You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
Is fellowship just "being with" other believers? Or is it something much deeper and potentially much more frightening than that?
From John Loftness, "Chapter 2: Fellowship Rediscovered" in Why Small Groups? ... together for maturity, ed. C.J. Mahaney.
"What is fellowship as defined in the New Testament? Just this: participating together in the life and truth made possible by the Holy Spirit through our union with Christ. Fellowship is sharing something in common on the deepest possible level of human relationship--our experience of God himself." (p. 19)
The 8 Means of Fellowship:
- Worship together.
- Pray for one another, especially regarding the things that burden us and how God is at work in our lives.
- Utilize our spiritual gifts to help others grow in God.
- Carry one another's burdens.
- Share about our spiritual experiences.
- Confess our sins to one another.
- Correct one another when we see someone has failed to recognize and take responsibility for his sins.
- Serve one another in practical ways. (pp. 24-25)
"We must, however, beware of thinking that the mere act of doing of any of these things will automatically produce fellowship. Remember, these are 'means of fellowship.' They simply put you in a place where fellowship becomes possible, not certain. True fellowship is a work of the Spirit by grace. ... Still, failure to practice these means of fellowship denies us the opportunity to draw on fellowship as a means of grace." (p. 25; emphasis original)
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