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The Discipline Of Fellowship ACTS 2:42. The Discipline Of Fellowship INTRODUCTION What are “disciplines” - Christians over the years have learned that.

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Presentation on theme: "The Discipline Of Fellowship ACTS 2:42. The Discipline Of Fellowship INTRODUCTION What are “disciplines” - Christians over the years have learned that."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Discipline Of Fellowship ACTS 2:42

2 The Discipline Of Fellowship INTRODUCTION What are “disciplines” - Christians over the years have learned that certain disciplines/practices help them keep the spiritual channels open and help keep the heart turned toward God. These disciplines can't save you in and of themselves; they can't even make you a holy person, but they can assist you in becoming one. They can heighten your desire, awareness, and love of God by stripping down the barriers that you put up within yourself and some that others put up for you.desire

3 The Discipline Of Fellowship What makes something a 'spiritual discipline' is that it takes a specific part of your way of life and turns it toward God. A spiritual discipline is, when practiced faithfully and regularly, a habit or regular pattern in your life that repeatedly brings you back to God and opens you up to what God is saying to you. Christian devotional practice is squarely centered on Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament.

4 The Discipline Of Fellowship 1. One of the most prominent aspects of the early Church was that of “Fellowship”. Actually it is one of the first things mentioned as part of the Christian life after the Church is established.

5 The Discipline Of Fellowship 2. Therefore one of the key “spiritual disciplines” of the Church is that of fellowship... a. The Greek word for “Fellowship”is “koi’no-nia” and means "to share in, fellowship with, participation" – CWSD b. The early church continued "steadfastly in...fellowship" - Acts 2:42Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

6 The Discipline Of Fellowship 3. The point is that Christians did things together... a. They assembled together for worship b. They spent time together in such activities as prayer, singing, etc. c. They valued their time together as something beneficial, something important. It was “Spiritual Growth” that took place then and needs to be taking place - TODAY.

7 The Discipline Of Fellowship 4. To grow spiritually, we need to exercise ourselves unto godliness, and fellowship with other Christians is an important spiritual exercise. 1 Timothy 4:7 states -1 Timothy 4:7 “But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.” To appreciate why, consider...

8 The Discipline Of Fellowship I. THE NEED FOR FELLOWSHIP 1. There was such a need for Fellowship then and that Need is still present today. To get to know each other, to strengthen each other, to care for each other. But is does not seem to be as important to us today as it was then……

9 The Discipline Of Fellowship A. THE PROBLEM OF SELF-CENTEREDNESS For some reason many Christians do not value their time with other Christians, why is that do you suppose –

10 The Discipline Of Fellowship 2. This is evidenced by members through Sporadic or complete lack of attendance of; a. regular church services b. Men’s Devotionals. Breakfasts c. Ladies Bible Studies, Ladies Day Retreats d. Failure to support gospel meetings and “singings” at home and elsewhere e. Lack of interest in home Bible studies f. Unwillingness to extend or accept offers of hospitality g. “FELLOWSHIP” Meals – “Devotionals” of many types

11 The Discipline Of Fellowship 3. The main reason is the problem of self- centeredness a.) Interested only in things pertaining to themselves b.) Little concern for the needs or cares of others -- Self-centeredness is a real problem for many Christians today

12 The Discipline Of Fellowship B. THE REASON FOR SELF-CENTEREDNESS Many of us lived through the "Me Decade" a. The 1970's, distinguished by self-centered attitudes and Self-indulgent behavior b. A time in which there was... 1) A rapid rise of crime against others - rape, theft, assault, murder, etc. ( Stealing hay, cattle, etc.) 2) An increased use of drugs and alcohol as a way of escape responsibility to others including family

13 The Discipline Of Fellowship 3) A turn to philosophies and religions which involves the preoccupation with self: a) "Looking Out For #1" b) Pleasing Self instead of pleasing God 4) An emphasis on consumerism and materialistic gain a. A decade followed by the "Greed Decade" (the 1980's) “Get all I can for me and me alone.”

14 The Discipline Of Fellowship 2. Cultural trends today have produced many self- centered people a. We live in a highly mobile society 1) New families move in, and others move away 2) Many live great distances from the place of worship and from each other and many times that is with the purpose of having an excuse to stay to ones self to be able to say “that’s too far to drive”. 3.) Many of these same people will get up at 5:30 am to drive all the way to Florida to a Football Game.

