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Giving and Fellowship: Sharing in Church Work


Giving and FellowshipOne principle that Christians need to consider regarding their giving to support the work of the church is the principle of fellowship. Fellowship basically means sharing. 

The New Testament contains several related words for fellowship which are translated in various ways such as sharing, participation, partaking, contribution, etc., as well as fellowship.

The most basic fellowship we have as Christians is that we share in a relationship with God and with other Christians because our sins are forgiven and we have the hope of eternal life. That relationship allows us to share in many spiritual blessings.

However, the Bible also teaches that we have fellowship when we give to support the church.

Sharing in Preaching and Teaching the Gospel

Philippians 4:15,16 - "Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities." So when the church at Philippi sent support to Paul, this constituted sharing in his work of preaching.

3 John 8 - When we support gospel preachers, we become fellow workers for the truth. The work that gospel preachers do in effect becomes our work because we shared in their support.

So, when you and I contribute each first day of the week, we share in the church's work of teaching God's word in our assemblies and classes, gospel meetings, literature, Internet, etc.

(See also 1 Timothy 3:15; Acts 11:22-26; 1 Corinthians 14; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 9:6-14; 2 Corinthians 11:8,9.)

Sharing with Needy Members

Romans 15:26 - "For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution [sharing] for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem."

At times the church has needy members such that it may become the responsibility of the church to help through the first-day-of-the-week contribution. This also is sharing/fellowship.

(See also Acts 4:32-35; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8 & 9; Acts 11:27-30.)

Conclusion

When we are considering how much we will give into the collection each first day of the week, we need to consider carefully the importance of the work the church does. This should encourage us to want to be a part of that work to the full extent of our ability.

And let us remember that the more we can give, the more the church can accomplish. Are you and I fulfilling our responsibility to share in the church's work?

For more information about worship and the Lord's church, please visit our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2017

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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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