, 14)

When all has been said and done, not everyone in the church will participate in true biblical fellowship. It’s one of the sad realities of our human nature.

There will always be some who refuse to sit at the table with their family regardless of how many “fellowship sermons” they hear. 

But for those who come, it’s an important aspect of our spiritual growth and health. It enables us live in authenticity with one another and keeps us walking the walk of faith for the long haul. This is Christ’s revealed will for us as His people. 

We need each other — our family in Christ.

For the unity of Christ’s people,
Pastor Kevin

 
 
 
 
 
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