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October 29, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ see each other's partner see that's what fellowship is to use each other as partners in your life you need to really experience with this conference call, fellowship, joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie when Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world fellowship.
I may Bible when our name so kind of know were going to be teaching the Bible, but our first name is fellowship. What's that mean I remember many years ago, said to me in the lobby that he said how can you call yourself, fellowship, and you don't have coffee and doughnuts know it's clear that he had an idea wasn't biblical at all, but it was an idea of what fellowship meant and was bringing out on ourselves that mean if you walk to the end of the hall.
You'll see it on Adorno say fellowship that means if you go in there you have fellowship you have lunch but probably not fellowship. See fellowship is is a discipline.
It's something that's commanded in Scripture. It's a needed practice.
It's something it's extremely important. The church is tried desperately to realize how important fellowship is in the 1970s by Dr. Jean Goetz was the one who started the first Fellowship Bible Church in Dallas.
Jean realized that the churches were very good at learning.
They were reasonably good at worshiping, but they were really bad fellowship, and so we thought that if they could create a church that would break down and do what we call today.
Small groups he called many churches if you could break people diamond a small mini church. Then they would really experience fellowship and the results were very limited. The idea was a good one but it didn't really result in a churches of tried meet and greets with new people. They've tried lunches and dinners. They've tried retreats to take people on in small groups. All the good ideas, but the idea that you will create fellowship by doing such things is a misnomer. Fellowship may be something different than you think. I spent this last week studying fellowship everywhere I could find it in the New Testament, some going to make a list of statements about it the day and I hopefully got to give you a much better idea of this really important aspect of your life in our church life: fellowship want to begin by opening our Bibles. Acts chapter 2 the book of acts chapter 2, verse 42.
The church has just begun and Luke writes these words he says and they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to breaking of bread and a prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of many wonders and signs were taking place of the apostles and all those who believed were together and they had all things in common. There is where we run into it the first time in the church.
They have fellowship.
In fact, you'll notice that the first church was built on four things. One was the apostles teaching to was the Lord's table 3 was prayer life for which fellowship there is will we get the word to the Greek word is Joya media and Corian media means partnership. It means participation and means in some way sharing but I really like that word partnership. You see fellowship means our life in common. We are now partners in the prevailing question of the day for you of whether or not you really experience fellowship assembly.
This are there other believers in your life that you see as partners in your life. You see, if you don't see them as partners are not experiencing New Testament fellowship at all not, we can easily see how partners work. I see my wife is my partner, that's fellowship I see the staff as partners. You see, that's fellowship but the New Testament makes it clear that I should see everybody and particularly some people and very particularly as my partners because that's what fellowship is fellowship as a partnership. That's why he said afterwards he said they have all things in common.
It means our life in common that we have.
It's not the same as what we often call what we have made it into sort of something different like hey, let's have lunch and then will go and watch a Saints game together and was a well. We had great fellowship you didn't have fellowship me what you had was wonderful.
It was friendship. That's a good thing but fellowship and friendship were different fellowship deals with our life in common. What it means for us to be as believers in Jesus Christ. Secondly, you can see that fellowship is a very high priority in the early church.
He says they were continually devoting themselves continually devoting cross Colorado is the word.
The Greek word, it means to attend constantly if I were going to say in English what it meant was simply this, they were all in. There is nothing more important than the needs for things the apostles teaching in prayer the Lord's table and fellowship. He said were all in this order goes back to what the Lord said, if you remember we started this series on being authentic and I said the first week that the enemy of you being authentic is hypocrisy. We all have a propensity to be hypocritical in certain areas, and then I said, authentic believers love the word of God. They just love it there or not is not Nestlé regimen tainted. It's not like all I need to do this.
They just love it. And last time we said that authentic believers pray and they pray they play worshipfully.
They pray submissively they they pray we and repent. They they prayed to God not just asking God for things, but as an act of worship.
