Christian Fellowship – Notes/Study Sheet
(I John 1:1-3)
* Upon conversion, we’re called into fellowship w/God, Christ, and Holy Spirit (I John 1:3; I Cor. 1:9; II Cor. 13:14).
* Christians enjoy fellowship w/each other (I John 1:7).
* Lord’s prayer (John 17:20-21) –
* Acts 2:42 –
* Acts 4:32 –
* Negative aspect to fellowship, too.
- Righteousness should have no fellowship/w darkness (Eph. 5:11).
- I Cor. 6:14 –
- I Cor. 5:10 –
- Evil companions corrupt good morals (I Cor. 15:33).
- We cannot be part of other men’s sins (I Tim. 5:22).
* We can’t avoid contact with others (I Cor. 5:10).
- Why? –
* Christians cannot be part of common religious services w/non-believers (I John 1:6-7).
* Eating of sacrificial meats (I Cor. 10:14-33)
* Association w/non-Christian groups regarding moral issues.
* Definition of discipline –
I. From Whom Do We Restrict Fellowship?
* Rebelliously immoral (I Cor. 5)
* Apostates (Luke 8:13; I Tim. 4:1)
* Teachers of false doctrine (Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10)
* Beware differing opinions among brethren.
* How do we know when to limit fellowship due to false teaching?
- Is the person a babe in Christ or veteran Christian?
- What’s the nature of the error?
II. Limited Fellowship
* Sometimes, fellowship isn’t withdrawn as it should be for various reasons (no elders, weak leadership, ignorance, etc.)
* What can be done? Christians must apply pressure.
- Preachers (even false ones) need financial assistance (Phil 4:14-17). We can withhold it to starve false doctrine.
- Inform other Christians of false teachers. Deny them a pulpit or bulletin space.
- II Thess. 3:6. Withhold fellowship from erring, impenitent brethren until they repent (hopefully they will).
Our plea is for balance within Christian brotherhood. We will neither fellowship false teachers nor withdraw fellowship over matters of opinion.
R.W. McAlister 1/11/09 a.m.