Fellowship (Session 20)
Purpose: This session focuses on fellowship and its importance in the Christian life.
1. The disciple will see that fellowship is restorative.
2. The disciple will understand the elements of biblical fellowship.
3. The disciple will know how to create fellowship for his own spiritual needs.
4. The disciple will understand why fellowship is important to the Father.
What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ).
1 John 1:3
1. Mutual accountability and prayer.
2. Scripture memorization.
3. Discuss session material.
4. Discuss questions.
5. Discuss any new terms.
6. Report on Life Application assignment.
There is a unique quality to the Christian life, which relates to our interpersonal relationships with other believers. We are seen as __________ and ____________ in the world, 1 Peter 2:11. This means that this ___________ is not my true home. One of the ways I know I have eternal life is that I _______ my brothers and sisters, 1 John 3:14. What we can experience with them is truly unique, and this we call fellowship. It is truly “koinonia,” a term that can be applied only to the fellowship and relationships of fellow believers.
The writer to Hebrews admonishes us to ___________ ____________ , Hebrews 10:25. See also Psalm 55:14. Where is one place we can experience sweet fellowship?
Fellowship is important and necessary in the Christian life. The verses we will consider in this session do not present an exhaustive review of fellowship, but they are enough to give one an idea of the importance of this experience as far as growth and support in a complex world is concerned.
Remember that one of the ways we know we have eternal life is _____________________________________________________, 1 John 3:14.
Yet this does not seem to be an entirely adequate basis for fellowship. 1 John 1:7 tells us that ___________ ____ ______ _________ is necessary if we are to have fellowship with each other. There seem to be two additional bases for fellowship. Romans 12:5 speaks of the reality of our being members of __________________. And 1 John 1:3 says that there must be a willingness to ______________ with each other. This speaks of openness or willingness to share myself with others. It is doubtful if _____________ can become a reality unless I am willing to let others know what is happening in my life.
Practical Benefits of Fellowship
Look up the following passages and identify what they say concerning the positive things that happen when we have fellowship with one another.
1. Galatians 6:2
List some ways that this can become a reality for one under a heavy burden.
What does Paul say must ultimately be true, however, Galatians 6:5?
2. Ephesians 5:19
How would this soften the way we often speak to one another?
3. Hebrews 10:24
What motivation have you gotten recently from Christian fellowship?
4. James 5:16
What would encourage this benefit?
5. 1 Thessalonians 4:18
What are some of the practical ways we could fulfill this?
6. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
How can we build each other up?
7. 1 Peter 4:10
What are ways you can effectively serve your brothers and sisters?
In order for these things to become a reality, it is necessary that certain conditions be created and exist. The following verses speak of what creates an optimum climate for Christian fellowship. See if you can analyze each verse and state in a word or two what that condition is.
1. Romans 12:10
2. Romans 12:16
3. Romans 14:13
4. Romans 15:7
5. 1 Thessalonians 5:13
6. Hebrews 3:13
7. James 4:11
8. James 5:9
9. Ephesians 4:32
10. Colossians 3:13
11. 1 Thessalonians 3:12
12. Philippians 2:3, 4
13. 1 Peter 4:8
In summarizing the importance of fellowship, try to put into your own words and personalize the value and significance of this in your own life, as you have both experienced it and now studied the value of it from Scripture.
Questions for Review and Discussion
1. Describe your most memorable time of Christian fellowship?
2. What attitudes are specific hindrances to Christian fellowship?
3. How can you best facilitate Christian fellowship in your local assembly?
Summary and Key Concepts
This is a session on the fourth spoke of the Wheel. Fellowship is a vital part of our Christian walk. We are members of one body, the Church. This makes us members one of another. We are a heavenly people, though we continually face many problems that have to do with our earthly nature. But because of this unity, which is made a reality by the Holy Spirit, there is a uniqueness in the bond that binds us together. We love each other and therefore need one another.
One basis of our fellowship is found in our “walk in the Light, as He Himself is in the Light,” 1 John 1:7. Another basis is in the Holy Spirit. Yet another is to be found in my willingness to share with my brothers what the Lord has done for me.
Fellowship has many positive results. It enables us to bear each other's burdens. It encourages and motivates us. We are edified or built up. And in fellowship, we can effectively serve one another.
There is a broad list of things that facilitates fellowship. These include such things as kindness, acceptance, thinking of others first, and a spirit of prayer for one another.
We are specifically commanded to not neglect fellowship. This means that in some way I am to be involved with the Body of Christ, or in groups of His children as they meet together systematically.
This week do two of the following, or something the Lord has put on your mind.
Write a note of encouragement to someone in your church.
Take a meal to someone in need.
Write a note of thanks to you pastor.
Clean your teenagers room.
Plan a family project that ministers to someone in your Body.
Think of someone who has hurt your feelings, see to it that God has cleansed you from bitterness, and do something nice for that person.
Plan a special date with your spouse.
Related Topics: Discipleship