Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Wesley Methodist Church Alor Setar

Written by Chan Weng Seng   

FELLOWSHIP WITH BELIEVERS

Topic : Fellowship with Believers
Scriptures : Hebrews 10: 24 - 25; John 13: 34 - 35
Date : 20th Feb 2011
Speaker : Chan Weng Seng

MP3 version: Download

OPENING PRAYER

Speak Abba Father. Your children listen.Teach Lord Jesus. Your disciples learn.Cleanse Holy Spirit. Your temples are ready. May the words of my mouth, the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you Abba Father. May our response to the preaching of your Word please you tonight.. We pray this prayer in Jesus name. Amen.

REVIEW OF SERMON SERIES

These are not my words. If they are, reject them. These life-and-death words are from Jesus. He meant every word He said. He said every word He meant. Reject them and you’re doomed for now and eternity. Accept them and you’ll live for now and for eternity. Listen carefully. Your life depends on it. I read from the NLT Matthew 7: 21 -23. Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘LORD’ but they still won’t enter God’s kingdom. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me LORD LORD, we prophesied in your name we cast out demons in your name we performed many miracles in your name But I will reply. I never knew you. Go away, the things you did were unauthorized.

The Message paraphrase Matthew 7: 21 -23 this way. Knowing the correct password saying Master Master for instance isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience, doing what my Father wills. I can see it now at the Final Judgment. Thousands strutting up to me and saying Master we preached the Message, we bashed the demons our god-sponsored projects had everyone talking. Do you know what I am going to say to them? You missed the boat. All you did was to use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. Get out from heaven.

As far as Jesus is concerned, the decisive issue is obedience to Father God. What Jesus requires is serious obedience, doing what Father God wants. If you don’t serously obey, if you don’t completely do what Father God wants; on Judgment Day Jesus will say this to youI don’t know you even though you call me Master, even though you claim to be my disciple. Why call me LORD LORD when you don’t love and obey me.’

What does Father God want you to obey? What command has LORD Jesus given to you and me? If you do not know, if you’ve conveniently forgotten, if you’ve not started to obey, let me refer you to Matthew 28: 19 -20 which is our church theme for this year Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Spirit teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you and surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.

This is not an advice where you have the option to obey or disobey..This is a command. You either obey or you disobey. Being discipled, making disciples is our core business this year. For this reason, we’ve started The Disciples’ Course. All of us are not exempted from obeying Jesus. All of us are not excused from being discipled and in making dsciples. If you’ve missed out on the 1st intake, I urge you to sign up for the 2nd intake. For your own good, make sure you’re being discipled so that you can make disciples for Jesus. For your sake, we’ve started this sermon series to run concurrentlywith the Dsiciples’s Course. Be reminded! This is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourselves. NLT Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re a listener when you let God’s Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear. Msg James 1: 22

Unless you act on what you hear, unless you obey what has been taught, you’re no better than those self-professing pseudo disciples that Jesus reject. Who are these self-professing pseudo disciples Jesus reject and why are they rejected? They are rejected because they don’t have 4x

  • a personal one-to one relationship with Jesus

  • a master-disciple relationship with Jesus.

  • a lifelong commitment to be faithful to Jesus

  • an always- obedient relationship with Jesus

  • Their character has not been transformed to be like Jesus

  • Their values have not been changed into kingdom values.

  • They have never bothered to get involved in Jesus’ mission in the world.

As far as Jesus is concerned only true disciples who love and obey Him will be accepted into God’s kingdom. So who are these true disciples that Jesus will accept? They are those 6x..

  • who have a personal one-to-one master-disciple relationship with Jesus

  • who have a lifelong commitment to remain faithful to Jesus

  • who have an always-obedient master-servant relationship with Jesus .

  • whose character are being transformed to be like Jesus

  • whose values are being changed into kingdom values

  • who involve themselves in Jesus’ world mission.

How can you be sure you’ll be with Jesus in the afterlife? How can you be sure that Jesus will accept you into God’s kingdom? You can be sure because of what Jesus has promised you in Scripture. Jesus will accept you 6x..

1 when you come after Him, deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Him. Luke 9:23

2  when you as branch remain in Jesus the vine and you bear much fruit for apart from Him you can do nothing. John 15:5

3 when you hold on to Jesus teaching. Then you’ll know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32

4 when you love one another as Jesus has loved you. By this all men will know that you’re Jesus’ disciple. Jn 13: 34-35

when you gloriify Father God by bearing much fruit for Him. John 15:8

when you show great love by laying down your life for your friends John 15:13

You don’t have to wait for the afterlife to enjoy these promises. When you live and love as Jesus’ disciple now in the present

you will experience 6x..

