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Class – 3, Saturday Fellowship: Complexity/Perplexity Today ******************************************************. I Tim. 6 : 11 “ But thou, O man of God, flee these things , and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”

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class 3 saturday fellowship complexity perplexity today

Class – 3, SaturdayFellowship: Complexity/Perplexity Today******************************************************

I Tim. 6 : 11

“ But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow

after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience,

meekness.”

I Cor. 15 : 58

“ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,

forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in

the Lord.”

Bro. Gerald Sankey

Ontario Spring Gathering – 5/2011

slide2
“ But the difficult question is:

What is the best that we can do in deciding matters of

fellowship?”

( Thomas Williams, Life & Works, page 76)

slide3
“You have left

your first love !”

ephesians 1 15 cev
Ephesians 1 : 15 (CEV)

“ I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love

for all of God’s people”

hebrews 6 10 kjv
Hebrews 6 : 10 (KJV)

“For God is not unrighteousness

to forget your work and labor of

love, which ye have shown toward

his name, in that ye have ministered

to the saints, and do minister.”

i thes 1 3 kjv
I Thes. 1 : 3 (KJV)

“ Remembering without ceasing

your work of faith and labor of love,

and patience of hope in our Lord

Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and

our Father.”

revelations 2 5 jnt
Revelations 2 : 5 (JNT)

“ Therefore, remember where you were before you fell and turn from this sin,and do what you used to do before.

Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your menorah from its place – if you don’t turn from yoursin!”

jesus commended the ephesians because
Jesus commended the Ephesians because:
  • can’t bear those that are evil.
  • tried them that say they are apostles.
  • have labored for my name’s sake.
  • hated deeds of Nicolaitanes.
slide9
But they forgot how to minister

“love” to their

brethren !!!!

slide10
“ My conviction is that we, as a body, are in a thousand times greater danger through failurein thismatter of brotherly love than in those doubtfulissues which have exercised so many of our members. When once controversy has started there

is usually a tendency on all sides to multiply the sins

of unfairness, misrepresentation, and all the other

fleshly evils that arise from strife.”

“ Stones are thrown where bread should be given. The Scriptures will save us if we will allow them to have free course, but we must search them for food

and medicine, and not merely for weapons.”

( I. Collyer, An Appeal To Christadelphians, pg.5)

slide11
“It is well to be zealous for ecclesial

purity, but if we are to abstain from ecclesial association till we find anecclesia that is perfect (pure),we shall never have ecclesial association at all.”

“ We must have compassion as well as zeal. We are all imperfect, and unless we practice some of the charitythat ‘hides a multitude of sins’ we shall hinder and destroy instead of helping one another.”

(R. Roberts, The Christadelphian, 05/1886, pg.230)

romans 12 9 jnt
Romans 12 : 9 (JNT)

“ Don’t let love be a mere outward show. Recoil from what is evil, and cling to what is good.”

“Love each other devotedly, and with brotherly love;and set examples for each other in showing respect.”

i john 4 7 12 cev
I John 4 : 7,12 (CEV)

“ My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him.”

“No one has ever seen God. But if welove each other, God lives in us, and his love is truly in our hearts.”

points to remember
Points To Remember:
  • Excommunication should always be intended to lead to the restoration of the sinner, the cessation of fellowship being thought of as only temporary.
  • It is, at least, wrong to go too far in our demands upon our brethren, as it is not to go far enough; in other words, it is possible to err on the side ofseverity.
  • “Fellowship” appears many more times in the Bible as a positive thing, to be shared, than a negative thing, to be withheld.
  • Patience and sympathy, even toward error or ignorance, are always desirable; love is never a sign of weakness.
slide15
5. False teachers, and those who are falsely taught are two different groups; and should not be treated the same.

6. The “shepherd” who protects the flock must be our example, not the “hireling” who flees at danger.

7. Our “individual” salvation is not endangered by fellowshipping “doubtful cases”.

8. The main purpose of the ecclesia is notto keep the Truth “pure” as a theory or system, but to help itsmembers, impure men and women, to strive (aim at,seek for)toward Biblical purity or perfection.

9. Each ecclesia should be, basically, if not altogether, concerned with its own affairs, i.e., building up and protecting its own constituency.

10. Ecclesias are primarily responsible to Christ only, and, secondarily, to one another.

slide16
Inconsistencies in local fellowship matters must

sometimes be tolerated.

  • Matthew 18 has nothing whatsoever to say about taking up controversies with ecclesias other than one’s own.
  • We must seek reconciliation with our brethren continuously, and never be satisfied with disunion.
  • Much more emphasis is placed, Biblically, upon judging oneself, than judging others.
  • “Peace” is always to be desired; division and strife, never.
  • “Fellowship” is, primarily, a way of life; not a technicality.
  • It is Christ’s utmost desire that his brethren be at one with each other.
  • Divisions are not always good nor admirable (or necessary).
slide17
The greatest abhorrence of sin is not necessarily to

be found in the one who is most severe on the sinner.

  • Christ did not believe in “guilt – or defilement – by association”, in fact, just the opposite was his manner
  • Perfect, or “pure fellowship” with our brethren in this life, is an impossibility (an illusive Ideal).
  • Those who fail to excommunicate “heretics” do not thereby, become “heretics” themselves.
  • First “pure” then “peaceable”is a delusion; being atpeace, without absolute purity, is apostolic attitude.
  • A limited toleration of differences is more honorable than an absolute conformity of opinion, which is dictatorially imposed.
  • Not all contention is proper or profitable; some contention may be for one’s own pride and personal opinion.
slide18
Mouths may be stopped by means other than the

cutting off of heads !

  • Time and distance are often very real barriers to ascertaining all the facts necessary to make a proper decision regarding matters of fellowship.
  • No brothershould ever be judged without a fair hearing.
  • Two ecclesias may arrive at different conclusions on a matter involving “fellowship”, and yet, agree to recognize each other in fellowship,even while holding opposite opinions concerning a third party.
slide19
“We need to draw together in this joy of “fellowship” , as “partners” in true unity of shared blessings. Let us resolve to look upon each other, as brethren and sisters, “for whom Christ died”, both individually and collectively, with a much deeper understanding and appreciation for one another than, perhaps, heretofore.

Let us be silent and reverent, brethren, as we stand together, mingling our prayers like incense on the altar, ascending before the throne of heaven.

We have come into the miraculous presence of God’s grace. It is His mercy alone that has brought each of us into this position; Why?, to share the oil of healing, and the dew of refreshing; the bread of strengthening and the wine of joy.

slide20
In the loving provision of His Son, the all-powerful, self-existent Lord of all being has commanded the blessing of life for evermore; and none can turn aside His decree.

May we grasp and cherish that bright hope, and lead lives worthy of our Savior, who loved us all. May the contemplation of that awesome work - reconciliation of sinners to God - transform our minds in the understanding and practice of true Biblical fellowship.

And may we now --- and forever --- “dwell together in unity” under the shadow of the love of Yahweh, who from the beginning, has shown His desire for an“eternal fellowship”with His creation !--- is the prayer of your speaker this weekend. Amen.