Volume. XXIV, No. 24
Sunday, 13 December 2009


Christian Fellowship


I have always been interested in Christian fellowship as I believe it is an integral and essential part of a Christian's life. What exactly is the meaning of fellowship? The secular meaning is that of association of a friendly character; comradeship; common interest of those in fraternal orders; friendly companionship.
Christian fellowship is much deeper and sweeter than secular fellowship. Bible fellowship means spiritual communion; a joint partnership; a joint sharing; mutual partakers. It is far more inclusive than secular fellowship for it encompasses the whole life. The Bible too tells us that we are all born of the same Father (John 1:13); bought with the same price (1 Cor 6:20); members of the same Body (Col 1:18); taught by the same Spirit (John 16:13); walking in the same path (2 Cor 5:7); serving the same Master (Matt 23:8); heirs of the same inheritance (Rom 8:17).
 
I. Basis of fellowship:
Christian fellowship is conditional upon walking in the light just as Christian counselling depends on a person being counselled, must believe that the Bible is the Word of God. For John 1:7 says "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another."
It is also based on an intimate family relationship of Christ and His family.
 
II. With whom do we have fellowship:
1.       With the Father and the Son - 1 John 1:3 tells us that we are born into God's family and now as a real member of the family, we have heart-to-heart fellowship.

1 Cor 1:9 "... called unto the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" - emphasises that the basic call is fellowship rather than sacrifice or service. In this regards, let us remember the recent messages on Mary of Bethany - by Pastor Weng and Deacon Edwin - teaching us that Mary had chosen the good part.
 
2.       With Christians - 1 John 1:3, 7 teaches us about fellowshipping with apostles, disciples and believers.

So Christians are supposed to love being together; to talk together; to pray together; to sing together; to laugh together; to weep together and also just to be together.
 
Indeed, Christians are supposed to love to come together, to speak of the things of the Lord and to share experiences and testimonies.
 
We need this fellowship for mutual strengthening and encouragement - for the isolated Christian may be starved and lose out spiritually. How tragic that would be!  But first, we need to seek fellowship with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading and studies and then with other believers.
 
III. Why must we have fellowship with others?
Hebrews 10:25 says "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is."  To fellowship is God's ordained order for mankind. It is true that some Christians have matured while living in isolation in prison but they are the exception to the rule.
 
IV. How do we have fellowship?
Acts 2:42 tells us how the Jerusalem church fellowshipped together "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." The early church thrived in fellowship; they considered it absolutely essential.
Ordinarily, we get together for Sunday Church worship but there is also fellowship in prayer meetings and Bible Study groups.
Fellowship is not a passive thing; it is not just attending a meeting; fellowship is when we contribute something to the meeting; it is a 'give and take process'. In this way, we encourage others while we ourselves are edified, encouraged and blessed.
 
V. The purpose of fellowship:
1.       To strengthen one another - even if we do not need fellowship, we owe it to others to give fellowship to them; in the process we too will be blessed.
2.       To encourage one another in the difficulties of life - for there are many with smiling faces who are covering aching hearts and burdened souls - so let us make their load a bit easier.
3.       To share experiences for the mutual benefit of all - for our testimonies may prevent someone else from making a similar error and suffering as we have done in our ignorance.
4.       To manifest our joys that all may rejoice with us. Psalm 50:15 tells us about the fellowship of the thrill of answered prayer; this will surely encourage others to keep praying.
5.       To weep with them that weep - (Rom 12:15); for there is such a thing as the fellowship of tears, of sorrow and of suffering.
6.       To enlighten the weaker brother in the mysteries of the Word of God; as we learn and share God's Word, they will be impressed on our minds and hearts and we will be able ready to learn more.
7.       To exhort the backslider to return to the Lord; our offer of fellowship may remind him or her of happier days and create a longing to return to the Saviour.
 
