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The Cry for Fellowship

Many of us know how to read the Word and, let’s face it, we are still blessed to be in a country where we still have access to videos, books and people who can share the Word. Some of us know how to listen to the Holy Ghost and get a Word ourselves. However, we can’t ignore another very important aspect of our faith. 

No matter what our temperaments are, everybody needs people. Some folks only need their family and a couple of friends, some need to be around many people all the time. But one thing is for sure, as members of the Body of Christ we have a divine duty to fellowship. Nobody escapes that responsibility.

Hebrews 10:25 tells us “not abandoning our own meeting together…” (NASB) The word Meet here is the Greek word, episunagōgḗ; meaning “To gather together. The act of gathering or assembling together (2 Thess. 2:1 [cf. 1 Thess 4:17]). Heb. 10:25 does not merely denote the assembling for corporate worship as a solitary or occasional act, but as customary conduct.”[1] The latter definition of this word is the key; this is not describing us coming together for a service, but a way of life of us coming together in true fellowship. That fellowship was truly special; Galatian 2:9 tells us

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 the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. (NASB)

Notice that Paul speaks about the right hand of fellowship. The word fellowship is the Greek word koinonia; we will talk about the meaning of this word later. The point that I want to make here is that the right hand of fellowship was not an invitation to be a Pentecostal, Catholic, Presbyterian and so on… it was not an invitation to seat in a congregation to watch a one-man show. You were invited into a family of folks who were close together: friends, brothers, and sister. 

First John 1:7 tells us, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (NASB) From this verse we will look at five powerful points regarding fellowship:

  1. This verse is speaking to those who are in the Light; that is in Jesus. The Bible is very clear that our fellowship cannot be shared with the unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14). We need to understand that our fellowship is holy… separated to God’s people.
  2. There are many things that happen to us and through us when we walk with Jesus. One of the things that happen in us as the result of being in Jesus is a desire to fellowship with believers. A person that is not walking with Jesus or, a believer who is hiding deep sins, does not want to be in fellowship with other believers who are walking in the light. The light exposes darkness. John tells us, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:19-21 (NIV) Not wanting to be in true fellowship with believers is a direct reflection of the condition of our hearts.
  3. Godly fellowship will foster transparency by the confessions of sins and struggles. That is one of the most important steps in deliverance. Because fellowship foster transparency and confession of sins, it activates the blood of Jesus. See, there is no forgiveness without confession. There are things that we bring to God, but James 5:16 strongly encourages us to confess our sins to one another. How can we even be in a position of confessing sins without fellowship?
  4. In the definition of the word fellowship in First John 1:7. we find powerful truths: The word Fellowship here is the same word we find in Galatians 2:9. This is the Greek word koinōnía; “To share in. Fellowship with participation.”[2] This is not just coming together for a service; we got all wrong if we think that. This fellowship demands participation. 
  5. This thing of ours is never a one man show. No other verse makes this point clearer than First Corinthians 14:26-33

What is the outcome then, brothers and sisters? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. All things are to be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it must be by two or at the most three, and each one in turn, and one is to interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, he is to keep silent in church; and have him speak to himself and to God. 29 Have two or three prophets speak, and have the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, then the first one is to keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn, and all may be exhorted;32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. (NASB)

Beloved, there is a cry in the heart of many believers… it is a cry for true and authentic relationships with brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. 

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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