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This sermon – Isolation VS Brotherhood – was originally preached 2013.02.17 by Steve Yoder.
Passages used: 1 John 1, Genesis 2, 2 Corinthians 6, Hebrews 10, 1 John 3, 1 John 4, Mathew 18:5, Philippians 2:4, Ephesians 4:32, 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 6, John 13, 1 Corinthians 13, John 15, Romans 12, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 Peter 3:8.
Fellowship with God and fellowship with believers. Both are important; we all know this but we all also need encouragement and reminders.
Fellowship and brotherhood is more than what we receive, it also includes what we invest as well. It goes both ways, in a brotherhood we cannot just receive – on the other hand we cannot just give either.
God said that, “it is not good for man to be alone.” He was probably referring to marriage, but we can also understand through that statement that man was not made to attempt life as a “solo” act.
Christians who are deprived of fellowship find that they long for fellowship, and will go to great lengths to experience it.
It is very possible to have a twisted idea of what fellowship is. It is not a gossip center, or a political power system. We are talking about true brotherhood, fellowship.
John speaks of the “love for fellow Christians, brothers and sisters” as a test of whether we are truly walking with God or not. Love is very central to our fellowship.
If you are a loner, understand that it is possible to learn to reach out and be involved in the lives of others.
Willful isolation tends to twist reality in our minds. We get a narrow view of life that isn’t healthy, we only see “my” perspective. We all need a brotherhood and fellowship to help us have a proper perspective of life and all the things that are included with life.
Even if we don’t have answers ourselves we should point people to Jesus – who does have the answers.
Willful isolation tends to lead us down a path of independence and self-sufficiency. When we don’t need people we get a twisted view on the world. The “I’m right and everyone else is wrong” attitude.
Teamwork is a huge part of fellowship and brotherhood. All working together leads to a much better unity and a better result.
There are many ways to witness, but getting along with each other and truly loving one another really helps the effectiveness of our ministry. The world is watching us and our love for each other has a huge impact on the effectiveness of our witness.
Think about Isolation vs. Brotherhood as you read 1 Corinthians 13. It is full of ways to reach out and to be a part of a brotherhood. This is the way that Christ loved us, as unworthy sinners, likewise we can do a lot of good things, but without the motivation of love – it isn’t worth doing it.
Love is practical. It takes a lot of effort. Jesus loved people, not based on who they were or what they were like, but simply because of the fact that they existed. Should we do less?
The church is not a club were we come together and then go back to our lives alone. The church is a living organism, the Bride of Christ, working together as one body.
We cannot be a disciple of Jesus without loving the other disciples of Jesus.
God has not called us to a life of isolation, but rather to fellowship and brotherhood. May we be faithful in lonely places, but let us stand with the brothers and sisters that we have in Christ.
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