This message was preached by Manesh P via zoom at Word Of Grace Church on January 31st,2021. for the audio please click here. TO listen to the worship please click here
Are you walking with the Body?
The bible calls us sheep and Jesus is our good shepherd. Sheep are meant to be in their flock. When a sheep walks away they put themselves in danger just as we do when we step outside the community of believers.
We are part of the body of Christ and we are supposed to walk with the body of Christ. Fellowship with a community of believers is not just chit chat or worship on Sunday morning. It is to develop a deep intimate relationship with one another.
1. We are born again into Christ’s family.
God could have referred to Himself as the Master or CEO, but He calls Himself Father. God is love and he was eternally in a loving relationship in the trinity. Similarly, he expects us to be in a loving relationship with one another. If you have put your faith in Jesus, you are a part of God’s family. Families live together in unity. Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”
2. We have a kingdom purpose together
Eph 4:15-16 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
When we are held together that is when we grow. As each member does its part we will be able to accomplish all that God has to accomplish.
John Maxwell says you can go faster by yourself, but you can go further together.
We are in a season of crossover. From one era to the next. They can be challenging, stormy, etc. and there is a danger of not getting to the other side if we don’t handle it well. This was Navaz’s word for this year. God wants his whole body together to move into this new era.
1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.”
So how many of you are on board for this crossover? It is not a coincidence that you are here.
3. We need one another
1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:”
None of us has all the gifts. It’s to serve one another – not only to with spiritual gifts but acts of service. It’s not just you and God, it is You and God in community.
Thank God we don’t have all the gifts. Because if we have all the gifts we will fall into pride. Romans 12:4-6 “For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith”
4. Fellowship is modelled in the Bible:
Jesus had 12 disciples and they went everywhere with Him. The early church also devoted themselves to fellowship Acts 2:42- ” And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
How can we have a biblical fellowship with our community?
1. Receive love from God
1 John 4:19 - “We love because he first loved us.”
We cannot give what we do not have. So be dependent on his love. When we have a revelation of His great love, we will have a great well of love to draw from.
1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Eph 3: 17 “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,”
2. Give love to others
1 John 3: 18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth”
Practical acts of love are more than words. We know real love as Jesus gave up his life for us. The early church also gave themselves to each other. Every day they continued to meet together and had everything in common. Acts 2:44-46 “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts”
Can you give time to fellowship? Take time to attend the GYM meetings, Living Room meetings, fasting and prayer meetings, men’s meeting, etc. You can meet with each other over meals. You can give your attention – when someone is rejoicing, rejoice with them. When they are weeping weep with them.
3. Be watchful
Be watchful of that which breaks fellowship. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. Fellowship is precious and that is why the devil wants to steal it. Pride, selfish ambition, unforgiveness and mismanagement of conflict can steal fellowship.
Romans 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
Be watchful of those wandering away from fellowship. When we walk away from the community, we put ourselves in danger. As a loving community go after the one who is wandering.
We are not made for easy, we are made for victory. Conflicts will come when we go deeper in relationships, but genuine love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.