February 27, 2017
Child of God, you are never alone.
Christian spirituality is more than an individual faith, it is a corporate reality as well—a fellowship.
2 Corinthians 13:14
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
You are never alone. Even if all your friends and loved ones were taken from you, you would still not be alone. Our Christian fellowship is rooted in the fellowship within the Trinity:
- The Father with the Son,
- The Son with Father,
- The Father with the Spirit,
- The Spirit with the Father,
- The Son with the Spirit, and
- The Spirit with the Son.
We came from God.
The most amazing truth is that our very existence is rooted in the existence of the Triune God—we came from God. When Adam and Eve sinned and passed on their sinful nature to us, a barrier fell to earth and barred us from fellowship with God, just as the angel with the flaming sword barred re-entry into Eden. For centuries the sin barrier remained. The Old Covenant provided forgiveness in the innocent blood of animals. Fellowship with God was based in symbolic worship and the common bond of the Word of God.
It took a Roman cross on a Judean hill to break this barrier of sin—Jesus came as the final, innocent Lamb. Just as the veil in the Temple gave way to the mercy of God for all of mankind, the sin barrier between each of us and our Creator was destroyed by the death of the Lamb of God. When we repent of our sins and confess the Lordship of Christ, we are welcomed back into fellowship with Almighty God.
Fellowship, not isolation
As personal as our reception of communion with God may be, it is not done in isolation. Communion with God initiates communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter how alone you may feel, you cannot know who among your faith family is praying for you at any moment. The same Holy Spirit who abides in your heart, abides in their hearts, leading and empowering them. Their effectual, fervent prayers avail much—in your behalf.
The New Covenant disciple should enjoy close fellowship with a group of intimate friends from the church. These companions share our faith, our passions, our interests, and even our sense of humor. Some call this an accountability group and certainly our friends should function as that, but this fellowship goes deeper than that. Miles may separate these friends but distance does not break this fellowship. Words of affirmation and admonition as well as humorous comment and heartfelt confession sustain these relationships without reference to passing time or diminishing ability.
“In the midst of the congregation”
On the Lord’s Day we gather with the local expression of the whole family of God as our fellowship with God and His Covenant people draws us another step closer to heaven. One of the most important prepositional phrase in the Scripture is, “In the midst of the congregation.” If we are to feel the presence of God in our quiet, lonely moments when we are tempted to feel alone, we must be well schooled in the fellowship of Grace at all levels: Our fellowship with the church, with our closest friends, and our fellowship with God, Father, Son, and Spirit.
Your procession has come into view, O God, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary. In front are the singers, after them the musicians, with them are the maidens playing tambourines. Praise God in the great congregation; praise the LORD in the assembly of Israel.
Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.
I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.
1 John 1:7 7;3:14
…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Matthew 28:20 NKJV
I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Lord Jesus, Even when I cannot feel Your presence I know You are still with me. You have promised to never leave me and You haven’t. Expand my heart, O Lord, that I might learn from You how to love and have fellowship with others. Help me pay closer attention to people around me, to hear a note in their voice that may be a call for help, to see a look that signals trouble within. Help me be an encourager of others, helping them to walk more closely with You. For when others do this, they are also closer to me, and as promised, walking together in the Light, we have fellowship with one another. For Your glory, Lord. Amen.
The Family of God
Words and Music: Bill Gaither
1. You will notice we say “brother and sister” ’round here,
It’s because we’re a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family, The Family of God..
2. From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I’m not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong!
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved