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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Staying Afloat on the Fellow Ship

Beth Moore - Staying Afloat on the Fellow Ship

TOPICS: Fellowship

All right, would you sit down and would you turn with me to Colossians chapter 4, Colossians chapter 4, written to the brothers and sisters in Colossi, where he had never been, but had many relationships and it is believed probably because of the proximity to Ephesus where he spent so much time and it being such a city of trade, that many would have gone back and forth and there the church began to grow and made its way into Colossi. Colossians 4:2-18 says this:

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison, that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.

Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions, if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, 'See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.' I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

We're gonna find out and we're gonna join them that everybody's got a name, that everybody in Christ has their own story, they have their own gifting that they bring to to mix, their own place in the body of Christ. We'll get to know them a little bit as they appear in this fourth chapter of Colossians and we'll get to see that among them are slaves and free in the culture that they were living in, rich and poor, from Jewish background and Gentile background, man and woman, all involved and drawn in to this one closing of this one letter.

I'm gonna say something to you as we really draw out the idea of relational patterning based on the New Testament Church. I do not know of a greater need in the collective body of Christ right now in this era, than encouragement and exhortation towards some healthy and biblical ways of relating, and talking, and dialoguing, and even differing with one another. Does anybody know what I'm talking about in the house? I can't think of anything we could talk about that would be more necessary at this time in church history, than could we have a fresh lesson on how to talk to one another, how to relate to one another, how to find our place in one body of believers, as all sorts of different people from every conceivable background? Is anybody game for that in the house?

Because what we see happening, we have a world that our parents did not have. Our grandparents could not have conceived of it. But this is the world, this is the culture, this is the society that you and I were foreordained to be part of. We are servants of God in this world at this time. It's not an accident. It was given to us as a trust and you and I are not responsible for learning how to deal with our parents' world. That world is over. This is the world we're dealing with, and we need to understand it in the language of the world from a biblical perspective. And what social media has done, and there's so many things I love about social media. I'm not very likely to get off of it tomorrow. I love it, I enjoy it, I also hate it and don't enjoy it, anybody with me? But I'm gonna tell you, it has dramatically changed the way we relate and the way we have relationships.

And a number of things have happened. A lot of positive things have happened and maybe we'll get into some of those as we go. But significant changes that significantly affect us as the people of God on planet earth, and I just threw a few down. We've never been more in touch. And generally speaking, we have never been lonelier. Both of those things are true at exactly the same time. For many of us, we've never felt like we fit in less and without a shadow of a doubt, we are getting increasingly rude. Could I have an amen from the house?

Now see, you might not know that if you're not getting out there on social media. But if you're taking a look at it, then you're pretty convinced of that point as well, and all of this is happening on a stage with the world watching us. Now, since we're not likely to see an end to social media tomorrow, we gotta learn how to adapt to this today so that we can find a new way. And we're not gonna be overwhelmed that may be millions of people are not gonna find a new way with us. What if it just began right here, not only out there in the public stratosphere, but also inside our homes? Are we so set in a relational pattern the way we do things, the way we do conflict, the way we do peace, that maybe a false peace, saying as the Book of Jeremiah says, "Peace, peace when there is no peace," just not peacemakers, but peacekeepers just keep the peace. Just, just keep, keep hiding. Just, just keep covering, and it's exhausting.

What if we found a new biblical way of relating to one another, of being brothers and sisters in Christ? Because we gotta figure this out now. We don't just want to survive the present world we find ourselves in. We want to actually thrive in it. And what I want to tell you, what I believe the Scriptures will tell us is that there is no world he will ever set his people in that they cannot thrive. Oh, yes, we can. We're gonna have to step it up, we're gonna have to learn to strong, strongly stand on our feet in Christ. But yes, we can thrive. And I gotta tell you in the midst of a lot of bad news out there, I'm not in a bad mood about it. I'm not even in a bad mood about how rude we've gotten out there in front of the world to one another.

Because here's what I think, and I may have missed I entirely. Maybe this is my optimism. I really do believe we've been caught off guard and that we just got caught in it before we knew what we were doing. It's so new, it's such a new world for us, and it changed so fast. And that maybe we can adapt, maybe we can find a way to be a called people, a holy people in a very unholy world.

