The Four C's of Fellowship Part I
COMMUNION, COMMITMENT, COMMISSION AND COMMUNITY
These four component parts represent our relationship to God and our involvement with man as believers in Christ. All four have a co-union between God and man. One cannot love God and not man, and one cannot love man, without first loving God.
PART I COMMUNION
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I Corinthians 1:9
The word communion comes from the Greek word "Koinonia" meaning to have things in common, partnership, fellowship, the share which one has in anything, a participation, fellowship recognized and enjoyed. Communion and fellowship cannot be separated for they are one and the same.
Communion is so much more than taking the Lord's supper which for the most part has become a dead ritual. Communion is our co-union or marriage to the Lord Jesus Christ as well as our fellowship with other born again believers. To become one with Christ and one with our brothers and sisters is true communion.
Jesus said, "Loving God and our neighbor were the two foremost commandments." Both involve a relationship of trust and intimacy such as a marriage. The believers relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important bond that he will have while he journeys through life on this planet. Just as the relationship with ones spouse is important, even more so is our constant communion with Christ.
Communing with Jesus is the most important time the believer will spend in his life. Prayer and the study of His word will produce an intimate relationship of love that can never be broken. In the same way that a husband and wife have intimacy together and produce children, so the believer has with Jesus; a spiritual union that will produce spiritual offspring.
THE QUIET TIME
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. Psalms 63:1
Setting aside a quiet time with God is very important in establishing a relationship with Him and early in the morning is best because your mind is free from the everyday hustle and bustle as well as distractions that tend to rob you of intimacy. Once you begin to seek Him early in the morning you will begin to build a dialog between you and He that will increase as you hear His voice speaking to your heart. Spending quality time with someone is the only way to establish a solid relationship.
Prayer is communication with God, talking to Him like you would your earthly father is a good way to start. Being honest about your needs and the issues of your heart will begin to strengthen the bond of love between the two of you. God is a person, not some distant deity that you have to beg for an answer, He loves you and He is very concerned about every aspect of your life. Communing with God involves faith that He is real and that He will in fact answer your prayers and speak to your heart.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened for you.
"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7,8
Becoming a disciple of Christ means that one relinquishes his power to control his life by allowing God to take the reins and lead him and provide for him. Your heavenly Father knows what you need even before you ask Him and He is always watching over you to protect and provide for His child. As a young boy when I would go out with my earthly father I was never afraid because I trusted that he would always take care of me; so it is with your heavenly Father because the relationship is the same.
A love relationship is built on trust, as a child trusts his father so shall we also trust our heavenly Father. Trust involves time, especially with someone you can't see, but as the relationship progresses you will gain a new insight as you experience God's presence. Like a blind man, his remaining senses develop new strength, and what he lacks in sight he regains in perception through hearing and smell as well as his intuition to discern his surroundings.
Communing with the Lord Jesus and developing a relationship with God will be the most exciting time you will ever experience in your lifetime. As His presence permeates your very soul you will soar to new heights as He reveals to you the mysteries of His kingdom. Spending time with Him will take you into a new realm of consciousness called revelation. As you seek His presence He will begin to reveal His word to your heart and you will begin to understand and trust that it is Him speaking to you.
The Lord Jesus asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I am?" As they all gave their answers God spoke to Peter in a revelation and told Him that Jesus was His Son. Jesus then told Peter that what he had received was revealed from His Father in heaven. Jesus also said that His church would be built on this very foundation, the revealing of His Father's word to His followers.
To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 13:11
THE WORD OF GOD
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalms 1:1,2
The word of God is the very plumb line that brings both direction and clarity to the will of God for our lives. God conveys His will and His boundaries that He has set for us in His word and if we will follow His direction we will experience a great sense of peace and an abundance of His presence in our lives. God's word is His promise to us, to be faithful in those things that we ask Him for, and He watches over His word to perform it. The word of God is also a compass to give us direction as well as expose that which is false.
The word of God is daily bread for the Christian and the more he eats, the stronger he will get. When one becomes a born again believer he is like a new born infant wanting to be nourished by his mother's milk. So it is when one comes to Christ, he longs to be fed with the bread of heaven. In the above referenced scripture it speaks of meditating on God's word which actually means to chew on it until one receives all of the flavor. The word of God is the bread of life for the believer and he must be fed on a daily basis to receive spiritual strength and guidance.
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby. I Peter 2:2
The word of God is not only food for the believer, but it is also a weapon in the hands of one trained for battle. The word is a sword to be used against the schemes of the devil. As you progress on your spiritual journey you will inevitably encounter the enemies of your soul, always trying to rob and destroy anything they can in order to stop your walk with God. Jesus started His earthly ministry by being baptized and then was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for forty days.
After Jesus completed His forty day fast the devil seeing that He was becoming hungry began to turn up the heat and he tried to get Him to doubt who He was, the Son of the living God. When the devil said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." Jesus answered with the word by saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'"
The Bible says that you are to show yourself approved as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. In other words you are to become experienced in using the sword of the word in warfare against your spiritual adversaries. The devil has had thousands of years of experience in warring against the saints, but just as David, a lowly shepherd boy came against Goliath, a highly trained giant of huge proportion and skill, he was defeated with a small stone thrown in faith. That stone represents the "Rock" of spiritual revelation that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you in time of need, the very foundation of the church of Jesus Christ.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
THE LOVE FEAST
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; "for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God," Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; "for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Luke 22:14-19
Jesus and His apostles were about to take their last Passover together in the upper room before He went to the cross. This first Christian communion was more than just a religious ritual, it was the first "Love Feast." This was the beginning of a new era, the very birth of Christianity. Jesus told the apostles that this would be a new covenant, sealed by the blood of Jesus Himself. This "Love Feast" commemorated the death, burial and subsequent resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ giving access to all who would receive Him as Lord and Savior thereafter.
The old covenant with its laws and rituals was done away with as well as its priesthood in this new and living way about to be instituted by the death of Jesus Christ. The Passover meal signifying the blood of a lamb protecting them from the wrath of God was fulfilled by the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. There was no longer a need for a high priest to intercede for the sins of man because Jesus became our High Priest, forever seated at the right hand of God.
The love feast was a carry over from the Passover meal that the Jews already observed because Jesus Himself had the last Passover with His disciples. In the New Testament Paul gives instructions to the Corinthian church about having a meal together, and then taking what we now call Communion. The Love feast was a glorious time of fellowship together and then afterwards a time to give remembrance to the Lord Jesus Christ by celebrating His death and resurrection by taking communion together.
Usually the fellowship supper was had by all and then a time of preaching or sharing on what the Lord Jesus had done for them was given before the actual Lord's Supper was administered. This wonderful occasion continued for some time in the first Christian churches until it was replaced with a short ritual. Sometime in the second or third century the meal and the Eucharist, or Host were separated until it became what it is today. The time has definitely come for this glorious occasion to be restored to the Church of Jesus Christ as a permanent practice of true fellowship.
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you; that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. I Corinthians 11:23-30