Fellowship and Family
The Bible teaches that the church is a family (Eph. 2:19). As believers in Christ, we are members of God’s household. The word household is another word for family. God is our Heavenly Father, and Jesus is our big brother (Ro. 8:29), and we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are a spiritual family who share in common our faith in Jesus Christ. A faith that is based upon his death , burial , and resurrection. To fellowship means to share something in common with another. While we may be from different backgrounds, racial and ethnic groups, and different socioeconomic levels, we still have in common something far more important than any of these temporary qualities. And that common factor is the relationship that extends from the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross that was the means by which we were adopted into the family of God ((Eph. 2:13). Just as our role in a biological family is important, our role in our spiritual family has special meaning as well.
Staying close to your spiritual brothers and sisters is essential to nurturing the love, unity, and a caring community… that is desperately needed in what is increasingly becoming an impersonal world. It is a fact that we all need acceptance and the sense of belonging that comes from a healthy family environment… where we can be accountable to each other, and experience unconditional love and forgiveness.
Meeting together on a regular basis with other Christians can go a long way in strengthening our faith. On the other hand , if we choose to keep our distance from other believers, we will find that our faith will become weaker and our tendency to sin and make excuses for it ,will grow with increasing frequency. The Bible says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).”
Fellowshipping with other Christians also allows us the opportunity to share our lives and our testimony with those who have had similar experiences. Everyone has something to share. Each person has a unique life journey ,from which they can share ,that will help certain individuals who identify with stories of victory, and defeat that are— all too familiar to the human condition. But if we do not attend church on a regular basis so that we can be in a position to give our personal testimony, people who need to hear what we have to say, will be not benefit. So often we go to church thinking about what we are going to receive. A more balanced approach to church attendance, and involvement is to recognize that we have something to give. We all have a story that can encourage someone. Each of us has a touch that someone needs to feel, or a smile that someone needs to see. Sometimes all it takes is a mere glimpse of our mere presence that brings encouragement to someone who is going through a difficult situation.
Like the other spiritual disciplines , fellowship must be a priority in each person’s life. We must determine in our heart that we are going to make time to be with other brothers and sisters in Christ. This kind of getting together was important in the early church, and it is no less important in a today’s world. Listen closely to the word fellowship in how Luke describes the activity of the first church, “ They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42).”Fellowshipping with other believers is one aspect of our faith that keeps us connected with our spiritual family. Once we discover that our relationship with other believers is important, we will not only find a place for good fellowship, but we will also incorporate in our lives a commitment to serving others.