Now were talking about fellowship and notice that he says they had all things in common is an astounding thing question when it comes to fellowship. Are you all in CPUC other believers as your partners. I think for most of us there's a lot of reasons why we don't buy me one reason we would say we don't. The reason we do lightweights. The reason we give her anything. We don't want to do were too busy okay I really love to, but I'm just too busy. I love the pray more, but I'm too busy. I love that get in the Scriptures when I'm too busy. I love that fellowship but I'm too busy that maybe work for you, but it probably is not going to work for the Lord. Secondly, I think a lot of us have a fear about some of us may been hurt in the past and because you been hurt by somebody in the past to go look I don't want to get too close to anybody. If I get close to people I've been hurt in the past that will dress a little bit later. Other people would say I don't need it.
I long as he got me in the Lord.
I'm fine that that sounds good on the surface, but when you look at the New Testament. The New Testament says you're not fine.
We need other believers in our lives.
And I'm afraid for some of us we don't want fellowship or closeness because we have secret we have a life that were not to Prado. We don't want people to hear about what were really doing Monday through Saturday and so consequently want to keep it to ourselves.
Fellowship was a high priority of the early church. It means all the things we have in common, and the question is do you see other believers as partners.
The third thing I want to say is fellowship is for believers only telling me to second Corinthians chapter 6, verse 14 second Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 14 famous passage. You can't have New Testament fellowship with anybody but a believer, millionaire, friendship, and you should should have friends and be friendly nonbelievers but do not have fellowship fellowship or something different. Notice with Paul and how he addresses it in on verse 14 it gives us a command first and he says this to not be bound together with unbelievers. This is that famous passage in the King James. Do not be unequally yoked okay and we use that all the time. By the way they refer to marriage and it's fine to refer to marriage.
I that's Paul's not talking about marriage or he's actually talking about business. So it's a little bit different in the context but he marriage if it's just fine. Do not be bound together with an unbeliever, you can get that close.
Why for what partnership and by the way, that word partnership quarry near I can say fellowship for what fellowship hath righteousness and lawlessness he said or what fellowship has light and darkness, the root word is repeated twice, he says there's no fellowship between light and darkness. You can have that he said or what harmony has Christ in Belle Isle he said or what is a believer in common with an unbeliever. He said you really don't have it you can have a friend, even your closest friend, the person, it means the most in your life should be a believer in Jesus Christ. Why because Jesus Christ is the most important thing in your life. The perspective that I need in my life is a struggle through this life is a biblical Christlike perspective that needs to come from other believers. I need that relate to other believers in that way. So the question again comes back to do. I see other believers as my partner is an extremely important thing for us to do.
God gives us the warning right there before thing I want to say is fellowship centers on our relationship in Christ. I want to take that for granted. Go with me back to first Corinthians chapter 1 first Corinthians chapter 1 are starting verse four because it starts the paragraph Paul tells the Corinthians. How thankful he is for me is that I think my God always concerning you for the grace of God which is given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you so that you are not lacking in any gift awaiting eagerly the revelation or the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of the Lord.
He says the Lord will confirm you.
It's a wonderful verse for the eternal security of the believer. The Corinthians that everything wrong, you could do as a church, and Paul wants to let them know immediately that all of them will be with the Lord. And then he says this in verse nine God is faithful, through whom you were called into what fellowship with his son Jesus Christ our Lord. Is that relationship with the sun that's what we have in common. What you and I have in common. More than anything else is were both believers in Jesus Christ.
We both been born again were both part of the family of God you see any said now do you see each other's partners. See that's what fellowship is to use each other as partners in your life you need to.
If you're going to really experience what the Scriptures call fellowship. That's kinda hard for us. The New Testament is loaded with one another's it says over and over again all these one another's needs a love one another. You need to forgive one another.
You need to encourage one another.
You need to admonish one another. You confess your sins one to another, over and over. It says one another. You need to do this you need to do this now that requires what relationship you see one of the things about fellowship. Is it it's universal.
In a sense, but it's more specific than that. There are believers that I have a much deeper fellowship with another bully.
The reason is the test of time. The test of time is allowed me to trust them and them.
