The Fellowship of the Church

The Fellowship of the Church


I don’t know if you’ve ever lived in a rural
part of the world where there are shepherds and sheep, but if you have you notice something
happening when the shepherd appears and as he gathers in his sheep using his sheepdog
they not only come near to the shepherd but as they’re brought near to the shepherd they
are inevitably brought nearer to one another so that when we are called to faith in Jesus
Christ we’re called not only to come to Him but to come nearer to each other. Or there’s
the picture of the father and the family or the picture of the head and the body. And
so many of these pictures of what it means to be a Christian are pictures of what it
means to belong to the fellowship of the church. You remember the picture Peter uses. We are
like living stones being built into a temple. I think it was probably easier to put dead
stones into a temple. Dead stones make a noise when you chisel them, but once you’ve chiseled
them they’re done forever. That’s not true of Christians, is it? As God chisels us to
fit together, He’s constantly having to re-chisel us because He wants us not just to be isolated
individuals; He wants us to be a new community. Now this is something we really need to understand
in the 21st century because we live in a day when families are dysfunctional, when communities
are dysfunctional, when governments sometimes seem out of control; and it’s within that
context that the church of Jesus Christ can shine. We may be past the sell date for simply giving
individual testimony to Jesus Christ because people in our postmodern culture say, “Well,
if that works for you, then that’s fine. It’s never worked for me and I’m not really interested.”
And so you see, there is no purchase sometimes in other people’s lives by the testimony that
we give. But when there is a new community, men and women who watch that new community
realize there is no parallel to this anywhere to be found. There is nowhere else they can
look to see this kind of community, to see things functioning the way they function.
They may even hate what the Christian church stands for but in a strange way simultaneously
be marvelously attracted to the product of the gospel, and that gives the gospel purchase
on their lives so that they say, “What on earth is the secret of this new community?”
And the answer is the secret is not to be found on earth; the secret is to be found
in the Savior who came from heaven.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

8 Comments

  1. Living together (helping & encouraging each other) as a community of brethren loving Jesus is good. But that analogy shouldn't be used to promote the act of attending a church building as an essential aspect of loving Christ.

  2. I'm usually made mildly both sad and indignant when I hear someone say that they're a Christian, but they're not (nor do they believe it important to be) joined to a church. Often times this amounts to them rejecting what they term "formal religion".

    But the bride of Christ has a form and, as Sinclair states here, it's within the church that this forming is taking place.

    He loves His bride and is uniting her to himself. So if you don't think much of His lady, be careful. He loved her enough to die for her. You may want to weigh your opinion of her with His opinion in mind.

  3. Show me a church that has something more than a joker in its pulpit, then bring it to my community, and then I will join it.

  4. Right now the Christian Church as a whole is a mess. But our God can handle a mess and bring order to it. So even though the 'fig tree has not yet put forth its green shoots', which I take to mean the maturing and coming together of the body of Christ, yet it will do so and when it does, the Lord will be at the door. So don't give up, keep watch, it will all be worth it in the end.

  5. Jesus Gospel: as He Spoke HIMSELF..in Matthew 5 6 7. "Obey My Sayings and Seek Me and My Righteousness..and I will Give you everything you Need and Deliver you from evil." that is Jesus Gospel and Jesus Promise. Jesus Saved me from Church where I was taught much false doctrine by Pauls Heirachy of titled church men. If we are going to be a community..someone Needs to teach what Jesus Taught..not opinions of every Tom Dick and Harry in the bible. Jesus is the Only True Source and True Teacher. He Delivered me from evil..after I had suffered enough.

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