groups values wondering right bsl groups3 I had become judgmental of the larger body of Christ. I must really be growing. Koinonia implies more than just socializing at church parties or chatting on the churchs front lawn after Sunday service. Fellowship begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. Job Postings, Multiply Vineyard No one comes to the Father, but through me. Most Christians, even baby Christians, are familiar with this passage of Scripture. This quality of relationship contrasts sharply with the faith of many modern Christians, who narrow their relationship with God to individualistic concerns like repentance and conversion, prayer and Scripture study, personal righteousness and evangelism. In John 14:6-15, Jesus says to the apostles, I am the way and the truth and the life. Even before Jesus began his public ministry, at his baptism, he split the heavens and spoke, saying, This is my kid, and I really like him. The biblical concept of fellowship is important to understand and live out. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.. In small groups we learn how to love the unlovely, thus fulfilling the command of Christ. But in his heart Jesus deeply loves his body, those people who are born of the Spirit of God and who know the Father. How were they able to live out this type of closeness? Jesus and the Father are one and always have been one. I really approve of him. But God has called us to grow to maturity in the body of Christ. In many instances this passage led them to put their faith in Christ! They also knew how to keep confidences and protect each other. Commitment to Christ is commitment to Christs body. Articles Memorize his word. Fellowship is the garden in which the fruits of the Spirit multiply, the place in which eternal life is lived out here on earth. And Jesus has invited us into this quality of relationship with the Father. Read full disclaimer. In the early church there was a relationship between the warmth of heart toward God and generosity toward each other. They helped each other with lifes many difficulties, bearing each others burdens and fulfilling the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). Look at all these verses I have memorized. That was how the Bible memory course motivated me: You want to grow in Christ? Read full disclaimer. The word means holding our lives in common. First-century Christians demonstrated that meaning through spiritual, social, and material generosity toward one another. Events Jesus words confused Philip. The Greek word commonly translated fellowship (koinoniasee Acts 4:42 and 1 John 1:3) has no exact English equivalent. Vineyard Missions I had memorized many verses, but few were worked out in my life. God spoke to me about loving the things he loves: he loves his church, he loves the whole church Protestant and Catholic, Orthodox and Anabaptist. rappers 1990s rapper Within these communities, they gained strength, support, and protection from the corroding influences of the world. Jesus said only words that the Father told him to say, he did only deeds the Father told him to do, he performed only works that the Father performed. Because of this closeness the early church was careful about conversational patterns like slander and gossip, recognizing how dangerous out of control tongues can be. But in fact I was growing little. Boy, I thought, I must really be mature. Vineyard Resources Core Values & Beliefs Thus they were well prepared to face anything the devil might throw at them when they went out into the world. I believe everything you learn in the Bible is tested by being in a group of people that rub you raw. I was still biting my wifes head off, yelling at my kids, and damaging my relationships in a thousand ways. A few years agoGod showed me I had sinned many times: against the body of Christ. VineyardUSA.org features voices of many speakers, authors, and contributors. We are called to attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, growing up in every way into him who is the head, into God, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love (Eph 4:13, 15-16). We are also called to community, a sharing of help, gifts, resources, and problems. Theologians would say they are one in nature, though they are two distinct persons. The Father was so pleased with him. Over the years I have observed that growing churches usually have well developed small groups. Vineyard Digital Membership, Privacy Policy Lord, Philip asks, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. Jesus answers, Dont you know me, Philip? If you want to know the Father, Jesus says, you must know me., But few Christians realize this truth also informs us about the basis for our relationship with brothers and sisters. Small groups are also the basis for Christian community today. We have been called to love the things Jesus loves, so we have no choice but to love the whole church even denominations whose beliefs we may not agree with or those parts we do not understand. Sometimes we are the ones in need of special love and support to get us through difficult times. 2021 Vineyard USA. When we make a commitment to Christ we make a commitment to his purpose in the world, which is to have a healthy, unified body, the people of God. Am I growing, Lord? I remember when I was memorizing Scripture, eventually memorizing about a thousand verses. Fellowship with brothers and sisters for early Christians was a result and an expression of their fellowship with God in Christ and in the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor 1:9; Phil 2:1; 1 John 1:3). They are where people can relate, can actually live out the gospel. Find a church So the basis for knowing and experiencing fellowship with brothers and sisters is entering a relationship with the Father through the Son. Terms & Conditions It appears they facilitated a common life through small groups, such as the churches that met in homes (Rom 15:5, 1 -15; 1 Thes 5:27; Col 4:15). So close were these relationships that the early Christians did not see themselves as isolated individuals but as members one of another, in communities where individuals grew to spiritual maturity and cooperated with each other in advancing Gods kingdom. Paul, in Ephesians 4:2 says, Be completely humble and gentle with one another in love. I have often thought, How can people love each other if they never relate personally? That is the point of small groups. Years ago as a new Christian, I thought my personal pilgrimage with God was the essence of Christianity. The early Christians often met in one anothers homes, ate together, and took a practical concern for each others material needs (Acts 4:32). I publicly repented of my divisive attitude. I am pleased with him.. Vineyard Worship VineyardUSA.org features voices of many speakers, authors, and contributors. This is one of the most profound and important teachings in Scripture. Commitment to Christ is commitment to Christs body. I used to evaluate my maturity repeatedly. Contact Us. I dont mean he loves all the things different Christians believe and do. - John Wimber. Founder, Association of Vineyard Churches. Loving one another is not just another good idea; it is one of Christs great blessings. I will use fellowship in this article to mean a common sharing of the grace and of the blessings of God, a definition that comes close to the biblical idea of koinonia.