Fellowship is such a blessing to Christians! To have such great things in common, to be able to come together and overcome the petty things of this world and embrace one another based on a common faith in God and love for Him and each other–it’s truly one of the greatest opportunities in life! Share with Robert as he pursues this topic in part of this 2 lessons.

ROBERT >> Most people that know me today call me by the name Robert. My family has always called me Rob, and they still do. Some people call me Bob, especially those who knew my father. And I’m a junior, and they called him Bob, so they call me Bob. And there’s a few other names that I won’t mention that people call me. But I always say I don’t care what you call me, as long as you call me for supper.

But did you know that God has called you into the fellowship of his son, Jesus Christ? That’s what I want to talk to you about today, so I hope you’ll stay tuned.

>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Corinthians 1:9. Yes, God has called you into the fellowship of his son, Jesus Christ. I want to begin today by giving you three Greek words.

Now, the first of these words is kaleo, and it means to call, and it’s used here in 1 Corinthians 1:9 I quoted just a moment ago. But the second of these words is ekklesia, which is translated in most Bibles, church. It’s a compound word made of the Greek word ek, which means out of, and kaleo, which we’ve already mentioned, which means called. Literally, the church is the called-out. That’s what the church is. It’s those who have been called by God out of sin, out of the world, into the fellowship of Jesus Christ.

And that brings me then to the third Greek word, koinonia. Koinonia means partnership, participation, communion, or fellowship. And what a fellowship it is in the fellowship of Jesus Christ.

I love how John put it in 1 John 1:3, where John says, Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. What a fellowship. Oh, there are many different kinds of fellowship in the world today. We’ve got fellowships at our schools, at our colleges; there are athletic fellowships and so many different kinds of fellowships in our communities, and of course the many religious fellowships in our world today; but I want you to notice today that the fellowship of Christ is unique, it’s special, it’s unlike any other fellowship in all the world because it is the fellowship of God. It’s a fellowship that comes from God, that is of God. It’s not from man. It is a divine fellowship. .

So let’s ask ourselves, are we that church? Are we a part of that church,the fellowship of Christ? Are you? Let’s notice a few things that the Bible teaches us about the fellowship of Jesus Christ. First of all, I want you to notice that it is the fellowship made possible by Christ. It’s the fellowship of Christ, but it’s made possible by Christ. You see, we’ve all sinned. Romans 3:23 reminds us that we’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

There are some who want to deny it, but it’s clear as we look around that our world is full of evil, it’s full of all kinds of problems and difficulties and misery and heartache and sorrow. Why? Because men have turned away from God, they’ve gone their own way. We’ve all sinned and fall short of his glory. And it’s those sins that have separated us from our God.

In Isaiah 59:1-2 I want to read this passage where the prophet was warning God’s people Israel about their sins because they had turned away and went after other gods. And he reminded them of the awful consequence that sin brings into our life. Isaiah 59, beginning in verse 1 he says, Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

You see, it’s not that God is not able to save us, it’s not that God is not able to hear and to answer our prayers; but our sins have separated us from God. In all of his holiness, in all of his righteousness, he is unable to have fellowship with sin. The wages of sin is death, according to Romans 6:23.

You see, what we have done has caused us to be separated from God forever. That’s the death that Paul spoke of there in Romans 6:23. Not physical death, a separation of the body from the spirit, but spiritual death, a separation of man from God because of our sins. But he says there in Romans 6:23 that the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

You see, the only thing that could pay for our sins was the sacrifice of a perfect human being. And you know how that we could not die for each other because we all have our sins. But God provided for us that sacrifice in Jesus Christ. He left heaven, he became one of us, he lived a perfect life, and he offered it as a sacrifice for our sins. I’ve often spoken of that on this program because I want us all to realize the great price that had been paid and to realize the tremendous love that God had for us. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:8. Let’s go back to Isaiah again, and let us read Isaiah 53:5-6, where we see how God has provided for us this sacrifice for our sins. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. .

If you could imagine this book being a record of all of your sins that you have, and those sins separating you from the holy and righteous God, but then God taking all of your sins and laying them on Jesus Christ, that perfect sacrifice for sin so that you now can be reconciled to God, be reunited with that one who loves you so, that’s what God was doing. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, 2 Corinthians 5:19. Verse 21 of that same chapter reminds us that, Him who knew no sin, that is, Jesus Christ, was made to be sin for us, that is, he became our sin offering, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, made right with God through Jesus Christ.

