foundation truth

lesson 11 - fellowship

“They continued steadfastly… in Fellowship…” Acts 2:42 “That all men might see the Fellowship of the Mystery…” Ephesians 3:9

WHAT IS FELLOWSHIP?

  • A popular Greek word is “Koinonia,” which means, “the act of using a thing in common.” Koinonia is translated:
    • Fellowship: companionship; mutual sharing; a gathering of people having the same interests.
    • Communion: to have in common; to share by all; participation, partnership.

WITH WHOM ARE WE TO FELLOWSHIP?

Fellowship must be two-fold in order to be effective, both Godward and manward:

  • Vertical fellowship with God
    • Fellowship with the Father – I John 1:3
    • Fellowship with the Son – I Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 1:3
    • Fellowship with the Spirit – Philippians 2:1; II Corinthians 13:14
    • This Fellowship is expressed in prayer, praise, worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23, 24
  • Horizontal fellowship with mankind

There must also be two-way communication between believers: fellowshipping with one another. I John 1:7; Paul speaks about the right hand of fellowship. Galatians 2:9; He also speaks about the honor of supplying the needs of the saints. II Corinthians 8:4

  • Spiritual—Acts 2:42
    • Praying together.
    • Singing, praising, and worshipping together.
    • Sharing together in testimony, exhortation, encouragement: edifying one another through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
    • Ministry of the Word: Apostles’ doctrine. Acts 2:42
    • Communion: breaking of bread.

In this way, believers can be “emptied from vessel to vessel” in fellowship with each other. Jeremiah 48:11

  • Practical—Acts 2:44-46; I Timothy 5:8
    • Fellowshipping in the home. Acts 2:46
    • Meeting (material needs). Acts 2:45, 4:35
    • Sharing. Hebrews 13:16
    • Distributing to the needs of the saints. Romans 12:13
    • Hospitality. Romans 12:13
    • Getting to know and appreciating each other, Fellowship becomes the way of life. There is joy in real fellowship, meeting and sharing in spiritual, practical, and social needs.

WITH WHAT ARE WE FORBIDDEN TO FELLOWSHIP?

  • The world – Ephesians 5:11; Psalm 94:20
  • Satanic Spirits – I Corinthians 10:20
  • Unrighteousness – II Corinthians 6:14
  • False Religion – II Peter 2; Jude 4
  • False Doctrine – II John 1:9-11; Galatians 1:7-10

ARE WE TO BREAK FELLOWSHIP OVER DOCTRINE?

Any doctrine which attacks the fundamental steps of the process of redemption should not be fellowshipped. The differences of opinion concerning prophetic events which are not yet fulfilled are not
sufficient grounds for breaking fellowship.

  • We must endeavor to keep the unity of Spirit until we come to the unity of the faith. Ephesians 4:3, 13 It is only as we maintain a proper spirit and attitude toward each other that we will come into a proper understanding of our mutual faith.
  • Eating different kinds of food, celebrating or not celebrating certain holidays, and racial distinctions (Jew or Gentile) are not grounds for breaking fellowship. Acts 15:24-29; Galatians
    2:9; Romans 14
  • Heresy (opinionative) is grounds for disfellowshipping. Titus 3:10; Romans 16:17; I Corinthians 11:19

WHAT ARE OTHER GROUNDS FOR BREAKING FELLOWSHIP?

Disorderly conduct – Matthew 18:15-17; I John 1:7, 2:10-11; II Thessalonians 3:6

  • Covetous – inordinately desirous, greedy.
  • Idolater – inordinately fond of a person or thing.
  • Railer – abusive language, scornful.
  • Drunkard – one who habitually drinks.
  • Extortioner – to obtain from a person by oppression or abuse of authority.
  • Fornicator – illicit sexual relationships.

Do not eat with them…
Do not keep company with them…
Love for God rules our Liberty! Galatians 5:13

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About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton

Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry. 

He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.

Dale Yerton