Wednesday is a great day to be at church!
Some quick notes from the pastor’s lesson on the disciplines of the Christian faith. (Barriers to effective implementation of the disciplines)
1. Fellowship ~
We live in a culture of independence. We desire limited involvement and interaction with other people. The church is filled with independent people. We gather as a body, but do we fellowship?Church without true fellowship is much like attending a spouse’s family reunion for the first time. Someone may argue, “Hey, this is your family now,” but it is no less awkward. Proof: Watch the parking lot empty as soon as closing prayer is over. Believers are saved as individuals, but then enter into the fellowship of believers (no Lone Rangers).
“It is not enough to measure the believer’s growth only in relation to God. The command is; Love God, Love Others.” We must measure our growth in relation to other people also.
1 John 1:3 ~ That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Consider the fellowship of the Triune God. The Son of God desired fellowship. As image-bearers, we are called to that same desire for fellowship with God and believers.
Many of the disciplines can’t be carried out without fellowship. Worship, United prayer, service, etc…
Barrier to Fellowship ~ we should distinguish socializing from fellowship. Fellowship should include spiritual matters, sharing our life in Christ with one another.
Point: I have a responsibility to the body. I have a responsibility to be a life-changer. Ephesians 4:16 All parts are needed for the body to function effectively. When functioning properly, the body is healthy and grows to maturity. (Consider the human body with illness or injury)
The pastor’s job is to equip the saints. The body’s job is to serve, minister, utilize gifts, effect the disciplines…
When I grow…the body grows…when the body grows…I grow…
Hebrews 3:13 ~ Exhort one another… (fellowship is required to exhort) When the believer is outside the spiritual protection and fellowship of the church, sin easily deceives.
Illustration: The lion of the jungle will not attack the herd, but looks for the injured and ill lingering back.
Bottom Line ~ “We need each other!”
Thomas Watson ~ “Associate with sanctified persons. They may by counsel, prayer, and a holy example, be a means to make me holy.”