“Dear brothers and sisters….” This sentence starter is found so often in the letters that make up the new testament of the Bible. I think it’s such a great sentiment: you are my sibling, going through the same walk of faith as I am. We are a family in the eyes of the Lord.
“In love He predestined us for adoption into sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.” – Ephesians 1:5 (NIV)
God has adopted us as His children and that brings Him pleasure. How amazing is that?
My fellow christians, we are brothers and sisters and this is our Godly family, the family that walks with us here on earth and continues with us in heaven. That puts a lot of importance on the relationships we have with each other. These people are not just the people you see once a week on Sunday. These people are your family, you should be leaning on them, praying with them, carrying their burdens with them (see Galatians 6:2*). We should be striving to have strong, God-centered relationships with each other.
So what does that look like? Acts 2:44-47 gives us a great example to follow:
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temper courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (NIV)
Looking at this passage, Christian’s in fellowship are called to:
- Be unified – there should be no division between us, because we are unified by Christ who covers us with His righteousness. That’s what Luke is saying when he says that the believers had everything in common.
- Be generous – even at the expense of our own discomfort.
- Meet tirelessly.
- Worship together.
- Be companions with each other – we should not just be acquaintances, we should be friends.
Christian fellowship is so different to the friendships that the world values. Fellowship is a unity brought about by the Holy Spirit, cementing believers to Jesus and to each other.
Ephesians 4:2-4 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called.” (NIV)
As you engage with other Christians, think about how you can better glorify God with the friendship you have. In a group of Christians, always ask yourselves: “Is the door open and a chair empty?”
*“Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2 (NIV)