The Power Of Fellowship
Why it’s necessary and what are the benefits?
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins
Hebrews 10:24-26 24 KJV
In 2008 I started my relationship with God as an 8th grader in middle school and for two years I was what you might call a “lone ranger.” At the time I wasn’t surrounded by a community of believers who could teach me things that I hadn’t yet learned about God or hold me accountable for the truth which I already knew. For a while I grew in my faith with this individualist attitude that said “Christianity is all about me and my walk with God and everything God has expected of me I will be able to accomplish it with just God and myself.” Unfortunately my perspective was slightly off: I didn’t understand the power of fellowship.
Hebrews 10:24-26 reveals the importance of fellowship. As said in Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron” and when we as believers come together in fellowship we are strengthened and sharpened in the things of God. Our knowledge of the Word of God is sharpened by those who have excelled in understanding scripture, our convictions about godly living are sharpened by those who have wrestled with the Holy Spirit and chosen to submit to His will, and overall we are blessed by God’s manifest presence which brings peace, love and joy when we all come together. As it is written in Matthew 18:20,
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Interestingly enough, God is omnipresent which means He is everywhere all the time at the same time; however, Jesus makes note of a special promise to us that when we gather in His name that He will be there. This is a great promise to believers because it means when we gather together that God has reserved a special appearance and manifestation for those gathering.
When we as believers gather together, breakthrough takes place. We can receive added grace for the issues that we wrestled with in our individual prayers closets or in our daily lives. I’m reminded of an excerpt from Mark 2:
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
This passage showed that four men carried one man to the presence of Jesus in order for the paralyzed man to be healed. That’s the power of fellowship! Jesus didn’t just see the faith of the paralyzed man but Jesus also saw the faith that the four men had and the love they had for their friend. I think it’s amazing that in a community of believers that God can intervene in my life not simply because of the love the community has for me and the prayers they send to God on my behalf. In this passage the paralyzed man was healed because of the act of faith of his four friends but in our lives who knows what is possible through the power of us gathering in the name of Jesus.
I once believed that my maturity in Christ could be achieved all by myself without being in constant fellowship. Jesus says that whoever does not gather scatters abroad (Matthew 12:30). The truth is all of us are individual body parts in the body of Christ and no individual body part is sufficient to fulfill the full purpose of the entire body. I’ve learned that true maturity in Christ can’t exist outside of fellowshipping with other saints. No wonder Hebrews 10:25 teaches us not to forsake the gathering of the brethren. In fellowship there is accountability, intercession, and giving and receiving of love through the Holy Spirit. Two are better than one. If one person is alone and is cold then he has no help to get warm. If two people are together they can warm each other up and if an enemy tries to come against them they can resist him. But by oneself an enemy can overcome you. I learned that from Ecclesiastes 4.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 KJV
Verse 18 of Ephesians 3 says that we may be able to comprehend WITH ALL saints, the magnitude of God’s love. God desires us to grow in Him through fellowship with others and in the place of fellowship we are able to show the love of God to others and receive the expression of God’s love towards us. Fellowship allows us to grow in maturity with Christ, to deepen our relationship with Him and to be able to comprehend the things of God together that normally we might not understand just by ourselves. The power of fellowship is that we first need fellowship with God and God has made it such that in our pursuit of fellowship with Him we must also have fellowship with His people. I think of Jesus on His way to fulfill His purpose at the cross when He needed another man to help Him carry His cross. That’s how important fellowship is—that even the personal assignment God has given a man to fulfill on this earth still requires the support of people that God has called you to fellowship with.
Oluwatobi Oke is a young entrepreneur from the University of Maryland College Park who is the CEO of Good Lord Clothing. He's the Vice President of Bethel Campus Fellowship and attends Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md. He shares the Gospel through rap music and considers himself a worshipper rather than a rapper. Not to mention he plays the Congo's.