Fellowship with each other

SERMON TOPIC: Fellowship with each other

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 24 October 2021


Sermon synopsis: 1 John 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Yet professing Christians don’t attend Church and try justify their actions with “The Church is full of hypocrites.” However, Christians in Countries closed to the Gospel risk imprisonment and even death by obeying the instruction of God’s Word to Fellowship.

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Fellowship with the Body of Christ.

Hebrews 10:25.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more, as you see the day approaching.

The 4 vital ingredients in the early Church

Acts 2:41,42.

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching to fellowship to the breaking of bread and to prayer.


The local Church.

1 John 1:5-7.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Yet professing Christians don’t attend Church and try justify their actions with “The Church is full of hypocrites”

However, Christians in Countries closed to the Gospel risk imprisonment and even death by obeying the instruction of God’s Word to Fellowship.

Hiding from God.

Sin causes people to hide from God.

Genesis 3:8-10.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

But the Lord God called to the man, Where are you? He answered, I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid.

Friendship with Jesus.

John 14:23.

Jesus replied, Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

John 15:13-15.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 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.

Revelation 3:20.

Look I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

The Lukewarm Christian doesn’t open the door to fellowship.

A lack of desire to fellowship with God and Christ is a distinctive trait of a Laodicean (Revelation 3:18-20). We live in an era when people are apathetic about having a true relationship with God.

No professing Christian would admit that he would not care to eat a meal with and fellowship with Jesus Christ, yet He reports that in His own church, some will not rouse themselves to fellowship with Him, though they know that He knocks at the door. By their inaction, they choose not to fellowship with Him.

The Family.

God instituted marriage and the family as a place of protection, strengthening and wholeness, and for the same reason he instituted the Local Church.

Gen 2:18.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

(People who are lonely are vulnerable that’s why Satan has so undermined the family)

Years ago, the undertaker at Sincere Funerals told me that Christmas season from November to February is characterised by suicides.

Psalm 68:6.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.

Teaching is vital for every believer.

Ephesians 4:11-16.

So, Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Breaking of bread is vital.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26. For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying,

This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Jesus himself gave his disciples the instruction to break bread.

We must devote ourselves to “Prayer” .

Acts 12:11-15.

Then Peter came to himself and said, Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.

When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.

We must devote ourselves to “Prayer” .

Acts 12:11-15.

Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.

When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed,

Peter is at the door! You’re out of your mind, they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, It must be his angel.

We must devote ourselves to “Fellowship”.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: 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.

Devoted to Fellowship.

On the day of Pentecost in AD 31, Peter preached an inspired sermon to Jews and proselytes from around the Roman world who had gathered in Jerusalem for the holy day. When he finished, three thousand of his listeners stepped forward to be baptized and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior (Acts 2:41). Just that quickly, the church, a sizable one, at that, was inaugurated. Suddenly, three thousand people, who may have had little else in common, were thrown together as brethren.

Things could have gone very badly very quickly, but to their credit, as Acts 2:42 in The New English Translation Bible (NET) informs us, “They were devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Among the four things to which these early converts devoted themselves was fellowship. Fellowship immediately became an important part of their reasons for meeting together. It was one of their prime objectives.

What is Fellowship?

We talk about fellowship, and we often tell one another that what we need is more fellowship. However, our modern ideas of fellowship may have become so watered-down that the word no longer carries the same meaning that it did during this infancy stage of the church, which is highly praised for its unity (see verse 44; 4:32-33; 5:12; etc.)

We are not surprised to read that the early church devoted itself to "the apostles' teaching" and "to prayer." These two, essentially, study and prayer, are the most important means of growth and effectiveness in the Christian life, and this is everywhere evident in the rest of Scripture.

Yet, Luke records that these early Christians also devoted themselves to fellowship. They just did not have fellowship, going through the motions of being with each other; they devoted themselves to it.

Devoted to Fellowship.

This means that fellowship was a priority, and one of their foremost objectives in gathering, just being with one another was not necessarily fellowship, instead, it was something that they devoted themselves to accomplish when they were together.

