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In order to understand the importance of Christian fellowship, we must first understand what Christian fellowship is and what it isn’t. The Greek words translated “fellowship” in the New Testament mean essentially a partnership to the mutual benefit of those involved. Christian fellowship, then, is the mutually beneficial relationship between Christians, who can’t have the identical relationship with those outside the faith. Those who believe the gospel are united in the Spirit through Christ to the Father, and that unity is the basis of fellowship. This relationship is described by Jesus in His high-priestly prayer for His followers in John 17:23. The importance of true Christian fellowship is that it reinforces Christ centeredness in our mind and helps us to focus on Christ and His desires and goals for us. As iron sharpens iron, in true Christian fellowship Christians sharpen one another's faith and stir one another to exercise that faith in love and good works, all to God’s glory.
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NetChaplain

Never Both!

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When Scripture admonishes the believer concerning the lifestyle of a Christian, the intention is to reveal what can identify one who is reborn. It’s not like the admonitions are as though one who is reborn and indwelt by God’s Spirit would ever desire to “live after the flesh,” considering this is exactly what God guards against in those who His (Phil 2:13), but it’s to reveal the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom 8:19).

 

Jesus spoke and demonstrated what redemption meant and of what was to be expected from one who is redeemed so that it could be known of what it was to be a Christian. After the Lord’s ascension the Apostles were inspired by God’s Spirit to know and wright of what the Christian life involves, and from then on they and others would know what lifestyle is expected from one who is born-again.

 

Thus, all through the time the Bible was being written, Christians were beginning to learn how the Spirit was applying God’s Word to their lives. For example Romans 8 contrasts the life of a believer and an unbeliever, neither from which can come both a lifestyle of evil and good. The Lord Jesus declared that nobody can be good and evil simultaneously (Mat 7:16-20). James hyperbolically wrote, “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter . . . so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh” (Jam 3:11, 12).

 

Romans 8 is probably the best description of this principle:

Verses 1, 4 refer to those “who walk after the flesh” and those “who walk after the Spirit”; neither can do both.

 

Verse 5 states that those who “are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit”; again, it’s only one or the other.

 

Verse 6 shows you are either “carnally minded” or “spiritually minded”; the believer cannot be carnally minded because it would involve “death” (“second death,” e.g. “lake of fire”).

 

Verse 7 states that “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” This is not to be confused with being “carnal.” Paul in 1Cor 3:1 stated that there were those who were in Christ, but were still carnal and at the maturity level of spiritual “babes” (v 1), who were just learning.

 

Verse 9 states that Christians “are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit,” thus—nobody can do both! It may at times seem that way but it’s just the trial-and-error learning period that gives a temporary appearance as so. Therefore it’s just a matter of time until maturity manifests itself via the new life of the Lord Jesus which is within the saint (Col 4:3).

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I think the more we learn about the flesh and our sin nature, the more we see ourselves falling short of "spiritually minded." That is exactly what Paul was talking about in Romans.

 

Rom. 7:19-25: "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

 

I find it hard to believe a mature Christian talking like this. But the more we learn about God the farther we see the divide between the carnal and the spiritual. God's Holy Spirit is what gives us the hope He is still working with us. Then we are comforted by the following:

 

Php. 1:6: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." :RpS_thumbup:

Edited by deade
typo

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I think the more we learn about the flesh and our sin nature, the more we see ourselves falling short of "spiritually minded." That is exactly what Paul was talking about in Romans.

 

Rom. 7:19-25: "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

Hi Deade, and thanks for input! My take on this chapter is that Paul is demonstrating that the sinful nature (old man; flesh--not the physical body but the sinful nature) yet dwells in those born-again, and this opposition is something the believer will continue to learn from, as the Spirit uses this to teach us (Gal 5:17).

 

Php. 1:6: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." :RpS_thumbup:

Amen fits very well here!

 

God's blessings to you!

 

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