As believers we must understand our limitations: 1) we can’t save anybody, 2) we are not called to minister to everybody and, 3) we are not called to fellowship with everybody. Our fellowship is reserved for our brothers and sisters in the Lord, that is, the community of born-again believers… period! This is where my emphasis is going to be today. 

We are not called to be friends of the world. Becoming friends with the world will automatically make us enemies of God. James 4:4 tells us, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (NIV) The Apostle Paul asked a direct question on this matter when he states, “…what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV)

It is amazing to me to see Christians going to church on Sunday, but when you look closely at their lives, their fellowship does not involved believers. They fail to understand that the church functions in fellowship. Our fellowship belongs to the family of God; not the world and not even our blood family members who are lost. First John 1:7 tells us, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (NIV) 

Fellowship is automatic, it is organic and the natural result of walking in the Light. If so, we have fellowship with one another. If we are not fellowshipping with God’s people we are walking in darkness, we are friends of the world and enemies of God. It is that simple!

The word fellowship is the Greek word koinonia meaning “To share in; to fellowship with participation.”[1]Seating on a Sunday service is not fellowship. Fellowship requires that we share our lives and participation; not a one-man-show or a show for that matter. If I am in fellowship with you, we will eat together, we will pray together, we will hang around together, we will enjoy each other’s company, we will play golf, we will go hiking, play softball, go for a bicycle ride, celebrate our birthdays, invite each other to each other’s home frequently and most of all… we will be devoted to God’s Word… together. We will discuss God’s Word, we will have questions, we will debate, we will challenge each other, edify each other, prophesy, share words of knowledge and words of wisdom. In other words, there will be a rich flow of the gifts of the Spirit.  This will not be a burden; it will be something we look forward to. 

We must guard our fellowship! The Apostle Paul tells us, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” First Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) Folks may be offended, family members may be offended, coworkers may be offended, but our fellowship does not belong to them, it belongs to God and His people. Some may say, “well Angel, how are we going to minister to the loss?” You can minister to the loss as the Holy Ghost gives you opportunities but be careful that you don’t find yourself disobeying Jesus when he says, ““Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6 (NIV) This is ministering on your own, without discernment; this is not understanding that it is God who saves, not us. It is the Holy Ghost who give us gifts, give us ministry and the energy to follow up. First Corinthians 12:4-5 tells us, 

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (NIV)

Let’s define a few words:

  1. Gift: This is the Greek word chárisma; meaning “To show favor. A gift of grace, an undeserved benefit. The suffix –ma, indicates the result of grace.”[2] The gifts of the Holy Ghost are for our benefits.”
  2. Service: This is the Greek word diakonía; meaning “Deacon, servant. Service, attendance, ministry…, to minister, serve.”[3] As believers we are called to minister without expecting anything in return. Our ministries are given to us by the Holy Ghost… He gives us those opportunities to minister.
  3. Working: This is the Greek word enérgēma; meaning  “to effect. Effect, working. The suffix –ma makes it the result or effect of enérgeia (1753), energy.”[4] It is through the Holy Ghost that find the energy to do what God has call us to do. If we find ourselves exhausted, we are doing thing on our own strength.

As you can see the Holy Ghost MUST be at the center of what we do. We must be careful that we do not find ourselves wasting our time and energy. To do what God has called us to do, we must be in fellowship with one another; it is in that fellowship that the gifts and ministries flow. Paul tells us, 

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 1 Corinthians 14:26 (NIV)

Notice fellowship in actions? Notice the participation? Notice the flow of the gifts of the Spirit? This is the way we build each other up as believers… in fellowship with one another, with the Holy Ghost at the center. When folks come to the feet of Jesus, they must come into a family and into a free flow of the gifts, ministry, and energy of the Holy Ghost, not into a man-made institutionalized church that is unrecognizable in the pages of the New Testament. 

Beloved, a born-again believer should never feel alone; should never feel that they don’t belong. The family of believers is for the blacks, for the whites, for the Latinos, for the Asians and for every ethnic group on this earth. We are a family, we are on this world, but we don’t belong here, we are citizens from heaven, we are passing through, we are the light and the salt of this world… we are the sons and daughters of the Living God, we were bought by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we now enjoy the greatest covenant of all, the covenant of the Holy Spirit.

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (NKJV)

[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).

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

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

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