Now, I wanna tell you in advance, the title is a play on words because what we're really driving out this weekend is fellowship, healthy fellowship, and healthy relationships within the body of Christ that then branches out into the rest of the world. That's what we're talking about. The title of our event this weekend is "Staying Afloat on the Fellow Ship". We're gonna see what these parts look like relationally, hardly having to turn away from this one chapter to do it. I want you to see with me, if you'll look back in verse 5, it says, "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders". We're uncomfortable with that because in today's language and in the way we do relationship now, that makes us uncomfortable. We don't want people to feel like outsiders, and that's appropriate in every way.

But you know what we're gonna do this weekend? We're going to let the Scriptures make us uncomfortable. Is anybody with me on that? Let's let it make us uncomfortable and let's go ahead and we're gonna adopt that terminology because it's exactly what he is using here. It's the transliteration E-X-O, it's simply exo. You can see what it means out, without as opposed to within. It literally translates as the ones outside. So, you just have to think of it like this, the ones outside the faith that have not yet received Christ, and the ones who are in the faith. So, he's terming the ones that are out, what we would call in our present terminology, out in the world. And then he's talking about that as opposed to us who would be considered, in Scripture if we trusted Christ, as insiders. I want to say this to you because this is one of the most important points we'll make. It's not one on the board. I just want you to let it sit down really, really deep in your heart.

Listen to this carefully, undeniably, inarguably go through the gospels and see, go from the very first verse in Matthew all the way to the last verse in Revelation, and you will see that Christ undeniably wills that each one of us be intentionally relational. It is critical to what God has called us to do. I'm gonna push that far enough to say that for us to avoid that is for us to go into disobedience to the Spirit because it is imperative as people of the gospel and people of the light, that we be intentionally relational out there because I'm gonna tell you something, we are never, we are told in the Scriptures at the end of the gospel of Matthew, Jesus said to his disciples, "Now, you go out into the world and you make disciples". But we're never going to be able to disciple anyone we will not first engage.

It to all of us to become intentionally relational to be used of God in the world that he's called us to. I'm just gonna put it like this, it would not hurt us to pray to be more likable people. And I say that, I say that as one of us. Is that fair to say in the house? It just really it would do us some good. One of the things I pray for, "Lord, just, just show favor where my relationships are concerned. Let me walk in that favor". Pray for it. Pray for it. The gospel holds us personally responsible for being intentionally relational, getting to know people, putting ourselves in a situation where we can interact with people who do not know Jesus, taking the time that a whole lot of people need to get to know them and let them get to know us, and let the Holy Spirit work.

But I, like you, if you've had a journey for very long, have had moments in the Scripture when God has taught me something that has just never gone away, that I think about over and over and over and over again. And this is gonna be one of them. I attempted to look at Christ's very intentional relationships with people, what groups they were, what they were like, what they consisted of, what numbers were given to them, and did that have any bearing on any representation for us?

All right, you've got your outsiders, and that's the outside, the furthest in these circles of relationship. You've got the outsiders, that's the world. It's unnumbered. We're gonna number the rest of them as they are in the Scriptures just to make a little bit of a point. Then the next one you've got is the 3.000. We're gonna see where that comes from an Acts so that's gonna represent the church at large to us, the full body of Christ on the globe at this time. It's gonna come in a little bit. We're gonna see that another number that is used in the Scriptures is the 72. We're also going to see then the 12, the three, and then we're going to see the one.

Notice with me Acts chapter 2, I'm gonna start reading at verse 37 so this is when the Holy Spirit has fallen upon them at Pentecost and Peter, who'd been former denier, who'd been impetuous, and wonderful, and loved Jesus with everything in him, but he was known to blow it several times, and then to really just like blow it to kingdom come. And then suddenly, the Holy Spirit falls on him and he gives the most cohesive message of the gospel imaginable, and many are saved. And what I want you to understand is the way we come into the faith is the same way that they came into the faith. He gives the gospel message of what Christ came to do as the fulfillment of Scripture. That's part of the gospel. He fulfilled the Scriptures.

Peter was making the point, this isn't new news for you. This has been prophesied and foretold. And Jesus has fulfilled it, just like we were told the Messiah would. You just did not expect him to come like this, and you have crucified the Son of God. And so, it picks up then. Look with me at verse 36 because it says the perfect rendition of the words I just paraphrased.