We often view fellowship as what we do. We have casual conversations and common activities. This is not wrong and can contribute to fellowship, but it falls far short of fellowship according to biblical standards, as well as falling short of the meaning and use of the Greek words that underlie the English word "fellowship.“

We may be thinking, "My view of fellowship is much richer and deeper than mere social activity. True fellowship involves getting together for spiritual purposes: for sharing needs, for prayer, and for discussing God's Word to encourage, comfort, and edify one another." And we would be right. These things are certainly aspects of Christian fellowship, but even they do not comprise the full meaning of Christian fellowship in the New Testament.

Seeker sensitive gatherings cannot provide Fellowship.

A relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ must be the common ground for True Fellowship.

2 Corinthians 6:14-15. Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

Unbelievers did not dare to meet together with the “Early Church”.

Acts 5:10-14. At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.

No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.

Can “Seeker Sensitive” gatherings provide Fellowship.

The "seeker sensitive" label is associated with some megachurches in the United States where Christian messages are often imparted by means of elaborate creative elements emphasizing secular popular culture, such as popular music styles. Wikipedia

Seeker Sensitive churches (gotquestions.org)

The basic premise in the seeker-sensitive movement is that there are many people out there who are seeking God and want to know Him, but the concept of the traditional church scares them away from faith in Christ. But is it true that people are truly seeking God?

Scripture teaches the exact opposite! The apostle Paul tells us that “there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11).

This means there is no such thing as an unbeliever who is truly seeking for God on his own. Furthermore, man is dead in his sin (Ephesians 2:1), and he can’t seek God because he doesn’t recognize his need for Him, which is why Paul says that there is no one who understands.

Seeker Sensitive churches (gotquestions.org)

Romans 1:20-23 teaches us that all unbelievers reject the true God.

They then go on to form a god that is what they want (a god in their image or the image of something else).

This is a god they can tame and control.

Romans 1:18-20 says they knowingly suppress what they know about God through His creation and that they are subject to God’s wrath, another doctrine studiously avoided by the seeker churches.

If you don’t love your brother then you don’t love God.

1 John 5:1-3.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.

People who love each other enjoy each others company.

1 John 4:20-21.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Loving our fellow believers.

1 Peter 4:8-11.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.

If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

We belong to the Church “The Body of Christ”.

Romans 12:3-8.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Belonging to the Church.

1 Corinthians 12:12-20.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.Now if the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.

Belonging to the Church.

1 Corinthians 12:12-20.

And if the ear should say, Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?

If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.If they were all one part, where would the body be?As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Belonging to the Church.

1 Corinthians 12:21-27.

The eye cannot say to the hand, I don’t need you! And the head cannot say to the feet, I don’t need you!

On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour.

And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,while our presentable parts need no special treatment.

1 Corinthians 12:21-27.

1 Corinthians 12:21-27.

But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Are you a Thermostat or a Thermometer.

A thermometer reflects the temperature of its surroundings and changes as its surroundings change. The thermometer can provide important information about atmospheric conditions, but it cannot change those conditions.

A thermostat on the other hand can influence and change the temperature around it. It is set to a pre-determined temperature and can regulate the conditions regardless of the room environment. It remains constant and doesn’t fluctuate, it does something about the surrounding conditions to bring about change and does not just react to them.

Are you a Thermostat or a Thermometer.

As Christians we are all to often influenced by the culture, we live in. Instead of being the foreigners and aliens the Scripture refers to us as being, we are not very different to those around us. We conform to the world around us and are dictated to by what others may think or say, conforming to the culture we live in rather than changing it.

The solution, that some who are unhappy in their current situation come up with, is to leave. They leave their jobs or home countries, but what if the Lord wants us to stay and change the culture by our lives and with our influence.

The early missionaries to Africa and China and Papua New Guinea went to places that practiced witchcraft and were cannibals and head-hunters, often paying with their lives as they succumbed to disease or were killed and yet today people think that God’s main concern is their happiness and comfort.

