By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Acts 2:41-47
Text: Acts 2:42
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Introduction: During our Sunday School assembly last week I introduced to our church the great famed evangelist of the past, Gipsy Smith. This man conducted an 8-day evangelistic campaign for Baptist pastor Alexander Maclaren. During the meeting 600 people walked the aisles trusting Christ as Savior. What a blessing! What an evidence of the power of the gospel!
Yet, on the day of Pentecost, in one day there were around 3,000 saved! Glory!
However, these converts did not just make a profession and then go back into the world. Those who gladly received the word were baptized! Don’t you know that baptizing 3,000 converts made the morning service extend past the noon hour?
Notice that these baptized disciples didn’t drift by the wayside. They began, right away, to grow. The way they did it was that they “continued stedfastly.” No Christian will grow until he learns to be faithful in the basic Christian duties of life. One of those duties is fellowship.
Independent Baptist preachers and churches, recognizing the need for fellowship, often group themselves around common interests and call the group a “fellowship.” I want to say that the fellowship I’ve joined is the fellowship of the free, the forgiven, the found, and the friends in the Father’s house!
I’m telling you that no Christian is any stronger than his church attendance, and in his daily, regular fellowship with Christian people.
Let me give you a few basic truths about fellowship this morning and encourage you to make it a priority of your life to have continuous, steadfast fellowship with the right kind of people.I. WISDOM IS DERIVED FROM GODLY FELLOWSHIP
Our text says that these new believers continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, but I’m saying this morning that God’s word declares that you learn wisdom not only from the teachings of scripture but also by the kind of company you keep.
Not only is it true that birds of a feather flock together, but birds who flock together tend to fly like each other.
It’s hard to fly like an eagle when you run with turkeys!
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Our wisdom is affected by:
A. The people to whom we listen
2. TV, radio, tapes, Internet
3. Books, magazines, newspapers
B. The people at whom we look
3. Anyone we admire
C. The people with whom we liveII. WORSHIP DETERMINES OUR FELLOWSHIP
1 Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
The degree of our fellowship that we have with people should be determined by our agreement in worship (Amos 3:3), especially with regard to such issues as:
B. The scriptures
E. The second coming
III. OUR WALK DISPLAYS OUR FELLOWSHIP
1 John 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The way that we walk, or live, shows:
A. The cause that our fellowship stands for
B. The champion of that cause
1. 1 John 1:3
2. The extent of our fellowship with Christians shows the extent of our fellowship with
C. Our commitment to that cause
IV. OUR WILL DECIDES OUR FELLOWSHIP
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Love is a choice. The mark of Christianity is the love of Christians for one another. The fact that a Christian spends time fellowshipping with other Christian people testifies that he has chosen to love those people.
A. We decide the direction of it
4. Local church
B. We decide the dedication to it
1. People choose to be active in church
2. People choose to be absent from church – for profit, pleasure, personal
interests, or people – family and friends
C. We decide the duration of it
2. Church membership
With whom are you in fellowship?
How steadfast are you in that fellowship?
What are you displaying by your fellowship?
Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church