The “I see you” series about openness, honesty and transparency with God and each other.
All of this happens within the context of fellowship with God and each other.
Fellowship is the Greek word κοινωνία (koinōnia). It means shared experience:
- Shared circumstances
- Shared responsibility
- Share resources
Christian fellowship is a culture of submission and service.
The principles of Christian fellowship are the same principles that govern the Christian marriage.
Fellowship is a Spiritual Discipline
Just like prayer, Bible reading and fasting, fellowship is vital to our spiritual growth.
Hebrews 10:24–25 (ESV) – 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
- Online church does not create the same spiritual value as a physical gathering.
- Digital access to people and events camouflages the consequences of isolation and creates the illusion of connection.
- Think of digital engagement as a side dish, not a main course.
- In a world with so much artificial stimulation, our spiritual lives can begin to spiral before they feel like they are.
Fellowship in Marriage
The principles of fellowship apply to married couples just as they do local church communities.
For married people, quality time with each other is vital.
Quality time does not just happen. It must be planned and resourced.
In sum, the structure of your married lives must support it.
Be careful about privileging the business of your household over your relationship.
When married people don’t fellowship regularly, the seams of their relationship slowly unravel.
Strong marriages require consistent social and sexual interaction.
- 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 (ESV) – 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
- God places value on sexual intercourse.
- Sex is a gift from God.
- “The sexual relationship within marriage is infinitely more than merely a physical activity. It is self-disclosure.” (Jack Hayford, Fatal Attractions: Why Sex Sins Are Worse Than Others, Ventura: Regal, 2004. p. 68).
- “Asking a couple about their sexual relationship is simply the most direct route to finding out” about the quality of the relationship. (Jack Hayford, Fatal Attractions: Why Sex Sins Are Worse Than Others, Ventura: Regal, 2004. pp. 68-69)
- Are they “being nourished by openness, honesty, unselfishness in giving themselves to their union and maintaining an atmosphere of forthrightness”? (Jack Hayford, Fatal Attractions: Why Sex Sins Are Worse Than Others, Ventura: Regal, 2004. p. 69)
- “Genuine sexual fulfillment is found in the relationship between people, not merely in the mechanics of their bodies” (Jack Hayford, Fatal Attractions: Why Sex Sins Are Worse Than Others, Ventura: Regal, 2004. p. 68).
The Raw Truth About Christian Fellowship
Genuine fulfillment at church is found in the relationship between people and not merely in the mechanics of church attendance.
Christian fellowship means that we see not only see each other at our best, but also at our worst.
James 5:14–16 (ESV) – 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2022