Quarter’s Theme: Discovering Spiritual Maturity
Unit 2 Theme: Practicing Spiritual Maturity Essentials (Lessons 4-9)
CONSECRATION & DEDICATION MONTHS
Sunday 1/2/ 2015
THE HABIT OF FELLOWSHIP
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 218, 229
Devotional Reading: 1 COR. 1:4-10
Topic For Adults
WE NEED EACH OTHER
Topic For Youths
OUR CHURCH MUST GROW
Topic For Intermediates
TEAM WORK BRINGS SUCCESS
PROV. 27:17; HEB. 3:12-15; 10:24-25; MATT. 18:20; ACTS 5:42; 20:20;
1 COR. 16:13-19
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching
(Heb. 10:24-25) NKJV.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
The Purpose Of The Large Group
As effective as the small fellowship may be in meeting individual’s needs, coming under a larger umbrella is very important. There is strength in numbers. When the early Church was threatened, they brought the threat to the larger group where they prayed. The impact of their prayer and the strength of their number were felt by all around. External aggression can easily scatter a small group but a large group will have the strength to withstand the opposition. The large group is also a place where the leaders of the small groups come to be fed and to be groomed for greater effectiveness. It is in the large group where the vision for the whole congregation is received, sharpened and shared. Instead of each small group going in whatever direction the leader feels, there is a united force driving the group – a kind of synergy. When the small groups gather, with each one on fire for the Lord, there will be greater fire, strength and resources to do exploit for the Lord.
Point of Emphasis: There is great advantage in numbers when we work together in unity.
Prayer Point: Give us the grace to take advantage of large gatherings to do exploit for you, oh God.
The Church of God is designed as a launching pad where God’s people have a
relationship with Christ. The believers should have a strong love for themselves.
There should be worship, prayer and fellowship for them to be glad in their faith for Christ. This week’s lesson engeared believers not to neglect the assembling of ourselves together. There should be bound of common purpose and devotion that binds Christians to one another and to Christ.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
- THE VITALITY OF FELLOWSHIP: PROV. 27:17; HEB. 10:25; MATT. 18:20
Christian’s fellowship can be described as the unity and bond that exists between Christians by virtue of the fact that they share together in the grace of the gospel. It is all encompassing and powerful.
Christian fellowship is vital for the following reasons:
1) It shows that you belong to God’s family with other believers. Dr. Ray Orthland says “The Christian who is not committed to a group of other believers for praying, sharing and serving, so that he is known as he knows others, is not an obedient Christian. He is not in the will of God. Though he may be vocal in his theology, he is not obeying the Lord”.
2) It enhances spiritual growth since two are better than one (Heb. 10:24; Eccl. 4:9-10,12).
3) There is a need for accountability to grow spiritually (Prov. 27:17; Heb. 3:13; Gal. 6:1-2).
4) Christ is present when Christians fellowship is together (Matt. 18:20).
5) There is power when we pray together (Matt. 18:19).
6) It is a witness to the world (Jn. 17:21).
7) You have obligation to other Christians. God has given you special abilities which should be used for the benefit of others (1 Pet. 4:10).
In view of these merits, the vitality of fellowship is so much that no one can exist and succeed as a Christian without it.
- MAINTAINING SMALL GROUPS WITHIN A LARGER ONE: ACTS 3:42; 20:20; 1 COR. 16:13-19
A growing Church must be divisible into smaller units or groups in order to maintain close friendship. Every member must be part of the small group. The purpose of our small groups are (Acts 2:42-47).
(i) Discipleship: It affords us the privilege of devoting ourselves to the apostles’ teaching.
(ii) Fellowship: Assembling together to fellowship with Christ.
(iii) Communion: breaking of bread
(iv) Prayer: praying together.
(v) Ministry: Sharing with fellowship of giving and receiving (Phil. 4:15).
(vi) Hospitality: eating together with glad and sincere heart – Rom. 12:13.
(vii) Worship: praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.
(viii) Outreach: Multiplying numerically. God added to them saved souls.
A Church that maintains a vibrant fellowship will witness growth in all ramification of life and anybody who is committed to fellowship with sincere heart will not be found wanting.
III. ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER: HEB. 3:12-15
There is a need for believers to encourage one another not to be deceived by sin and be passive in the Lord. Commitment should be the basis of all relationship. We should be aware that fellowship functions properly if we encourage one another. We must be willing to attend fellowship regularly to receive counsel, correction and instruction. God wants you to pray for someone share a need, meet someone’s needs either materially or financially. Submit yourself to your leaders because they watch over you.
There is a mandate upon you to support your fellowship and encourage others to do same because it is the process of building a practical, physical and spiritual community of believers who are interdependent, with Christ as the head.
Be careful that you don’t develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. So also, encourage each other everyday while you have the opportunity.
Fellowship is very essential in Christendom as no-one can make it alone and finish well without receiving encouragement from other believers. We should grow within the Church through fellowship living things grow. The Church should grow both in spiritual maturity and in numbers. We are to carry each other’s burden in order to fulfil the law of Christ, smaller group is a marvelous training group for wider ministry, ensure you belong to one at least.
- Why should there be a bound of common purpose and devotion that binds Christian to one another?
- Why is Christian fellowship vital?
- Why should a growing Church be divided into smaller units?
- What is the purpose of small groups in a Church?
- How can you be an encourager to other believers?
LE POURQUOI D’UN GRAND GROUPE
ACTES 4 :23-33
Aussi efficace qu’une petite communion puisse paraître pour répondre aux besoins individuels, se retrouver sous de grands auspices est très important. Il y a de la force dans les nombres. Quand l’église primitive fut menacée, ils rapportèrent la menace au plus grand groupe où les gens prièrent. L’impact de leur prière et la force de leur nombre furent ressentis par tous ceux qui étaient aux alentours. L’agression extérieure peut facilement disperser un petit groupe mais un grand groupe aura la force de résister à l’opposition. Le grand groupe est aussi un lieu où les dirigeants des petits groupes viennent pour être nourris et formés pour de plus grande efficacité. C’est dans le grand groupe que la vision de toute la congrégation est reçue, affinée et partagée. Au lieu de chaque petit groupe d’aller dans le sens que le dirigeant ressent, il y a une force unifiée qui dirige le groupe, c’est-à-dire une sorte de synergie. Quand les petits groupes se rassemblent, chacune en feu pour le Seigneur, il y aura un plus grand feu, de la force et des ressources pour faire des exploits pour l’Eternel.
Point essentiel : Il y a de plus grands avantages dans les nombres quand nous travaillons en harmonie.
Axe de prière : Accorde-nous la grâce de profiter de grands rassemblements.