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We are discovering together what the Bible says about wellbeing. Otherwise, how can you live a more satisfied, fulfilling life? Recently we have been discussing the 5 scriptural tools to maturity (Acts 2:42, 47) as a means to build powerful biblically-based wellbeing into our lives! The first three tools were scriptural knowledge, praise and prayer. Today, we discuss fellowship!
Fellowship is vital to our Christian walk. It may be best described by the Greek word ‘koinonia’ (the New Testament was originally written in Greek) which speaks of our partnership with fellow Christians in the brotherhood in Christ. The basis of our fellowship is our mutual forgiveness in Christ by grace (1 John1:6-10) and that each of us are placed into the church universal by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). Practically speaking, those of us in the church universal often express our fellowship with those in the local church, church based small groups and close Christian friends.
How then do we have fellowship? Although fellowship ‘lite’ might be merely being in the presence of another Christian, effectual fellowship depends on several biblical standards based on how we think and speak:
- Careful Reflection – Even before we interact with another Christian we should consider how we can meet their needs; do they need to be encouraged, taught, reminded of scripture, or just to have a quiet and listening friend? This takes a bit of time and prayerful reflection to know how to best help other people and bear their burdens (Ephesians 4:30; Galatians 6:2).
- Effective Speaking – After reflecting, we need verbally to convey our thinking to our friend or colleague based on their needs and not to satisfy our own emotions (unless we are in desperate straits). Importantly, our speech should be used as a tool for the good of other people to express: gratitude, commendation, encouragement, admonishment and teaching (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:23-24).
These two steps, used together and sequentially, help assure effectual fellowship with other believers so we can help fortify each other in our faith, push each other on to greater acts of service, and a live a godly lifestyle before our precious Father (Colossians 1:9-10; Hebrews 10:25). Fellowship must be done in balance with the other for tools to maturity.
Stay tuned next week as we discuss the final tool – outreach to other believers and non-Christians.