Friday, March 31, 2017

Get on Board – Part 2 – Fellowship

Ephesians 4:11-15 “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.”

Michael continues: A real man and woman are not mature until they "run to the King (Jesus) and bow down to authority." It may be difficult to "grow-up" and give in, but this is what is required to come before the throne of grace with a heart of humility and meekness. "Transparency" means to be able to divulge ourselves to those who need to be helped. In order to deal with sin, we must first identify the problem so that we can concentrate on the solution.  According to 1 John, if we claim that we are in the light while we are in the darkness, then we deceive ourselves. Satan's name means "deceiver." If we deceive ourselves, we're playing in the Satan's ballpark. However, if we confess our sin (our missing God’s mark, our shortcomings and failures), He is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness. To come to Jesus, we must crucify our selfish flesh nature in order to come to Him with a humble and a contrite heart.

Psalm 51:15-17 “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.”

When we're right with God in fellowship with Him, our prayer for others must be the prayer that Jesus prayed while hanging on the cross: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." As Romans 12 exhorts us, "Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good." We cannot have Christian fellowship until we are walking in the light as He is in the light. When we walk together in the light then truly our fellowship is with our Heavenly Father, His Son Christ Jesus, and one with another in the household of faith. 

Hebrews 12:14 “ Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

The exhortation to fellowship is for fellows to get into the boat and row together with our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the captain of our salvation. When we're in the vessel together then we can be "harmoniously fitted together." There is tremendous energy released in a "fusion reaction" that unites many into one. We have been called, collectively, as the "body of Christ" so that others can witness "holiness."  Holiness means to be set apart according to the purpose intended by the Designer. Holiness means to "Give 'em heaven!"  Ephesians 4:13 is a picture of fellowship and a fitting benediction:  “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

2 Corinthians 13:14 “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

May God richly bless you! 
Your brother in Christ, Michael 

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