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fel*low*ship, noun.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

a community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience. the state of being a fellow or associate. a company of equals or friends. Biblical: the life or experience in common. Personal: the life you have in common with others.

fel* low* ship If you have been in church world for any length of time at all, you are probably familiar with the term fellowship. People use it to describe time together. It means a potluck meal in the fellowship hall or coffee with a friend. If you have someone to dinner and have no particular plan, you may say, "Come over. We're just going to fellowship." It means hang out, sit around, or just be together. In light of the biblical meaning of the word fellowship, the way the modern world uses the word isn't wrong, it just isn't enough. The Greek word for fellowship is koinonia. It means "having in common, or communion." It doesn't mean just hanging out together or spending some enjoyable time with others. It means having a life in common, what you have jointly with others. Clearly, it refers not to a mere social connection but to an overlapping of life or intimacy of shared experience that produces what can only be described as a "communion". The definition certainly helps to put the common use of the word in proper perspective. People say fellowship to describe half of the process: the social part. The word actually means what that social part, lived in the Spirit of God, produces. This is what people so desperately need in the churches. Have you ever had this experience? You are in a crowd and people are being nice and sociable, but you feel very lonely. Every encounter with another human being seems surface and leaves you unfulfilled. You almost feel like you have to leave the crowd to find something "human". This is what fellowship is apart from the communion it is meant to produce. It is asking someone how things are going but then not helping to bear his or her burden when things aren't gong so well. It is the occasional phone call rather than the shared life, the open wallet rather than the open home. It is living in distant "accountability" rather than so close to another human being that you know their life without them having to say a word. Fellowship is what everyone hopes for. It is what people admire in movies when a "band of brothers" serves some glorious purpose together. It is what they love when someone takes a bullet for a friend. And it is what they are so moved by in the lives of World War II veterans, that "greatest generation," who faced death in foxholes together. They love each other in a way that only those who have served together in arms can understand.

God has called you to a fellowship that is as intense and tender as anything you've seen in the movies or admired among veterans. He hasn't called you to live alone, but to have life in common with people who make you better for their presence. Being alone from time to time is normal. Being lonely all the time isn't normal. Find the Christian fellowship that helps to make you what you are made to be. They were continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and in fellowship and in the breaking of loaves, and in prayers. ACTS 2:42 MKJV

If we walk in the light, as He is in I thank my God... the light, we have fellowship with that the fellowship of one another, and the blood of your faith may operate Jesus Christ His Son purifies us in a full knowledge of from all sin. every good thing in you in Christ Jesus 1 JOHN 1:7 MKJV PHILEMON 1:4; 6 MKJV

etcetera... Things you might not know about fellowship:

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There is an interesting truth that comes from the field of developmental psychology. People come to understand who they are only in the reflection of how others see them. This means that true maturity is only possible as a product of true fellowship. People go to church to find God and to find spiritual family. Surveys reveal that people leave churches if they find no true fellowship whether they sense God's presence there or not. A recent survey revealed that the single greatest complaint about the churches Americans attend is "a lack of true fellowship".

Fellowship is the union of the trinity attempted among flawed but forgiving mankind CHRISTOPHER SYNN

God, I have been hurt by people and am tempted to live in isolation. heal my heart and deliver me from my loner ways. Help me to become part of your body and invest myself in the fellowship that is more than social, but deeply healing and spiritual. - Amen. Extract from - Words to live by Love from Maja

file://C:\Users\M Virissimo\Documents\The Common Life.htm


The Common Life  

What does it mean to fellowship?

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