Church fellowship is a shared life of Christian believers in Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 says, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” Paul writes to the Corinthian church addressing that the church is a body that consists of many parts under one head, Christ Jesus. We believers are sharing one life under one head, all the parts are connected to turn into a breathing, living, and functioning organism. We are sharing life, purpose, love, service, and even eternal life together. Church fellowship is a unique identity of true believers.
We are able to fellowship only by God’s grace through salvation. 1 John 1: 3-7 says, “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ…7But 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 cleanses us from all sin.” Salvation is the basis of Christians fellowship. The gospel is what John said to “have seen and heard”. God wants us to proclaim the gospel to others in order to create a fellowship – a fellowship with other and fellowship with the Father and his son Jesus Christ. True believers who are in fellowship with Christ must also be in fellowship with other believers who are in fellowship with Christ. We enjoy the true and pure joy of salvation when we fellowship.
Salvation enables fellowship for sinners like us that we are now in that common shared life. We are able to fully experience the fellowship. Acts 2:42says “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” After the Pentecost, the earlier believers experienced the fellowship by breaking bread around the Lord’s table and by prayer. These are expressions of fellowship. Also the most important fact is that all believers were all together. It is a mutual commitment that all members in the church have together. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 says, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.” Communion is the symbol of church fellowship. When the church with its members take communion together, we are publicly declaring that we are one in Christ and we have a common life in Him. Christ is the head of the church, we are all sinners who are saved by Him and only by His death we are able to experience the joy of true fellowship.
Members need to be regularly meeting in order to be a part of church fellowship. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Believers should not forsake the need to assemble together regularly to stimulate one another to love and to do good works. Without fellowship with other believers, we are deprived ourselves from God’s provided sources of biblical encouragement, instruction, accountability, and growth as “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:7).