Bible Society of South Africa

The foundation of fellowship - 16 May 2024

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

15Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. 16Under his control all the different parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which it is provided. So when each separate part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up through love.

Ephesians 4:15-16GNBOpen in Bible reader

None of what we have been talking about for the previous two weeks can happen without a binding factor. This factor is our mutual faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Only those who believe can have fellowship. Our belief in God draws us together. The love that binds us to God also binds us to one another.

I like the metaphor of a magnet and a lot of iron filings. The filings lay scattered about, but when you bring a magnet near them, they all cling to the magnet. In the process of clinging to the magnet, they also cling to one another. God’s love for us and our love for God determines the attraction we have for fellow believers.

We must always remember that the fellowship of believers is always about the presence of God. To know this should fill us with the same awe that once filled the hearts of the first believers. Our fellowship with each other is, in the first and last place, not about us, but about God whom we serve and worship through our bond with other believers.

In this verse from the letter to the Ephesians, Paul shows us how the body of Christ, which we call church, should be. The body is perfect, harmonious and held together by each joint; if each part worked as it should, the body would be built up and grow.

We, unfortunately, know from bitter experience that this body that was perfectly created by Jesus did not stay perfect. Schisms took place throughout the centuries and people were killed, because they differed from those in control of the body. In our own country, fellow believers were barred form fellowship because of politics. We can go on pointing out these wrongs, but the fact that these things happened, should not turn me away from the church as the body of Christ. I should rather be part of the church and help to prevent this from happening again. Let us do our best to bring his wonderful plan with the church to fruition.

Prayer: We thank you, Lord, for a church and congregation where we can join hands with other believers to bring about change in our world. Amen

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