Live In Fellowship
We know that the Apostle Paul was correcting Christians by teaching the pure results of God’s Grace.
Paul was teaching Christian fellowship.
In Hebrew the word “haber” was used to describe a companion of fellowship.
Ecc 4:9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
Ecc 4:10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
The word “haber” was often used to describe the Pharisees as they banded together in the study of the Scriptures and fellowship around the table.
In the Greek, Paul’s favorite word was “koinonia” to describe the Christians relationship with the Lord Jesus.
1Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
The true meaning of “koinonia” is best realized in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Once we know the Lord Jesus Christ on a personal level then that fellowship with the Lord is to be shared with all other believers!
Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
In fact when we partake of the Lord’s Supper, which only Christians are to do, we are showing our ultimate fellowship not only with the Lord but with each other!
1Co 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
Our fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ will also show in our fellowship with each other!
If we partake of the Lord’s Supper and then ignore the fellowship and the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ then we are not what we say we are!
When we share in the fellowship with each other, we will also share in the suffering of each other and the suffering of all Christians.
Jesus Christ freely gave Himself completely to each believer and Jesus is our example of our own giving of ourselves to His people.
We cannot say we are in close fellowship with the Lord and then not be in fellowship with all other believers!
1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
We are all in this thing together!
Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
If the Church would only gather “as one in fellowship”, then we could make this world a better place for all God’s people to live in!
Let’s see how Paul describes Christian fellowship:
*****Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
It is a sad fact that God’s Christian army is the only army on this earth that shoots its own wounded!
Christians are notorious for putting down other Christians when they fail or fall.
We seem to forget that our righteousness is as filthy rags and God only sees us through the righteousness of His Son!
Far to often we become judges when we are to be witnesses.
There is not one of us that has not failed the Lord on more than one occasion.
Jesus says when we do these things we are hypocrites and no better than that one who has fallen!
Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
To be honest it is a shame to have to go to the Lord in prayer asking forgiveness for the same things over and over again but if we do not we will carry the burden of that sin!
We are also not to judge a fallen brother or sister who has been overtaken in a fault!
We are see what it will take to get them restored to Christian fellowship and more important, fellowship with the Lord.
It is our job to witness for the Lord and show His love for us all and it is also our job to share responsibility in the restoring of fallen saints of God!
We may not be able to restore that fallen soul but we are to at least show the love of God to all our brothers and sisters, fallen or not!
If we are faithful Christians then we will also be faithful in this thing!
Our main concern should only be that we not fall into the same temptation that brought our brother or sister down!
The Bible describes the Church as the actual body of Christ, with Christ Jesus being the Head of the Church.
1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
We know that when a part of our own body suffers then our whole body suffers.
This is exactly the same for the Body of Christ!
1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
The Greek word used in our scripture for the word “restore” is refers to a dislocated limb of the body and that limb needs to reset in its place or repaired so the whole body can function as one unit!
*****Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
When a Christian falls into temptation, immediately other Christians are to seek the ways and the means of restoring that brother or that sister back into the fellowship!
A Christian community must remain a close knit group in Jesus Christ and we already know that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us! This is His promise and we are to follow in His ways!
What is the law of Christ that is to be fulfilled?
If we just look at the 10 commandments the very first one says we must love God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our soul.
The first 4 commandments can be avoided by obeying that first commandment!
Jesus said if we loved our neighbor as ourselves then we could avoid the remaining 6 commandments.
Love is the law of Christ!
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Obedience to these two laws of Jesus Christ make obedience to those laws of Moses obsolete!
Since these Galatians wanted to obey some laws then they needed to obey these two “Laws of Christ” first and foremost, as we all do!
Jesus Christ never met anyone who was His equal in the obedience to the Word of God, He therefore bore all our burdens and we are to do the same for each other!
Rom 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
Jesus Christ had to endure severe pain and anguish but it was with great joy that He bore all our burdens!
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame”, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
When we think of ourselves as being too good or too full of the Spirit, to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we are not walking as Jesus walked and Jesus is still our example of how to walk in this world!
Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
*****Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
It is very easy for a Christian to think of himself more highly than he is!
This in fact the greatest downfall of the believer!
Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
When we think of that one that has fallen by the wayside as being unfit, or being weak in the Spirit, or too tarnished to retrieve, then we have forgotten why the Lord Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins.