Are you a Thermostat or a Thermometer.

God has a word for those who want to run away from all difficult situations and want to focus only on being comfortable. It's the same word he gave to the Israelites when they were stuck in another country, exiled from their homeland. They’d folded their arms and said, we're going to wait this thing out and when we get home, we'll start living our lives.

God told them through the prophet Jeremiah that they were not going home anytime soon and that they needed to start making their lives in the land of their exile. They were instructed to plant gardens, buy homes, to allow their children to get married, and to pray for the peace and prosperity of the place where they were currently living, because by doing that they would be blessed with peace and prosperity.

Jeremiah 29:4-11.

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them, declares the LORD. This is what the LORD says: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfil my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Bloom where you are planted.

To use a modern cliché, God was saying, bloom where you are planted. Don't invest your energy in hopes of leaving; instead, invest your energy in the people around you. The Christian martyr Jim Elliot expressed it this way: “Wherever you are, be all there”. Don't be physically present but mentally somewhere else, thinking of someplace else. Our journey with Christ requires that we be fully present in the present.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer called it “this worldliness” and said, “it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to live by faith”. This focus allows you to see that your life is centered in God and not the place you live or work, not the person you married to - or not married to - not how you feel or how you look. Investing in people around you is exactly how you find life. Jeremiah even told the exiles that God has arranged for them to be in exile. So, it was God's plan all along to push them to the edge of their existence, so they would end up centered solely on God.

I want to ask you a few questions.

Are you in this local assembly because The Lord has placed you here?

Do you believe that God has given you something that this Body needs?

Do you think that we as an assembly are carrying out our mandate from the Lord to make Disciples and to glorify God by the unity that is demonstrated amongst us by our love, care and concern for each other and for the “Lost”.

Judging by the way we as a Church have handled the Covid Virus with all the challenges that have accompanied it, do you think we as an Assembly could survive persecution?

Could we cope with real persecution?

Jeremiah 12:5.

If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?

God is Faithful, but are we?

Our numbers in attendance and our income has dropped significantly in the last 18 months. God in His Grace has provided us with a buffer that has kept us afloat during this time and enabled us to cover our expenses and to continue supporting our missionaries, this however is now exhausted.

But doesn’t God expect us to learn from our deficiencies and mistakes and be committed to Him fully and to the Body that He has placed us in. We have missionaries that look to us for a double support in December and our monthly income doesn’t cover our normal months.

God is Faithful, but are we?

Philippians 2:3-7. (AD 61)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant….

19 hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

What kind of letter do you think the Apostle Paul would write to Brakpan Assembly of God Fellowship?

“The Early Church”.


They continued steadfast in the Apostles doctrine.

And in fellowship.

And in breaking of bread.

And in prayer.

NB: V44

And all that believed were together.

And had all things in common.

Ministered to the material needs of one another.

Continuing daily in the Temple and breaking bread from house to house.

They ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

Praising God.

Having favour with all the people and the Lord added to the Church

According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, fellowship means.

Companionship, company; association;

The community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience, i.e., a unified body of people of equal rank.

Sharing in common interests, goals, and characteristics, etc. partnership, membership.

The last definition has become an obsolete usage, but it is an important one, showing how our ideas of fellowship have changed over the years.

According to Scripture we belong to the “Body of Christ” We are members of the “Body of Christ”.

We see three key things in this definition of Fellowship.

Fellowship means being a part of a group, a body of people.

Fellowship means having or sharing with others certain things in common.

Fellowship can indicate a partnership, which involves people working together.

But to understand Christian fellowship we must have a closer look at the Greek words for "fellowship" used in the New Testament?

Koinônia and its derivatives and

Metochos, a word that will become important because of its spiritual relationship to koinônia.

Fellowship - (Greek)

Koinos is the root word, which means "common, mutual, public."

Fellowship - (Greek) = Koinonia ie: to share things in common.

It refers to that which is held in common. For instance, the common Greek spoken across the Roman Empire is called Koine.

Koinônos is the noun form of the word and is also used in the New Testament. It means "a partner, associate, or companion."

