July 11, 2011

Fellowship: Part 3

So, I began this series with this question:  "Does the Bible talk about a distinctive type of fellowship pertaining only to the life of faith of the redeemed?"  The answer was: Yes!  


I then discussed what I believe the Bible's testimony of True Christian Fellowship is - regarding how it is generated and what God's purpose is for it.  Tonight I want to talk about what it looks like.  That may sound simple (again), but I think there are a couple key verses of Scripture that indicate the display of True Biblical Christian Fellowship is much deeper than we take it for at face value.


Part III:  The Display of Fellowship (True, Biblical, Christian)






Galatians 5:6
" For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

This is the capstone verse for my discussion tonight.  I would like to point out the connection between the two words in bold above.  
The verse says that the only thing that counts ( in regard to a display of faith) is faith expressing itself through love.  James says the same thing in James 2:18.  Some well meaning people today live out very destructive heresies in the name of Christ based off of a very unhealthy understanding of 1 Corinthians 13.  When Paul writes, ..."of (faith, hope, and love), love is the greatest" many demonstrate by their lives that they understand that to mean love is the only thing that matters in relationship to others.  I hope you understand that that is not the teaching of 1 Corinthians 13.  That is a topic for another day, but for now, it is important to see that the love that matters in this world is a love that expresses our faith.  

Among the children of God, the greatest goal is to live out our faith.  That faith is supposed to be lived out in love, but the faith is still the main objective.  So what does the display of True Biblical Christian Fellowship look like?  It looks like a mature, sincere, strong, and wise faith - being expressed lovingly.  This is VASTLY different than simply being loving!
With this is mind, take a look at the verses below.



Romans 12:10
"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."



I Corinthians 16:13-14
"13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love."



I Timothy 1:5
"The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith"


Remember Psalm 119?  It asks, "How can a young man keep his way pure?"  and then it answers, "By hiding God's Word in his heart!"


Faith is built on the Word of God.  A True expression of faith is a devoted expression of love for...


humans?


people's perceptions?


people's feelings?


How about a love for God and His Word.  A correct love for people comes out of that.  That's a part of the "purity" of our "way".


I would like to encourage you to consider how you display love in your life.  Is it committed to the sensitivities of people, or the counsel of God's Word?  The way you answer that will be reflected in the way you express your faith.  The way you express your faith will be reflected in your fellowship.  Your fellowship will reflect who you live your life for.


God Bless you this week.  You were created to be a living expression of God's glory as an Image Bearer.  Live an Image Bearing faith and pursue the most excellent way of love through the purity of a mature Biblical faith.


With you for His glory-