Jesus Christ came to save the “nothings” of this world and make them into “somethings”!
We are all sinners and we cannot rate one sin greater than another as far as our relationship with the Lord!
There is no place in this life for any of us to think we are better than any other child of God!
When we think of ourselves as no longer sinners as some do, then we are deceiving ourselves!
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
We must all approach God “by Jesus Christ” because there are no exceptions in the Word of God!
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
When we proclaim our own goodness, and forget that we are saved by “Faith” and “Faith Alone”we then become fools!
Pro 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
We must all examine our own works before we can be of any help to others!
*****Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
That word “prove” means to “test”.
That word “work” can best be understood “as our own conduct”.
We are to test our own conduct before we are able to help others!
There are no Christians who are to be the official testers of other Christians!
Each Christian is to concentrate on his own works rather than on the works of other Christians!
We are to judge our own lives, using the Lord Jesus Christ as our example, and not some other Christian and certainly not by some fallen Christian which will only cause us to believe that we are not capable of falling ourselves!
If we do not clearly understand that there is an increasing amount of evil in this world and our flesh is so weak, that it is very difficult to remain unsoiled by this world we live in!
Many of our own desires can be beneficial until we step over the boundaries of what God forbids!
God has set the boundaries of our behaviour!
Our own senses will get us into trouble if we allow them to!
For instance, tasting food is good for nourishment, but too much tasting of food is bad and unhealthy.
Wanting to be recognized for an achievement is not sin, but loving recognition and seeking recognition is sinful.
The temptations of this world surround us every moment we are alive and if we spend our time judging others and not guarding our own lives, we will fall into temptation ourselves.
Criticizing and judging others is a great sin in the eyes of God!
Our attitude toward all others is to be that of love and caring!
Our attitude toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, must include ministering to them in their time of need and attempting to restore them back into Christian fellowship!
We can have a certain amount of joy in restoring a fellow child of God but our greatest joy is the knowledge that we ourselves, are pleasing God in our own daily walk!
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
God did not save us to be judges, God saved us to be witnesses and examples of God’s love!
*****Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
Now we see God’s warning.
We are personally responsible to the Lord for all our actions after we have surrendered our selves to Him!
We will all be judged for what we have done after becoming a child of God!
We all have our own burdens.
We all have our own personal weights to carry.
BUT, It is a fact that we do not have the ability to be perfect in our own selves!
AND, We will all stand before God and answer for our own actions!
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
There may be a time when we may be asked to judge but it is not in this lifetime!
1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing “before the time”, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
So what else are we to be doing, instead of looking upon the faults of our brothers and sisters?
*****Gal 6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
We are to bear our own burdens but we must still think of others to help them in any way we can, especially those that are called of God to be His ministers!
As students of the Word of God, we all have the responsibility to respond to what God says!
That word “communicate” as used in this verse means “to share with”.
Those “good things” can be many different things but they must also include carnal things.
It is the responsibility of all Christians to provided financial support to those that devote full time to preaching and teaching the Word of God and who are called of God to do so!
This is according to the written Word of God.
1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
Rom 15:27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, “their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things”.
We may think we know some important people in this world we live in but the people most important to our society are the true God called preachers of the truth of God!
By sitting at the feet of God called preacher or teacher, we are all students sitting at the feet of God Himself!
There is also other great ways to communicate with or share with our pastor, we are also to share in his ministry!
This is much more than financial support.
We can be present when our pastor teaches. We are not to forsake the House of God!
We can be attentive to his message because if he is God called than his message is from God!
We can share his message with others. We are to witness using the Word of God!
We can participate in his ministry at any level that he allows and that can be a benefit to his ministry!
We can invite others to come an learn from him.
We must surely support him financially!
1Ti 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
1Ti 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Why should we do these things? To not do these things is to mock God!
What is wrong with this world we live in?
*****Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
The world is deceived about facing the judgment of God!
To be “deceived” is to be led astray.
Many of these of the churches in Galatia were being led astray and were not taking the judgment of God serious.
What happens to the Church when this happens?
The Church will get lax in sharing the Gospel with the lost.
The Church will become judges instead of witnesses.
The Church will attack God’s true preachers, therefore mocking God!
