Christian "fellowship"....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Iconoclast

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    From Ryle's book on practical religion he speaks to this point;

    Sometimes this happens the right way, but it could be improved upon with proper preparation for the Lord's day....then it will carry over into the rest of the week.

    mal3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?


    15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.


    16 Then they that feared the
    Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.


    17 And they shall be mine, saith the
    Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.


    18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

     
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  2. Iconoclast

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    When is the last time someone in your fellowship approached you with a book recommendation, or to discuss some portion of scripture they learned more about?
    What was that book, or recommendation?

    When was the last time you did this to someone in your fellowship?
    Again.....what was the scripture or topic you offered?
     
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  3. Iconoclast

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    I am thinking this lack of response might be a confession of a failure to properly prepare for worship on the Lord's day.
    Instead of prayfully anticipating the blessing of God, and praying for chances to minister to one another in the place of meeting.....perhaps many drift in and out of a service, for what they can get for themselves rather than looking out for the needs of others.

    Philippians 2:4
    Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    Good thoughts! Finding people who are really hungry for God's word is becoming increasingly rare, much less who are eager to discuss the bible. Perhaps this is due to the kind of evangelism that characterizes many churches today - manipulative evangelism that simply wants to take care of the problem of hell rather than experiencing God that is life transforming.

    John the Baptist and Jesus came preaching a gospel of repentance and administered a baptism of repentance and gave a commission to preach repentance (Lk. 24:27) but today's gospel is all about "just believe" and your saved. Hence, they are made two-fold more children of hell, and church members are Biblically shallow, whose driving desire is being entertained rather than a thirst to know God's Word in order to know how to please God.
     
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  5. Internet Theologian

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    I have a friend who is a retired chaplain, has lost interest in study, hasn't read in years (as he told me) and still served as a chaplain in the armed forces. He is a fundy baptist and is surprised I've become a believer in the Doctrines of Grace which he does not adhere to.

    Anytime we discuss this he gets irritated as I challenge him to read books. We talk several times per week so recently I suggested to him he needs to challenge his theology being fully aware he is bored with old fundy theology. He is also supposed to be holding a 'revival' soon. How many trudge along and continue to minister, and have no interest in learning, reading, study? I'd say a lot more than we would like to think. Years ago a preacher at a conference told me of his same dilemma, no desire to study, read, and he said he basically knows everything and it is just repetitive. But I do not believe that to be the issue - it is like the retired chaplain, failure to read things outside of their camp, especially things from 'evil calvies' because secondary separation has been taken too far in its extreme.

    I pray my friend will open up and God will lead him to a desire to think outside the box he's in. He's miserable.
     
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  6. HankD

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    B, I know what you mean, however it is impossible for anyone to truly "just believe" without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in the rebirth experience.

    The real problem is phony-believism or pretend-believism - those who can "talk-the-talk" and even learn to some extent to walk-the-walk.

    Many many moons ago when I was an assistant pastor/youth pastor of a Baptist church a young man started coming to church after he was invited to church via our collegiate visitation ministry. His name had been given to us by one of the young college ladies. He came for several months, he and she became close. One evening at one of our young adult socials at a members home he asked to see me privately. We went to my car and he confessed Christ as his savior, he met with the pastor and deacons who heard his testimony and interviewed him for membership candidacy. He seemed exemplary in word/deed and later he was baptized and received a college church membership.

    Long story short - he had a falling out with the young lady (who had had the sense enough to remain celibate) left the church and seemed to have quite a fall into depravity very shortly thereafter.

    There are other stories which I (and others who have worked in the ministry for any length of time) can recount.
    Some far worse even by "men of God" or "Christian workers".

    Most of us know (and the world) of horrible scandals which are not exclusive of any church including the church of Rome.

    My point: even if we attempt to make assurances that we are not teaching goats how to become sheep they are masters at learning how to bleat and "cleaning up their act".

    Granted we will eliminate the most obvious.

    2 Corinthians
    13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
    14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
    15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


    HankD
     
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  7. JonC

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    About a couple of weeks ago. What was recommended to me was not a book but a DVD of sermons (well, also a Christian fiction book which the guy insisted I borrow but I have not read). We were talking about conversion being a change in the person, and I gave him a copy of Desiring God (I had several copies on hand from a study).

