The Discipline Of Fellowship
ACTS 2:42
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.
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.
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.
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 2:42
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles'
doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of
bread, and in prayers.”
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.
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 “But reject profane and old wives' fables, and
exercise yourself toward godliness.”
To appreciate why, consider...
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……
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A. THE PROBLEM OF SELF-CENTEREDNESS...
1. For some reason many Christians do not
value their time with other Christians, why is
that do you suppose –
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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
The Discipline Of Fellowship
3. The main reason is the problem of selfcenteredness
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
The Discipline Of Fellowship
B. THE REASON FOR SELF-CENTEREDNESS...
1. 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
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.”
The Discipline Of Fellowship
2. Cultural trends today have produced many selfcentered 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.
The Discipline Of Fellowship
b. Technology that is designed to bring us closer
together, but it actually has moved us apart
1) Cell Phones, email, 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.
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?
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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...
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II. THE PRACTICE OF FELLOWSHIP
A. THROUGH ASSEMBLIES OF THE CHURCH...
1. We assemble regularly to exhort one another
Hebrews 10:24-25
2. 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 -
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-- 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?
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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.”
The Discipline Of Fellowship
B. THROUGH BIBLE STUDIES IN THE HOME...
1. Early Christians often met in their homes for
Bible study – Acts 5:42; 20:20
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.
The Discipline Of Fellowship
C. THROUGH VISITING OTHER BRETHREN...
1. 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,”
-- Attending gospel meetings, singings, lectureships,
ladies and men’s retreats are a great way to
experience fellowship
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…
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III. THE BENEFIT OF FELLOWSHIP
A. TO FULFILL OUR DUTIES TO ONE ANOTHER...
1. To have a care for one another - 1Cointhians 12:26
2. To teach and admonish one another - Colossians
3:16
3. To serve one another in love - Galatians 5:13
4. To pray for one another - James 5:16
5. To restore one another - James 5:19-20
6. To be hospitable to one another – 1 Peter 4:9
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-- When we fellowship frequently, such duties are
more likely met
B. TO RECEIVE HELP FROM ONE ANOTHER...
1. We need encouragement to remain faithful Hebrews 3:12-14
2. We need comfort in times of tribulation –
2 Corinthians 1:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
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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
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
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

The Discipline Of Fellowship ACTS 2:42