The Cross Is Historys Most Heroic Act Of Friendship
Jesus wants us to view the cross in terms of friendship. On the night before he died, as he explained the meaning of the cross to his disciples, Jesus said, greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends . The cross is certainly an act of substitutionary atonement, where Jesus bore the wrath of God in our place. But it is also, very personally, a relational act of friendship.
Through his death, Jesus expressed the deepest love for his people. He did not die for an unspecified humanity he died for specific people. He died for those he considered his dear friends.
Greek Words For Fellowship
The Koinwn Words
The language of the New Testament is called koinh Greek because, through the conquests of Alexander the Great, it was the common language of Christs day for Romans, Greeks and Jews alike. Koinh means common. Koinwnia comes from koinos which means common, mutual, public. It refers to that which is held in common.
Koinwnia and Koinwneo
There are two main ideas with this word: to share together, take part together in the sense of partnership or participation, and to share with in the sense of giving to others. As we will see, there are four key ideas that come out of these two meanings according to New Testament usage.
The New Testament usage according to sentence construction refers to: the thing shared in common in some way by all parties involved as relationships, blessings or burdens, privileges, or responsibilities the person doing the sharing with others the person with whom there is sharing and an abstract quality of the concept of fellowship, with no object, used alone as in Acts 2:42.
Koinwnos means a partner, associate, companion or a partaker, sharer .
Koinwnikos, is an adjective meaning characterized by koinwnos, ready to share or partake .
The Metocos Words
These words come from meta,with, plus ecw, to have. The basic idea is to have with or to have together.
Metocos means: a sharing in, a partaking of and , a partner, associate .
Metoch means: sharing, fellowship or partnership .
Bible Verses That Show That Fellowship Shows Our Love
1 John 3:16 ¶
John 13:34-35A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Romans 12:10Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Ephesians 5:2And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:19addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
Colossians 2:2that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of Gods mystery, which is Christ,
Philippians 2:1-2So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
John 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Fellowship will challenge us, encourage us, help us stay accountable, and fellowship is showing obedience to God and his word.
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Bible Verses About Going To Church: 9 Of The Best
For many Americans, Sunday mornings are all about visiting the local church. The positive view of a physical church location is difficult for some to wrap their heads around, either because they were hurt by someone in the church or because they view corporate worship negatively. The truth is that there are many Bible verses about going to church. While the ways in which we worship have changed dramatically over the years, the Bible verses about going to church clearly show that it is a benefit in many ways. The church teaches us how to serve, gives us opportunity for fellowship, and so much else. Here are some of the best Bible verses about going to church.
More Bible Quotes About Fellowship
Psalms 55:14 We used to take sweet counsel together within Gods house we walked in the throng.
Luke 24:13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.
Acts 2:42And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
2 Corinthians 6:14Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Galatians 6:2Bear one anothers burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Hebrews 10:2425And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ball the more as you see the Day drawing near.
1 Peter 4:9Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Fellowship is not just something that we try to fit into our Christian life after we get everything else together. No fellowship is important. Fellowship will challenge us, encourage us, help us stay accountable, and fellowship is showing obedience to God and his word. Dont neglect this part of the Bible.
Offer Of Thankfulness For A Specific Blessing
This is given to indicate sincere gratitude for blessings received and deliverance from difficulty.
There was only a portion of the animal and cereal offered. What remained was given to the person presenting the offering as well as anyone within sight of the sanctuary .
15 The meat of their fellowship offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the day it is offered they must leave none of it till morning.
16 If, however, their offering is the result of a vow or is a freewill offering, the sacrifice shall be eaten on the day they offer it, but anything left over may be eaten on the next day.
During the eating of the sacrifice, strict cleanliness laws were observed . Despite being at peace with the worshiper, our Creator remained holy and could not tolerate impurity around Him.
Fellowship Makes Us Stronger
No matter where we are in our faith, fellowship provides us with strength. Being around other believers gives us the chance to learn and grow in our faith. It demonstrates to us why we believe and sometimes is the excellent food for our souls. It’s great to be out in the world evangelizing to others, but it can easily make us hard and eat away at our strength. When we deal with a hard-hearted world, it can become easy to fall into that hard-heartedness and question our beliefs. It’s always good to spend some time in fellowship so that we remember that God makes us strong.
Matthew 18:19-20 Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
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Friendship Shows The World That We Belong To Jesus
When this lonely world of broken relationships sees churches filled with friendshipsimperfect friendships, to be sure, but relationships filled with true repentance and forgivenessthen they will know that something has come from above. They will see that our talk of Jesus as the friend of sinners is real.
Thats what Jesus said in John 13:35: by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. And later in this same conversation, Jesus defined this love for one another in terms of the mutual love of friends. He said, This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you . And how has he loved us? Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends . This is how we are to show the world that we are Jesus disciples: when we love one another as he loved us, namely, with sacrificial friendship.
