Monday, August 1, 2016

August 2, 2026

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” I John 1:7

I borrow this devotional from Dale A. Robbins:

Fellowship comes from the Greek word, "KOINONIA", which means “to share in common.” Christian fellowship is more than attending Church — it is “assimilating” into the body of believers, becoming “one” in worshipping, loving, caring and sharing.

According to the scripture, fellowship is not an optional matter for believers. It says, “if walk in the light [in fellowship with God]... this causes us to have fellowship with one another.” And from the outcome of this fellowship, “the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

What does fellowship with the brethren have to do with cleansing us from sin? As we know, the Bible says “the life is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). This is a fact, both biologically and spiritually. The blood in your body is a cleansing agent which purges the toxins and bacteria in our system, and supplies oxygen to vital areas necessary for our survival. Each minute, your heart pumps and circulates blood through miles of inter-connected veins and arteries, passing through the kidneys for filtering, and back into the same circulating cycle. However, in the event that a part of your body were to be severed from the flow of blood, the absence of blood circulation would cause that part to become infected — it would develop gangrene and would die. Survival is not possible without continual circulation of the blood.

So it is within the body of Christ, the Church (1 Cor. 12:27). For the blood of Jesus Christ to have its continual cleansing effect over our sins, we must remain attached to Christ’s body. If we sever fellowship with His body, we risk cutting off the circulation of the cleansing blood!

Keep in mind, salvation is based on “faith,” and is not earned by performing “works” such as attending Church (Eph. 2:8-9). But fellowship with Christ’s body, the church, is critical in helping to sustain your faith by providing ministry, encouragement, and an atmosphere of spiritual “cleansing” and growth.

Our relationship with Jesus Christ is obviously the basis for the forgiveness of our sins, but the Bible indicates that we cannot have a proper relationship with Christ without a proper relationship with His body. For instance, the scriptures indicate that our worship to God is unacceptable unless we make things right with our brethren. “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 5:23-24).

Fellowship is one of the great benefits of being a Christ-follower!I can surely say my life has been significantly shaped by the Christian fellowship I have enjoyed and experienced over the years!

As great as it is to be a Christian it is ever greater to be a Christian who is part of a warm, God honoring and Biblical-centered fellowship.

So, as you begin this day give some thought to how you will enjoy the blessings of godly fellowship today. 

August 1, 2016

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." I Thessalonians 5:11

What a day we had at FredWes yesterday!

We heard from our teens reporting on Youth Camp. It's always inspiring to hear testimonies of life change!

This evening, following an exciting week of Vacation Bible School we enjoyed hearing songs and testimonies from our children about how God touched their lives.

In between we did some strong worship and a message from the Word.

If you spent the day with us at FredWes you have to be encouraged! That's the blessing of fellowship with other Christ-followers.

Through the Summer I am sharing a series of messages on what it means to follow Christ. Following Jesus is not without it's challenges but following Him alone, apart from fellowship should not be one of them!

In this verse you are urged to encourage other followers and build them up. How can you do that if you are not involved in regular fellowship with Christ-followers? Why would you want to?

Christ dwells in the hearts of His followers so it stands to reason the more followers who gather together in fellowship the stronger the sense of His presence and more encouraging it will be for all!

If you are a Christ-follower but not regularly involved in a fellowship that encourages you and builds you up, according to Scripture you need to find one!

And if you are attached to such a fellowship support it with your prayers and your presence!