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?' And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.' And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, 'Save yourselves from this crooked generation.' So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

That is the birth of the New Testament church in the very 1st century A.D. That is the picture of salvation, that which that circle represents for us in that original 3.000 plus now has become millions of us on this globe, and innumerable to us, people who have gone on into the presence of the Lord that we will join at some point before his throne. Now, with that in mind, let's pull it in just a little bit further. Would you go with me now, what's the next number? Seventy-two, would you go with me to Luke chapter 10, just verses 1 and 2.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'

Now, what he's talking about is workers, workers. He's talking about bringing people into the harvest field to serve out there through the kingdom of Christ, to draw to the kingdom of Christ. So, I want you to see with me, to me what that represents if the 3.000 represents the church at large, all of us around the globe who've trusted Christ as Savior, then let the 72 represent for us what we would think of. That was that, that local group of disciples he then sent out. Let us think of that in terms of what may be our local church. So, think in terms of, it's not gonna be the exact number, of course, but you really don't know how many. If we were to average out the average church across the globe, we would not have these big mega churches. The next one is 12.

I believe, and I'm just throwing out to you what this has become for me, what every one of these circles represent to me is my call to relationship. And I ask myself over and over again, do I have healthy relationships in every one of these respects? Do I put myself in a position where I can minister in the world, where I can serve somehow in the world, or have I cut myself off from everyone who is not in the faith and everyone that I would somehow at times feel awkward around? I can't do that because I'm called by the gospel to that very world and so were you. But do I have a local body of believers? Then, do I have a group of people with whom I'm growing up in the faith?

It might seem the opposite to us that there are more people that really are disciple than really do serve, but I don't think that's true. I don't think that's true. I think a whole lot of people will just gladly do some kind of ministry and gladly serve and praise God, they would, but that a whole lot of people in the faith never really grow up in the Scriptures, discipled in the Scriptures, and it's still so critical to what we do. You and I cannot fulfill our callings without being in the Scriptures, it's part of how we're equipped. Even if God's called you to be a physician, he says the Word of God equips the saints for the work of ministry. So, whatever line of work we're in, secular or what we would consider some kind of ministry or vocational church work, doesn't make any difference, every believer to grow up in the faith is meant to be discipled in the Word.

And there's this group of people, do you have some of these in your life that you're just like growing up with, doing the Scriptures with, that you're learning together, you're asking questions together. That's such a beautiful thing, people that were being discipled alongside. What was that next number? That next number is the three. Do you remember that there were three different occasions, if you have familiarity with the Scriptures, three different occasions when Jesus pulled out of the 12, three of them, Peter, James, and John, could not have been accidental. He did it when he raised a little girl from the dead. He did it through the Mount of Transfiguration that I talked about earlier. He did it then again in the Garden of Gethsemane. He took those three with him. The rest of the disciples were just out from them. He brings the three in, but then he leaves those three and the Scripture says in Matthew 26, starting with verse 36, that he himself went on further still, and it was just he and Jesus alone.

Because for some of us, our tendency would be, "No, I want to do the 72. I want to interact with 12". And these are just, these numbers are just representative of just groups that might be somewhat around this size. I've really enjoyed the three. I love that it's three and not just two. But we want to do the one where it's just us and Jesus, where we go to that place where nobody else can go with us but right there, things are settled, right there, right there is where true surrender takes place. Right there is where we know him all by ourselves, right there in that place. And I stare at those circles and I think of them. They're written in my head now. I could save them from memory over and over again and continually year in and year out, I do a checklist in my mind. Do I have these intentional relationships? Because this is what it looks like to be intentionally Christ-like. This is how he interacted with the people. Are these alive and active in my life?

Now what I began to see is that these segments in Colossians chapter 4 have parallels to those circles and I hope to prove it to you. Now, number one is this, the gospel holds us personally responsible for being intentionally relational. Number two is this, the gospel priority is for insiders to reach outsiders. My pastor is huge on this. He reminds us over and over again. I love to say that it's holy harassment because he says over and over, "We gather to scatter, we gather to scatter, we gather scatter".

He reminds us of that every single week. He made me change, now not him, but the way he was preaching, I even changed where I got my hair done because he kept saying to us, "How are you putting yourself out there where you begin to have relationships, and you begin to have interpersonal encounters with people who were not of the faith". And he challenged it. And you may say, "Listen, I'm from a part of the country, I'm trying to find people who believe where I am". We'll get to that in just a moment. But this is so common where I'm from that we would just go, "You know what, that's too hard and I'm afraid that will get on me. And so, I don't want any part of that".

