Page 8 - July 2024 - Truth & Tidings
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n our past two articles, we defined   ye did communicate with my affliction …
            fellowship as sharing in common and   no church communicated with me as con-
        Ias a unity among believers, based on   cerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
        communion with God through the Lord   For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and
        Jesus Christ. We have learned as well that   again unto my necessity” (Php 4:14-16).
        fellowship can be experienced through   Paul wrote to Timothy, urging him to
        association with a company of believers   charge those who were wealthy to be rich
        gathered in the name of the Lord Jesus.   in good works, ready to communicate,
          It is important for us to understand that   willing to distribute. That is, they should
        in order to enjoy happy fellowship with   express their fellowship with needy
        one another, we must be enjoying happy   Christians by a willingness to share their
        fellowship and communion with God.    material and financial wealth (1Ti 6:17-18).
        Conversely, we cannot expect to enjoy   The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews
        communion and fellowship with God if   reminds us of our obligation to have fel-
        we are not enjoying fellowship with our   lowship with other believers in practical
        brothers and sisters in the Lord.     ways, giving of our material and financial
          Based on our mutual communion and   possessions. He wrote, “But to do good
        association with the Lord Jesus, fellow-  and to communicate forget not: for with
        ship should not only be experienced   such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb
        but expressed in practical and profitable   13:16).
        ways. One word that is often associated   Another word that is closely connected
        with the idea of fellowship is the word   to the subject of fellowship is the word
        “communicate,” which can mean to share   “minister” or “serve.” Our Lord Jesus
        in common with, or to distribute, or to   Christ showed the greatest example of
        partake, depending on the context of the   serving. He said, “The Son of man came
        verses where it is found.             not to be ministered unto, but to minister,
          In his final instructions to the churches   and to give his life a ransom for many”
        of Galatia, the apostle Paul wrote, “Let   (Mat 20:28).
        him that is taught in the word commu-
        nicate unto him that teacheth in all good   The Debt of Ministering
        things” (Gal 6:6).  Here we have the re-  Because God has showered His love
                       1
        sponsibility of believers to support, both   upon us, not only in saving us by match-
        materially and financially, those who are   less grace but also in providing for us in
        their teachers.                       material things and the necessities of life,
          Paul expressed his appreciation to the   we owe a tremendous debt to our fellow
        believers at Philippi for their practical fel-  believers. John wrote, “Beloved, if God
        lowship with him during times of  adversi-  so loved us, we ought also to love one
        ty and hardship for the sake of the gospel:   another” (1Jn 4:11).
        “Notwithstanding ye have well done, that   The apostle Paul wrote to the believers
                                              at Rome concerning his ministry, or
        1  Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV.  service,  to  the  saints,  that those  who

        200 TRUTH kTidings   July 2024
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