What is fellowship?
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Question: What is fellowship? Why should we do it?
Answer: Meeting with others or having fellowship is an essential element in spiritual growth. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition defines fellowship as:
A community of interest, activity, feeling or experience; the state of being a fellow or associate
A company of equal or friends
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible has six different definitions for the word fellowship. Although these definitions are useful and correct, the simpler one is that fellowship is simply sharing something together.
There are three elements of fellowship in the Bible:
1. It is based upon common:
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalms 133:1, NKJV throughout)
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:4)
"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous . . ." (1Peter 3:8)
Work - Nehemiah 4:1-23
2. It is sharing:
3. It is in things shared together:
Material things - 2Corinthians 8:4
Suffering - Philippians 3:10
The Gospel ministry - Galatians 2:9
Gospel privileges -
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now . . ." (Philippians 1:3-5)
The Gospel mystery
"To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ . . ." (Ephesians 3:9)
Fellowship, as a noun, or as action, demonstrates who we are. It allows us to interact with others who share common beliefs and sentiments. It allows us to recognize our own faults and gives us the opportunity to share in the spiritual growth of others. Moreover, as we have seen and as the Bible confirms, this is highly pleasing in God's sight. We should practice this outstanding spiritual trait whenever we can. Thank you for your question about what is fellowship.
Written by: Tommy West