15 The Discipline Of Fellowship b. Technology that is designed to bring us closer together, but it actually has moved us apart 1) Cell Phones, , etc., greatly increase our ability to communicate (but I can not tell you more than 1 or 2 phone numbers of anyone) 2) But we can become stretched out so thin even through such technology that we do not develop meaningful relationships.

16 The Discipline Of Fellowship c. Parents have given their duties of parenting over to technology, they don’t “TALK” with the children, they are never with their children. (I know by what I see on “FACE BOOK” from time to time.) -- Such things have made it much easier to become isolated from one another (Do we really know who each other really is?) I can not help but wonder how much Gossip and Personal Hurt would cease if we knew more about each other?

17 The Discipline Of Fellowship The problems of self-centeredness and isolation can be greatly reduced through the spiritual discipline of fellowship. Allow me to explain what I mean by describing...

18 The Discipline Of Fellowship II. THE PRACTICE OF FELLOWSHIP A. THROUGH ASSEMBLIES OF THE CHURCH We assemble regularly to exhort one another Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 10: This we do through worship services and Bible classes other important events that take place within the “family”. 3. Each time we assemble, we have fellowship with one another, we build each other up -

19 The Discipline Of Fellowship -- Faithful attendance of all the services of the church contributes greatly to fellowship. Once this fellowship is truly established – why would we want anything different?

20 The Discipline Of Fellowship 4. A main goal in such assemblies is mutual edification – 1 Corinthians 14:26 “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”1 Corinthians 14:26

21 The Discipline Of Fellowship B. THROUGH BIBLE STUDIES IN THE HOME Early Christians often met in their homes for Bible study – Acts 5:42; 20:20Acts 5:4220:20 2. Such settings allow for personal attention and application of Scripture -- Involvement in “home” Bible studies provides wonderful opportunity for fellowship a way of getting to know each other.

22 The Discipline Of Fellowship C. THROUGH VISITING OTHER BRETHREN Area churches often have special events like gospel meetings, singings. 2. This provides the opportunity for fellowship with brethren in other places - Philippians 1: 3-5 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4. always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5. for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,”Philippians 1: Attending gospel meetings, singings, lectureships, ladies and men’s retreats are a great way to experience fellowship

23 The Discipline Of Fellowship Any occasion to be with brethren to praise God and study His word is an opportunity to practice the discipline of fellowship. To encourage such practices, let me conclude by briefly mentioning…

24 The Discipline Of Fellowship III. THE BENEFIT OF FELLOWSHIP A. TO FULFILL OUR DUTIES TO ONE ANOTHER To have a care for one another - 1Cointhians 12:261Cointhians 12:26 2. To teach and admonish one another - Colossians 3:16Colossians 3:16 3. To serve one another in love - Galatians 5:13Galatians 5:13 4. To pray for one another - James 5:16James 5:16 5. To restore one another - James 5:19-20James 5: To be hospitable to one another – 1 Peter 4:91 Peter 4:9

25 The Discipline Of Fellowship -- When we fellowship frequently, such duties are more likely met B. TO RECEIVE HELP FROM ONE ANOTHER We need encouragement to remain faithful - Hebrews 3:12-14 Hebrews 3: We need comfort in times of tribulation – 2 Corinthians 1:3-52 Corinthians 1:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:111 Thessalonians 5:11

26 The Discipline Of Fellowship a.Note that comfort comes from two sources: from God and each another b. Thus God comforts both directly and indirectly -- When we fellowship frequently, we are blessed by one another's faith and comfort

27 The Discipline Of Fellowship CONCLUSION 1. As we think of the various "Disciplines For The Disciple"... a. Let us not limit such spiritual exercises that can be done alone b. Let us also value spiritual exercises that we can do together 2. In our desire to exercise ourselves unto godliness.. a. Beware of the danger of self-centeredness and isolation b. Be aware of the value of assembling together in our churches and in our homes Through such fellowship with other Christians we will grow in grace and godliness as disciples of Christ… Portions borrowed from Mark Copeland

28 What MUST You Do to Be Saved? Hear The Word Of God Romans 10:17 Believe His Word Mark 16:16, John 8:24 Repent of your sins Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38 Confess your belief Romans 10:10, Acts 8:37 Be Baptized Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38 For the Remission of Your Sins Acts 22:16 Galatians 3:26, 27 Live Faithfully Titus 2:11-14


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