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A.C.T.'s Focuses on Fellowship (2/15/06)

Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 under Life | No comments

The name of our group here on Wednesday nights is Advancing Christian Togetherness or A.C.T. as appropriately titled. The ultimate goal of being together is to fellowship with one another, building one another up in love and unity. The leadership for our group have named this group and set goals of advancing this “togetherness” with students from our own school and Valencia. Building relationships is a key goal to our group; we do not seek to create a group to fulfill our moral obligation for church on a Wednesday night. We here at ACT seek to build meaningful relationships with fellow students, to hold one another accountable and grow deeper in our relationships with Christ and in relation to one another. The way that we will be able to do these growths in fellowship and in our relationships with one another is by focusing our fellowship to specified goals that we can find in our text, Philippians chapter 2.

Read Philipians 2:1,2 From this text we can pull what our first focus of our fellowship should be…

I. Unity focused fellowship

When we gather as a body of believers we should seek to be unified in the areas of our walk with Christ. A cord of three strands is not easily broken and a group unified in truth is not easily torn apart. Paul gives us four ways in which we are to be unified, the first is:

1. Being of the Same Mind

This does not mean that we are mindless zombies who cannot think for ourselves. This means that we need to have the same mentality or goal for our fellowship. Some people have negative intentions and different goals for when they fellowship. Paul is making sure to tell us that we need to be of the same goal or mind in order to achieve unity focused fellowship.

2. Maintaining the Same Love

Our maintenance crew at FCC might or might not know about maintaining something, depending on your experience with them, but in order to maintain something, like say maintaining a car, you have to take special attention to it and make an effort to show it some love. You wash it, scrub your tires, check the tire pressure, check your oil, whisper sweet nothings into the engine and pray it doesn’t break down! The fact of the matter is that you have to put work into something if you are going to maintain it. The same is true for love, that when we come together to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ we supposed to be maintaining the same love that we have for that brother or sister in Christ as we do for Christ Himself. We need to check our attitudes and actions toward our fellow Christians in order to maintain our same love.

3. United in Spirit

When Paul writes this he is talking about being united in our passions. It’s kind of like Paul is telling the Christians to yell to one another “We got Spirit, yes we do, we got Spirit how bout you!” All day long!! Because they all gots Spirit!

4. Intent on One Purpose

We should all understand what our purpose is in life, after all we have all probably read “The purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren! Well anyway, our purpose should ultimately be as Christians to present the Gospel to as many people as we can and try and snatch as many away from the fire as possible.

Lets move on to the next verse in our text:

Phil 2:3 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;”

The focus we find in this verse is that we must have:

II. Humble focused fellowship

There are two aspects of being focused on humility in our fellowship

1 Abstain from selfishness and a conceited heart

When we come to fellowship we should understand that it is not about us. We may think we are the greatest thing to enter into the doors of the church and believe that the church is lucky to have your talents and your abilities and all we are really leading to is a conceited heart that is full of arrogance and pride and is selfishness. After all, we have no reason to boast. In 1 Corinthians 3:6 Paul mentions how he planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God is the one who makes things grow. I believe the same is true in us. That we many work hard for the Lord and plant many seeds, as well as water many. But God and God alone is responsible for the growth in us. We have no reason to have a conceited heart and seek selfishness.

2. Regard others as more important than yourselves

When we come together to fellowship we must understand that we have weaknesses that we bring to the table and the people around us, our brothers and sisters that we will fellowship with bring things to the table that we are not gifted in. This fact makes them invaluable to our ministry here in achieving our goals. For example, I am not an extrovert. To be honest, I don’t even really like people. Of course I’m not saying that I don’t like you all, with the exception of Eric….j/k. I do not bring a natural ability to communicate with other humans. Perhaps you do.

Phil 2:4 “do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

III. People focused fellowship

Continuing with the theme from our last point this is similar. We have to understand that Paul is not telling us to be passive pushovers. I have met several Christians with the inability to say no to someone. We just have to realize when to compromise and when to hold our ground. This is more difficult than it seems but very much attainable when we are following the other focuses of fellowship. If we truly are of the same mind, maintaining love, unified in spirit, drawing toward the same purpose, and abstaining from selfishness and pride and seeking to put others before ourselves, we will not have a problem in sympathizing with the interests of others and compromising some of our own personal interests.

Our final focus in fellowship is:

IV. Christ focused fellowship

Philipians 2:5-11

Jesus emptied Himself before God and suffered the greatest price possible for us, death, and at that a gruesome horrible death on a cross! When we gather to fellowship we need to be mindful of the mentality that Christ had and we need to be servants. Christ is the perfect example for everything in Christianity, I mean really, they named it after Him! But the point is this, when we focus on Christ and becoming more like Him the rest of the areas of fellowship will fall into place and we will be able to participate in the greatest and most intimate fellowship with God that we can achieve through Christ!

Sermon by Josh Wright

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