Communion and Fellowship

Communion: "Sharing or holding in common with others; participation; the condition of things so held, community, combination, union." Fellowship: "Partnership; membership of a society. Participation, sharing (in an action, condition, etc.); 'something in common', community of interest, sentiment, nature, etc." I. Believers can and should have fellowship with Christ and other believers. A. Through the Holy Spirit we have fellowship with the Father and with Jesus Christ. 1JO 1:3 c/w JOH 14:16-18, 21-23; PHIL 2:1; 2CO 13:14. 1. The Holy Ghost is our Comforter. JOH 14:26. 2. Comfort: "To strengthen (morally or spiritually); to encourage, hearten, inspirit, incite." a. Through the Holy Spirit we become partakers of Christ's strength. b. Paul's prayer for believers was that they might be "...strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man" (EPH 3:16). c. Paul himself could say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (PHIL 4:13). d. The Spirit Himself tells us, "...be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" (EPH 6:10). 3. The Comforter teaches. Through the Holy Ghost we partake of Christ's knowledge. JOH 14:26 c/w 1CO 2:13. 4. Through the Holy Spirit we partake of Christ's peace. JOH 14:27; ROM 15:13. 5. Through the Holy Spirit we partake of Christ's joy (which is a source of our strength). JOH 15:11; GAL 5:22; PHIL 3:3 c/w NEH 8:10. 6. Through the Holy Spirit we basically share in the things of Christ. JOH 16:15. B. We have fellowship with God through the doctrine of Christ. The fellowship of believers is a common fellowship with Jesus Christ and must be grounded in the word of God. ACT 2:42 c/w 1JO 1:3; 1CO 9:22-23 c/w PHIL 1:4-5, 27. C. This fellowship is emphatically Christocentric. 1. It is rooted in love for Jesus Christ. JOH 14:23. 2. All of life is to center around Jesus Christ. EPH 3:14-19. 3. We grow up into Christ in all things. EPH 4:15. a. We share His love. JOH 15:9-10. b. As already noted, we share His joy and peace. ROM 15:13. c. We share His sufferings. PHIL 3:10; MAT 10:24-25. d. We basically walk as He walked. 1JO 2:6. 4. Mark the Christocentricity of Paul, our pattern. PHIL 3:8; 1:20-21. 5. When one gives Christ the preeminence in all things, he is then holding something in common with God and that is what communion with the Lord is! COL 1:18-19. 6. COL 2:9-10. We are complete in Christ. Without Christ, we are branches without a vine, sheep without a shepherd, a bride without a husband, a body without a head, an army without a captain, a book without an author, a kingdom without a king, brethren without an elder brother, a people without a priest, debtors without a surety, a building without a foundation, clients without an advocate and children without a father. He is all and in all!! II. Sin is the barrier to communion and fellowship with God. 1JO 1:5-6; 2CO 6:14; ISA 59:1-2. III. The blood of Christ removes the barrier to communion. HEB 10:19-22 c/w HEB 9:1-5 & EXO 25:22. IV. Consider the steps to fellowship. A. Repentance and confession of sins are paramount. 1JO 1:8-10; LUK 15:11-32; 1PE 2:1-2. B. Obedience is also required. JOH 14:21; ACT 2:42 c/w 1JO 1:3, 6-7. C. Love is required. 1JO 2:10 c/w 5:2. 1. Godly love is holy. ROM 12:9; PHIL 1:9-10; 1CO 13:4-6. 2. Godly love disciplines and corrects. LEV 19:17; PRO 13:24; 2CO 2:4 c/w 12:15. D. Separation from ungodliness and ungodly people is required. 2CO 6:13-18; 1CO 5:13. V. Summation. A. Communion and fellowship with God is impossible because of sin. B. The blood of Christ takes away the sin and His Spirit cleanses us personally. C. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ indwells us and empowers us to partake of His sufferings, victory, peace, joy, hope and glory. D. Through the ministry of the Spirit we learn of Christ, His love, His ways and put Him on in practice so as to actively enjoy fellowship with Him. E. Those who thus have communion and fellowship with God have also true fellowship with others of like precious faith. 1JO 1:6-7.
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