“…that also ye may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with [H]is Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1)
One of the great blessings in the Christ-ian faith is fellowship with God and fellowship between the brethren. John teaches us if we have true fellowshio with God, we will walk in the light with God AND with one another and again, this is a blessed fact, truth, and experience. In fact it is written, if we have not fellowship with one another and walk in the light, we cannot have fellowship with the brethren and we make God a liar.
John asks us, how we can love God and fellowship with God and then hate our brethren? He asks further, how can we hate the brethren, the sons of God, and then say we love God, for, he says, we have never seen God and we see our brethren clearly. These are important questions, to be sure. These questions can not be passed over, ignored, and hope they go away. Brethren, we must love each other. There can be no doubt, none.
What are some of the blessings found in this brotherhood?
*Freedom and liberty.
*Open and loving reproof and rebuke.
*Unity and oneness.
*Prayer, one for another.
*And so much more.
All of the above falls under the first point which is love. Within love there is recognition of weakness, flaws, strengths, and one’s place in Christ. Honesty about who/what we are and who others, in Christ are. Freedom and in this freedom to love God and to do as we will within the boundaries of God’s love for us. We must recognize the freedoms other’s have in Christ as well. Inclusiveness in the body of Christ, this goes with the above, we must be inclusive with all of God’s Blooed bought saints and not only those that agree in every point with us. Understanding not everyone will agree with us and the fact that we often do not even agree with ourselves in all points.
Other blessing of fellowship, we, as brethren should be able to bring up differences, we must be able to reprove and rebuke others AND accept their rebuke and reproof, for this is a sign, a proof, a fruit of wisdom. This rebuke or reproof, if given in a spirit of love, equality, understanding, identification of one’s own weaknessES, humility and fairness, the reproof and or rebuke SHOULD be, SHOULD be, Should be, received as it is meant. However, if this reproof/rebuke is given in the spirit of “gotcha,” condescention, “holier-than-thou-ism,” superiority, power and control, it probably will not be accepted, even in true, for the above negative traits overshadow the truth.
We have disagreed with many and many have disagreed with us. That disagreement has cost me their friendship, not my frienship toward them but theirs toward me. Sometimes, the other accepted me and my thoughts, changed their whatever and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes, I had to change and sometimes I did not have to. One never knows what the other will do, but past performnce predicts future actions. Sometimes I am pretty close to certain how someone will respond. We have one brother we had to confront and we even told them their response will prove them to be one of Solomon’s wise men or one of Solomon’s fools. They were one of Solomon’s fools as they responded with anger and harshness, this is what I expected. I also expected our brotherhood to continue and it did. This is a mark of brotherhood and friendship.
Other times one will say, all is well, will receive a rebuke/reproof, and never speak to me again. This has happened to me recently. Someone I have known and loved for decades turned on me, like a pro-wrestler turns on a friend in order to turn heel or bad guy. I was surprised…that’ll never happen again, by this harsh, and vitriolic attack. This brother, as I see it, thought I was correcting him or challenging him, all seems to have worked out, but my discernment tells me our friendship, on his side is dead, and maybe never reaaly existed, though our brotherhood can never be broken for that is rooted in Christ, nor can my love towards him , for that, too, is in Christ.
Forgiveness is a blessing within the brotherhood. There will come atime when we all will have to forgive another and there will come a time when another will have to foregive us. Though forgiveness should not be a difficult subject, it can be and that is due to it’s importance. Regardless of one’s understanding of all the intricacies of forgiveness, The releasing of one’s debt to us and one’s debt to God is a must. One’s debt to God? What are you talking about, preacher? If I offend someone or if someone offende me, what is that to God?
When one sins, one sins against God. It matters not who else is involved. When David sinned against his family, Bathsheba, Uriah, and ultimately the kingdom, David sinned foremost against God, “Against [T]hee have I sinned, and gainst [T]hee only have i sinned.
Reader, when you sin against self or others, your primary sin and your primary responsibility is to seek God’s forgiveness first for it was against God you sinned first. Whatsoever one declares on earth is declared in heaven. when one sins against us, they sin against God. If we forgive them not, neither will God. When we forgive them, so to will God. The thief on the cross was forgiven by God as Christ forgave Him and those soldiers that nailed Christ to the Cross wer forgiven by God because Christ forgave them. That does not mean all of thee soldier’s sins were forgiven but the nailing of Christ’s Body would not beheld against them.