Fellowship - (Greek)

Koinônia is the primary word that is translated as "fellowship." Two main ideas are contained in it:

"to share together, take part together" in the sense of partnership or participation, and

"to share with" in the sense of giving to others.

The New Testament usage emphasizes that what all parties involved “Share in common”, is in some way a relationship.

“Sharing and partaking together" are central to fellowship.

The same idea is found in the other relevant Greek word, metochos, an adjective, along with its verb, metechô, and its noun, metoche.

Metochos means "sharing in, partaking of," and thus its noun form means "a partner, associate."

The verb, metechô, means "to become a partaker of" or "to have a share in.“

The apostle Paul uses these two Greek word groups in

2 Corinthians 6:14. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship [metoche] has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion [koinônia] has light with darkness?

Two key ideas are important if we are to grasp the biblical teaching on “Fellowship”

The first is that Fellowship is the sharing of a common life with each other through a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

I John 1:3. (REB)

It is this which we have seen and heard that we declare to you also, in order that you may share with us in a common life, that life which we share with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

We can see that true Christian fellowship is primarily a relationship rather than an activity.

Two key ideas are important if we are to grasp the biblical teaching on “Fellowship”

In Acts 2:42, the young church was not merely devoting itself to common activities but to a vital, spiritual relationship. It was this relationship that produced an active sharing in other ways. The relationship comes first, then the common activities follow.

Fellowship means that we belong to each other in a relationship because we share with one another the common life and grace of Jesus Christ.

From this flows additional sharing of our time, experiences, wisdom, and many other things.

Two key ideas are important if we are to grasp the biblical teaching on “Fellowship”

The second key idea derives from the fact that both New Testament Greek words for “fellowship” koinônia and metochos, mean to share together in the sense of a partnership. As sharers together with Christ, we are automatically copartners with Him and with our brethren in His enterprise here on earth. His work is our work.

A business partnership is always formed in order to attain a known objective, such as providing a service to the public at a profit for the partners. In the same way, the concept of a spiritual partnership implies that it is created with godly objectives, the most important one being glorifying God. We are all united in a partnership formed to glorify God by completing His work.

Philippians 3:8-10 (NKJV)

Philippians 3:8-10 (NKJV)

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as garbage, that I may gain Christand be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.

Fellowship of His Sufferings.



τοῦ tou


γνῶναι gnōnai

to know

αὐτὸν auton


καὶ kai


τὴν tēn


δύναμιν dynamin


τῆς tēs

of the

ἀναστάσεως anastaseōs


αὐτοῦ autou

of Him,

καὶ kai


[τὴν] tēn








Home Churches are how the Early Church met.

Not a new idea, but how the early Church used to meet.

Biblical examples of Home Churches.

Pricilla and Aquila.

Romans 16:3-5.

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house.

1 Corinthians 16:9.

The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.

Home Churches.


Philemon v 2.

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

to Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home.


Colossians 4:15.

Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

Biblical examples of Home Churches.

Acts 28:30-31.

For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance!

Paul taught in a house for two years.

Pentecost took place in a house.

Acts 2:1-2.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Home Churches.

A home lends itself to fellowship, sometimes people behave very differently when they enter a Church building but are more themselves in a home setting where they are more likely to get to know one another on a more personal basis.

The Church meeting in a house.

Stultz and his family are part of a house church. They typically meet on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, though the week that I visited they were meeting in Dover, Del. Each week, their small group crowds into a private living room for dinner and fellowship and their church is no rarity.

With new church construction at its lowest point since 1967, and with more religiously unaffiliated Americans than ever before, many congregations say they've become more committed communities by losing the pews and stained-glass windows of a central building.

The Church meeting in a house.

"The Bible says, 'What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, a word of instruction, or an interpretation' all of this done for the strength of the church," Stultz says. "Where is that being done?“

Nowhere at least as far as Joleen Zimmerman could find. Three years ago, she had been praying for a close-knit church community when she met Stultz. He had quoted that same verse to her.