    Another recommendation came today. A member made the comment in church that he had heard it put "be killing sin or sin will be killing you". Later I told him I appreciated the comment and recommended the book from which it came.

    I had another discussion about a topic often ignored these days but often preached years ago..."plowing the fallow ground" and the numerous times repentance was commanded of believers in Scripture.
     
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  8. HankD

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    I heard "the Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible".

    HankD
     
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  9. JonC

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    1 Peter 1:17 - If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

    I believe this is the difference between how a Christian reacts to sin and how the world reacts to sin. We do call on Him as Father, and we know Father God is an impartial Judge who judges each according to their work. I believe this fear implies not only an awe and reverence for God but also because of the holiness of God a deep sorrow and fear of sin. When we sin, we are driven to repentance by a godly fear. We run from sin and to God. But when the lost sin they are driven by a worldly fear which drives them away from God and into more sin (they are sorrowful in a way, but unrepentant...a sorrow leading to death).

    IMHO, this is also a biblical truth that those who reject eternal security have failed to grasp.
     
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  10. Internet Theologian

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    Yep. DMLJ lamented in his day what he called 'believism' and it is rampant today. Now it has become 'easy-believism'.
     
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  11. HankD

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    IMO The basic problem is that there is so much literature with Christian leaders and "teachers" abounding today that it goes far beyond what is called "easy believism".

    Today "maturity" is taught in our circles and how to "talk" Jesus along with do...do...do, so much so that we are easily deceived. Worse, they prey upon us and our children.

    2 Peter 2
    1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
    2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
    3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
    4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
    5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

    2 Corinthians 11
    13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
    14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
    15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

    HankD
     
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  12. Iconoclast

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    I think we as believers need to re-think this whole idea of what is biblical fellowship?
    What is biblical fellowship?
    What makes it different from 'fellowship at a chess club, or stamp collecting group?
    Are we prepared ahead of time....maybe in prayer the night before....to offer some bite size ideas concerning truth that can edify a person?
     
  13. Iconoclast

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    Internet Theologian,

    .
    When he informed you of his personal decline and growing weary of spiritual growth, do you remember what was your initial reaction to this distressing information?
    As a friend I am sure it caught your attention. Did it make you feel sad, disappointed, concerned, puzzled, curious, or all of these at the same time?

    It is hard to say from a distance, but unless there was intense physical or mental trials this person was going through , some have NEVER really cultivated proper study and fellowship habits....they just made a profession of faith and have since just grown physically older , perhaps with minimal spiritual growth.
    I would hope that was not your friends situation.

    As we see on BB.....many will seek to get angry with any person who offers an expansion of thinking on doctrinal topics. maybe you can read or copy a selected paragraph or two and offer it as the topic of your discussion...ask him what he has on it....small portions.

    Some old timers do not want to humble themselves some time. A chaplin is used to helping others, so he might see where he himself might m=need the very kind of help he is offering others.

     
  14. Iconoclast

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    yes this is the kind of interaction that seems to be healthy signs of growth ,and things that accompany salvation.....good follow up with him.
    9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

    10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

    11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

    12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

    To not do such things is slothful

    That you interact and offer feedback can also be a teachable moment for him, seeing as you put value on his reaching out to you.
     
  15. HankD

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    Young's Literal Translation
    Hebrews 13:16 and of doing good, and of fellowship, be not forgetful, for with such sacrifices God is well-pleased.

    The King James
    Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

    The word "communicate" here in the KJV is koinonia.
    Used also of sharing , communion.

    Noteworthy - fellowship is called a "sacrifice" in Hebrews 13:16. Presumably a sacrifice of the NT priesthood.

    HankD
     
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  16. Internet Theologian

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    I kind of picked up on this whole thing in the past couple months, that is about his non study habits. I then talked with him about this upfront because it wasn't hard to see he would get uptight about theological discussions, or just general talk about the LORD.

    Now we have known each other for some 25 years back, went to College together. When he shared this with me I wasn't shocked to be honest because I've seen it in others elsewhere, so there is some empathy, which encourages me to try and edify him. I have offered some works for him to read, will probably buy him a book or two that I think may help him, and of course prayer. I think a discovery of the truths of the Doctrines of Grace would be refreshing for him.

