God is gathering people from all nations and languages into a new people with faith in Jesus as the common denominator. The believer is born again into the family of God and is filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Because every believer has his or her sins forgiven and is reconciled with God, they now want to show the same mercy to their fellow human beings. God is gathering this new people into churches where the loving Christian fellowship is demonstrated primarily through prayer, worship, communion and care for the socially vulnerable. When the Christian community functions properly, it leads to joy, love, restoration and blessing. When it does not work, it leads to strife, division and bitterness.
“18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” (Eph 2:18–19)
“9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Pe 2:9–10)
“12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Col 3:12–14)
“19Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”” (Mt 18:19–20)
“10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (1 Jn 4:10–12)
“12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12)
“16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Heb 13:16)
“44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” (Ac 2:44–45)
“32Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.” (Ac 4:32)
“24Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” (1 Co 10:24)
“2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:2–3)
- Is there a difference between a Christian community and a non-Christian community?
- In what ways does the Christian fellowship manifest itself in your church?
- What would you like a Christian fellowship to look like?
- In what way is the Lord’s Supper an image of Christian fellowship?
- How do we avoid internal strife and preserve the unity of the Spirit?
Additional Bible Verses
Matt 12:49-50, Eph 3:6, 1 Cor 10:16-17, Eph 5:1-2, Acts 2:42, Col 3:16, Rom 12:13, 1 Pet 3:8, Rom 12:16, Heb 10:24-25, Matt 23:8-9