WHY FELLOWSHIP AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? (HEBREWS 10:25)
From the Board of Elders
Dear Members in Christ,
Why Fellowship and Why Is It Important?
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Jerome Liew worships in Calvary Jaya BP Fellowship (CJBPF) since May 2020. He and his siblings were, like many regular worshippers, “rush” off after each Lord’s Day worship. Encouraged by the active brethren of the Church he started serving in fellowship groups. Since then, he is never too busy for God’s work. By God’s mercy and grace, Jerome obtained a First Class Honour upon his graduation in June 2022. Today, he is pursuing his PhD program in Universiti Malaya. He continues to serve in the Welcome Ministry and leading the Youth Fellowship. I had heard his testimony and decided to ask him to pen down for the encouragement and edification of many to participate and serve. Please find herewith Jerome’s Testimony.
In Christ, Elder Choe TS
Jerome Liew’s Testimony: Why Fellowship and Why Is It Important?
What is a fellowship? And why is fellowship important? Fellowship is the assembly of like-minded brethren in Christ and the communion among them and God. The joy and blessings that fellowship brings about to one’s life is vital in the growth of a Christian. Fellowship is not an option but a commandment (cf. Hebrews 10:25). The true reaping and significance of fellowship can only be realized if we take part in it.
Before I attend CJBPF Worship Service I worshipped and served in Selayang Calvary Peace BP Church. It was a small church. We had 2 to 3 families worshipping together. It was very local and secluded. The fellowship group was confined to just my family. Thus, my spiritual feeding and fellowship with other Christians were very limited. My understanding of God’s Word was scarce and shallow. I would shun people of the church and not engage in fellowship. I thought learning of God’s Word on Sundays is enough and that deeper study of God’s Word is only for church leaders. I lived a life without a deep faith and thought that pious living is only applicable to spiritual leaders. I could not be further from the truth. I was a “solo” Christian, and lonely Christians can never grow, and no one will be around to encourage, lift and guide them in their walk with God.
With some unpleasant turn of events, my family and I moved to CJBPF for worship. We have been regulars since then. The unfolding of such events was bitter and chastisement from God but blessed is the man whom God chastens and teaches out of His law! (cf. Psalms 94:12).
Initially, the brethren in CJBPF were strangers to me but I received warm welcome from them. A few brethren had reached out and invited me to Youth Fellowship and encouraged me to join more fellowship meetings with like-minded brethren so that we can know each other and build up each other in the faith. From thence, I have known and made friends with God-fearing and much more matured Christians. God blesses me richly spiritually. In this testimony I pray that my personal experience can encourage brethren who are like me in the past.
Why Is Fellowship Important? (Acts 2:42-47)
The Book of Acts had recorded that believers did not disperse themselves after their conversion but continued to have fellowship and communion together as a local church. Similarly, the friends that I have made in CJBPF continue to fellowship and have communion with me. Such is one great blessing that God has bestowed upon me. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1).
1. For rebuke and instructionPride is one of my weaknesses and there were times when I had offended brethren in my speech unwittingly. Oftentimes we are spiritually blind and cannot perceive the beam that is in our own eyes (cf. Luke 6:41). Only true loving brethren would rebuke us with God’s Word for our good and edification before we further jeopardise our testimony for the Lord. True brethren counsel each other, not condemn, but to bring forth edification and restoration.
Furthermore, when encountered with difficulties and predicaments, whom shall we turn to? Friends from the secular world or our Christian brethren? The close friends we made have a great influence on us. With godly and faithful friends, we are sanctified and edified as we commune with God. We can have friends from the secular world but we should always stay close with our Christian brethren to seek godly counsels. If we do not have matured Christian friends we will fall into the snares of exercising earthly, sensual and devilish decisions.
2. For comfort and strengthOur sojourn on earth are filled with afflictions and tribulations. I had contracted COVID-19 twice but God had dealt with me graciously. I felt comforted and strengthened even though I was afflicted because I know that my brethren were praying for me. God had also moved some to send food and medicines when my family was quarantined. Thank God for blessings and help God had bestowed upon us. When true brethren in Christ exercise love for each other, we comfort and strengthen each other, and is edified and sanctified in the faith. Brethren ought to have a close prayer group to pray together regularly and update each other of their joyous occasions and trials and afflictions. Prayers give us comfort, strength and bring us closer to God.
3. For encouragement and serviceI have been serving in YF for more than two years and it was not without discouragement and difficulties. The fellowship with brethren in Christ is one of the greatest encouragement I have in my service to the Lord. Without them, who would I get counsel and advice from whenever obstacles arise? Whom do we seek encouragement when we are cast down? It should always be God and the faithful brethren He has placed in our lives. Before I completed my degree in University, I was hesitant to spend more time to serve God, in the ushering ministry, for example. However, it was the faithful brethren that rebuked me and encouraged me to serve as much as I can whilst I still live on earth. With their encouragement, I spend more time in serving Him and knowing more of God’s Word. “Not slothful in business: fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11. “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16. Brethren, do you know that fellowshipping and encouraging our brethren in Christ are also part of service? Let us also serve Him and encourage one another in service.
Brethren, are you a Christian who avoid communion with others in the church? Are you anxious of knowing them or do you think fellowship is not a necessity? Remember, no Christian lives alone. Once we are born again, we are born into God’s family. The church is a community, a fellowship of believers, seeking to edify and sanctify each other in the faith. Let us act proactively by participating and serving in fellowship groups and know our brethren in Christ. These are also means of grace that God bestows upon us.