The 4 C’s of Fellowship with God are as follows:
1. Conditions for Fellowship
2. Conduct for Fellowship
3. Characteristics of Fellowship
4. Consequences of Fellowship
In this lesson we will look at the “Characteristics of Fellowship” which is the next “C” in our study of the 4 C’s of Fellowship with GOD.
Read 1 John 3:11-18
11, ¶ For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12, Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
13, Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14, ¶ We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15, Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16, Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17, But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18, My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
When we are in close Fellowship with GOD, We should have some noticeably different characteristics in our life. We will discuss only two in this lesson; however there are many more. The two that I would like to discuss are:
- Brotherly Love (Kindness)
First let us look at Brotherly Love. You will notice in the Passage of Scripture above that we are reminded that we should love one another. This is not a “new” concept, but rather has been taught from the beginning. Jesus himself told his disciples in John 13:35 that the way the rest of the world would recognize them (and us) as his followers is by our love for one another. We are also reminded what love “looks Like” in a believers life. Real love is demonstrated in actions; it’s not just something that we talk about.
Jesus Demonstrated what true love is to us when he went to the Cross of Calvary and died for our sins. The Just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18). He became sin for us that we could be reconciled to GOD (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus said in John 15:12-13…This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). As He said in John 10:18.. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
We should be willing to demonstrate our love to one another in the same way. This doesn’t mean that we will always agree with one another or that we won’t hurt one another’s feelings now and then, but rather through all of that; we are still willing to lay down our lives for each other. We are willing to help each other whenever the opportunity arises. Unlike the rest of the World, we are willing to help others even when there is not any tangible benefit to ourselves to do so. Sure plenty of people do “good” things for others, especially around the Holidays or just after some terrible tragedy. But more times than not they have other motives, whether it would be some recognition, a tax write off or just simply to try to feel better about themselves. Our motivation is just simply our love for one another, we are not trying to gain favor of GOD by doing Good works. We do Good Works because we have already received favor from GOD.
This brings us to the Second Characteristic that will be found in the life of the Believer who has Fellowship With GOD; Forgiveness.
In Ephesians 4:32 we receive this command: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. We are to forgive one another simply because we have been forgiven ourselves. Let’s take a look at how Jesus explained this concept in Matthew 18:21-35. 21, ¶ Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22, Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
23, Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24, And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25, But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26, The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27, Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28, But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29, And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30, And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31, So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32, Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33, Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34, And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35, So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
After reading that passage, you can see how utterly ridiculous it is to GOD that we would not be willing to forgive others when he has already forgiven us of so much. He has forgiven us of a debt that we could never repay, It doesn’t really matter what anyone has done to you, or what you feel someone else “owes” you, it pales in comparison to what the LORD did and continues to do for us on a daily basis. Our sins caused our creator to suffer and die in our place, so that he could then offer us complete forgiveness. Forgiving others is a Characteristic that every believer is commanded to demonstrate (Colossians 3:12-15). The LORD has been gracious with us, and has shown us Mercy, it is therefore just reasonable that we would extend Forgiveness, Grace and Mercy to others.
In our next lesson we will take a look at what some of the Consequences of Fellowship with GOD are.
My hope is that this article provided some encouragement and help for your Christian walk.