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 and must understand and properly apply, 1 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 and/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.  Lordís Supper only once a month?

        4.  Church support human organizations?

        5.  Church-sponsored and 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 and 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 on 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 and 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 (and are not in fellowship with God). 2 Jno. 10-11