Unity and oneness with God, is agreat blessing in our faith. We are united to Christ in several different ways, but space denies us the opportunity to expound here and now. As we are united to Christ, we are united to one another in an inexpressably blessed bond. It is a great relief and gift, to the person who understands one’s unity to God, through Christ and on’e bond to the body of Christ through the Spirit of Christ.
Another great blessing and gift that begets peace is the watchfulness and vigilance we each exercise for one another in the Name of Him that sees all things, God’s [E]ye’s are upon the just and the unjust,” “Christ looked around, seeing all things…” Paul tells us to “watch unto prayer.” Christ tells us to “Watch and pray,” and “Watch.” We are to watch out for our brothers and sisters. We are to be caring of others, but “especially them of the house of faith.” It has been pointed out that when we where the whole armour of God, we are protected all over our body, except the back and that is because we are to watch one another’s back and expect our’s to be watched also. I know not how true this is regarding armour, but the sentiment is good and sound.
When the world says, “I’ve got your back,” trust it not. As the world says, “i’ve got your back,” the Christ-ian says, “Your back is my back and my back is your back”, Soldiers would often fight back to back in tandem, in threes (3’s) and in a diamond of our (4) packs, fighting while revolving. This is the fighting position of the brotherhood, we partake in spiritual combat and conflict, on our knees, with our swords drawn and our eyes closed and the whirlwind of God surrounding us.
Another blessing of the brotherhood is prayer one for another. In the Scriptures we do not find the apostles praying for themselves very often, they do, of course, but it is not recorded. They teach ous to pray for others. In Matthew nine (9) we find: a leper praying for self and Christ honouring and answering his request. We find a centurion praying for another and Christ honouring, and being honoured by the request. Later in chapter nine (9), we see Christ healing Peter’s mother in law without being asked
[SideNote…Why didn’y Peter ask for his wife’s mother’s fever? Did he not know or did he not think to? I bet Peter felt as we all feel when someone’s prayer is answered and we realize we did not pray for that person like we said we would, we have the feeling of missing out. Pray for others and do not miss out.].
One point that is often overlooked in regards to intercessory prayer, when we pray for another, the other must pray as well or desire the answer as well. This is not a fact in stone but a general truth. I have a brother and I want that brother to meet a Christ-ian woman that turns his entire world upside down and inside out.” I have prayed for this. However, this is not his desire, he enjoys the single life. Enjoying the single life is good and fine and should NOT be looked down upon or pitied. Paul even said, it is good for a brother to live a single life unto God…if he can handle that desire which burns within. If he cannot it is better to marry.
Outside of Christ this can prove to be difficult AND corrupting, the catholic priesthood is an example. However, one that is in Christ may very well live a singlehood lifestyle, worship and serve God, rightly and in purity. In other words, though I might pray for a Christ-ian wife for my brother and he does not desire the same, God will not force my want upon him, but on the other hand, if I am praying for a Christ-ian wife for my brother, and he wants it not, but it is God’s will for him…he will be married. And he will learn “marriage is not a word but a sentence.” Percy Blakeny, Ha Ha.
The prayer equations looks like this:
*My prayer + A brother’s non-prayer + God’s indifference, so to speak =’s No.
*My prayer + A brother’s prayer + God’s Will in the negative =’s No.
*My prayer + A brother’s prayer + God affiming will =”s Yea.
*My prayer + A brother’s non-will + God’s affirming will =’s Yea.
*God’s will + / – anything / nothing =’s Yea.
There are many, so very, very, many other blessings included in the Christ-ian brotherhood of love, recognition, honsety, freedom/liberty, undertsanding, openness, forgiveness, unity, watchfulness. and prayer (Instantness of prayer, ceaselessness of prayer, oneness of prayer, intercession of prayer, intervention of prayer, etc.)
Brethren (Sisters included, the word brother, makes it more simple), let us not deny God, ourselves, and others by taking this, Blessed and Spirit-filled Brotherhood in Christ and under God, for granted. What a loss it would be and is for so many.
P.S. Agin pleze forgorw mt. mispelin”s adn punt,iation-s mistaks, I had two get me goinf.?