And yet, the Great Commission is, "Go therefore into all the world". That means we have to get where we can interact with people, and function with people, and keep our heads together, and keep our hind ends out of the ditch. Do y'all call it hind ends where you're from? That would be what you're sitting on right now where I'm from. How to keep ourselves out of the ditch while we're still out there doing what God has called us to do in the world. We've got to figure this out.

Think of it this way in this these relational circles, we come together to face in and to face up. We come together like on Sundays, I'll come together with my church. We're facing in that day and we're facing up altogether looking toward Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. But the moment that is over, we turn outward and out we go. That's what we're called to, to get that in our head. And what it says in Colossians 4 and 5, it says, "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders". In other words, it takes wisdom. It takes wisdom. It takes what we do not yet know so often. We're thinking, "Beth, I don't know how to do it". Neither do I. We have to just keep going back to him over and over again. He promises us in James chapter 1, "If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. But let him have faith without doubting".

We're gonna go to him. We're gonna ask him. It's a beautiful word. If you're new to the whole idea of the Greek language translating into an English New Testament, then you'll love knowing that the Greek word for wisdom is sofia, sofia. He would give us a wisdom that somehow something we would not have even learned from experience, he's just downloading it into our hearts. Other times, what he's taught us through something we've encountered, that we've gotta learn how to go out with wisdom. Notice that he says then, "Making the best use of the time," making the best use of the time.

I thought that's a wonderful word for time there. There's the word in the Greek chronos, chronology. You would recognize that word that is a succession of minutes. But this is kairos K-A-I-R-O-S, kairos and it means season. Listen, you're not accidentally in the season that you find yourself in. We could sit in a circle of five or six around us right now and just talk about what season we're in, and there's every possibility all five of us would be in a different season. And he says, "Make the most of it. Make the most of it". Somebody is gonna be glad to know you won't be there long. Somebody want to say, "amen"?

Somebody of you might be having the best season of your life, you won't be there long either because we just like walk from season to season, and strength to strength as the 84th Psalm says. "Grace upon grace and faith to faith," as Romans 1 says. We're just constantly walking through seasons. But he's saying make the best use of the time because he knows we're gonna get face to face with Jesus, and we're gonna go, "You know what? You were so worthy of that. I don't know how I missed it. I don't know how I was so busy, so distracted with things that weren't gonna last. When you wanted to do things through me that were eternal, that would stick forever, you had relationships for me to make, they were gonna matter to their great grandchildren and their great grandchildren, that I'd be part of a lineage of faith".

Just let your imagination go with what God can do with one obedient person, just one who decides to walk in wisdom and make the best use of your time. Some of you are in the house and the doctor is not giving you much time. What if you decided to make the most of it? God is the great physician. He can intervene any way he wants to, any way he wants to. But if he was to take you home before this time next year, wouldn't it be something to say, "I made the best use of the time"? Here's what's so good verse 6, "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person".

Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with what? Say it again. Now, there are lots of different reasons for salt, preservatives, all sorts of things that have been used through the centuries, the use of salt, but if you'll go and do a little study, you'll find that most commentators will agree that what he's really after here is seasoning, is seasoning. Their words would be seasoned with salt, that they'd be just a little bit salty. I'm not talking about worldly, I'm saying that something about them would be seasoned in such a way, not poured out.

We don't want the salt to overtake the food where all they can taste is the salt because, you see, salt wasn't meant to change the flavor. It was meant to bring the flavor out. It was meant to enhance the flavor so that the tongue would taste and know that the Lord is good. Is anybody going there with me? What if we began to pray? I love this. Because did you notice just earlier he said, "Would you pray also for us that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I'm in prison. And then I will make it clear".

Do you realize what an impact prayer would have if we began to say, "Open doors for me, open doors for me. And Lord, help me to walk in wisdom toward those who were outside the faith and give me gracious words that are seasoned, not overtaken, seasoned with salt". And so, often what's happened in our current culture is we have a culture of verbal assaults, and we're a people called to words seasoned with salt. Every time you see an assault, every time I seen an assault, think salt, think salt. "How can my conversation, Lord, season my words with salt not to deceive in any way. But Lord, in Jesus's name, in the holiest context possible, make me charming, for crying out loud". Anybody, anybody?