The one who was with God, the one who was God, that one became flesh and dwelt among us, John 1:1 and 14. He was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world according to John 1:29. He was the one who was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross according to Philippians 2:6-8. Who though he was tempted in all points like as we are, was yet without sin; and thus he could offer himself for our sins.

This is the love of God, not that we loved Him, but He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation, that atoning sacrifice for our sins, 1 John 4:9-10. So God now can be just in forgiving our sins, and we can be reconciled to God. That’s the fellowship we enjoy in Jesus Christ. That’s the fellowship that’s made possible by Christ. There’s no other fellowship like that in all the world. Now I want you to notice a second thing today. It is the fellowship of those who have been baptized into Christ. You see, it’s in baptism that we are actually united with Christ by identifying with his death, his burial, and his resurrection.

I hope you’ll turn with me today in Romans chapter 6, and I want to read to you verse 3 and verse 4, where the apostle Paul was reminding the Christians in Rome about their baptism. And this is what he said: Romans 6:3, Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Yes, you see here in this passage that when we’re baptized, we are baptized into Christ, into fellowship with Christ, we are united with Christ. And when we are united with Christ, it’s when we are baptized into his death. That is, in baptism we identify with the death of Christ spiritually. He died for our sins, and in our baptism we die to sin to live in it no longer. He says we are buried by baptism into death. We’re buried with Christ. Just as Christ was put in that tomb, so the old sinner is put to death and buried in the waters of baptism. And then it says as Christ was raised from the dead, even so we also walk in newness of life. Just as he was raised up out of that tomb to live again, to walk on this earth, to ultimately ascend into heaven to live forever, so by that same power we are raised up out of the waters of baptism a new creation to live a new life, our sins having been cleansed, our sins having been forgiven.

Because Christ paid the price for those sins, God was able to raise us up to walk a new life. Yes, it’s in baptism that we are united with Christ, we come into the fellowship of Jesus Christ. Understand that baptism is not a work by which we earn salvation; it rather is an act of faith in the working of God. Let’s look together again this time in Colossians 2:12.

Again, the apostle Paul is writing to Christians about their baptism. And here he says that, You’re buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

So you see, baptism is a lot more than just getting wet. No, when we’re truly baptized into Christ, when we’re truly buried with him in baptism, it’s through faith in the working of God. God is at work in baptism to renew our spirit and to raise us up to new life. And so our faith is in him and in what he is doing. I look in Acts 22:16, and I see where the preacher says, Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

You see, in baptism we’re calling on the Lord to wash away our sins. Baptism saves us by the resurrection of Christ. The power is of God. It’s not the water. I want to look with you in 1 Peter 3:21 and notice what Peter writes here in this passage. He says, There is also an antitype which now saves us – baptism. He says baptism saves us. But again, it’s not the power that’s in the water. He makes that clear. Not the removal of the filth of the flesh. It’s not just taking a bath. It’s not washing dirt off our body. But he says, The answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s the power of God, the power that raised up Jesus that can forgive us, that can cleanse us, that raised us up now of clear conscience because our sins have been forgiven in Jesus Christ.

When we’re baptized into Christ, we come into the fellowship of Christ. That same act of faith that puts us into Christ, baptism, puts us into the church of Christ, his fellowship, his spiritual fellowship. If you’ll look with me back in Acts the 2nd chapter, you’ll read about the beginning of Christ’s church. He had promised that he would build his church when he was on this earth in Matthew 16:18, and now he had died for our sins, he had been buried, he had been raised, and he had ascended on high. He had gone to sit at God’s right hand, and he had poured out the power of his Holy Spirit, and the good news of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ was preached on that occasion.

And look what it says in verse 37 of Acts chapter 2. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? You see, these people were convicted of their sin, and they saw they needed a savior, and they had now found that savior in Jesus Christ. What do we do, they asked. And you’ll notice the answer of the apostle.

The Bible says in verse 38, Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was very simple. Peter said you need to repent. You need in godly sorrow for your sins to make that decision to turn away from sin, to live in it no longer, but to give your life to God. Repent, he said, and be baptized, be immersed. That’s what the word literally means. Be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. Upon his name, upon a confession of his name, Jesus the Christ, our deliverer, our savior, we are then immersed so that our sins might be forgiven.

