Sincere and earnest love in God’s family

I’m not a fan of Rick Warren, but this quote that appeared today in my Hubzilla feed is quite good and represents fairly well the type of relationship that the Lord provides us in the church of God.

If you are a member of a small group or class, I urge you to make a group covenant that includes the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make group a priority (frequency).

The “group covenant” he speaks of might better be described as every saint’s commitment to obey the Lord and to love sincerely and intensely one’s family in Christ, 1 Pet 1.22-23:

You have purified your souls by obeying the truth in order to show sincere mutual love. So love one another earnestly from a pure heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

Other terms and phrases could also stand a tweak, but the above quote captures much of the interaction necessary to be a true people of God. Of course, Warren misses most of the biblical pattern for the nature of the church and the way of salvation, truths about which we must be receptive and honest before we can truly love the Lord and his people.

#church #brotherly-love #fellowship

What does ‘fellowship’ mean?

By Nelson Smith, commenting on Phil 2.1-2

What do we know of the “communion of the Holy Spirit?” Or the “fellowship of the Spirit?” What meaning does it have for us?

I preached for a church where they had a “fellowship committee.” Its primary work was to organize “fellowships” where the main topic (and activity) was food. Sometimes a little more than that but that does seem to be a common “vice” (?) of many whose taste-buds are out of control.

What does fellowship mean? Continue reading

#fellowship, #holy-spirit, #philippians

The life we share in the body of Christ

The apostle Paul practiced what he urged the Roman saints to do in Rom 12.15, to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep:”

Christians are joined in the body of Christ. What happens to one affects the other. “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation?” 2 Cor 11.29. —QBT

In English we use the figure of speech about being joined at the hip. (Is that phrase still politically correct?) It means that people are very closely connected. Continue reading

#body-of-christ, #fellowship, #unity

6-24-2015 Let’s Come Together

When tragedy strikes, whether natural (such as tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or volcano), man-made (such as automobile wrecks, construction failures, or industrial disasters), or evil-doings (such as mass murders, beheadings, rapes, abuse or neglect of children, or abortions), people call for everyone to “come together” and share in the grief and concern. Isn’t that what the church of Christ is all about? Those who obey the Gospel of Christ are added to His church for worship of God and fellowship with one another. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13 NKJV). “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NKJV). It’s as close as your Bible!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#baptized, #blood-of-jesus-christ, #church-of-christ, #fellowship, #tragedy

I try not to judge but when I…

I try not to judge but when I see a bird that looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has webbed feet like a duck and hangs around in the company of ducks; it is difficult to dispute the conclusion that it must be a duck. Someone has said, “Bird of a feather flock together.” People tend to gravitate to where they feel most comfortable. When the apostle Peter was released from prison, he didn’t go to the local tavern or a nightclub, he headed to a prayer-meeting. He knew where he belonged. On the other hand, when I see church folk who are more comfortable mixing it up with the world than with their brethren, I wonder about the genuineness of their profession. The apostle John says, “We know that we have passed from life to death, because we love the brethren.” If we don’t love the brethren, maybe it is because we belong to the other crowd. This is Just-A-Minute

#birds-of-a-feather, #brethren, #fellowship, #just-a-minute

Blest be the tie that blinds?

We sing “blest be the tie binds” but to enjoy it we must be aware of the ties that blind.

  • Jesus warned about the consequences of loving our closest kin more than him (Matthew 10:34-37).
  • Paul warned about being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers who prevent us from doing God’s will (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
  • John warned about supporting false teachers who cloud the clarity of sound doctrine (2 John 1:8-11).
  • Peter warned about the dangers of peer-pressure as we seek to live a godly life (1 Peter 4:1-5).
  • James warned about the results of being a friend to the world’s way of doing things (James 4:4).
  • Jude warned about those who would seek fellowship while wreaking havoc of the very grace that brings it together (Jude 1:3-5).

God’s word is plain enough – there is a tie a binds us to him, but to enjoy it we must untie and avoid the binds that will blind us to the fellowship of the heavenly sorts.

So which song are we going to sing?

#bare-bones-outline, #fellowship, #stumbling-block

So how are you different by being like everyone else?

different-sameTwitter is rolling out its new profile formats, which resemble Facebook, which in turn changed to look more like Google+. It must presage the Great Convergence. Run!

Google, I believe I wrote earlier, is working off an ancient functional idea for its format: the 3×5 card. Simplicity rules. Except in the Lord’s church, where not a few want to complicate by innovation.

¶ Speaking of which, last night in our home reading group, we read all of 1 Corinthians 4, in which Paul apparently makes yet another application of that well known rule among Christians: “Don’t go beyond what is written” v. 6. Continue reading

#corollaries, #fellowship, #make-every-effort, #progressives