A reflection by Maso Buggs, Jr, a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of Mount Olive Baptist Church.
here are four synonyms that are used to describe the term, fellowship: 1) Communion, such as what we see when we read I Corinthians 11 , 2) Companionship, 3) Camaraderie (feeling of goodwill among friends), and 4) Friendship
God designed His church to be a fellowship of believers. He did not design His church to be a community hall or a local social club, but instead the Lord desired a family of brothers and sisters who share God’s ideals and beliefs. The idea that Christ had in mind for His church embodied more than just those four synonyms of fellowship listed above, but it involves a connection with others because we share the same spiritual connection – the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 2:19, the Apostle Paul writes to his fellow brothers and sisters in the faith and says, “Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.
Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God
Our brothers and sisters can help us grow and improve in our walk with Christ; for just as iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17). The important part about fellowship in our lives is part of the reason that the people of God are commanded to value others more highly than yourself, to stir up love for another and to be kind towards one another. In fact, the Bible says that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but we should exhort one another as we see the day approaching when Christ will return (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Once a week, Christians gather together in their local churches to hear the Word of God proclaimed and to strengthen one another through fellowship. The conversations that we have with our spiritual brothers and sisters, and the encouragement that we share should be beneficial to us. Moreover, it can help us stay strong in the Word as we encourage one another. This type of fellowship is pleasing to God.
God calls people into His church to be like brothers and sisters are in a familial relationship. The Greek word, KOINONIA, most frequently translates into our English word, fellowship. Koinonia is used in the Bible to involves communicating, sharing and caring. Moreover, in scripture, there are three important verses that embody the term fellowship:
1. John 13:24 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you…”
2. Galatians 6:2 – “Bear each others burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
3. Ephesians 4:15-16 – “But speak the truth in love, so that you may grow in all things unto Him who is the head, who is Christ, from whom the body joined and knitted together…will cause the body to grow by manifesting its growth in love.”
Sad to say, but poor communication and the lack of true fellowship hurts the body of Christ. We can hurt others with our words and we can misinterpret the intentions of others when we communicate poorly to one another. It is especially disheartening to know that in our churches, we have rooms set aside to promote the very act that many of us do not practice; we have fellowship halls, fellowship dinners and even fellowship retreats. But do we practice real fellowship in these places?
But I am persuaded that if we put into practice the teachings of Christ through His Word, we can practice true fellowship. By practicing true fellowship, Christ is glorified and his church is edified.
by Maso Buggs, Jr.,
Mount Olive Baptist Church