All of us have a legitimate need to be accepted and loved. There’s nothing wrong with it. “I need to be accepted and loved.” Feeling loved and accepted could be a key (if not the key) to growth in your Christian faith.
This week at Imprint Church in Woodinville, we continued our “Project: Church” sermon series with a look at the idea of fellowship as described in Philippians 1-2.
Philippians 2 tells us how we FIND love and acceptance. Moreover, Philippians 2 tells us how we GIVE love and acceptance. It’a a beautiful excursus by Paul in the way Christians have been treated by Jesus Christ, and how Christians should treat one another – so that there is belonging, love, and acceptance in a way that’s very different from the way the world offers these things.
The problem is that we often look for love and acceptance in the wrong place.
The bible confronts us with an idea that is hard to admit, because we like to be independent. But the more we read the New Testament, the more we realize that we cannot be Christians on our own. You can’t do it. It’s a contradiction. God has redeemed us to be community people.
We need other Christians to help us. Other Christians need other Christians to help them.
Our faith in God is personal, but it’s not private. We need Jesus personally. So you have to make a personal decision. But it can’t just remain a private thing because you will never grow and you will create a God in your own image instead of allowing the image of God in one another to shape you and your thinking.
In this sermon, you will learn about two things that we need to understand to make this all work: Our Need and Our Contribution.
Your need is met in Gospel Fellowship. Your contribution is met in Christian community, in treating one another with preference.
Fellowship Sermon Recording
Listen to our sermon on fellowship by downloading the audio podcast or watching the recorded sermon video below.
Discussion Questions on Fellowship
The one of the best ways we contribute is by being part of a Christian community. Here are this week’s discussion questions for people engaged in Imprint Church’s Generosity Groups that meet on Seattle’s Eastside.
- Talk about a time you knew you were loved and/or accepted by someone else. Why was that important to you?
- Talk about a time you went out of you way to make someone else feel loved and/or accepted. Why don’t we do this more often?
- Read Philippians 2:1-8. What do we observe in this passage?
- What do the phrases “…any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy…”mean? Why does Paul start here?
- How do we have the same love toward one another? Why is it so hard to look out not only for our own interests, but also for the interests of others?
- Why was Jesus’ example so important for us? What do we learn from his example in how we should treat others?
- Why is your need for Christian fellowship so important? Why is your involvement in a small group not only for your own Christian health, but also important to others’ Christian health?
- Do you think it’s true that you cannot be a Christian “on your own?” Why or why not?
- Think practically how you can invite others to be a part of Christian community. Talk about ideas as a group and consider even making a plan to reach out to those not currently connected.