This week we will talk about open fellowship. Fellowship is another word that describes a relationship to someone or something. It carries the idea of being connected to someone because of what we have in common.
Before I explain what that means do you remember what we have in common with God according to last weeks lesson? His image. When we were created God not only made us in His image but also gave us open fellowship with him and each other.
As an example of two people who are in fellowship, I present to you Detective Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett. If you ve seen Bad Boys or Bad Boys 2 you know that these guys have a few things in common. For one they re cops who are going after the bad guys, so they work together.but they are also friends probably more like brothers. They are involved in each other s lives, they have real conversations, and they challenge each other.
Now according to the definition we just discussed who are you in fellowship with in your life?
What we see in Genesis are two relationships that are highlighted: the one between man & God then Adam & Eve.
Read Gen. 2:7-25
In the passage we just read we started with God making man from the dust of the earth. (v.7) God then placed Adam in a land that was to be his home. (v.8) God then gave Adam a job, and that was to work it & keep it. (v.15) After Adam is given his job God gives him a command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil. (v.16) Then God said it wasn t good for man to alone, so he made a helper, a friend, a companion and wife. He made Eve. They were one and they were naked and unashamed. (v.24-25) They had a connected to each other for a couple of reasons: God created them both, and they were both made to help one another.and they were naked.completely exposed but their was no shame. They also were connected to God because they were made in his image and they were without sin.
Open fellowship means that the relationship we have is one were we are completely exposed and unashamed because it is built on love and trust. Shame comes in when we become afraid of being judged or exposed. That s why we hide certain aspects of who we are:
- What we think.
- What we say.
- What we do.
- What we feel.
Where we are now in Genesis there is no sin. Adam and Eve are connected to each other and God. We become disconnected once sin enters the picture, and we hide from God and each other. We fall out of open fellowship. What we see in the bible is that we go from no drama to a lot of drama real fast. Who likes drama in their lives? How do we reconnect to God and each other?
Read Ephesians 2:11-22
Here Paul is writing to the Ephesian Church reminding them how we were all once far off or out of fellowship with God and each other. Through the cross we are reconciled or reconnected in open fellowship with one another. We are no longer strangers, we are now citizens and a part of God s family because of Jesus.
- What is open fellowship?
- What are things we hide from others or don t want them to know about us?
- When do you feel you have to watch your back with people in your life? Why?
- Do people want to be connected? Why do you think that is?
- Are you connected to others in fellowship? How do you know?
- Are you connected to God in open fellowship? How do you know?
- How do we have open fellowship (communication) with God and each other?