VI. The results of fellowship:
1.       We learn to walk in the light in obedience to the Lord's will (1 John 1:7)
2.       We learn to suffer together (Phil 3:10)
3.       We learn to serve together (Col 4:7)
4.       We learn to comfort one another (1 Thess 4:18)
5.       We learn to pray for one another (1 Thess 5:25)
6.       We learn to bear one anothers' burdens (Gal 6:2)
7.       We learn to rejoice with the joyful (Rom 12:15)
8.       We grow and glow for the Lord (2 Peter 3:18).


Conclusion
1.       Let us begin the day with fellowship with our God - in the Quiet Time, prayer and Bible study. Let us also meditate much on the Word of God during the day and let the Lord be our predominant thought.
2.       Let us keep company with believers of like faith but constantly make contacts with the unsaved, waiting for opportunities to witness to them.
3.       There are some of us who may not join Christian fellowship meetings, other than the Sunday worship meeting - for one reason or another - but let us remember that Christian fellowship is encouraged biblically for our own good.
God bless
Ngie Joo Gong

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht . Next Lord’s Day Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Jason Tan.
Warmest greetings to all hopefuls from Ps Ki.
Session thanks Sunday School for organising the Christmas Party for our students. Thanks also to helpers, and parents.
Flower roster for 2010 on notice board. Please write your name if you can help.
RPGs for next QTR available on literature table. Please help yourself to a copy.
Ladies’ Fellowship in recess till further notice.
No Chinese Ministry this month.
 
Looking Ahead
Christmas Worship Service, Fri 25 Dec, at 10.00 am.
Watchnight Service, Thurs, 31 Dec, 7:30 pm.
 
Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Ps Ki (S’pore/Lond); Sis Myung Ki & family (S’pore); Mrs Julie Teo & Mrs Way Chor Yiew (S’pore); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong (Bris/Adl); Bro Daniel Volvricht & Sis Shu Ai Cho (S’pore/Batu Pahat); Bros Raymond Ang (Adl), Richie Hornung (Philippines), Yick Ho Lam (S’pore) & Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl), Sisters Sarah Carpenter, Corinne Teng (Perth) & Grace Seow (Adl/S’pore); & others who have travelled.
Church activities over the past week.
Daily mercies, protection, and guidance.
BP National Youth Camp (Perth) - Speaker (Bro Pete Blake), messages, organisers & participants.
Sunday School Christmas Party - good fellowship & weather.
 
Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr & Mrs S H Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Alan Marion, Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki; Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth (recent fall), Nita Chong’s mother, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Myung Ki (& her father - S Korea), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.
Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province); Rev David Koo & Ministry & Life University; Rev Moses Hahn & Ministry; Preacher Zhang & Ministry (Sihanoukville).
Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam (Vientiane).
Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim (Melb).
IBPFM (USA) - missionaries & funds.
Batam (Indonesia) Missions in Jan 2010 (organised by Ebenezer BPC , Melb) - preparations.
Hopefuls in S’pore; Teo family (Kuching).
Journey mercies: Sis Myung Ki & family (Lond); Dn David Yeo & family (China); Bro Raymond Chia & family (S’pore); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng (Pt Aug/Adl); Bro Colin Gan (S’pore); Sisters Suzane Lim, Amanda & Amelia Tan, & Clara Sim (S’pore); and all others who are travelling.
Hopefuls’ get-together in S’pore (Sat, 19 Dec) for next year’s newcomers to Adelaide & Hope BPC.
Job - Sisters Hui Wei Chua, Judy Li, Tabitha Tan & Corinne Teng.
Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Mira Hornung (twins), Bernadette Ng, & Susan Weng.
God’s comfort, strength, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.
Bro Richie & Sis Mira Hornung’s missions work in The Philippines.
Bro Richard Tee - seeking for God’s direction in his further studies/research.
MV Doulos - has been decommissioned. Pray for replacement ship to carry on with world evangelism.
Unity of fellowship & doctrine of B-P Churches.
Persecuted believers in Communist & Islamic countries.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063