As Christians, we are called to be a part of a community of believers. This community is known as the fellowship of believers, or the church. When we become a part of the fellowship of believers, we are given certain rights of fellowship. These rights are based on our relationship with Jesus Christ and are an essential part of our growth in Him.
As believers in Christ, we have been given the wonderful privilege of fellowship with one another. We are not meant to walk this Christian journey alone, but rather to come together as a community of believers to support, encourage, and uplift one another.
In 1 John 1:7 (KJV), we read, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” This verse shows us that when we walk in the light of Christ, we have fellowship with one another, and it is through the blood of Jesus Christ that we are cleansed from all sin. Our fellowship with one another is a result of our relationship with Christ, and it is only through his sacrifice on the cross that our sins are forgiven and we are made clean.
So what are the rights of fellowship? It is the right to be a part of a community of believers. This means that we have the privilege of belonging to a family of believers who share a common faith in Christ. In Acts 2:42 (KJV), it says, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This verse shows us that fellowship is a vital part of the early church, and it is something that we too should value and prioritize in our own lives.
We have the right to be supported and encouraged by our fellow believers. In Romans 1:12 (KJV), Paul says, “That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” This verse shows us that the support and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ is a great blessing, and something that we should actively seek out and cultivate.
We have the right to have our needs met by the community of believers. In Acts 4:32-35 (KJV), we read about how the early church shared their possessions with one another, so that no one among them was in need. This demonstrates the importance of caring for one another and meeting each other’s needs within the fellowship of believers.
In order to exercise our rights of fellowship, we must first be actively involved in the life of the church. This means attending services, participating in activities, and building relationships with other believers. It also means seeking out opportunities to support and encourage each other, offering a helping hand or a listening ear whenever we can.
We must be willing to be vulnerable and transparent with our needs. This can be difficult, as it requires us to admit our weaknesses and struggles to others. However, when we open up and share our needs with our fellow believers, we give them the opportunity to come alongside us and offer support, encouragement, and practical help.
We must also be willing to mirror this support and encouragement, actively seeking out ways to serve and help others. This not only strengthens our bonds of fellowship, but it also allows us to exercise our rights of fellowship by being a blessing to others in the body of Christ.
As we exercise our rights of fellowship, we can experience many benefits. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (KJV), we read that we are all members of one body, and just as each part of the body has a unique function, so too do we have unique roles within the church. When we exercise our rights of fellowship, we grow spiritually and emotionally, as we are able to receive support, encouragement, and accountability.
We experience the love and care of God through each other. In 1 John 4:12 (ERV), we read, “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us. If we love each other, God’s love has reached its goal—it is made perfect in us.” Through our relationships with one another, we can tangibly experience the love of God.
As we exercise our rights of fellowship, we become better equipped to serve and minister to others. In Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV), we read that God has given various gifts to His people for the building up of the body of Christ. As we connect with one another and use our gifts to serve the church, we become better equipped and spread the love of Christ.
The consequences of neglecting our rights of fellowship are significant. In Hebrews 10:25 (KJV), we are urged to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, which means we should not neglect the opportunity to gather together as believers. When we neglect this opportunity, we become spiritually and emotionally isolated, which can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and discouragement.
We miss out on the blessings of God that come through His people. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ERV), we read, “Two people are better than one. When two people work together, they get more work done. If one person falls, the other person can reach out to help. But those who are alone when they fall have no one to help them.” When we are connected to others in fellowship, we have people who can help us when we fall and who can celebrate with us in our victories.
When we neglect our rights of fellowship, we become vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV) warns us to be sober and vigilant because our adversary, the devil, walks about seeking whom he may devour. When we are not connected to a community of believers who can support and encourage us, we are more susceptible to the enemy’s attacks.
Fellowship is not just a nice-to-have aspect of our faith, but it is essential for our spiritual growth and well-being. Through our rights of fellowship, we have the opportunity to be part of a community of believers, to be supported and encouraged by them, and to have our needs met by them. By actively exercising our rights of fellowship, we become better equipped to serve and minister to others, and we experience the love and care of God through His people. However, neglecting these rights can have dire consequences, leaving us spiritually and emotionally isolated and vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. Let’s not take for granted the gift of fellowship that God has given us, but instead, let’s actively engage with our fellow believers and grow together in Christ.