How to Have Incredible Fellowship in Your Church, part 2
Do you feel disconnected from the people in your church? Do you think leaving and finding another place to worship would help? Perhaps. Or, maybe, you can learn how to champion the great cause of bringing real, authentic fellowship. Keep reading…
You’re not alone. Many people feel isolated, even though they are part of a church of friendly people.
This is a series of posts about fellowship.
Real fellowship. The kind you desire most, but not quite sure how to get.
Maybe you’ve felt disconnected at your church. Perhaps you have a few friends, but those surface relationships aren’t enough for you. You need depth in your friendships.
Maybe you’re struggling in an area (or more than one), and you realize you can’t walk this journey alone. What do you do?
I have good news for you. Scripture spells it out for us. Let’s take a good look at 1 John. I’m convinced this book is all about real fellowship for Christians. A fellowship that results in pure joy. Here’s why:
1 John 1:1-4
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
Who was from the beginning?
That’s right. Jesus. Fellowship involves Jesus. This incredible bond among Christians is solely based on the person and work of Christ.
Who are “we”?
The “we” in this passage is referring to the author, John, and the other apostles. They were the ones who heard, saw, looked upon, and handled.
Oh, and do you notice something about those 4 verbs I just typed? Here they are again:
we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled
Notice something peculiar about these verbs? I’ll tell you: they grow with intensity as you read though them.
- They heard Jesus. His words. His message.
- They saw with their eyes. They perceived Him. They realized He was different.
- They looked upon Him. This is much more of an intense “see” then the previous verb. They literally gazed upon Him. Wouldn’t you gaze upon a man who walked on the water, raised dead people, and healed diseased people?
- Their hands touched Him. John, the author of this book, laid his head on Christ’s chest at the Last Supper. Remember?
In other words, John and the Apostles knew Jesus very, very, very well. One could not argue with that. They spent 3.5 years, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week with the God-man. The fellowship they had with Christ was, indeed, incredible.
Definitely no surface friendship here.
Seen and heard.
Then John says that they desire to tell us what they have seen and heard.
But what about what they gazed upon and handled with their hands?
Those last 2 verbs show the intenseness and the depth of the fellowship they had with Jesus. How can one explain that? John says he will declare what he is able: what they saw and heard from Christ.
Here’s what John is saying, “Look everyone, we know fellowship. Real fellowship. We lived it. And it was incredible! We wanna tell you all about it! We wish we could explain accurately how awesome it was, but we can only properly explain what we saw and heard.
“And the reason we wanna share this with you? So you can have this kind of fellowship with us and with Christ!”
That’s right. John wrote this book to teach us how to have fellowship with each other and with God.
That means fellowship with each other is directly related to fellowship with God.
Out of fellowship with God? Out of fellowship with each other.
(My youth pastor, when I was a kid, called this OOF. Out Of Fellowship! Love ya, Dan!)
When you and I are in real fellowship with one another, thus with God also, we have full joy.
Like, one more drop and the barrel overflows!
Who doesn’t want that kind of joy? Well, it comes from this kind of fellowship.
So joy comes from fellowship.
Real fellowship. Not surface stuff.
The Apostles didn’t have a surface friendship with Jesus.
It was deep. It was incredible.
What is this fellowship made of? How do we miss it? What do we do to get it?
The answers are coming, and you’ll love what you’ll read. Cuz 1 John is awesome!
Question: Do you have friendships that are deep? Explain what that’s like.
Click the pic below to listen to our podcast about this subject: Living Above the Common with Mike and Chad.