TRINITY HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH
16th of July, 2023
Topic: The Power of Fellowshipping with the Brethren
Preacher: Elder Oduola Makinwa
Text: Hebrews 10:19 – 25
People of God before we go further in the service, I want us to pray. Isaiah 33:24a says, ‘And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”’. You are going to exercise your authority in the Lord. You are an inhabitant of Zion; this is Zion, the City of God and the Bible says here that none of us will say, ‘I am sick.’ So, we want to declare that any planting bringing sickness to us shall be uprooted. Declare that any planting bringing sickness to me be uprooted now in Jesus Name. In Jesus Name we pray, amen.
We have just been told in the Grace Devotional about the Ministry of Angels, so we are going to make use of it. The Bible says it is the young lions that lack and suffer hunger but they that fear the Lord will not lack anything good, this is the word of God to us. In Psalms 111:5, the Bible says, “He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant.” The fear of God is key for us to access what is available for us in redemption. It is the fear of God that allows you to access what belongs to you and in the all-night prayer of Friday, we are made to see that the fear of God is you being conscious of the presence of God, whether people are there or not, whether in the open or not and by that consciousness, you will hate evil, not put yourself in the things that God hates and have a strong confidence to take hold of what God puts in you. We are going to get our angels to work now. Is there anything you are lacking? Tell your angel to deliver it to you, because the Bible says, you that fear the Lord will not lack anything good. In Jesus Name we have prayed.
The topic for today’s sermon is, ‘The Power of Fellowshipping with the Brethren’. People of God, fellowship is an integral part of our faith. In fact, I submit to us that fellowship is a strategic plan of God designed for our wellbeing. God designed it as a strategic one but you may be wondering why people are taking it for granted. As in the days of the Apostle, in Hebrews 10:25, the writer of this scripture by the Spirit of God says, ‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some….’ You know, in the days of the apostle, the Jewish believers started drawing away from fellowship, some thought it was not necessary, so the writer of Hebrews admonishes them not to forsake the gathering of their brethren ‘as is the manner of some.’ Likewise in our days now, it is the manner of many believers to draw away from fellowship. Many feel that fellowship is no longer important and as such, they disregard fellowship. People might be thinking that there is social media now and they can listen to sermons and ministration online but do you know that all those platforms are not a substitute for physical meeting? All those online ministrations we are opportune to be a part of are good and beautiful but they are not a substitute for the physical gathering of the saints.
I am going to show us now in the message and I pray the spirit of God will shed light unto us. By staying away from fellowship, we are denying ourselves of the strength we are meant to draw from the presence of God. One of the reasons why people draw away is because people lack understanding of what fellowship is. Remember what I said earlier that God designed fellowship for our wellbeing. Our God knows the end from the beginning, He knows that a time will come when things will appear tense and difficult for believers, so He establishes fellowship so that we can draw strength and get refreshed in His presence. God doesn’t do things anyhow, He instituted Fellowship from the beginning of time. When people lack understanding of fellowship, they tend to see a substitute for such gathering but I submit to you, people of God, that online meeting is not a substitute for the physical gathering of the saints of God.
God Himself demonstrated Fellowship in the time of Adam. The Bible says that at the cool of the day, God would come down to minister unto Adam. Some thought this happened only at the time of the Fall but Bible scholars make us to realise that before that time, God has been coming to Adam to fellowship with him, that was when He saw that it wasn’t good for him to be alone. God Himself demonstrated the importance of fellowship, that is why He regularly comes down to fellowship with Adam. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus tells us that, ‘For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them,’ this makes us realise that fellowship is not something to neglect or feel unconcerned about. The Bible says that when two or three of us are gathered, God is there in our midst. So, if you are a standalone person or you want to concentrate on your phone, how will the presence of God be felt in such instance? I want us to know that online platforms are not a substitute because when we gather together, the presence of God is felt, we are able to strengthen one another and maintain the unity of the spirit.
Taking fellowship for granted could be a sign of backsliding. Proverbs 14:14 says, ‘The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above.’ The backslider in heart wants to be alone, not having anything to do with another person; he or she just wants to do things in his or her own way, does not want any other person to impart on him. The person who avoids fellowship is like a stagnant pool of water; when water is on the same spot, not taking from anywhere and not disseminating anywhere, what will happen to it? At the passage of time, it will begin to smell, breed spirogyra and be infested with different things. Such is the life of a standalone believer. When you are just alone, all manner of things will settle on you because you are not receiving freshness from anywhere.
