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The Importance of a Biblical Fellowship – Part 2. Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?. These kind of questions touch on important but sensitive areas. There is nothing more important than helping another person to give their lives to Christ by being born again.

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who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • These kind of questions touch on important but sensitive areas.
  • There is nothing more important than helping another person to give their lives to Christ by being born again.
  • Even in this effort we must identify the path to Christ and help a person see where they are at.
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship1
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • In the ministry of Christ people often were blind to their real condition and needed help to see the way to God. (Jn 3:3-5, 9-10)
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship2
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • John 3:3-5- Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship3
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • John 3:9-10 - Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship4
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • We do not want to put ourselves in the place of God. We simply want to do as the apostles did and deliver the message they received from God. (1 Jn 1:1-3)
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship5
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • 1 John 1:1-3 - That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life -- 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us --
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship6
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship7
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • We cannot read mind and hearts but we can plainly see the way to God.
  • Today many want to make sincerity or outward devotion the basis of fellowship. Paul was devout and sincere and very much lost! (Acts 23:1)
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship8
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • Acts 23:1 - Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, "Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."
who is my brother to whom should we extend fellowship9
Who is my brother? To whom should we extend fellowship?
  • People and understandably very sensitive when another must make a judgment whether to extend fellowship to another. What does God want?
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • When I speak of fellowship I speak of those who God accepts and then those we should recognize and accept as Christians.
  • Paul had both the church at Jerusalem and then the apostles make judgments concerning fellowship with him.
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship1
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • The church at Jerusalem at first refused fellowship and then learned that they should extend it. (Acts 9:26-28)
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship2
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • Acts 9:26-28- And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship3
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship4
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • The apostles after investigation extended “the right hand of fellowship” to Paul as an apostle. (Gal 2:9)
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship5
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • Galatians 2:9- and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship6
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • We are limited in this area. We can make the wrong judgement because we are not God. There are several reasons why we must do this!
  • Local churches must determine who is “among them” and who is an “outsider.” (1 Cor 5:1-2, 11-13)
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship7
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 - It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles -- that a man has his father's wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship8
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • 1 Corinthians 5:11-12- But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person. 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship9
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • People can fool us as to where their heart really is. Paul talked about “false brethren.” (2 Cor 11:26; Gal 2:4)
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship10
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • 2 Corinthians 11:26 - in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship11
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • Galatians 2:4- And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship12
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • A men or a group of men can seize control of a church and cast out those who are true Christians. (3 Jn 9-10)
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship13
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • 3 John 9-10 - I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship14
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • If men can and do make mistakes then should we avoid making these decisions? No, we must with God’s instructions determine who is part of the local flock. (1 Pt 5:2)
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship15
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • 1 Peter 5:2 - Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship16
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • When fellowship is extended where it should not be then the church will suffer. (1 Cor 5:6; 11:18-19)
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship17
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6 - Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship18
Christians must make a judgment as to whom we should extend fellowship
  • 1 Corinthians 11:18-19- For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.
who is a christian
Who is a Christian?
  • A Christian is one who has trusted in Jesus as the Son of God. (Jn 3:16, 36)
who is a christian1
Who is a Christian?
  • John 3:16- "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
who is a christian2
Who is a Christian?
  • John 3:36- "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
who is a christian3
Who is a Christian?
  • This belief is not in facts alone but in God and His power. (Rom 1:16-17)
who is a christian4
Who is a Christian?
  • Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
who is a christian5
Who is a Christian?
  • Many have misunderstood what a living faith means and as a result believe that they are in Christ when they are not.
  • A dead faith with substitute outward actions and “contributions” for the power of a changed life. (2 Cor 5:17; James 2:18-20; Jn 3:36 NASV)
who is a christian6
Who is a Christian?
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
who is a christian7
Who is a Christian?
  • James 2:18-20- But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
who is a christian8
Who is a Christian?
  • John 3:36 NASV - "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
who is a christian9
Who is a Christian?
  • A living faith must be nurtured and protected.
