Fellowship

Fellowship and companionshipI have, for a long time known that Christ is living in me. (My Testimony) But that does not mean that I like being lonely.  If Christ is in us we are never alone, but we can feel lonely when we are without other human companionship.  God built us to live as groups in many ways.  some of the groups we live in are in school, church, the family unit, neighbors and even roommates.  Companionship is important, but fellowship is even more so.  The bible tells us this:

“There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12)

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.”  (Proverbs 27:17)

These verses are a bit deep in interpretation, but that’s why fellowship is so important.  Scripture may mean something very important to one person and it may be God’s task for us to make that meaning know to some or many others.  Fellowship is how we do this for God.  This is how we know that God does not want us to be alone, so He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us to live godly lives and we will not ever be alone, though we may sometimes feel lonely. (Acts 1:7-8)

But fellowship is more than just not being alone.  We should be practicing all the good things we know in gladness and serenity.  In closing, remember what Paul writes:

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  (Ephesians 4:25-32)

Baptism and Dying to Self

Baptism and dying to self, is the basic Christian ritual marking the death of our earthly bodies and transforming into a spiritual person living with and for God.  We are submerged into the water (buried) as a dead sinner and then rise  up out of the water (resurrection) newly cleaned and sinless by the blood of Christ.  Our old self is dead and our new self is blameless, but only by the Grace that God has shown us by sacrificing Christ, the Holy Lamb.  Read these verses, below about baptism and the dying of self:

He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”  Luke 3:3

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”   Luke 9:23-24

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  Romans 6:4

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.  In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.  When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:6-15

 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!Galatians 2:19-21

From just these few scriptures alone, we can gather the powerful message of the cross and washing of the blood of Christ.  We are “born again” with the Holy Spirit living inside us.  Our past is nailed to the cross and is dead.  We have new life, reconciled to our God, the one and only God.  We shall worship no other gods before Him.

(See more about God’s Acceptance)

Love and teach Thy Neighbor

In the Old Testament, the book of Exodus first tells us of the Ten Commandments.  Nearly everyone has heard of these.  However, the book of Leviticus gives us a much greater list of laws of the land.  And then, in the new covenant, explained in the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus gave us the 11th commandment to love and teach thy neighbor:

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. ”  John 15:12

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”  Luke 10:25-28

The final Christian truth I will mention in this series is the truth of discipleship, or the teaching part of love and teach thy neighbor.  We are not to keep what we learn to ourselves but to teach to others in love.  We are to teach others what we learn by reading the Bible.  After Christ was crucified, and laid in the tomb, he was risen on the third day.  This is the Easter celebration.  When the apostles met with Jesus for the last time, before He ascended to Heaven He told them:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. ”  Matthew 28:18-20

Read more in Basic Christian Truths