Now, he went on to preach to them, and he went on to tell them what they needed to do to be saved. And the Bible says in verse 41, Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. There is the fellowship of Jesus Christ. There’s its beginning, with these three thousand who having heard the gospel, responded in turning from their sins and in giving themselves to the Lord in baptism.

There God did his work. There God made them anew. There God put them not only into Christ, but into his church. And look at verse 42. They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. What a fellowship.

You see, when we hear that same gospel and we respond in that same way, God not only puts us into Christ and we become Christians, but he puts us into the body of Christ, the church of Christ, the fellowship of Jesus Christ. I look down in verse 47, and I see them praising God and having favor with all the people, and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. God is still doing that today.

Have you been obedient to the gospel in baptism? Have you become a part of the fellowship of Jesus Christ? Has he added you to his church? Well, the Bible says we’re all baptized by one Spirit into one body, 1 Corinthians 12:13. That body is the body of Christ.

According to Ephesians 1:22-23, He is head over all things to the church which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. In Ephesians 4:4 it says, There is one body. In chapter 5 verse 23 of that same letter he reminds us that Christ is head of the church and savior of the body.

I know that there are probably many who are listening to me today who’ve been baptized, they’ve been immersed in water, but they have not been baptized into Christ and into his church. They just got wet. I hope today that you’ll think seriously about your relationship with the Lord, that you’ll remember what a fellowship he has provided for us through Jesus Christ, that it is a fellowship that was made possible by Christ, that you will remember the sacrifice that Jesus made, in leaving the glories of heaven and becoming one of us and then going to the cross to suffer and to die for our sins. And I hope in seeing that cross today you’ll realize how horrible sin really is, that you’ll make that decision to turn away from it, to live no longer in it, that you’ll truly repent from the heart; and having done that, that you’ll allow yourself to be baptized into Christ, that you will there in that water in faith call upon the Lord to cleanse you, to save you, to raise you up a new creation.

You see, this is how we’re truly born again. It was explained to Nicodemus long ago in John the 3rd chapter, and I want to read it to you this morning. John chapter 3, notice what Jesus said to him in verse 3. Jesus answered and said to him, Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

All the Jews were awaiting their Messiah, their savior for many years, and now he had come. And they wanted to be a part of his glorious kingdom, and they thought because they were of the seed of Abraham, that they were of his flesh, that they would be granted an entrance into that kingdom; but Jesus corrects them, and he tells Nicodemus, you’ve got to be born again, more literally, born from above.

He didn’t understand, and Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? And Jesus answered, Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus could only think of a physical birth; but Jesus said, no, it’s much more than that. It’s a spiritual one. You must be born of water and the Spirit, an obvious reference to baptism, wherein we’re immersed in the water and we’ve given a new life in Jesus Christ, and we become a part of that greater fellowship, the church of Christ, the fellowship of Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God.

Are you a Christian today? Are you a part of his grand fellowship? What can we do? How can we help you towards heaven today?

>> Each day I’ll do a golden deed, by helping those who are in need.
My life on earth is but a span, and so I’ll do the best I can.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low, a few more days, and I must go to meet the deeds that I have done, where there will be no setting sun.

To be a child of God each day, my light must shine along the way.
I’ll sing his praise while ages roll and try to help some troubled soul.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low, a few more days, and I must go to meet the deeds that I have done, where there will be no setting sun.

While going down life’s weary road, I’ll try to lift some traveler’s load.
I’ll try to turn the night today, make flowers bloom along the way, the lonely way.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low, a few more days, and I must go to meet the deeds that I have done, where there will be no sinking setting sun.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We have but one goal, to help us all towards heaven. This is the mission that God has given us, to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ, baptizing them and teaching them, as he told us in Matthew 28:19. We know that the gospel of Christ is God’s power unto salvation, Romans 1:16. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by Me, John 14:6. Yes, There’s no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, Acts 4:12. And therefore, like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, We seek to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

And unlike so many other religious television programs, we’re never going to ask you for any money. Everything is provided by churches of Christ and individual Christians who support us so we can bring it to you absolutely free of charge.

So feel free to let us know if you have any questions, comments, or requests, e-mail us and at ask us at ttil.tv. If you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, whatever you need, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. Again, remember you’ll never have to pay for any of our materials and services. And let me thank the many churches of Christ who help support this program, and let me encourage you to visit one of them in your area very soon. Their names will be scrolled on the screen at the end of the program. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall. Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

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