Who really knows you deeply? So deeply, that they can speak on your behalf when you are not around? Do these people exist? The kind of people who give to you without expecting, give to you with a Right HOW/WHY, who desire to know you deeply and share deeply your lives together.
Is this possible?
DOCTRINE #50: FELLOWSHIP
The Bible spoke of "fellowship" which means "to give, to share". The Bible did not use the word "relationship" which means "to give and take...a state of being interrelated".
Question: Do you believe God wants to have a relationship with you, or have fellowship with you?
Next Doctrine: Doctrine #51
Table of Contents
If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...
"42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need.
46 And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved." (Acts 2:42-47)
(There are four causes for the New Testament Church: apostles' teaching (Doctrine), fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. In this Deeper Why blog we are covering Doctrine. We will cover prayer in a future Doctrine. This current Doctrine covers fellowship. Notice, Doctrine is mental, breaking of bread is physical, prayers are spiritual and fellowship is emotional. One of the definitions for fellowship is "social intercourse". Fellowship is intimate sharing. It is emotional. Notice the effects of these four causes: all things in common, parted resources to everyone as they had need, gladness and singleness of heart. These effects sounded like love: giving! Does the modern church focus on these four causes of Church, or do they focus on getting people excited about the effects?)
"14 Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14)
(People quote this verse for marriage because they see being "yoked" with someone as being married to someone. Actually, this applied to all forms of fellowship, not only marriage. People who get married ought to be in fellowship: emotionally sharing everything BEFORE they physically share. Think about that! Couples ought to learn how to share with each other from the four causes of Church. The Church ought to be profitable, and an effect of a body being profitable is that people would learn fellowship and bring it into their marriage. How many marriages consist of spouses finding out about their spouse AFTER they get married? Does the church teach us how to be in fellowship with one another? Does your church have a definition for fellowship?)
"9 God is faithful, through whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:9)
(Our fellowship ought to begin with God and Jesus. God is the First Cause. He has the ability to know us more than any other individual alive, because He sees our hearts: where our decisions get planted. One of the reasons for the Deeper Why is for you to understand God's definitions for words so that you can be in fellowship with Him and understand the way He speaks. The effect of that would be that God would lead you into wisdom and truth, by grace! We ought to share everything with God which is the First Command: Love the Lord thy God...)
"6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:6-7)
(If we share with God He will bring us to where He is: in the light, into Holiness. Remember, God created the darkness and the light, but in Him there is no darkness. For example, He cannot do "everything" because He doesn't have the causes within Him to lie. Fellowship with God leads to fellowship with others who are in fellowship with God, which is the Second Command: Love your neighbor...)
"1 If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions,
2 make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind;
3 doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself;
4 not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others." (Philippians 2:1-4)
(Jesus said that the most important commands were for individuals to love God and love others. If believers are in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, it results in being of the same mind, Love, and one accord like we saw with the New Testament Church. Notice, fellowship and love were mentioned together. Furthermore, it leads to humility: looking to others as better and not looking to your own physical possessions but to the things of others, which is loving your neighbor.)
"3 For according to their power, I bear witness, yea and beyond their power, they gave of their own accord,
4 beseeching us with much entreaty in regard of this grace and the fellowship in the ministering to the saints:
5 and this, not as we had hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God." (2 Corinthians 8:3-5)
(Paul said he wanted to be in fellowship with these people, but they knew in order to have that effect, they first had to have fellowship with God. Notice, grace was mentioned, which is fellowship with God. When you give without grace you are still due a reward by justice, but when God is directing your actions through grace, God will show you how to love His people.)
"1 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life
2 (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us);
3 that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ:
4 and these things we write, that our joy may be made full." (1 John 1:1-4)
(John began his letter by stating his objective: telling people about Jesus so others could have fellowship with God SO THAT John could have fellowship with these new believers. Our joy being made full was an effect of fellowship. Do you know people who give you more joy when you are around them? Why do church leaders burn out typically after five years? Is their joy growing because of the fellowship they have with their church members? Do NOT confuse what is the cause and what is the effect. God is always the First Cause, and He would be the first Person for us to know if we desire to know others.)
