How would you explain the church to someone who has absolutely no knowledge of Christianity? Would you describe a building? Or perhaps an assembly of people who meet to sing songs and listen to a sermon? Or does it go infinitely deeper than that? Click to check out a clip from this week’s video – “BASIC. Fellowship.”
As we grow and mature in God, we begin to realize that the Christian walk goes way beyond our individual relationship with God. We are a part of something much bigger. We are called to be a part of a body – the Church! And when we look at this idea of fellowship in the early New Testament, we see that the whole concept goes much, much deeper than warm, fuzzy feelings for each other:
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had… And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. (Acts 4:32-33, NIV)
This is a kind of fellowship that takes action! It’s a kind of fellowship and sharing that makes the world stop and take note! Jesus even says that is this kind of communion and supernatural unity which gives legitimacy to the gospel message – it’s what makes it all believable: “that they may be one as we are one-I in them and you in me-so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23, NIV).
You know, I think that there are times when we all feel that it’s way easier to do this Christian thing on our own. But that’s not how God designed it. As Pastor Chan points out in his message, we absolutely need each other to show Christ to the world: “I can tell you, Jesus forgives you, Jesus forgives you, Jesus is forgiving. But that’s not enough. God says, ‘I want you to show Jesus to the world.’ So that means I need my brothers and sisters around me, and we offend one another, but we keep forgiving. And then suddenly the world looks on and goes, ‘I’ve never seen that before.'”
As we stop and think about the implications of this kind of radical fellowship, we realize that what Christ is calling us to do is be a family – to have each other’s backs 24/7, no matter what comes our way. It’s a hefty responsibility, but it’s not something that we have to try to force. The Holy Spirit, as we discussed last week, is the one who is going to make it happen. We choose whether we’re going to be a part of it or not.
Check out this last video – “Gangs and the Church“:
(Videos and quoted materials taken from http://basicseries.com/)