Spotlight on Fellowship

Fellowshipping Together
July 2024
Greg Scheideman

As we continue to seek to increase the depth of fellowship that exists here at The Bible Church, let’s look at Acts 2:37-47. Here we witness the birth of the church in Jerusalem after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. This passage offers profound insights into the essence of fellowship. We see here that fellowship is not merely social interaction, but a deep, transformative communion rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The passage begins with Peter's powerful sermon, which leads to the conviction of many listeners. They are "cut to the heart" and ask, "Brothers, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37, ESV). This signifies the initial step towards fellowship: recognizing our need for salvation and responding to the gospel message with repentance and faith.

True fellowship is built upon the foundation of a shared commitment to Christ. In verse 42, we read that the new believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. This devotion reflects a unity of purpose centered on Jesus Christ. We can see the importance of Scripture as the authoritative source of doctrine and instruction, making the apostles' teaching central to the life of the church.
Furthermore, fellowship involves sharing life together, which many of us were reminded of recently as we read what Jerry Bridge wrote in chapter 8 of his book True Community. The early Christians not only shared spiritual experiences but also their material possessions. Verses 44-45 state: "And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need." This communal sharing exemplifies a radical expression of love and concern for one another, echoing the emphasis on the corporate nature of the Christian life.

Fellowship also encompasses worship and celebration. The breaking of bread here likely refers not only to the Lord's Supper but also to shared meals where believers remembered Christ's sacrifice and enjoyed mutual hospitality. Prayer was not merely individual but corporate, uniting believers in dependence on God and intercession for one another.
The fellowship described in Acts 2:37-47 challenges the individualism and self-centeredness of our society, emphasizing the importance of mutual support, accountability, and sacrificial love within the community of believers. Scripture often reminds us of the corporate identity of the church, where each member contributes to the edification and growth of the body (Ephesians 4:16).

Furthermore, fellowship extends beyond the local church to the universal body of Christ. Acts 2:47 speaks of the Lord adding to their number daily those who were being saved. This highlights the missionary nature of the church, called to proclaim the gospel and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).
In conclusion, this passage presents a compelling vision of fellowship within the Church. It emphasizes a shared commitment to Christ, mutual support and sharing, corporate worship and celebration, and the mission of the church. As Christians, may we embody such fellowship at The Bible Church, reflecting the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world.