Monday, November 2, 2015
The UNIQUE FELLOWSHIP of CHRISTIANS
What Makes CHRISTIAN Fellowship
DIFFERENT from other fellowships ?
An Object Lesson from a Teapot
KOINONIA ~ The UNIQUE Christian Fellowship
A WORLD of difference exists between “normal” fellowship and CHRISTIAN fellowship. One is rooted in humanism; the other is CHRIST-centered. One is formed in and by the world; the other is created in and by The HOLY SPIRIT.
The Scriptures use the Greek word, Koinonia. It is from a Greek root word that means a sharer, a partner, a participant. Christian fellowship, then, is that unique togetherness that is shared IN CHRIST and OF CHRIST and WITH CHRIST and BY CHRIST.
This kind of Scriptural fellowship we are exhorted to develop is totally oriented in CHRIST JESUS Himself+.
Contrary to common opinion, Christian fellowship is NOT doing:
· the same activities
· in the same way
· in the same place
· at the same time
· for a common cause
· with the same people
· and / or, with goods held in "common."
Many worldly organizations incorporate these very characteristics and their members consider themselves to have "fellowship" with each other.
They may indeed have a fellowship... but they do not have that CHRIST-centered unique Fellowship that is referred to in Scriptures.
1 John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, SO THAT (Gk) ye also may have FELLOWSHIP WITH US; and TRULY our FELLOWSHIP is with The FATHER and with HIS SON+ JESUS CHRIST.
CHRISTIAN Fellowship will be found in the Church oriented in CHRIST JESUS, the one Apostolic, “Catholic,” Church out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation … the Church Without Borders, the Church Without Walls.
Here is an object lesson from 1 John, chapter 1 to illustrate this fundamental truth.
Imagine a two-burner hot plate. Turn the burners on HIGH and make them bright red. That is our power.
Secondly, feature a teapot on each burner, with the SPOUTS facing each other, close together BUT NOT TOUCHING. The handles are each turned outward.
Thirdly, picture clouds of STEAM rising from the two close spouts of the teapots. ... two separate columns of STEAM.
Q # 1 What happens to those two steam clouds when the water boils, if the two spouts facing each other, are very close together ?
The columns of steam combine or blend into each other, making one steam cloud out of two.
Q # 2 Where (or after ) the steam clouds combine, can you tell or discern one cloud of steam from the other ? In other words, can you tell WHICH pot is producing WHICH particles of STEAM ?
Q # 3 There is now ONE thing that forms a CONNECTION between the separate teapots as they continue to boil. What is it?
The STEAM one teapot produces is the SAME kind of STEAM as the other teapot produces and the two steam clouds combine, merging seamlessly into one cloud of steam.
In this object lesson, these teapots are filled with Living Water... so
· #4 WHO are the teapots ? You and me
· #5 WHO is the burner ? The LORD JESUS
· #6 WHAT is the STEAM ? The HOLY SPIRIT
Let's think about the Living Water.
He that believeth on ME+, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of Living Water.
Q # 7 From where does this LIVING WATER emanate ?
It comes from JESUS the LORD, when HE+ is LORD of our lives.
Since this LIVING WATER comes from JESUS, there is a constant supply flowing into those vessels, those "teapots," who live for HIM+. Notice that to be "living," the water is not static but must be flowing --- in and out.
Q # 8 What will happen to the water in a teapot if it is not refilled and sits static for a period of time?
It will evaporate and be gone.
Now, let's think about the STEAM .
Q # 9 Can the teapots do ANYTHING on their own to produce the steam ? Can they do anything other than to CONTAIN the Living Water ?
Q # 10 Where must the teapot BE to have its Living Water boil to produce the steam ?
On the burner or connected to the power source.
Since this power source is JESUS, the power is never, ever turned off. HE+ is always burning red hot and always burning on HIGH.
JESUS said, ALL authority is given unto ME+ in Heaven and in earth.
Since " I " am this vessel -- this teapot -- I have the free will to move myself off the hot burner at any point in time. I have the free will to dis-connect myself from the power source whenever I want.
Q # 11 What happens to my Living Water when I go off the burner or dis-connect from the power source?
It stops boiling.
Q # 12 What happens when the boiling ceases?
The steam stops.
Q # 13 What will happen if I sit off the burner or stay dis-connected ?
The Living Water will eventually evaporate.
Q #14 When the STEAM stops, is there ANY WAY I can CONNECT to any of the other teapots ?
