04 August 2020

A Few Thoughts About Fellowship

  1. A Few Thoughts About Fellowship 

 

Depression 

B1 According to an article written in April 2020, we find 

C1 Defined: “Namely, depression, commonly referred to as “major depressive disorder,” is a medical illness that actively affects the way people feel, behave, and think. Depression is known for causing numerous feelings of sadness, hopelessness, a loss of interest, and more. In the long run, untreated depression can aggravate itself, leading to an increasing inability to function and work normally.” 

C2 “During the last couple of years, due to a wide variety of scientifically studied reasons, the mental health of people around the globe has steadily declined.” 

C3 “Alarming Depression Statistics in 2020: 

D1 “322 million people worldwide suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization. 

D2 “Depression represents the main cause of disability throughout the world. 

D3 “The worst symptom of depression is suicide. 

D4 “Around 800,000 people die because of suicide worldwide, on a yearly basis. 

D5In most regions, women are twice as likely to be affected by depression, as opposed to men. 

D6 “Depression rates are increasing on a yearly basis — between 2005 and 2015, the number of people suffering from depression has increased by 18.4%. 

D7 75% of people suffering from a mental disorder receive no treatment in developing countries. 

D8Over 34 million US residents aged 65 and above are currently suffering from depression. 

D9 “Depression is most common for individuals in older adulthood. 

D10 “8.1% of Americans aged at least 20 years old suffered from depression between 2013–2016 for at least two weeks. 

D11 “Depressed seniors often deal with healthcare costs that are 50% higher when compared to non-depressed elderly. 

D1220% of people suffer from at least one depressive episode before becoming adults. 

D13 “Adults suffering from a major depressive disorder are 64% more likely to be affected by coronary artery disease.” 

B2 Loneliness 

C1 “Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.” (Source) 

C2 “Loneliness acts as a fertilizer for other diseases,” Dr. Cole said. “The biology of loneliness can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries, help cancer cells grow and spread, and promote inflammation in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease. Loneliness promotes several different types of wear and tear on the body.” (Source) 

C3 “According to the Mayo Clinic, having a strong social support network is essential during tough times, whether from job stress or a year filled with loss or illness. A social support network is comprised of family, friends, and peers. Having intimate relationships with others helps you feel cared for and maintain optimism, and aids in stress management. All of these emotional benefits lead to stronger immunity to help you fight disease and stress.” (Source) 

C4 An article on The Dangers of Loneliness with a list of effects from loneliness.

B3 Remember! In the USA: 

Get Immediate Help 

If you are thinking about harming yourself, tell someone who can help immediately. 

  • Do not isolate yourself.  

  • Call your doctor.  

  • Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help, or ask a friend or family member to help you.  

Call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).

Christian fellowship is meant to alleviate this loneliness. There should be no loneliness among believers.

Fellowship  

B1 Defined 

C1 Intimate personal relations with other people sharing emotions, goals, and desires which involve listening, concern, love, and time. (My own definition). 

C2 The Greek word is κοινωνία koinōnía. It means participation, fellowship, intimacy, etc. 

D1 Fellowship of a Christian has some restrictions: 2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 

D2 Fellowship of a Christian with Jesus and fellow believers: 1 John 1:3, 6-7 NIV We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. ... 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 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, purifies us from all sin. 

D3 Mounce defines it: “fellowship, the close association between persons, emphasizing what is common between them; by extension: participation, sharing, contribution, gift, the outcome of such close relationships.” 

B2 So far everything written has been preparatory to the importance of Christian fellowship. 

B3 Read 1 John 1. 

C1 The first 3 verses speak of the Lord Jesus who is described as: 

D1 From the beginning: Probably refers to before the birth of Jesus, though it could mean from eternity past. 

D2 Heard, seen, touched: referring to eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus. 

D3 Word of life: both the message and the person. 

E1 Jesus is The Life: John 14:6 NLT Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 

E2 John 6:63, 68 NLT The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. ... 68 Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 

D4 Life manifested: The life here refers to Jesus being the source of life. This life walked among us, preaching, healing, ministering, and we were there. 

D5 Declare: refers to the Gospel message of the Lord Jesus, His words, and His life and ministry. It also refers to birth, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and return. 

D6 With the Father: Jesus had no beginning of existence. He has always been with the Father. 

D7 The Gospel message has been preached for any who believe to be in fellowship with God, other Christians, and eventually all believers and the holy angels. God wants fellowship. He does not need it, but He enjoys it. Just a few. 

E1 Adam and Eve: Genesis 3:8-9 NRSV They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 

E2 Enoch:  

F1 Genesis 5:24 ESV Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. 

F2 Hebrews 11:5 ESV by faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 

C2 Verses 5-10 teach us that anyone claiming to have fellowship with God and believers but are walking in darkness, is a liar and not practicing truth. 

D1 Darkness is defined as the worldview, lifestyle, and character traits of those who do not love God. See Galatians 5: 19-21. 

D2 Practicing truth is literally doing truth. These people’s thoughts, desires, words, and deeds are not God’s ways.

God’s purpose for humans 

B1 We were created for fellowship with God and to serve Him forever. 

C1 Fellowship 

D1 John 14:23 EMTV Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and we will make Our home with him. 

D2 Revelation 21:3-4 EMTV And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them. 4 And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying out; neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away. 

D3 Zechariah 2:10-11 GNB The LORD said, "Sing for joy, people of Jerusalem! I am coming to live among you!" 11 At that time many nations will come to the LORD and become his people. He will live among you, and you will know that he has sent me to you. 

C2 Serve:  

D1 We are going to serve something or someone. 

E1 God or riches: Matthew 6:24 NRSV No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. 

E2 God or sin: Romans 6:16-22 BSB Do you not know that when you offer yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey, whether you are slaves to sin leading to death, or to obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you once were slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were committed. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to escalating wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 For when you were slaves to sin, you were free of obligation to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you reap at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The outcome of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the fruit you reap leads to holiness, and the outcome is eternal life. 

D2 John 12:26 NRSV Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. 

D3 God’s yoke is easy, not harsh: Matthew 11:30 NLT for my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. 

B2 Be with Him forever

What is the church cure for loneliness among believers? 

B1 James 1:27 WEL Pure and undefiled religion before God, even the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unblemished from the world. 

C1 The Greek word for visit is ἐπισκέπτομαι episképtomai. It means to visit, show concern, care for, come to help (Mounce). It would include issues as loneliness, financial needs, spiritual needs, physical needs, etc. 

C2 Acts 15:14 GW Simon has explained how God first showed his concern by taking from non-Jewish people those who would honor his name. 

B2 Fellowship 

C1 In meeting together and meeting each other needs emotional, financial, physical, etc. Acts 2:44-46 and Romans 15:26 

C2 In worship with includes prayer, singing, sharing what God has taught us, the sermon, etc. 1 Corinthians 14:26 

C3 In suffering. 2 Corinthians 1:7 

C4 In spiritual blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:23 

B3 Even if all desert us: 2 Timothy 4:16-17 LEB at my first defense, no one came to my aid, but they all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord helped me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fulfilled and all the Gentiles might hear, and he rescued me from the lion's mouth.

What a being to have fellowship with and the blessings that come with it:  

B1 Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6-7 WEB For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on David’s throne, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this. 

B2 Psalm 139:17-18 NLT How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!