Christian fellowship

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Christian fellowship          

Ephesians 4:32 ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave us.’

Extra Reading: Ephesians 4: 17-32

Christian fellowship involves Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, men and women and children mixed without distinction and on equal terms. People witnessed a society possessing a quality of care and love that amazed and attracted those who saw it. Harmony among Christians demonstrated something of the unity-in-diversity of the God they worshipped. Only a church that was manifestly united, where each member was free to share as the Holy Spirit moved him or her, could convince the visiting observer that God was among them. Many were convinced in this way. That is why Christians were called brethren, a nonsexist term in the first century, because of their common relationship to the heavenly Father. Worship, fellowship and feasting were all carried out under the Father’s eye. The lowly, the needy and the sick were shown particular consideration: “One in mind and soul, we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another. All this are common among us except our wives.” But among Christians there was a great deal of love flowing in these Christian meetings  and it was sustained by “the sacred words with which we nourished faith, animate hope, make confidence assured, confirm good habits, and administer rebukes and censures (according to Tertullian, Apology 34).

Fellowship as sharing in God is expressed in a number of ways in the New Testament (Romans 15:27; 1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 13:13); Phil. 2:1; 1 John 1:3). The most breathtaking example is 2 Peter 1:4 where the recipients are saluted as being participants in the very nature of God! This fellowship with Jesus and his heavenly Father, in which the earliest Christians exulted, can be viewed in two ways. Fellowship can mean that we share our lives with Jesus: he is our friend, our brother with whom we can share our feelings and requests at any time of day or night. We can share our ordinary humdrum lives with the Son of God! But there is a deeper sense in which this fellowship can be construed. We share in his life. We share in his suffering (Phil. 3:10; 1 Peter 4:13). We are raised with him (Eph.2:5-6). We will reign with him (2 Tim. 2:12) and share his future glory (2 Thess. 2:14).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, it is so good to know that we will eternally have fellowship with you. Thank you, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise 

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