What A Fellowship. . .
by Terrt Broome
These are the first words of an old hymn that we don’t sing so much anymore, but one which portrays the great joy a Christian can have when in a rightful relationship with the Lord. I remember them well from when I was a child singing to the top of my lungs:“What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms; This song depicts our fellowship with the Lord, and the peace that comes from having Him so near. It’s easy for us to see how that the fellowship described by song is about relationship. It certainly is far more than going to a meal together, or standing and visiting in the foyer. It’s a relationship in which I know the Lord and He knows me and we walk together in one accord. I serve Him and He cares and provides for me because we are in this wonderful relationship.
Now broaden the thought for a moment. John tells us in 1 John 1: 3, 6, 7 “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ . . . 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 . . .”
Sometimes it seems we limit fellowship to something we do after a worship service, or on a special night of the week in a meal or fun time together. Indeed, these times are fellowship, but there’s so much more to the word. Koinonia, signifies things we have in common, mutual caring and sharing. It’s rendered as “communion” and “fellowship” in the Scriptures. It’s the word used to describe our participation in the Lord’s supper (1 Corinthians 10:16). It’s also the word used to describe our walk together. Fellowship is all about the total relationship in which we as the body of Christ are involved with one another.
The Apostle Paul saw the privilege of being with fellow Christians as an opportunity to “impart some spiritual gift” and that “we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12).
It’s important for Christians to come to see our need for one another in the whole scheme of things. God didn’t write a “go it alone” plan. Fellowship is an indispensable part of what the Christian faith is about and what it can do to enrich our lives. The mutual encouragement we gain is of great value in helping the saved to stay saved. If we today are only interested in our private relationship with God, we can’t bring to the body of His Son the encouragement that is so badly needed, nor do we receive the same. We need to recover the biblical viewpoint about our life together in order to see what kind of fellowship God calls us to be.
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.