Sermon:  God's Family Fellowship

(2 of 8 in "Rubber Meets the Road" which is a follow up of "Your Kingdom Come Series")

Summary:  As part of God's desire that we engage the world for his mission, we have a distinct 
Christian fellowship with fellow believers that God creates not us, which means it is not based 
on 100% agreement but on God's work; so our part is to recognize it and live it through 
expressions of unified missional ministry.

Know:  The theological foundation of Christian fellowship lies not in 100% agreement on every 
little point of doctrine, but on God's acceptance through Christ and our honest faith in him.

Feel:  A desire to strengthen brotherly ties to Christian brethren

Do:  Keeping the slogan in mind - We are a Christ Centered Family, Learning, Sharing and 
Caring, and keeping the theological basis of Christian fellowship in mind as presented in this 
sermon, discuss what currently happens that is good for fellowship, what needs to be improved, 
what needs to stop happening, and what needs to start happening.

Text:  1 Cor 12:13-26

Scripture Reading:  Ps 133:1

1.  What is Fellowship?
	a.  When growing up, people used to refer to potlucks and getting together
	b.  Usually thought of social functions
	c.  There is this, but it is much deeper
2.  This morning we will look at "Christian" fellowship

I.  Christian fellowship is God's creation
	A.  Begin by looking at the definition of the word
		1.  Koinonia - Sharing, participation, fellowship
		2.  Idea of the root "koin" word is "common"
		3.  "Koine" Greek refers to the "common" language
		4.  What we have in common as Christian is basis of our fellowship
	B.  Basis of Christian fellowship
		1.  It is in the work of God
			a. (Eph 2:13-16) - Brought near by the blood of Christ
			b  (1 Cor 12:13) - By one Spirit, immersed into one body
				1)  It is God's creation
					- By one Spirit
					- v.18 - God placed members where he wants
				2)  v.14-20 - All are important
				3)  (v.21-26) - More honor to that which lacks
			c.  (1 John 1:6-7) - Fellowship with God tied to one another
			d.  Rom 14-15 -  Underlying principle (13:8-10) - Love 
				1)  (14:2-6) - God accepts us in integrity of our heart
				2)  (14:13) - Don't judge, no selfish stumbling block
				3)  (14:19) - Pursue the things that make for peace
				4)  (15:7) - Accept one another as Christ has
					- 16:17 - Turn away from those who cause 
					- Not based on 100% correct agreement
		2.  Fellowship with God is related to fellowship with each other
			a.  Matt 5:23-24 - When coming to worship God offering
				1) If brother something against you, make it right first
				2) There is both a vertical and horizontal dimension
			b.  1 Pet 3:7 - Live with wives in understanding way, honor 
			      her as fellow heir so that your prayers not hindered
				1) How this hinder prayers?
				2) If not treat wife right, it affect relationship with God
		3.  Principle:
			a.  Cannot be right with God and wrong with the brethren
			b.   Cannot be wrong with God and right with the brethren
	C.  God created a triangle of fellowship - God, your brethren, yourself
		1.  If you break fellowship with God, you break triangle and break 
		     fellowship with your brother
			- If you break fellowship with your brother, you also break 
			   fellowship with God
		2.  What we need to do is strengthen fellowship with God and 
		     brethren - The two are connected
	D.  Implications:
		1.  We don't decide who to fellowship, God has done this
		2.  We recognize our brethren and affirm them
		3.  **How do we do this?…  