1 excitement and enrichment when Jesus becomes #1 in your life

2 confidence and comfort that come from living in the Word.

3 supernatural power in prayer as you learn to pray in faith

4 genuine fellowship with believers when you love & serve in community

5 great joy when sharing Christ with others by how you live & what you say.

6 satisfaction in investing your life in others by ministering to their needs.

If you’re not experiencing these things in your life, ask yourself  these questions.

1  Am I spending enough time daily with Jesus my Master?

2 Am I seriously applying God’s Word in my life daily?

Am I earnestly praying in faith not once in a while but daily?

4 Do I fellowship with believers regularly?

Am I Jesus’ faithful witness in the world?

Do I minister to others in Jesus name?

These 6 disciplines characterize the life of a true disciple of Jesus. The Disciples’ Course is designed to help you integrate these disciplines into your daily living This sermon series is preached to motivate you to make these disciplines your daily habits. Thus far you’re been encouraged to put into practice the 1st 3 disciplines that is the discipline of 1 Spending time with your Master   2 Living in God’s Word  3 Praying in faith. Tonight I encourage you to make this 4th discipline your daily habit which is  4 Fellowshipping with beleivers. I have now arrived at the 2nd part of my message which is

REFLECT ON TONIGHT’S SERMON which is entitled FELLOWSHIPPING WITH BELIEVERS

I begin by explaning these two words: believers and fellowship. Consider the 1st word; the word ‘believers.’Who are believers? Believers are disciples of Jesus who worship the same God. They worship God the Father who is infinite in wisdom, power and love whose mercy is over all His works whose will is ever directed to His children’s good. They worship Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the gift of Father God’s unfailing grace, the ground of their hope, the promise of their deliverance from sin and death. They worship the Holy Spirit as God’s divine presence in their lives who reminds them about the love of God and the truth of Christ the source of strength and help in their time of need. They believe that their faith should be lived out in truth and love until the kingdom of God come upon the earth. Other than worshipping the same God, Jesus’ disciples also believe that they 6x

1 have the same Father - the LORD God Almighty.

2. have been bought with the same price – the Blood of Jesus.

3 are members of the same body - the Body of Christ

4 are being taught by the same Spirit – the Holy Spirit

5 are serving the same Master – LORD Jesus

6 are heirs of the same inheritance – co-heirs with Jesus

The second word I now explain is the word ‘fellowship.’ Some say the word fellowship means ‘fellows in the same ship’ This is not true. Let me explain why. Every month I preach to 4 different congregations in Langkawi. To get there, I take the ferry from Kuala Kedah with other passengers. I don’t fellowship with these passengers even though we’re in the same boat heading for the same destination. I can’t truly fellowship with passengers who’re stangers to me because

they 7x..

  • are not worshipping the same God as me

  • don’t have the same heavenly Father as I have

  • have not been redeemed by the blood of Jesus

  • are not members of the Body of Christ

  • are not being taught by the Holy Spirit

  • are not serving the same Master as me

  • are not co-heirs with me for the same inheritance.

But each Sunday I am here without fail fellowshipping with you. Why Because I .

  • am worshipping the same Triune God as you

  • have the same heavenly Father as you

  • have been redeemed by the same blood of Jesus as you

  • am a member of the same Body of Chrsit as you

  • am being taught by the same Holy Spirit as you

  • am serving the same LORD and Master as you

  • am co-heirs with you for the same inheritance.

And when we fellowship together as believers we are ..

  • spending time together as the people of God

  • worshipping the same Father God together as family of God

  • studying God’s Word together as disciples of Jesus

  • serving the same Master together as servants of God

  • sharing your life together as the Body of Christ

  • praying in faith together as directed by the Holy Spirit

  • witnessing to the world together in obedience to Jesus

Let me ask you this application question. Fellowshipping with believers is it

  • a command to be obeyed

  • a privilege to be enjoyed

  • an optional responsibility to be considered

  • a spiritual exercise to be practiced on?

