25. The importance of fellowship

 25 • The Importance of Meeting with Fellow Believers

The church is called God’s family or household (Ephesians 2:19). If you are a believer, whoever truly believes in Jesus Christ is your brother or sister! Whoever has been born of the Holy Spirit has the same Father (Romans 8:15, 16). This is an incredible thought! Believers in Jesus have literally millions of brothers and sisters (Revelations 7:9)! Because of this fact believers are never alone in this world. God has included people from all language and ethnic groups into His family (Revelation 5:9; 7:9). God is diverse and He wants Christians to be at peace with people who are different from them in His family (2 Corinthians 13:11; Colossians 3:14-16). Some believers have the privilege of knowing many of God’s children from other language and ethnic groups.

Because of God’s diversity there are also many different churches in the world, or maybe even in your own country and among your own people. Some of these churches differ on Biblical interpretation, but all true churches believe the same things about God, Jesus Christ, how to be saved from one’s sins and how we should live a holy life, pleasing to God. God’s household (the church) is like a big house with many different rooms (Mere Christianity: C.S. Lewis). All the different churches and denominations are like different rooms in the same house. Each has its specific function and purpose and is unique, but all should be at peace with one another when they sit together for lunch and supper or if they go on holiday. The world will believe in Christ when they see Christians are one even if they don’t agree with one another about every doctrine (John 17:21).

Again, the only way we can know if the church we belong to believes the truth of God is to check it with His manual (the Bible). The church of God is called the ground and pillar of truth (1 Timothy 3:16). It is therefore important for us to attend the gatherings of fellow believers in Christ (Hebrews 10:25) because we can be helped, supported and prayed for there when we have financial, personal, familial or other problems. Also, at church the truth of God’s Word is supposed to be studied, presented and preached in such a way that we can understand what God is saying to us from day to day and from week to week and know how to apply His words to our daily lives (Ephesians 4:11,12).

Today there are many sites on the Internet where you can be helped by downloading and listening to sermons available in many languages. Sermonaudio.com and Sermonindex.org are such websites where thousands of sermons can be downloaded and listened to. The Bible states in Galatians 6:2 that we should bear each other’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ and in Hebrews 10:25 that we should not forsake the gathering of the believers. It is therefore important to become friends with other Christians in your vicinity, so that you can experience the dynamics of God’s family. Believers can gather in small groups in a house or in a large church building to worship God. The size of the church you attend does not matter. What matters is that you have a place where you can enjoy fellowship and communion with your everlasting family in Christ (Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:32-35).  Romans 12:13 and 15 says we should distribute to the needs of the saints (our brothers and sisters in God) and rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.

Questions and truths to consider: Have you joined a local church (gathering of believers)? Have you met with children of God who have prayed for you (James 5:14-16) and with whom you can share your problems? Just as in any household, the church has house rules. The Bible is our manual and house-rules-guide to show us how we should live with one another. And more importantly, it is God’s will for us to have good relationships with His family members, now and for eternity!

Read: Ephesians 2:19; Romans 8:15, 16; Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Colossians 3:14-16; John 17:21; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 10:25; Ephesians 4:11, 12; Galatians 6:2; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:32-35; Romans 12:13, 15, 16; James 5:14-16.

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