That word “mocked” actually means to flare the nostrils, as in contempt, to sneer, as in turning up your nose at the Word of God!
What is the truth?
God will not suffer Himself to be imposed on by empty words!
God will judge according to the works, after salvation, of each individual Christian!
The lost He has already judged and they are condemned unless they repent and turn to Jesus Christ!
God will never accept excuses from His children and certainly no excuses from unbelievers!
2Ch 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, “till there was no remedy”.
We must not forget our God does not ever change!
We may mock God’s messengers, we may despise God’s Words, we may misuse God’s preachers, but God will only allow this to go so far before He takes serious action!
As the farmer knows, it is where he sows his seed where the crop will actually grow!
*****Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
When we sow contempt for the Word of God, we will reap the judgment of God!
When we sow to our flesh, we are only trying to fulfill the desires of our flesh!
We already know our flesh is only devoted to selfishness!
When we are all about self, we can no longer serve God!
When we are all about self, we will only reap destruction!
Corruption always leads to destruction!
Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
This destruction does not come from God. This destruction is the natural fruit of corrupt flesh!
Our flesh only ages, then dies, and then decays to the elements from which is was made.
Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
When the spirit of that lost soul returns to the Lord, then that spirit will suffer the wrath of God.
2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Sowing our seed to the Holy Spirit is an entirely different thing with entirely different results!
Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: “but the righteous into life eternal”.
The decisions we make about where to sow God’s Seed, the Word of God, are final, irreversible, and everlasting!
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
When we embed God’s seed, the Lord Jesus Christ, into a Holy Ghost filled body of flesh, then we will reap a spiritual harvest that brings eternal life as opposed to a natural harvest that can only bring eternal death!
What is the truth of the Gospel?
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Those that so to the flesh cannot please God!
What else is God’s truth?
*****Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
One of the greatest downfalls of the Christian is that we expect instant results when we sow the Word of God but this in reality is a very rare thing.
Every farmer knows that once the seed has been sown then there will be some period of time before there can be a harvest!
Sowing the Word of God is not so much different!
The fruit that is reaped occurs in a later season from the sowing!
What else is the truth of sowing God’s Word?
First, the fruit must resemble the seed that is sown.
When a farmer plants corn, he is not looking for beans to sprout!
Jas 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
When we sow the Word of God the results should be a changed life!
What else is the truth of sowing God’s Word?
Second, the fruit will be in proportion to the seed that is sown.
2Co 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
We cannot sow the Word of God just once, we must continue daily.
What else is the truth of sowing God’s Word?
Third, the fruit must be a new life that did not exist before.
Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
That old man must become a new man!
The problem is we become weary in well doing.
To “faint” is to become “relaxed” in serving God!
We as Christians must not become relaxed in this ministry the Lord has given us to do!
We must continue to sow the seed until the Lord takes us home by our own death or by the Rapture of all God’s people, whichever comes first!
Thank goodness our Lord has much more patience than we do!
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Jas 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
And the results of the harvest always lies in the hands of God!
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; “but God that giveth the increase”.
Just as God gives the increase to that farmer, God gives the increase in the sowing of the “Gospel Seed”!
What else is the truth of God’s sowing principles?
Our own reward can come only from our own labor!
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
It may be easy to become discouraged, but God says just enjoy life, keep busy in the work of the Lord, and just trust God for the results and then witness as God provides the opportunity to do so.
*****Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
When do we share the love of Jesus? As we have opportunity!
We can be sure God will provided many opportunities!
God leaves us here on this earth after salvation to give us the opportunity to be a part of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ!
If we are to make an impact on this world, it can only happen after we have surrendered ourselves to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ!
SO, let us do good to all men!
BUT, let’s us especially do good to all those throughout this world that have answered the call of God.
Satan will do his best to hinder the work of the Lord now, but after the Church has been removed, Satan will prance around on this earth for a short period of time thinking we has won, just as he did at the Cross, but he soon find out that it is he that has only a short time left.
Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, “because he knoweth that he hath but a short time”.
Because we know we are on the winning side, now is our time!
Now is our time to sow the seed of the Lord.
Now is our time to take advantage of the opportunities given to us by the Father.
Now is our time to sow to the Holy Spirit and not sow to our own flesh!
Lets us live in the fellowship of each other while we remain in the fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.