Hebrews 3:13 says, ‘But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” People of God, when one is alone and has a disappointment he or she is battling with without taking any strength or freshness from anywhere, before you know, such person would start falling low and taking offense against God, that is why such people would say, ‘There is no God.’ God has made necessary plans for us, it is just for us to fall in line and draw from His grace to us. Ecclesiastes 4:10, ‘…But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.’ God has not designed us to be a lone ranger. Whatever reason you might have, disappointment here and there, is not enough to stay alone. The battle of life cannot be fought alone. Consider all that is happening in this country, tensions here and there, economic crisis and trouble all over, you will discover that you need to draw strength from the corporate grace that is available, to freshen yourself at that low period of life. Don’t let us deceive ourselves, there will always be bad moments; even Jesus tells us that there will be trouble but we should rejoice because He has overcome the world. We need to draw strength from each other from fellowship.
Also, I want us to know that fellowship is a redemptive responsibility. It is one of our responsibility from redemption (Acts 2:42). It is a responsibility that you and I are supposed to observe and embrace as children of God who are saved. It is part of our responsibility to be part and parcel of the saints, in worshipping the Lord and lifting our issues to him.
Neglecting fellowship could be one of the devices of the devil against a believer. When you are running away from fellowship, being pushed and cajoled to come to church for Tuesday Anointing Service and Wednesday’s Bible Study, do you know, it might be one of the devices of the devil to keep you separated from God? Remember, the Devil is going around to seek prey (1 Pet. 5:8). In the matter of the Fall in the Garden of Eden, do you know that it is when Eve was alone that the Devil was able to strike? I want to believe that the Devil has been coming to them but because they were together, the corporate unction preserved them. The Devil is always looking for people who are alone. Sometimes, when you are out of town or indisposed, you can make use of the online platforms to worship, but don’t make it a regular thing. It could be one of the device the devil is trying to make use of to access your life and strike. I pray we will not be a prey in the hands of the enemy in Jesus Name but know that the Devil seeks to devour those who are alone. When you are alone and isolated, you become vulnerable. When a person is out of the covering provided for him or her, such person becomes an easy prey in the hands of the enemy. We shall not be a prey in the hands of the enemy in the name of Jesus. Amen.
So, we need to get the understanding that God Himself is interested in our fellowship together. God is with us; wherever two or three are gathered, He is there, so, whatever petition you present to him, you are assured of an answer. Staying away from fellowship could be a sign of backsliding. At one point or the other, we have experienced loneliness, can you imagine those things that come to our head at those times? Recently, a brother lost his job, things were upside down and he confessed that he felt like killing himself but thank God, things are back to normal now; that is what loneliness can bring to man. Look at the people who fall into depression, it is loneliness that leads them to it. I read in the newspaper recently, and it was stated there boldly that those who attend church regularly are not prone to depression but those who stay alone are the ones who suffer, in fact, the research says that about 10 – 15 percent of such people are clinically depressed and anything can happen to them. That research paper also says 4 of every 10 American persons are suffering depression and the rate is increasing alarmingly. Those who attend church regularly are not prone to depression but people who isolate themselves are prone to different problems. Imagine a pond that is stagnant, it will soon begin to produce foul smell, likewise, a car that is just parked on a spot will have many things settle on it that it may not be recognizable again.
People of God, let us make every effort to be in the fellowship of the brethren. The Devil is always making efforts to draw people away from God. There is no reason sufficient to leave the fellowship, it is you who know what it is that you want. Let us avoid all manner of issues that want to take us out of the presence of God. You cannot serve the Lord alone, we need corporate strength to weather the storm of our time. Hebrews 10:25 says, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” As the coming of the Lord is approaching, there will be tension everywhere because the Devil is fighting his last battle, his intention is to recruit as many as possible, he is looking for candidates to win to his own side. Those are the battle of faith we are going to fight and nobody will fight it for you. We need this consciousness, so anytime you are getting tired of fellowship, the Devil might be lurking and you need to fight him. We have that responsibility to refuse the enemy from encroaching our lives. We have the responsibility to refuse him from snatching virtues from our lives. Jesus Christ has done the needful, God has released His only begotten son to us, which means all that is needful is provided but we have our own role and part to play in this matter. We have our own redemptive responsibility to perform. Don’t forget, fellowship is a strategic plan of God put in place for our wellbeing.
