9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:9-17)
I hope you benefitted from our discussion of Worship over the last two days. Today we turn to the Discipline of Fellowship. Jesus again is a perfect example for us in the practice of this discipline. As we did with Worship, we are going to examine a statement about Fellowship and solicit your reaction.
Statement: Many Christians elect to live their lives without any deep connections with other Christians. Some even go as far as to say they don’t like hanging around other Christians because of past negative experiences.
Please read the passage above and answer the two questions below.
- Based on the John 15 passage, how important is fellowship to Jesus?
- What is your reaction to the statement about Christians who don’t value Fellowship?
March 2, 2016 at 5:27 am
Individualism has percolated our lives for so long especially in this modern era. That has come with various individual rights. And we seem to take this very far and restricting to our very close ones and sometimes excluding our church members.
To Jesus, fellowship is core, core in his teachings, core in his appreciation f people, core in very aspect of his endevour . When we fellowship, our relationship with other Christians improve and we learn from each other .
March 2, 2016 at 9:54 am
Fellowship is vital to Jesus. He both modelled it and commanded it, as love permeates every aspect of His discourse above.
Choosing to neglect fellowship is both sad and dangerous as we are made for relationship. I learned the other day some other good support for this, in Gen.1:26, where God says “Let us make man in our image”. We are made in the image of the triune God of the Holy Trinity, three persons in one, himself a relational being. We cannot fulfil our God given nature and purpose without deep meaningful relationships, to the extent of relationships modelled on those demonstrated by the Trinity. Jesus ratifies this in the passage above as he uses his relationship with the Father as a model for His relationship with us and then tells us to go and do the same.
March 2, 2016 at 11:07 am
I really admire how Jesus modeled fellowship and his love for people.
I struggle with this discipline.
It is not surprising there are so many insincere Christians – after all sincerity is a hard to find quality in humankind. Some are truly saved Christians that do not know how to behave properly – after all it took me a while to learn how to behave after I accepted Jesus into my heart – and I am still learning.
Therefore let us resist that common urge to avoid fellowship with Christians because of negative experiences – always tempering our expectations of others with grace, and in all things be as wise as serpents but gentle as doves. We can only develop true Christ-like love and character when tested by relating with other Christians. if life is about relationships – then how hollow a life if we avoid engaging the very people we could be spending eternity with.
March 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm
I am a friend of God as the songwriter tells us. What a massive statement. Jesus chooses us to be His friend and as Lester indicated He is part of a Triune, the perfect fellowship, and He invites us to be a part of that. How fantastic is that, to be part of that relationship from where we can live and learn and have our being.
Therefore not having connections to other Christians is telling Jesus we are not interested in His plan and the others he has also called friends. It may take some effort as gsharpe points out but it can be very rewarding and meaningful.
March 2, 2016 at 10:58 pm
Fellowship is very important to Jesus and He is very specific in the way He tells us to be with others. We need to love one another. This command is direct, there are no qualifiers. We are to love each other like He loves us.
I find the statement rings true for many Christians I know, specifically younger Christians who are not heavily involved in the church or are beginning to forge a relationship with the Lord. I myself need to do better in fellowshipping with other Christians (though I can’t say it’s because of past negative interactions.)