Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

ENJOYING CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIPS

Friends are special. Don’t you agree? Through the years I have developed some very  wonderful friendships. And some of these special friends I see often. Others I only see occasionally.

Later today a very special couple will be arriving to spend the night in our home. I have not seen them for a while. So, when they get here I know we will spend several hours catching up on one anothers lives. We will laugh together. Cry together. Share some great food and snacks together. But most of all we will recall the memorable days we’ve had as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Being with Christian friends is a means of inhaling the special blessing of Christian fellowship. Being with others who love and serve Christ as you do. Drinking heartily from the cup of relational uplift. And each Christian needs to experience this fellowship in order to receive the needed uplift. It’s not something optional. Something you can elect to do or not do.

Yet, here is an important question to ponder: can you be a Christian without the fellowship of other Christians? There are those who believe you can. But Scripture doesn’t allow this option. Not at all. For when you join your life to  Christ in Christian conversion you are automatically added to the church (see Acts 2:36-47). The Lord’s church. And the church is not just a lifeless building or physical structure. It is a collection of people. Real living, breathing, animate beings just like you.

Why are Christians formed into a church? Into a fellowship of believers in Christ Jesus? Because one cannot live a fruitful and growing Christian life on his or her own. Without the blessing of other lives you will soon wither and blow away. God has created us as social beings. Those who need one another. This is definitely true in the church.

Another factor in Christian fellowship that cannot be ignored is the gift or gifts we possess. Each Christian has a gift or gifts that he or she brings to the body of Christ. It isn’t just a natural ability. Rather, it is a God-endowed ability. And the variety of God-endowed gifts that are brought into the body of Christ, and utilized, are necessary to the well-being of the overall body (see Romans 12:3-8). 

Are you aware of the gifts that God has given to you? If not, you should become aware of these special qualities. For they are indeed Divine endowments. They make you what you are as a Chritian believer. They nonetheless enable you to recognize your place or positioning within the body of Christ. How you are to function and serve as a Christian. So, be sure you know how God has gifted you within His body, the church.

I’m anxious for the arrival of my two Christian friends. You know why? They are equipped by God to fill up some of my spiritual needs. Conversely, I want to be able to be a blessing to them with the gifts that God has given to me. 

When Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians he was thankful for their ” … fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:5). I too am thankful for the special friendships that I enjoy with others “in Christ.”

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June 16, 2010 - Posted by | Relationships

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