They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers. Acts 2:42 (HCSB)
We sometimes call connections between Christians and the non Christians, “friendship” but refer to the connections between the two Christians as, “fellowship.” Is it automatic that Christians enjoy fellowship with they are together? Perhaps it’s time to stop and think if what you and other Christians do when you are together fits the Biblical description of fellowship.
Yet another mark of a healthy Church is that it unselfishly shares. This can be seen in their devotion to the fellowship. The first Christians were devoted to each other in that they did life together. Selling possessions, providing for needs, worshiping, gathering, learning and witnessing. Being devoted to the fellowship is a commitment to grow as a Christian with other Christians.
To give you an idea of the meaning of the word fellowship and its depth of meaning, it is sometimes brought across from the original language into our English Bibles as partnership or sharing.
Words like partnership and sharing help us to see that Christian fellowship is nothing less than friendship but certainly it’s something much more profound than friendship. Fellowship is partnership, sharing, doing life together. The New Testament concept of fellowship is deep, personal and sacrificial.
The “one another” statements help to clarify what it is that God has called us to do as we relate to each other. You can’t do any of these alone. You need another person in order to engage in “one another” activity and you need relationships that are deep, personal and sacrificial.
There are 47 “one another” commands in the New Testament. Most of those are contained in the letters to the Churches. Here are some examples
Don’t complain against one another, James 4:11, 5:9
Be of the same mind with one another, Rom 12:6, 15:5
Bear with and forgive one another, Col 3:13
Be devoted to one another in love, Rom 12:10
Through love, serve one another, Gal 5:13
Love one another, John 13:34
Serve one another, Gal 5:13
Submit to one another, Eph 5:21
Clothe yourselves in humility toward one another, 1 Peter 5:5
Don’t lie to one another, Col 3:9
Speak the truth in love to one another, Eph 4:25
Bear one another’s burdens, Gal 6:2
You don’t have to join a Church in order to be saved. But when you are saved, God joins you to the Church. You have brothers and sisters in Christ. You have been joined to a fellowship.
A healthy Church is marked by a deep
commitment to the Lord,
to His people and to His work in the world.