Topical Sermons

FELLOWSHIP

(New Testament Definition and Application)

 Intro.

1.  Subject of fellowship is important - 1 Jno. 1:7, 3-4.

2.  It is a subject we can & must understand & properly apply1 Jno. 5:20; 1 Cor. 1:9; Acts 2:42; Eph. 5:11.

 

I.  DEFINING FELLOWSHIP.

  A.  Fellowship is Spiritual Participation or Association - Acts 2:42; Phil. 1:5; 1 Jno. 1:6-7.

    ** -Never applied to social events (meals, halls, etc.) in NT.....

        -Misapplication of truth.  (1 Pet. 4:11)

  B.  Fellowship is Joint (mutual) in Nature – 1 Jno. 1:7; Gal. 2:9-10; Phil. 4:15.

       -2 Cor. 6:14-18-

  C.  Fellowship With Other Christians Results From Being in Fellowship With God - 1 Jno. 1:1-3; Jno. 17:20-21; Acts 9:26-28; 1 Pet. 2:17; 2 Jno. 9-11 (reverse is true, too!); cf. 3 Jno. 5-8.

 

II.  THE STANDARD OF FELLOWSHIP AMONG CHRISTIANS.  (Without a common standard to appeal to, our application of fellowship becomes arbi­trary, subjective, fluid.)

  A.  Does Doctrine Affect Fellowship Among Us, or Should There Be Continued, Ongoing Acceptance of Brethren When Doctrinal Error is Being Taught &/Or Practiced?  (1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13) 2 Jno. 9-11 (Rev. 2:20-23)

        -Where there is ongoing sin/error there cannot be ongoing (open-ended) fellowship!

        1.     Plan of salvation?

        2.     Musical instruments in worship?

        3.     Lord’s Supper only once a month?

        4.     Church support human organizations?

        5.     Church-sponsored & supported recreation/social events?

        6.     Aliens not amenable to doctrine of Christ; guilty remarry?

  B.  Fellowship is Not Based Upon:

        1.     Good intentions - Prov. 16:25; Matt. 7:21-23.

        2.     Personal relationships - Eph. 5:7-11, 6.

        3.     Unity in moral & doctrinal diversity - Gal. 2:1-5, 11-14; Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10, 13.

        4.     Difficulty of the subject - 2 Pet. 3:15-16 (Jno. 8:31-32).

    C.  Fellowship is Based Upon The Doctrine of Christ - 2 Jno. 9-11; Jno. 14:23; 1 Jno. 2:3-6; 4:1-3, 6.

    D.    We May Scripturally Extend Fellowship (Gal. 2:9) When It Does Not Cause Us To Share In:

        1.     Teaching error - Rom. 16:17.

        2.     Practicing error - Eph.  5:11.

        3.     Endorsing error - 2 Jno. 10-11.

 

Conclusion

1.     We must first & always be in fellowship with God (1 Jno. 1:7; 2 Jno. 9).

2.     Then, we will want to be in fellowship with all like-minded brethren.

3.     And, we will not want to give aid, comfort or assistance to those who go beyond the doctrine of Christ (& are not in fellowship with God)! – 2 Jno. 10-11