Offerings Of Thanksgiving Today
Today we can still give this offering but not out of compulsion or obligation. We should want to offer God thanks for all He has done for us, His children. Thats why Paul wrote that we should be giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light because He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Our lives should reflect a holy gratitude to God to live lives that are holy and pleasing to God which is why Paul wrote Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving . So I say to you and to me, through Paul, whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him . Want to know what the will of God is? Here it is: give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
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Stewardship: The Overflow Of Fellowship
Persecution of the believers in Jerusalem, which had led to extreme conditions of poverty, caused the Apostle Paul to encourage the church, especially Gentile assemblies, to give to their need. This would not only demonstrate the oneness of Jew and Gentile in Christ, but gave the body of Christ to share with others in the body as partners Christs enterprise on earth. In writing to the Corinthian church to be a part of this ministry, the Apostle Paul used the Macedonian believers as an example. Regarding their giving Paul wrote:
2 Corinthians 8:1-12. And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 3 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
As believers in partnership with the Savior, we are not owners, but stewards of the things God has given us which includes not only our talents , our temple , our time, and Gods truth, but also the treasures, the material blessings God gives us.
Since it is outside of the scope of this study to cover the area of biblical giving, see the study called, Financial Faithfulness, on our web site under the section, Spiritual Life.
Bible Verses About Helping Others
There is no end to the number of scripture about community and loving one another. That love is shown in various ways, one of which is helping others.
Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ
This is my favorite of the Bible verses about helping others because I have seen it played out in my own life.
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.
Right from the beginning, God instructed His people to help others, take care of the poor, be mindful of people in your community. We were not meant to be alone.
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Five Realities That Cause Catastrophe
And that inference from the logical connection between the imperative of verse 13 and the truth of verse 14 is confirmed by the way the writer explains the dynamics of falling away from God. And here we turn to what I mean by the reality factor.
Look at the words of verse 12 and 13. Verse 12: Dont let there be an evil, unbelieving heart leading you to fall away. Then look at the description of that process in verse 13b: Dont be hardened by the of sin.
We have at least five huge realities about to create a catastrophe:
And the logic of the clauses what we see in arcing does not tell us how these five realities relate to each other. We have to think our way into the realities themselves and what we know about them from the rest of Hebrews and the New Testament and our experience and work that out. I call this the reality factor in preaching or in any application of Gods word.
You are Gods appointed means to keep your brother or sister from falling into sin.
What Does The Bible Say About Needing Others
After God created Adam and placed him in a beautiful garden, He watched him and said that it is not good for man to be alone. He created Eve for him.
Sure, this is a verse usually used for marriage, but I think it applies to all relationships. Family and friends are important relationships. God created us to live in groups or communities.
Solomon says it well .
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV
Life is so much better when we do it with others! We accomplish more, we share the burdens, we share the celebrations.
We need others. We need them for encouragement, help, and support in all ways: physical, emotional, and spiritual.
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Bible Verses About Community
The importance of community in the Bible is pretty clear!
The following verses provide a great Bible study about community. They are meant to not only encourage us but teach us how to treat one another.
Paul talks a lot about believers being the body of Christ. While that concept is too long to discuss in detail here, I wanted to mention it because the body of Christ is the same as a community of believers.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We all have a job, a purpose, a place of belonging.
Principles Of Biblical Christian Fellowship
One of the most helpful understandings of biblical fellowship came from a close associate of Martin Luther, the man whose convictions led to the Reformation of the Christian church in the 1500s. Luthers protégé was the great German educator and intellectual leader Philip Melanchthon. Melanchthon clarified the three main principles of biblical Christian fellowship in his famous quote: In essentials, unity in non-essentials, liberty in all things, charity.
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Fellowship Is Gods Way Of Accomplishing His Plan Of Glorifying Christ
1. The importance of fellowship to the church can be seen first in the fact that fellowship occurred naturally as a result of the establishment of the church.
Nobody had to come to the disciples and other new believers on the day of Pentecost and say, You need to practice fellowship. The Holy Spirit had come upon these people and formed an inner unity and their natural inclination was to exercise it outwardly. Acts 2:44-47 says this.
And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common 45 and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
This working together to accomplish Gods will continued in the church with the practice of a multiplicity of leadership, diversification of activities, giving to the needy, exercise of different spiritual gifts, support of missionaries, calls to different mission fields, corporate prayer, group worship, and in other ways.
But the importance of fellowship to the church does not rest solely upon the fact that it was the natural result of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Rather, its primary importance stems from the fact that:
The Biblical Definition Of Fellowship
Now, with these seven observations, we should be able to give a biblical definition to the word, fellowship. We can say that: Fellowship is a relationship of inner unity among believers that expresses itself in outer co-participation with Christ and one another in accomplishing Gods will on earth.
So, we have seen that fellowship in its New Testament sense is an inner unity expressed outwardly. It is not just being together but doing together. It is not just doing anything together but it is working together to accomplish Gods will. Now we must ask, Why is it so important to the church? I think we shall see as we continue that:
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