2017 TGC Message Four

Message Four

Fellowship—the Reality of the Church Life

Reading the verses in each day.
Reading the main points in the outlines.

Pray-reading the verses:

God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord–1 Cor. 1:9

That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ–1 John 1:3

Word of Appetizer

What is the reality of the church life?

Just as there is the circulation of blood in the human body, so there is a circulation in the Body of Christ—a circulation that the New Testament calls fellowship; this fellowship is the reality of the church life.

Spiritual Burden

Fellowship—the circulation of the divine life in the Body of Christ—is the reality of the church life, and this circulation of the divine life brings all the members of the Body of Christ into oneness.

Concluding Word of the Prophesying Meeting

The Revelation of the Truth   

Just as there is the circulation of blood in the human body, so there is a circulation in the Body of Christ—a circulation that the New Testament calls fellowship; this fellowship is the reality of the church life.

Fellowship is related to oneness; The fellowship, the circulation, of the divine life in the Body brings all the members of the Body into oneness.

The experience of the cross deepens both the vertical and the horizontal fellowship and enables us to know the life of the Body and live in the fellowship of the Body.

The fellowship among the churches is the fellowship of the Body of Christ.

The Experience of Life

God has called us into the fellowship of His Son so that we may partake of Christ, participate in Him, and enjoy Him as our God-given portion; Whenever we are one spirit with the Lord, we are in the fellowship of Christ, and we experience Him as the all-inclusive One.

Practice and Application

In order to have the unique fellowship, we must live by and behave in the divine life, not in our natural life.

We need the experience of the cross to deepen our experience of the divine fellowship; our relationship with the Body is that of fellowship; Fellowship implies the fact that we are limited and inadequate and that we are willing to accept what comes from others and take it as our own. The fellowship is to acknowledge that we need the Body.

Using Key Verses to Have a Bird’s-Eye View over the Whole Outline

Key Verses (1)

That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ–1 John 1:3

God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord–1 Cor. 1:9

Fellowship a circulation in the Body of Christ.

We were called through Him into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

• Just as there is the circulation of blood in the human body, so there is a circulation in the Body of Christ—a circulation that the New Testament calls fellowship; this fellowship is the reality of the church life:

Fellowship is a common participation, a joint participation; Fellowship is the issue of eternal life; To have fellowship with the Triune God in the apostles’ fellowship is to put aside our private interests and join with the apostles and the Triune God for the carrying out of God’s purpose.

God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord:

• God has called us into the fellowship of His Son so that we may partake of Christ, participate in Him, and enjoy Him as our God-given portion.

• Christ Himself is the fellowship into which God has called us; Fellowship means that we and Christ have become one.

Key Verses (2)

For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ. For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit–1 Cor. 12:12-13

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the fellowship of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break is it not the fellowship of the body of Christ–1 Cor. 10:16

Fellowship is related to oneness—1 Cor. 1:9; 6:17; 10:16-17; 12:20:

The fellowship among the churches is the fellowship of the Body of Christ—cf. 1 Cor. 10:16

• The fellowship, the circulation, of the divine life in the Body brings all the members of the Body into oneness.

• This oneness is called the oneness of the Spirit (v. 3); it is also the oneness of the Body; the unique fellowship is the genuine oneness of the Body of Christ.

• Christ has only one Body, which is expressed as the local churches.

• The local church is a part of the unique Body of Christ, and the fellowship of the Body is universally one.

• Whenever we come to the Lord’s table, we come to practice the fellowship of the Body.

Key Verses (3)

I am crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me–Gal. 2:20

For if you live according to the flesh, you must die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live–Rom. 8:13

So we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another–Rom.12:5

The experience of the cross deepens both the vertical and the horizontal fellowship and enables us to know the life of the Body and live in the fellowship of the Body.

• We need the experience of the cross to deepen our experience of the divine fellowship; Fellowship frees us from our sinful self through the cross.

• The experience of the cross brings us into the fellowship of the Body of Christ; The cross deals with our flesh, self, and natural life so that we may know the life of the Body in reality.

• Once the flesh, the self, and the natural life have been dealt with by the cross, we will know the life of the Body, we will see the importance of fellowship, and we will not be able to live apart from this fellowship.

Prophesying Topics—Twelve Topics per Week

D1

T1  Fellowship is a common participation, a joint participation—1John1:3

(Please illustrate that the importance of fellowship in the body of Christ.)

T2  Into the fellowship of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord—1Cor.1:9

(Please illustrate that fellowship indicates a putting away of private interests and a joining with others for a certain common purpose.)

D2

T1  Christ Himself is the fellowship into which God has called us—1Cor.1:9

(Please illustrate that the fellowship is nothing less than the living person of the all-inclusive Christ.)

T2  The fellowship of the Son is the fellowship of the Spirit—2Cor.13:14

(Please illustrate that the fellowship of Christ is carried on by the Spirit.)

D3

T1  We have been called into a mutuality—Phil.1:18; 2:17-18

(Please illustrate that the mutuality of this fellowship is not only between the believers and the Triune God, but also among the believers themselves.)

T2  Fellowship is related to oneness—1Cor.6:17

(Please illustrate that this oneness is the oneness of the Body, the oneness among all the saints.)

D4

T1  The relationship between the divine fellowship and the cross—Gal.2:20

(Please illustrate according to the experience the experience of the cross deepens both the vertical and the horizontal fellowship.)

T2  The experience of the cross brings us into the fellowship of the Body of Christ—Matt.16:24

(Please illustrate according to the experience there is a particular portion of the cross for each one of us in order to cross each one of us out.)

D5

T1  Our relationship with the Body is that of fellowship—Rom.12:5

(Please use your experience to illustrate that fellowship implies receiving of assistance from other members of the Body and the fact that we are limited.)

T2  The fellowship of the Body of Christ—1Cor.10:16

(Please illustrate that the fellowship among the churches is the fellowship of the Body of Christ.)

D6

T1  The fellowship of the Body of Christ is the circulation of the Spirit—1Cor.12:12-13

(Please illustrate which elements are circulating when this one Spirit is circulating within the Body of Christ.)

T2  To practice the fellowship of the Body—1Cor.10:16-17

(Please illustrate according to the experience whenever we come to the Lord’s table, we come to practice the fellowship of the Body.)