    Now, he is no 'old timer' he is my age! :)
     
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  17. TCassidy

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    I am an old man. An old Christian man. A man who spent the vast majority of his adult life in ministry. And during that life-time of ministry I learned, largely through observation, some things that have caused me to re-think my understanding of such things as "fellowship," "prayer," and "bible reading."

    The first thing I learned was that different people learn and grow at different rates. Contrary to popular opinion, one size does NOT fit all. Different people do the same things in very different ways.

    For example, "fellowship." Let's start with our fellowship with God and work from there. What does it mean to have fellowship with God? My wife and I, during my active years of ministry, traveled extensively. If the trip was long we would fly. But if it were short (less than 1000 miles) we would drive. On those long trips in the car she would put her hand on the center console and I would place my hand in hers and we would hold hands. We would travel hundreds of miles without either of us saying a word, yet, there we were in perfect harmony. Perfect fellowship. Perfect communion. Not doing a thing or saying a word. In my experience, sometimes we get so busy "doing" fellowship that we miss out on fellowship altogether. Fellowship is not activity. It is communion with the Father, and communion with the saints. Psalm 46:10 pretty much says it all, "Be still, and know that I am God."

    From there we can see how this can also be applied to our fellowship with other believers. I am of the opinion it is impossible for two believers to be right with God but wrong with each other. Our fellowship with others should be a reflection of our fellowship with God.

    Prayer is more than just "asking and receiving." (With my apologies to John R. Rice.) Prayer certainly is about praying that God would supply our daily needs, but it is more than "give us this day our daily bread." It is also "Hallowed be thy Name." And "Thy Kingdom come." And "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." It is also "forgive us our trespasses" and "as we forgive those who have trespassed against us." And "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." And, of course, "for Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever."

    Prayer is as much an attitude as it is words. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are told to "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing." We are to be always in an attitude of prayer. Just as my wife and I could perfectly communicate our love toward one another as we drove down the expressway without saying a word, so also we can be in an attitude of prayer without saying a word. Just aware of His presence in our lives and our presence with Him. Simply silently kneeling before the throne in close communion with our Heavenly Father.

    And now to bible reading/study. I have spent, literally, a life time in bible reading, study, and teaching. I admit that today I do not have a "bible reading plan" where I read a certain number of chapters per day, or have a set time to read my bible. But what I do is something modern day Christendom has largely forgotten. I meditate. I think about the bible and spiritual things. I ponder God, myself, and our relationship. I think about what I have already read and know (or at least think I know) from the bible. And in doing this I find I can come to a much deeper understanding than the daily bible "fix" the average Christian gets from his devotional guide. "Read a verse or two. Read this encouraging story. Pray rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub" and somehow think that suffices as "daily devotions."

    So, I changed how I do things. Now I follow the Godly examples from the bible.

    Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

    Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    Psalm 63:6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

    Psalm 77:12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

    Psalm 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

    Psalm 119:23 thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

    Psalm 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

    Psalm 119:78 I will meditate in thy precepts.

    Psalm 119:148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

    Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

    1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

    But, that's just me. :)
     
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  18. HankD

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    I am old as well Tom and you struck a harmonic chord.

    HankD
     
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  19. JonC

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    Good insight. I hope when I get that old ..... :D

    A friend and I were just talking about Jeremiah 4 and "plowing the fallow ground" (it was the sermon topic a few weeks ago).
     
  20. Iconoclast

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    "TCassidy,
    And that comes full, circle to Ryle in the OP-

    Let us resolve to meditate more on the Bible. It is good to take with us two or three texts when we go out into the world, and to turn them over and over in our minds whenever we have a little leisure time. It keeps out many vain thoughts. It clenches the nail of daily reading. It preserves our souls from stagnating and breeding corrupt things. It sanctifies and quickens our memories; and prevents them becoming like those foul ponds where the reptiles live, but the fish die.

    Let us resolve to talk more to believers about the Bible when we meet them. Alas, the conversation of Christians, when they do meet, is often sadly unprofitable! How many frivolous, and trifling, and uncharitable things are said! Let us bring out the Bible more, and it will help to drive the devil away, and keep our hearts in tune. Oh, that we may all strive so to walk together in this evil world; that Jesus may often draw near, and go with us, as He went with the two disciples journeying to Emmaus!
     
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