"6 But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth not man's person)-- they, I say, who were of repute imparted nothing to me:
7 but contrariwise, when they saw that I had been intrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter with the gospel of the circumcision
8 (for he that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for me also unto the Gentiles);
9 and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision;
10 only they would that we should remember the poor; which very thing I was also zealous to do." (Galatians 2:6-10)
(Notice, when these believers recognized the grace (fellowship with God) that Paul had, they then extended fellowship to him.)
"1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you,
4 always in every supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy,
5 for your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now;
6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as, both in my bonds and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers with me of grace." (Philippians 1:1-7)
(Again, grace is a cause of fellowship with others and the result is joy. This is how you can look at this passage: Grace is the cause, the effect is fellowship, the effect of fellowship is joy. Are you growing in joy, or are you trying to be not unhappy?)
Fellowship is a powerful Doctrine! Let's tie some Doctrine together...
If God's grace is flowing through you and also through me while we are sharing, we have MUSIC: one accord, being in harmony! Being contrastive and humble allows you to recognize that all of us are unique and are made by "The Potter" for a different purpose because we value things differently than one another. If we are in fellowship with God, we will automatically be in fellowship with each other. It won't take effort. This is HOW a body becomes profitable. If you love God, you are able to speak truth, have the ability to love, see everyone as unique, understand profitability, know the definition for grace, and do NOT use that for the benefit of the entire body, you are DECEIVED. Satan knows all of the WHAT'S that we have learned, and if all these Doctrine only cause you to become more puffed up with knowledge, you have missed the entire purpose of The Deeper Why.
These definitions are "the chords" for fellowship with God and one another. If you and I shared the same definitions as God, imagine how much we could build. Imagine if an entire church was actively looking to find God's definitions for words so that we could grow, be pruned by God, and grow more!
We know that Jesus is the WAY because He paid our debt to bring us towards salvation and has given us grace to direct our actions. We know that Jesus is Truth, and always and completely Right in the WHAT, WHY, and HOW in everything He has done, is doing, and will do.
What does it mean for Jesus to be "The Life"?
James 4 covered Fellowship in detail...
"1 Whence come wars and whence come fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your pleasures that war in your members?
2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war; ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures."
(James began by making people aware of the destructive effects that they had. James said that they didn't even ask right. These people didn't have the right causes, they were not asking, they were taking. They were not accepting the things that they got, because they used it to indulge their pleasures. These were all WHAT'S. Which causes (HOW/WHY) did they have?)
"4 Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God."
(James blatantly stated these people had friendship (fellowship) with the world...and that made them an enemy of God. This was WHY they were unable to have fellowship with God.)
"5 Or think ye that the scripture speaketh in vain? Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore the scripture saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble."
(James said that having this friendship with the world made us proud and unable to have grace! The proud are unable to have fellowship with God; the proud see themselves as equal or higher than God. The humble can have fellowship with God, because they are looking to prove God RIGHT.)
"7 Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded."
(James said that having fellowship with God (being in agreement with God) would cause the devil to flee from you. In Doctrine #49: Hate, we learned that you cannot serve two masters. Thinking that you are having fellowship with God when you actually were having fellowship with the world is contradictory, which James called "doubleminded". See James 1:7-8)
"9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you."
(James stated we ought to humble ourselves and show our emotions and God will move through you. This was fellowship with God, because the person was being intimate with God by sharing his deepest emotional pain. We know what that results in, don't we?)
"11 Speak not one against another, brethren. He that speaketh against a brother, or judgeth his brother, speaketh against the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 One only is the lawgiver and judge, even he who is able to save and to destroy: but who art thou that judgest thy neighbor?"
(It results in fellowship with other believers. Judging others is NOT being humble, and it is proof that you aren't in fellowship with God because you aren't humble. God is the Judge! He establishes laws and principles that benefit His people.)
"13 Come now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain:
14 whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. What is your life? For ye are a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
(James gave another example of being in pride: of thinking you know more than you actually do. Remember, Jesus said that God knows WHAT we need, what He wants to see is our HOW/WHY. Plus, what does it say about someone's heart if they are looking to build treasure where moth and rust corrupts?)
"15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this or that.
16 But now ye glory in your vauntings: all such glorying is evil.
17 To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
(James said that it was sin for those who know to do good (who have a Right SAY) and don't do good (have a Wrong DO). We know this is hypocrisy, and that hypocrites don't go to heaven. If you glorify yourself, and boast about yourself you destroy (evil) yourself long term, in order for you to gain reward in the short term from the praises of men.)