Fellowship - A Silent Sermon

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13.35).

As followers of Jesus, we are certainly to be conscious of the way in which we conduct our relationships. One-half of the greatest commandments pertain to our love for our neighbors, and the phrase one another has been recorded over one-hundred times in the pages of the New Testament. There is no doubt a scriptural emphasis on the love that we have for one another inside the church of Christ, and how that love enters reality in the form of action.

Our lives are meant to be a living sacrifice before God, and to light the way for an unbelieving world—to show others what following Christ means and looks like. It should be noted then, that our obedience to the commands, direction and guidance of God in his word regarding our need for Christian fellowship are an important aspect of our living evidence for the gospel of Christ. If we do not have strong redemptive relationships inside the church, where we regularly expose one another to the person of Jesus Christ, we will have little strength to invite others to know the love of Jesus Christ.

Our deep, authentic fellowship preaches a silent sermon. It tells the world a few things;
  • Christian love is not contingent on common interests, backgrounds, socioeconomic position, shared career or any earthly thing.
  • It is worth it to humble oneself and make oneself vulnerable with trustworthy people who are striving to follow Christ. 
  • The Christian faith and the God of the Bible are real, living and active.
  • Relationships that are Christ-centered can be life-changing in a positive direction.

However, when we choose to forego our relationships with other believers, we preach just the opposite to a lost world;
  • Christian love is only extended when convenient, easy and fun.
  • We should be guarded and not allow others into our hearts. 
  • The Christian faith is a Sunday-morning thing, and I see my ‘church friends’ apart from the rest of my life.
  • Relationships that are Christ-centered are not worth pursuing.

Which sermon do you want to preach with your life? Our relationships with other believers may be a place where we can be hurt—that’s true. They are also a place where we can heal and grow together as disciples.

CA

Cain Atkinson

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