The trust me. For example, if you left church the day of someone making the lobby and they walked up to you and said hi nice to meet you. I was only convicted by the sermon. My name is Joe I just got a tell you something I've been embezzling money at my company and and a starts telling you all the terrible things that he's doing what your response run for it right well.what piteous he assumed way too much receipt you can't do it that way that's not the way we relate to one another's comes on the basis of trust so I'm not saying to do this to everyone openly. I'm talking about. Ask God puts people in your lives. We relate to people in different ways. I mean there's the surface way in which we relate. That's the way we usually relate to one another will talk about is a nice day today. Are you gonna watch the game today. You see something like that would just talk that way then there's the personal way in which we relate. And sometimes of that we talk about issues in our life, especially health issues. You know how you're doing well. I was doing good health issues. We just talk and that way but then there's a spiritual way in talking and then us do the real issues of your life. The things that are really troubling you need someone in your life like that.
Someone who listens of those things and someone who can encourage you or admonish you see fellowship is an important aspect of our life. It's strategic to us. That's why the early church was devoted to fellowship fellowship also involves sharing what we have to give turn with me to second Corinthians chapter 8 this is the heart of fellowship and sharing what I have to give you that's what the early church. So they had all things in common reason for was they were all persecuted. They were Jews. They believed in Jesus as the Messiah, the Jewish community around him ostracize them and persecuted, so they sort of huddled together and they help each other. They gave each other room and board. You see, they gave each other mills. They did everything they could for each other because of their need. But at the heart fellowship of sharing what you have now wanted to see how this can work in verse one of chapter 8 of second Corinthians.
He says now brother and we wish to make known to you the grace of God which was given in the churches in Macedonia that in a great ordeal of affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wall of their liberality. Was he talking about the report churches.
The report churches around Thessalonian Thessalonica. The report churches there. But Paul went there and said look the saints in Jerusalem are starving and they said we would love to help.
Now they had a problem. They were dirt poor. They didn't have anything they said we don't care will give them what we have and they did.
That's why says notice he says out of their deep poverty it overflowed in the wealth of the liberality for I testify that according to their ability and beyond their ability. They gave of their own accord baking us with notice baking us with much urging for the favor of nerves. The word dissipation just what that word is fellowship, that's fellowship. He says baking us with much urging for the favor of fellowship and the support of the saints. We want to have fellowship will give them what we have and that amazing that's what I'm saying it it's an astounding thing the new think about it, it means showing what you have to give when someone else has a need that could be advice, it could be encouragement. It could be service.
It could be money in this case it was money or something else about this though, in this case they didn't know these people, all they knew was the blood they had and whether they have in common with poor saints in Jerusalem. Christ see their brothers and sisters in Christ. So they said will give whatever is needed will give when you participate in life and that way you see your your experiencing New Testament fellowship.
Do you see other believers as altogether were all partners in this endeavor, we call life. That's what happens there. It involves sharing what you give fellowship also is about this idea of a partnership in ministry.
I want to go to Galatians chapter 2 Galatians chapter 2 with me. Verse seven.
I want to understand the context, the great enemy of the early church was the apostle Paul. He was called Saul of Tarsus.
He was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He hunted people down.
He put people in prison, he oversaw the stoning of Stephen, miraculously, everybody hears that on the road to Damascus.
The apostle Paul converted and now is going to show up in Jerusalem that you could just imagine how the people in Jerusalem must've felt. In fact, look at 122 and 23. I'll give you that for a moment, look at what he says in Galatians. I was still one known by the site of the churches of Judea, which were in Christ, but only they kept hearing that he once persecuted us, is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy. That's all they heard the watch what happens. Both verse seven of chapter 2. Both on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised. Just as Peter had been to the circumcised, for he will effectively work for Peter and his apostleship to the circumcised effectively.
He says work for me also to the Gentiles and recognizing the grace that had been given to me.
James and Cephas, and John who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas. What the right hand of fellowship. He said, so that we might go to the Gentiles and made of the circumcised.
He only asked that we remember the poor, the very thing we were eager to do, see what because we had Christ in common. Could you imagine Peter and James and John. They could've said easily that we don't trust we don't like this could be a ploy he's going to try to get us.
You see, this is a guy that's an enemy didn't do anything like that is given the right hand of fellowship part of the body. That's an extremely important aspect of that they saw him as an equal partner God gave me the grace God gave him the grace that's an amazing thing when in a very important aspect of this pastoral giver on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike of the sum of the method one more time.
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