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This is lesson eleven in a 12 lesson Bible study for new believers and focuses on fellowship. This follow up material covers the essentials of the Christian faith including Jesus, the Bible, God's Word, God, assurances, and what God expects of believers after they come to Christ. This study can be used to teach new believers, to brush up on your Bible basics, or to study on your own. The end of each lesson contains a list of questions and Bible references for further study on the topic of that lesson as well as a suggested memory verse. For more lessons in the series, see the links at the bottom of this page. All lessons can be printed, shared, copied, or distributed.
Discipleship Course - Lesson Eleven - Bible Study on Fellowship
The Christian life is not always easy. The world is full of temptations and pressure to do wrong. If we try to “go it alone” we will likely fall. If we hang out with the wrong crowd our fall into sin is even more likely. In Proverbs 13:20 we learn, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Peer pressure is very strong (1 Corinthians 15:33).
God knows that we are weak and need all the help we can get in our Christian life. He uses our brothers and sisters in Christ to strengthen us and help us to follow Him. The word we use for the relationship we have with other believers is “fellowship” (Acts 2:42). We will look at several aspects of this below.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Believers should help each other by encouraging one another. Encouragement here doesn’t only mean to say “good job!” when another believer does well. It means to push each other on to do right and grow.
Simple ways to do this include sharing Scriptures, praying together, or giving practical suggestions on how to grow, etc (Ephesians 5:19-20). In order to do this we must meet together. We must often put ourselves in contact with other believers so that we can both receive their encouragement and help them. We can meet at church, Bible study, our homes, for lunch, or for sports.
Ecclesiastes tells us that “two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Two have a better return for their labor. They help each other when one is weak. They can overcome together what they cannot overcome apart.
that we rely on people instead of God. We always must rely on God first. People are not perfect and will disappoint us sometimes, but two are still stronger than one and we are commanded to fellowship together, sharpening each other’s relationship to God.
Make sure you are regularly meeting with other believers. Use this time together wisely and productively to encourage one another in the Lord. You will find it very helpful for your spiritual growth and exciting to be a blessing to others in the same way!
Encouragement is the positive form that believers use to help each other and rebuking is the negative form. Even if we are very committed and want to do right there will be times when we fail. Luke 17:3b-4 says, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
Fellowship can be a “safety net” that keeps us from falling away from God. If we have no fellowship there will be no one to correct us when we sin. But if we have strong relationships with brothers and sisters they can rebuke us when we do wrong. The rebuke may hurt, but it is for our protection and is far better than falling into unchecked sin (James 5:19-20, Proverbs 27:6).
This works both ways. We need to put ourselves around believers and be open to them when they correct us or point out to us an area we should grow in. We also need to exercise true love for others by kindly and gently doing the same for them (2 Timothy 2:25) This doesn’t mean we should be some sort of spiritual police and go around looking to correct others. Love, not pride, should be our motivation.
The principle here is accountability. 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.” Throughout the Bible we see the importance of walking in the light. That means we should be transparent and honest with others, welcoming their suggestions and help.
Begin forming this kind of close fellowship with other believers to ensure that you have a solid safety net.
Relationships with believers can go much deeper than the normal worldly relationships. 2 Corinthians 1:3b-4 says, “the God of
all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort
those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” Those who believe in God not only have a unique worldview, but they also have experienced God’s love and mercy in a very special way. Because of this they are better equipped to understand and then comfort other believers.
This is true not only when a brother or sister is facing trouble, but also when things are going well. Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn.” When a believer is in trouble, reach out with compassion to see how you can help. When they have good news, rejoice together!
Serving with our Gifts
Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that God has assigned some leaders with special gifts in the church to “prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature.” (verse 12-13a) There should not be a division of workers and listeners in God’s family. Rather, everyone is supposed to use his God-given gift to serve others and build up the entire body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” The body of Christ, the church, is made up of people from all kinds of backgrounds, ages, cultures, etc, but each has a specific function. We are to use our talents and abilities with all of our heart to help others and work together towards the common goal of glorifying God and doing His will here on earth (Romans 12:3-13)
So do not think you have nothing to offer. Every believer has something to offer. It may not be a very high-profile or public role, but it is vital for healthy fellowship. Think about what you can do and start serving other believers today!
Bible Study 5: Fellowship
1. What should our attitude be towards fellowship? (Acts 2:42)
3. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:14 and write down the four actions we are to take towards other believers.
4. What attitude should we have towards each other? (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
5. How long should we let a problem go on with a brother or sister before we deal with it? (Ephesians 4:26-27, Matthew 5:23-24)
6. What should be our attitude in communicating with others? (James 1:19-20)
7. How should we treat others? (Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Peter 4:9)
8. What kind of person will listen to counsel? (Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 12:15)
9. What are the benefits of listening to rebuke? (Proverbs 15:31-32)
10. What should we do with our gifts, talents, or abilities (1 Peter 4:10)