Why bother to fellowship with believers some of you may ask? Allow me to convince you with some quotations from Scripture. More importantly, allow yourself to be convicted by the Holy Spirit as Scripture is read to you. Fellowshipping with believers is a must because

1 God commands you to do it. Hebrews 10: 24 -25 Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds. Let us not give up meeting one another as some are in the habit of doing but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day (of Judgement) approaching. NIV Let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good. Let us not neglect our church meetings as some people do but encourage and warn each other especially now that the day of Christ’s coming back is drawing near. LB

Fellowshipping with believers is a must because

2 You obey Christ’s command to love when you do it. John 13: 34 -35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, f you love one another. NIV Let me give you a new commandment. Love one another. In the same way as I have loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples. When they see the love you have for each other. Msg

You scratch my back. I scratch your back. You be nice to me, I be nice to you. It’s easy to love one another when everything is fine and well. It’s nice to love one another in the church when there are no nasty people in it. What if someone says no to you for your own good? Will you accept it in love? What if someone badmouth you behind your back? Will you respond in love? What if someone is nasty with you? Will you continue to love? Will you respond with the love of Christ inspite of ..

  • stubborn wills and sharp tongues

  • hot tempers and ugly confrontations

  • conflicting interests and unresolved disagreements

  • devious manipulations and emotional blackmails

  • wounded hearts and unforgiving spirits

You won’t unless you ask Father God to fill your heart with His love. You can’t unless you have the love of Christ in your heart. Do you want Father God to fill your heart with His love? Do you want Christ’s love in your heart to respond in love? Will you continue to fellowship with believers in spite of ..

  • busy schedules and personal shyness

  • poor health and financial difficulties

  • unmet needs and broken promises

  • uncaring attitudes and unkind accusations

  • unacceptable conduct and unrealistic expectations.

You can’t unless you choose to obey Father God. You won’t unless you choose to love in obedience to Christ. Do you desire to love others in obedience to Father God? Do you love enough to continue fellowshipping with other believers?

Father God will fill your heart with His love if you fervently ask Him for it. And when Father God fills your heart with His love, then

  • you’ll not stop fellowshipping with other believers in the church.

  • you’ll not stop serving God together with other disciples in the church.

  • you’ll not want to quit the church

  • God will empower you to love others the way Christ loves you.

  • You will be able to love others the way Christ loves you

  • you’ll want to restore the peace that is missing in your heart

  • you’ll do what it takes to restore harmony back into the church.

Jesus will help you love others if you truly want to obey Him. And when Jesus helps you love others the way He loves you then

  • you’re truly spurring one another toward love

  • you’re really outdoing each other in being kind

  • you’re seriously encouraging one another in doing good

  • you’re sincerely loving one another as Christ loves you

  • and everyone will easily recognize you as Christ’s disciple.

We’ve reviewed this sermon series on Being Discipled & Making Disciples. We have reflected on what is means to fellowship with believers. I close with my message with this question God wants to ask you. What is your response to what you’ve heard tonight? I close with

YOUR REPONSE TO TONIGHT’S MESSAGE Listen to these words carefully before you respond to God’s question. Listen mindfully before you respond wholeheartedly to God. Ask God’s Holy Spirit to reveal to you what God wants from you. This is the message we have heard from God and declare to you. God is light (=true and holy), in Him is no darkness (=falsehood & sin) at all. If we claim to have fellowship with God yet walk in darkness we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves & the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just & He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar and His Word has no place in our lives. 1 John1: 5-10 NIV This is the message God has given me to pass on to you. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we are His friends but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin,we are lying. But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be depended upon to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar for He says we have sinned. 1 John 1: 5 -10 LB

Over to you! It’s between you and God now. Tell Him your response to the preaching of His Word. Tell Him what’s in your heart in response to the stirring of the Holy Spirit. After the benediction, come to the altar to pray if this is your desire. Ask to be prayed for if this is your desire. Don’t leave God’s presence without giving Him your answer. God wants to hear from you.

CLOSING PRAYER Search me Father God and know my heart today. Try me O Saviour and know my thoughts I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me. Cleanse me from every sin and set me free. I’m not perfect. I’ve not arrived. I still sin and I stubbornly continue to sin. I do have problems. I don’t know it all. I still have much to learn. I’m not complete that I don’t need anything from You, dear LORD. Show me what’s in my heart that displease You. Teach me what I am not understanding. Convict me when I have sinned against you and others. Tear down my arrogance & pride, fears & insecurities. Help me see the truth about myself, my life, my circumstances. Expose the ugly things in my heart that pains you Abba Father I can take it. With your help I can face these ugly giants in my life and defeat them. Help me repent and confess these secret and stubborn sins. Help me replace lies with truth and make changes in my life that last. So help me Abba Father because I pray this in Yeshua, your Son’s name. Amen.

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