1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the Light, as HE+ is in the Light, we HAVE fellowship one with another, and the Blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS SON+ cleanseth us from all sin.
Christian Fellowship is not formed from a selection of teapots sitting together on a counter top. Christian Fellowship is not even created by a collection of teapots once filled with Living Water but now is static, having gone stagnant.
Take heed therefore how ye hear; for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he SEEMETH to have. ( See also Luke 19, Mark 4, Matthew 13, Matthew 25 )
Christian FELLOWSHIP occurs when those teapots filled with Living Water stay connected to JESUS on the hot burner... a burner hot enough to change that water into STEAM.
Through the unity of the HOLY SPIRIT is Christian fellowship formed... not by power nor by might, but by MY+ SPIRIT, saith The LORD.
We cannot --- we simply are NOT able --- to produce Christian fellowship by our own efforts: there is no STEAM to unite us. We do NOT have the ABILITY to make our own STEAM.
Hear John 15:5 …
I+ am the Vine+, ye are the branches: He that abideth in ME+, and I+ in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without ME+ ye can do nothing.
We must be attached to the Source+ of Power, our LORD JESUS CHRIST, in order to produce the STEAM which creates Christian fellowship. WHY? Because CHRISTIAN Fellowship is a fellowship of the SPIRIT, not a fellowship of common or shared human efforts or activities.
As the Scripture teaches us truly in 1 John 1:3:
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, SO THAT ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with The FATHER, and with HIS S0N+ JESUS CHRIST.
We might as well try to connect the cold teapots together by their handles and then try to "produce steam together" … if we try to produce fellowship WITHOUT EACH one of us staying lively on that hot burner, JESUS, our power source.
It simply cannot be done... not with teapots, not with Christian Fellowship.
· Are you struggling hard to produce Fellowship ?
· Are you on the Hot Burner ?
· Do you remove yourself from the Burner when the church meeting or cell group is over ?
If so... then the first step is to enter into FELLOWSHIP with JESUS .
This is easy. You do NOT have to labor at producing "fellowship," any more than the teapot "labors" to produce steam. You only have to stay attached to the Vine+, to stay connected to the Power Source, holding onto JESUS with all of your might.
When you hold onto JESUS with all your might,
HE+ will hold onto you...
with ALL HIS+ MIGHT !
I John 1: 5-10
This then is the message which we have heard of HIM+, and declare unto you, that GOD is Light, and in HIM is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with HIM+, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the Light, as HE is in the Light, we HAVE fellowship one with another, and the Blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS SON+ cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, HE+ is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make HIM+ a liar, and His+ Word is not in us.
CHRISTIAN Fellowship is Uniquely Formed
Christian Fellowship, then, is a fruit of our walk with JESUS. We do not focus on making fellowship. Rather, we each focus on staying in un-broken fellowship with JESUS.
If there is no, little, or faulty Christian fellowship amidst the brethren, then we must FIRST FOCUS on the individuals' walk with CHRIST JESUS. When each person in the flock is growing in CHRIST --- no matter what their maturity level --- there will be the fruit of Christian fellowship growing also.
Now in 1 John, chapter 1, let us do a little statistical analysis of that chapter.
Out of those 10 verses dealing with Christian Fellowship, only two verses ( verse 3 and verse 7 ) discuss fellowship with one another within the Body of CHRIST.
Thus, 80 % of that chapter deals with forming fellowship WITH the LORD.
That should tell us something about where our priorities ought to be when forming "fellowship." The majority of the flock's effort should be going towards staying attached to The VINE+, staying attached to JESUS.
That is the great responsibility when tending the flock: to see that each person is walking with JESUS, staying attached at the core to JESUS.
Problems in fellowship arise when one or two of the flock slide along, keeping a semblance of Christianity, but who have left their first love of CHRIST.
Return unto the FIRST LOVE of The LORD. Seek HIS+ face when problems arise in the Fellowship. The SPIRIT will be joined unto The SPIRIT when each person is “right” with GOD because there is no division when The SPIRIT meets Itself !
The Invitation ~ ~ ~
And the SPIRIT and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely.
COME unto ME+, all ye that are heavy laden, and I+ will give you rest. Take MY+ yoke upon you and learn of ME+; for I+ am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For MY+ yoke is easy, and MY+ burden is light.
For GOD sent not HIS SON+ into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through HIM+ might be saved.