This passage in Acts 2 tells us that the thousands who were the first Christians devoted themselves to several important parts of that new Christian life.
They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles. They devoted themselves to the fellowship. They devoted themselves to prayer.
They learned the teachings of Jesus from the apostles who had been constantly with Jesus for the past three years. They learned to pray the way Jesus taught them to pray. And then, there is their devotion to fellowship.
I am hopeful that during a time when the church could not meet together, that we have continued to be devoted to the apostles’ teaching and we have been devoted to prayer. When it comes to devotion to fellowship, that has been a challenge these past few weeks.
I recently saw a cartoon which showed a woman standing in the center aisle of a church building wearing bunny slippers and a bathrobe, and carrying a cup of coffee. The caption read like this: “Mrs. Waters got a little too used to watching online worship at home.”
Sometimes I believe technology takes over our world today, but it has really been a blessing in this time because it has allowed us a form of worship while we are social distancing.
However, while technology can help us to hear the Word preached so we can learn, and they can help us to continue in prayer, that very important part of our devotion --- fellowship has been missing.
What is fellowship? Someone once said that “Fellowship is two fellows in the same ship, rowing in the same direction. “ So, that means that if you’re not in the ship, and you’re not pulling on your oar…you are not in fellowship with anybody.
Fellowship is a part of Christian living. Fellowship is all about focusing on somebody other than myself. Paul says in Philippians 2:3-8 that we should “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Fellowship is all about considering our brothers and sisters in Christ needs above our own. That is what Acts 2:44-45 says: “All the believers were together and had everything in common, selling their possessions and goods, and they gave to anyone as he had need.”
Now, is fellowship more important than teaching or the Lord’s Supper or prayer? Absolutely not! On the contrary, fellowship has a part in all of those facets of the Christian life and worship.
Without the apostles’ teaching as the foundation of worship, the church would be nothing more than a social club. Without good doctrine communion would be just another meal. Without good doctrine our prayers would be said to a god who could not hear them.
1 Corinthians 11 gives us a good example of the importance of fellowship in relation to the Lord’s Supper. Take a moment to read verses 27-33. Fellowship is vital for God to accept our presence at the table.
Why is fellowship important in prayer? Look at an example in 1 Peter 3:7 where Peter tells us that if a husband mistreats his wife, his prayers may not be heard. Fellowship (caring for the needs of others) is vital in our prayer life.
Fellowship is about building the church. Fellowship means we need each other. Fellowship declares that we are vital to one another and our faith.
Ephesians 4:1-6 says: “I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
We are One Church. We are One Fellowship. We are One Body in Christ. That is our fellowship.
These past few weeks have hopefully taught us that the Church is more than a building. The Church is our family. We don’t just “do church” on Sunday, and we don’t “do fellowship” just on Sunday. We do fellowship day by day with our family, the Body of Christ.