Definition: Fellowship is the sharing of interests, ideals or experiences amongst fellow believers; companionship, friendship. Dissociation is the act of separating yourself — not only in body, but in spirit and attitude — from the body of Christ.
1. “Fellowship” describes the relationship of true Christians, united in His Spirit.
* John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.
* John 17:21,23 [United as one in Christ:] That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. 23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.
* Romans 12:10a Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.
* Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
* 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by Whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
* Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
* Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. [See also 1 Peter 3:8.]
* Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
* 1 Thessalonians 5:11,13b Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. … 13b And be at peace among yourselves.
* 1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
* 1 John 1:7a But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. [See also 1 John 3:14a.]
2. God’s Word often pictures us as parts of a whole, which make up His Kingdom.
* 1 Corinthians 12:12,14,18,21,25 [We’re parts of a body:] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. … 14 For the body is not one member, but many. … 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. … 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. … 25 That there should be no schism in the body.
* Luke 12:32 [We’re His flock of sheep:] Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. [See also Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2,3.]
* Matthew 12:48b-50 [We’re part of Jesus’ Family:] Who is My mother? And who are My brethren? 49 And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.
* Matthew 13:47,48 [We’re His good fish:] Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
* Matthew 22:2-4 [We’re the invited guests of a wedding feast:] The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3a And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding. … [See also Luke 14:16-23.]
* Matthew 20:1 [We’re a labor force:] For the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. [See also verses 2-16 for the whole parable.]
* Ezekiel 37:5,6,11 [We’re like the bones of a skeleton, which the Lord revives:] Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. … 11 Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. [See verses 1-14 for the whole story.]
3. Christian fellowship brings us closer to Jesus.
* Matthew 18:19,20 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. [See also 1 Corinthians 5:4.]
* Luke 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them.
* Revelation 21:3 [The sweet fellowship we can have now is just a shadow of what shall be in Heaven!] And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4. It is dangerous to be out of fellowship.
* Ecclesiastes 4:10b Woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
* Psalms 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: He bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
* Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
* Hebrews 10:25 [Fellowship is increasingly important in the Last Days:] Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
5. Although there are times when we need to be alone for prayer and communion with God, it is generally not God’s design for us to be alone.
* Genesis 2:18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
* Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
* Jeremiah 32:39 [The Lord is the One Who brings us together.] And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them.
* Mark 6:7a And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two. …
6. The Devil tries to separate us from fellowship because we’re easier prey when alone.
* Genesis 3:1-6 [The Devil waited till Eve was alone to tempt her.] Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said … 3 of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. … 6 She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat. …
* Ecclesiastes 4:10b Woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
* Matthew 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.
* Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves [cause divisions], sensual, having not the Spirit. [See also Romans 16:17.]
7. United fellowship brings on God’s blessings.
* Psalm 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
* John 13:35 [Unity which results from love creates a more powerful witness and sample.] By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another. [See also John 17:21.]
* Acts 2:46,47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.
* 2 Corinthians 13:11b [Unity and fellowship create an atmosphere of peace.] Be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
* Colossians 2:2a That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love.
8. United fellowship is strengthening and encouraging.
* Deuteronomy 32:30 [The dynamics of unity: If one can chase a thousand with the Lord’s help, and two can chase ten thousand, that is a ten-fold increase in our effectiveness, when working together!] How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up [captured their enemies]? [See also Leviticus 26:8.]
* Exodus 4:14,15 [When Moses refused to speak as the Lord’s messenger and leader, the Lord showed him to use Aaron to work in teamwork.] And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
* 1 Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
* Isaiah 41:6 They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.
* Acts 15:36,41 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the Word of the Lord, and see how they do. … 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming [strengthening] the churches. [See also Acts 11:22,23.]
* Acts 28:15 [During his travels Paul was encouraged by the fellowship of the brethren.] And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.
* Romans 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
* 1 John 1:7 [True godly fellowship helps keep us right with the Lord.] But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. [See also Galatians 6:1,2.]
9. Because we love the Lord and His Word, we naturally seek the companionship of those who are like-minded.
* Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts.
* Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His Name.
* Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
* 1 Thessalonians 4:9,10 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.
10. Our fellowship should be centered around the Word.
* 2 Kings 23:1-2 And the king [Josiah] sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2 And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the Words of the Book of the Covenant which was found in the house of the Lord.
* Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the Book in the Law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. [See also verses 1-8.]
* Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?
* Acts 15:30,31 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the Epistle: 31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
* Colossians 4:16 [Paul emphasizes importance of reading his letters to the churches unitedly.] And when this Epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the Epistle from Laodicea.
* 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words [about Jesus’ return]. [See verses 14-17.]
* 1 Thessalonians 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this Epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
* 1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
* 1 Corinthians 14:26 When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.