II.  Christian fellowship is expressive
	A.  It goes beyond just a biblical fact 
	B.  Example of expressions of Christian Fellowship
		1.  (Mt 25:34-40) - Caring, hospitality, sharing
			a.  This is talking specifically about ministry to brethren
				1)  v.40 - To the least of these "brothers of mine"
				2)  When ministering to brethren, it is to Christ
				3) When you reject brethren, reject Christ
			b.  Brethren often were in need
				1) Thrown in prison for faith, brethren came to them
				2) Shunned from society, often became destitute
			c.  Acts 2:44-46 - They pooled their resources
			d.  Gal 6:10 - Do good to all, especially to household of faith
				1) We are to do good for all people
				2) Family comes first - our brethren
		2. Love Feasts and Communion
			a.  2 Pet 2:13; Jude 12 - Both mention Love Feasts
				- It as basically a potluck - sharing
			b.  1 Cor 10:16 - Communion
				1) The cup we bless is a "fellowship" in his blood
				2) The break we break is a "fellowship"
			c.  Eating meals together is an expression of fellowship
		3.  Ministry and Missions
			a.  "Contribution" is from "koinonia" - Sharing
			b.  2 Cor 9:13 - Sharing or "fellowship" with the famine struck 
			     saints in Jerusalem
			c.  Phil 4:14-15 - Sharing in supporting missions
			d.  Suffering for the mission and purposes of God
				1) Phil 3:10 - Fellowship of his suffering
				2) Heb 10:33 - Solidarity with persecuted brethren
				3) 2 Cor 1:7 - Sharing in suffering AND comfort
		4.  Devotion to One Another
			1. Love one another (John 13:34-35)
			2. Members of one another (Rom 12:5)
			3. Devoted to one-another in brotherly love... (Rom 12: 10)
			4. Give preference to one-another in honor... (Rom 12:10)
			5. Be of the same mind toward one another... (Rom 12:16)
			6. Build one another up (Rom 14:19)
			7. Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
			8. Admonish one another (Rom 15:14)
			9. Greet one another with a holy kiss (Rom 16:16)
			10. Wait for one another (I Cor 11:33)
			11. Care for one another (I Corinthians 12:25)
			12. Serve one another (Galatians 5:13; John 13:14)
			13. Bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2)
			14. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving... (Ephesians 4:32)
			15. Speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs... (Ephesians 5:19)
			16. Be subject to one another ... (Ephesians 5:21)
			17. Bear with one another, Forgive one another (Colossians 3:13)
			18. Do not lie to one another (Col 3:9)
			19. Teach and admonish one another... (Colossians 3:16)
			20. Encourage one another and build up one another (I Thessalonians 5:11)
			21. Live at peace with one another (I Thess 5:13)
			22. Seek after that which is good for one another (I Thessalonians 5:15)
			23. Stimulate one another to love and good deed (Heb 10:24)
			24. Encourage one another... (Hebrews 10:25)
			25. Do not speak against one another (Jas 4:11)
			26. Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another (James 5:16)
			27. Fervently love one another from the heart (I Peter 1:22)
			28. Be hospitable to one another (I Peter 4:9)
	C.  It is like family
		1.  What does family do?
			a.  Celebrate accomplishments and birthdays
			b.  Grieve together
		2.  We are God's family, we do the same
		3.  1 Cor 12:26 - One member suffers, we suffer, rejoice, we rejoice
		     Rejoice when graduate, etc.
	D.  Fellowship is reflected in our sharing with each other
		1.  Our fellowship is fun, supportive, encouraging
		2.  But there is more…
III.  Christian Fellowship is Purposeful
	A.  Fellowship and Unity was a purpose of Romans
	B.  Progression
		1.  Chap 1-8 - Justification based on faith for BOTH Jew and 
		2.  Chap 9-11 - God has not disgarded Jews
			a.  Their rejection of Christ brought about crucifixion
			b.  Salvation offered to Gentiles
			c.  Salvation offered to Jews
			d.  God does not show favoritism
		3.  Chap 12-16 - Fellowship based on Christ
			a.  Serve and support each other
			b.  Principle of Love
			c.  God accepts both Jew and Gentile
			d.  Accept each other
		4.  Purpose - Chapter 15 about the Gentile mission
			a.  (Rom 15:7-9) - Christ servant of both Jew and Gentile
			b.  Rom 15:16-22 - Speaks of his Gentile Mission
			c.  (Rom 15:23-24) - Plans for Spain, wants Roman 
				- Divided church can't effectively carry out God's 
				- Paul writes to get a divided church to unify
				- Not by 100% agreement, but by recognition of God's 
				  acceptance of brethren through faith
			d.  Not to have a "Gentile Church of Christ" divided from a 
			     "Jewish Church of Christ"  
				- God creates one fellowship
	C.  I remember evangelistic efforts growing up
		1.  A lot of it was focused on why we were the right church
			a.  Lord's Supper, First Day of Week, Biblical Authority
			b.  It is true these are right things
			c.  But the focus of mission is on Christ
		2.  Paul didn't didn't focus on who was right in Romans 14
			a.  Didn't say to the weak - You are wrong, we are right
			b.  God accepts both
			c.  We should accept both
			d.  As one fellowship - Focus on God's mission
		3.  Who is right?  Jesus is right - We want to be like him
	D.  If we have healthy fellowship, can expend energy on God's mission

1.  Fellowship is God's Creation (Invitation)
2.  Fellowship is Expressive and Missional
3.  Q:  What can we do to acknowledge and act out the fellowship God created?
4.  Other questions to consider:
	How can we promote authenticity?
	How can we strengthen the bond we have with each other?
	In what way does our atmosphere allow or prohibit someone to admit unanswered 
		questions about their faith?
	How can we ensure we are a safe place to learn and grow?
	In what way can we celebrate important stepping stones in each other's lives in order 
		to encourage them to faithfully carry out God's mission?
	How can we keep from being so self-absorbed in our fellowship that we forget about 
		God's desire to get engage missionally with outsiders?


Process Guidelines

During the summer season, beginning Sunday evening June 10th, the congregation 
will assemble at the building.  During this gathering we will outline our plan for the Summer.  
This first meeting is an introductory overview.

For the remaining eight weeks we will follow a pattern that works as follows:

Sunday Morning Sermon:  Introduce the topic for the week.

Sunday Evening:  Life Groups meet at the building but in separate rooms: 			
Discuss the topic for the evening
Develop ideas, recommendations and proposals
Tie them to scripture and align them with our goals and objectives.
Guidelines for Life Group discussion as it relates to the Topic 
	1.  What’s the purpose of…(Topic of the week)?
	2.  How should we accomplish this purpose?
	3.  What should we…
		a.  Keep doing?
		b.  Start doing that’s different?
		c.  Stop doing? 

Wednesday Evening:  Congregation meets to:
Hear each Life Group present the ideas, recommendations and proposals they developed 
the previous Sunday evening.
Thoughts will be organized and presented in the form of these questions:
	1.  What did we learn?
	2.  What surprised us?
	3.  What is Important?
	4.  What should we do?

Sunday Morning Bible Study Hour:  Congregation Meets to…
	Process the Topic for the previous week 
	Discussion Centered on three questions:
	1.  What happened?
	2.  What does it mean?
	3.  What will we do with it?