Scripture Reading: Acts 2:44-47; Hebrews 10:11-25
Memory Verse: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” John 15:4
“What was it about the Christians in the first century that caused the pagan world to sit up and take notice? With so much trouble and pain why did so many people flock into the church? (5:p. 60)
Our relationships in church may also be distant and strained. We may be scared to share our innermost thoughts for fear of being rejected or the information wrongly used. It is God’s intention that the interpersonal relationships in His family be open and honest. The faults and confessions of sin should be treated as needs and responded to with love and concern.
Often God is seen as being far away and not familiar with our everyday struggles. It is possible to have such a close, ongoing, relationship with Christ that you consider it more of a team rapport. No, this is not bringing God down to our level, but instead, it is increasing our expectations and raising our level of trust and further instilling a greater personal relationship with Christ. Faith in God leads believers to place their hope in His promises. Restoring a right relationship with God then prompts believers to restore their relationships with others, and so we see that love for God will also demonstrate itself in love for others.
The Israelites may have approached God at Mount Sinai with fear and trembling but we can approach God with boldness. It is because through Christ’s blood we now have continuous access to God Himself. Our hope is then our confident expectation of the future. When we gather together and inspire one another with the truth, we can find God applying His truth, His word, to the very circumstances of our lives. Knowing that Christ’s return is imminent we are encouraged even more to remain faithful to Him. Fellowship carries both, the idea of a positive relationship that people share and participate in a common interest or goal.
God loves because He is love; we are to love because we are from God. It is this love that reaches beyond the Christians community to anyone, anywhere, seeking a person’s highest good—even at a cost to ourselves.
You, the Brethren and Christ—the perfect Team!
- Why is it not necessary to tackle life by ourselves? Matthew 11:25-30; John 14:12-18; John 16:5-14.
- What is the most important fellowship we can experience? 1 John 1:5-7; John 17:20-23; John 13:35.
Note: Unity, an ultimate expression of God’s love.
- How close can our relationship with God and Christ be? John 15:1-7.
Note: A plant does not produce fruit instantly but happens through a process.
- What results from such a close and ongoing fellowship? Romans 8:31-39.
- How does this relationship carry over into the community of believers? Hebrews 10:23-25; Matthew 18:19-20.
- Note: “Lord, when I am having a ‘bad day’, there is no one that I can call and really talk to . . . and nobody calls me when they are having a ‘bad day.’ What is wrong with our fellowship?” [6: p.28] Galatians 6:1-6. Note: Choosing to bear one another’s burdens is what Christ expects from all
- What close relationships did the early church experience? Acts 2:44-47.
- Should we be able to share our faults and sinful actions with our brethren? James 5:13-20.
- How should Christians treat each other? John 13:34-35.
- Discuss the need for better interpersonal relationships and how it could help the church.