  • A Christian is one who has turned his heart completely to the Lord. (Acts 2:38)
who is a christian10
Who is a Christian?
  • Acts 2:38- Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
who is a christian11
Who is a Christian?
  • The greatest challenge we face is repentance. Do we really trust God?
  • Repent - strictly perceive afterward… (1) predominately of a religious and ethical change in the way one thinks .. repent, change one's mind, be converted (MT 3.2); (2) as feeling remorse regret.. (LU 17.3, 4)
who is a christian12
Who is a Christian?
  • Repentance comes from Godly sorrow that moves you to surrender.
  • This is not just a casual decision like deciding to join a club.
  • Jesus is now viewed as Lord. What constitutes true obedience? Consider the example of the son following his fathers instructions.
who is a christian13
Who is a Christian?
  • Christian has made the good confession. (1 Tim 6:12)
who is a christian14
Who is a Christian?
  • 1 Timothy 6:12- Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
who is a christian15
Who is a Christian?
  • When does faith save us? It can never save without repentance!
who is a christian16
Who is a Christian?
  • God requires as a condition of initial forgiveness a specific verbal confession. (Rom 10:9-10)
who is a christian17
Who is a Christian?
  • Romans 10:9-10 - that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
who is a christian18
Who is a Christian?
  • We see an example of this with the Ethiopian Eunuch. (Acts 8:35-38)
who is a christian19
Who is a Christian?
  • Acts 8:35-38- Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" 37 Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
who is a christian20
Who is a Christian?
  • 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
who is a christian21
Who is a Christian?
  • Under John’s baptism there was a confession of sins. (Mt 3:6; Mk 1:5)
who is a christian22
Who is a Christian?
  • Matthew 3:5-6- Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
who is a christian23
Who is a Christian?
  • Mark 1:5- Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
who is a christian24
Who is a Christian?
  • Why does God require this? We can see where one would not have been baptized without knowing if one believed. God did say to do this and we do not always know why God requires something! Naaman had to learn this lesson! (2 Kings 5:10-13)
who is a christian25
Who is a Christian?
  • 2 Kings 5:10-13- And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean." 11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.'
who is a christian26
Who is a Christian?
  • 12 "Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?"
who is a christian27
Who is a Christian?
  • The church in which I was raised did not take this seriously!
  • Every Christian is baptized into Christ to be forgiven by the blood of Christ.
  • In the great commission we learn about a wonderful conditional promise of God. (Mk 16:15-16)
who is a christian28
Who is a Christian?
  • Mark 16:15-16- And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
who is a christian29
Who is a Christian?
  • Forgiveness of sins is the goal of the promises in the great commission. (Lk 24:46-47)
who is a christian30
Who is a Christian?
  • Luke 24:46-47- Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 "and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
who is a christian31
Who is a Christian?
  • What was preached in Jerusalem? (Acts 2:38, 41)
who is a christian32
Who is a Christian?
  • Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
who is a christian33
Who is a Christian?
  • Acts 2:41- Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
who is a christian34
Who is a Christian?
  • How did Paul receive the forgiveness of sins? (Acts 22:16)
who is a christian35
Who is a Christian?
  • Acts 22:16 - 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
what if we extend fellowship where god has not
What if we extend fellowship where God has not?
  • We could actually stand in the way of helping one find eternal life! (Ezk 13:22)
what if we extend fellowship where god has not1
What if we extend fellowship where God has not?
  • Ezekiel 13:22- "Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life.
what if we extend fellowship where god has not2
What if we extend fellowship where God has not?
  • When we give in to pressure because of the desire to please men, we have become ashamed of the cross of Christ! (Gal 5:11; 6:12)
what if we extend fellowship where god has not3
What if we extend fellowship where God has not?
  • Galatians 5:11- And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
what if we extend fellowship where god has not4
What if we extend fellowship where God has not?
  • Galatians 6:12- As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
what if we extend fellowship where god has not5
What if we extend fellowship where God has not?
  • We need wisdom in how we work with others who believe they are following God but may not have understood and responded to God’s conditional promises.
  • What message are you conveying to your religious neighbors and family?
  • How can we more effectively expand the fellowship of God?