Here are the benefits of staying in the Fellowship of the Brethren. When we maintain the Fellowship of the saints,
- There is corporate unction and through this, divine presence is made available. There is corporate grace available as we are gathered here. There is corportae anointing, not just for pastors but for you as a believer. We have been anointed and when we come together, we pool grace together and that is an awesome experience. So, when we gather together, there is corporate anointing through the divine presence of God and that is why you should not draw back. Drawing back may be one of the devices of the devil to get at you. Don’t draw back from fellowship, don’t draw back from Zion. Psalms 65:4 says, ‘Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple.” He has already chosen you, don’t stay away.
- There is divine protection (1 Pet. 5:8). It is those who are alone who are vulnerable to attack, but when we are together, nothing can attack us. Just like you dare not attack the wild pigs in the front row when they move in groups – that is the power of togetherness. When we are together, nothing can just access our lives anyhow, because by the time different people are praying on the same cause, the Devil is in trouble. Let us strive to maintain that unity of the spirit.
- Through Fellowship, we are able to draw strength (Prov. 27:17). Probably you are down, when you appear in Zion, you cannot go without strength. Whenever I have down moments, I know when I appear here, I receive comfort, encouragement and get strengthened. That is what fellowship can do for us. We draw strength from fellowship, so don’t stay away. When we are alone, disappointment will keep approaching, errors will begin to arise and before you know it, one may even say there is no God again and that is disastrous because we should never be offended in God.
- Fellowship provides encouragement during bad moments. Like I said before, when you are alone, there would be nobody to encourage you. That is why we see some people who go to beer parlour because they think that is where encouragement comes from however that is not true because no matter the level of intoxication, when that thing clears, the depression would come back. Fellowship must be with the right people. 1 John 1:3 says, ‘…that you may also have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.’ So, as we are here, we are not just fellowshipping with each other but with the Godhead and as we do that, we are able to get proper and correct encouragement.
The Fellowship of the saints won’t be the one to advise you to start putting your hands in bad things, going to one herbalist or the other. Remember, do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Your fellowship must be with the right set of people, people in Zion. So, as we gather together, we get encouraged and that encouragement is necessary particularly at this time.
I saw a friend recently with white hair all over his head and I asked him what was wrong because I know I am older than him. He said, it is what is doing everybody this time around, but the just shall live by faith. It is not like there is no issue anywhere but you encourage yourself in God. We have the zeal of the Lord, that grace that is heavy on us will help us. The Bible says, we have an anchor that keeps our soul, we must be assured in ourselves.
- Fellowship helps our spiritual growth. We need to grow in grace. Grace is not just giving to us to be a standalone believer. Grace is available to grow in that grace and when we come to fellowship, we get imparted, we learn and that is what helps us. As we look unto Christ, we take strength from Him and draw from Him. Don’t shy away and just relax that ‘This bad habit, I cannot help myself.’ Yes, it is difficult to break up, but we have to press on and deliberately push away from it. You learn the opposite of such bad habit so that you can break away from it.
Finally, people of God, the battle of life cannot be fought alone and you cannot be a lone ranger. A lone ranger is an easy prey for the enemy. Let us take advantage of what God has provided ahead of us – fellowship, in order to draw strength from God and shield ourselves from the assault of the enemy, especially now that there is tension all over. Let us sing the hymn, “Will your anchor hold?”
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the rock which cannot move
Grounded firm and deep in the savior’s love.
Ask the Holy Spirit to encourage and help you. We have an assurance of the Lord, we have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure. Yes, there may be billows around us but we have an anchor that keeps the soul, fastened to the Lord Jesus which cannot move. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you take advantage of the fellowship. Don’t be alone!
Call to Salvation
There are a lot of blessings in Fellowship but you need to be a Saint first before you can access them. Are you saved yet? Have you received the Lordship of Jesus? If you haven’t, say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I surrender to your Lordship. Today, I receive you as my Lord and Saviour. Please, wash me clean and let your redemption promises be evident in my life. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus Name I prayed. Amen.