Fellowship & the Church

  1. False doctrine is one reason the Christian life should not and cannot be lived in isolation. We must become part of a family of Christians called a church, where God’s Word is believed and taught. You may feel self-conscious around other Christians because of your past. You shouldn’t. A Christ-centered church is not a showcase for saints but a hospital for sinners. - From location 862 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  2. A good church will teach God’s Word and provide love, help, and support. If you have further questions about Jesus and about Heaven, you can find answers there.  - From location 866 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  3. If the readers of Hebrews tried to live in isolation, subtle temptations would overwhelm them. If they came together for common worship, they could keep their hope and commitment burning brightly like charcoal embers warming one another. Christians grow better as a part of a fellowship (Heb. 10:25). If they live separately, they may retreat into halfheartedness and compromise and fail to realize their own lostness.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1271.
  4. The idea of sharing in Christ suggested that we would enjoy the benefits of family membership. We experience his presence on earth. We participate in his heavenly kingdom. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1283.
  5. Hebrews 10:25 - To spur other believers forward in the Christian life, followers of Christ must meet together.  Some of the readers of Hebrews were neglecting to meet together for worship, and this limited their ability to give and receive encouragement toward good works.  Christians who meet together with the aim of promoting godliness and love for one another can be remarkably successful in their ventures.  Regular fellowship with believers is an essential ingredient in Christian growth.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10:25,  at location 4545.
  6. Fellowship is not only defined in terms of what we share in together. It also involves what we share out together. And this means that it must involve a community in which Christians actually share their thoughts and lives with one another. - From the commentary on John 17:19-23 of The Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice. 
  7. “The value of the small group is that it can become a community of related persons; and in it the benefit of personal relatedness cannot be missed, nor its challenge evaded. … I do not think it is an exaggeration to say, therefore, that small groups, Christian family or fellowship groups, are indispensable for our growth into spiritual maturity.” - From the commentary on John 17:19-23 of The Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice. 
  8. The one function of the body that is unique to this image is service, for just as the family emphasizes relationships, and fellowships emphasizes sharing, so does the body emphasize work. The body exists to do something and, since we are talking about unity, we must stress that it exists to enable us to do this work together. - From the commentary on John 17:19-23 of The Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice. 
  9. The unity of the church is the body. Clearly, this image has many important connotations. It speaks of the nature of the Christian union—one part of the body simply cannot survive if it is separated from the whole. It speaks of interdependence. It even suggests a kind of subordination involving a diversity of function; for the hand is not the foot, nor the foot the eye, and over all is the head which is Christ. Paul speaks of this in 1Corinthians saying, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many” (John 12:12–14). - From the commentary on John 17:19-23 of The Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice. 
  10. The question we end with is simply: What is to be your part in this area? What will you do? Obviously you cannot change the whole church, but, as one writer puts it, “You can begin in your own life to be an answer to the high priestly prayer of Christ. You can become a small focus of change.” First, you can become aware of that great family, fellowship, and body to which you already belong, and you can thank God for it. Second, you can join a small group, where the reality of Christian unity is most readily seen and experienced. Third, you can work with that group to show forth Christian love and give service. If you are willing to do that, you will find God to be with you, and you will be overwhelmed at the power with which he works both in you and in others whom he will be drawing to faith. - From the commentary on John 17:19-23 of The Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice. 
  11. In chapter 20, for the first time (and once more in 21:23), it refers to those who have believed on Christ and have therefore entered into God’s family.  
    The attitudes that should flow from these new relationships do not always follow naturally or easily. But that is all the more reason to grasp this concept forcefully and work at the relationships. John White has put the task in these terms, “You were cleansed by the same blood, regenerated by the same Spirit. You are a citizen of the same city, a slave of the same master, a reader of the same Scriptures, a worshiper of the same God. The same presence dwells silently in you as in them. Therefore you are committed to them and they to you. They are your brothers, sisters, your fathers, mothers and children in God. Whether you like or dislike them, you belong to them. You have responsibilities toward them that must be discharged in love. As long as you live on this earth, you are in their debt. Whether they have done much or little for you, Christ has done all. He demands that your indebtedness to him be transferred to your new family.”  - From the commentary on John 20:17-18  of The Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.