I think it's so fair to say that so many of us in this room, naturally speaking, would just say, "This is not my strong suit. It's really not". But I want to say this to you tonight because I think that some of us can be so immersed in our Christianese, that we forget that no, it really, it really is true. It's not just speech. The Holy Spirit transforms us. We are not limited to our natural inclinations anymore. If you are in Christ, you have the Spirit of the Living God living inside of you, and you're not just limited to your former limitations, and all your natural inclinations. That's not how it works anymore.

I am convinced, after this many years of working in the body of Christ, that I love dearly, and am part of, and have been just as guilty of this as anybody else, I truly believe that at our core, most of us are truly convinced that how we are is mostly how we'll stay. If we were to take a gut-level, gut-honest survey in this room and I said, "How many of you believe that most of the time people just really change a little"? Overwhelmingly our hands would go up and we'd say, "That's me". I mean, there's a little bit of tweaking transformation. No, I know very few people that have really, really been transformed.

Well, it's not because he wasn't willing to do it. It's because we still limit ourselves to our natural inclination. We were all stamped with this beautiful uniqueness that God means to take advantage of. You see, you're this blend, and so am I, of all of these different things, this glorious conglomeration of our genetics, of your braided DNA, of your environment, of your upbringing, of the timing of our generations, of our experiences, and our exposures. You think, how could people, this many millions of people, billions of people, on planet earth created in the image of God, how can it be that we are all completely unique? This is how, because nobody has your exact strand of DNA coming together with your exact same environment, with your exact same experiences, your skill level, all these different things, all this colorful conglomeration you bring together, your education, both formal and informal, your personality, your talents, your beliefs.

And then the Holy Spirit's inhabitation and his influence on our lives. We don't just become, this is what we're meant to be, colorful people, gorgeous conglomerations of dust and spirit. But somehow we think we've all got to become this, that it's all just gonna blend in together until we lose it and we just become one glob of exactly the same color. Not only is that not the body of Christ, it's not even you. You're meant to come together and still be completely distinct in all this putting together of this marvelous person, overtaken by Spirit of Christ and set loose in a lost world. It is a beautiful thing and a beautiful trust.

So, let me ask you this, how many of you in the room say, "By my natural inclination, I am an introvert"? May I see your hand please? See, isn't that gorgeous? Just beautiful. I love this 'cause I've seen one in some couples hold up one hand and the other one's gonna hold up the other one. All right, that's the introverts in the room. Extroverts, would you hold up your hand? Yeah, see, I knew it. I knew it. I wrote down in my notes you really want to stand, don't you? And I told myself, I said, they're gonna holler out. The introverts are gonna go like this... and you're gonna hate that I asked. And the extroverts all like, "Right here, right here, right here I am".

And so, here's what we think, we really do not think that Jesus is greater than our genetics. We think, listen, there's nothing more set in stone than our personalities. We think in our minds, once an introvert, always an introvert. Once an extrovert, always an extrovert. Do not misunderstand me, not in my wildest dreams would I suggest to you God wants us all to be extroverts. Imagine, imagine, imagine the pure noise factor in the world, imagine it. "My introversion doesn't opt me out of interaction". Now, don't think for a second, I got good news for you introverts. Don't assume that extroverts are experts at relationships just because they're out there trying to be the life of the party because extroverts can be perfectly happy, just simply putting on a show and knowing no one. Am I telling the truth? Am I telling the truth?

We can be perfectly happy to party with everyone and really know no one. "My extraversion can masquerade as interaction". See, we both got challenges. We could just be performing for them thinking that when we leave, "Weren't they glad I came"? When they're thinking they never gave a single one of us any opportunity to even talk. Some of you are thinking, "The reason I am an introvert is because I live with an extrovert"! All right, we've looked a little bit at the world but we've got to be intentionally relational with people that are out there in the world, that we will not just somehow close ourselves in. That is not the will of God, and it's not an imitation of Christ.

So, with that in mind, I want you to stare at Colossians and I want you to see something with me. I want you to see that now as we look at the insiders, we're gonna talk about our fellow insiders, and we're going to use that particular word, "fellow". Notice something in Colossians, first of all, in Colossians 1:7, "Just as learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant". Everybody say, "fellow servant". Now, look next at 4:7, "Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He's a beloved brother and faithful minister," and what is he? He is a fellow servant. Now, would you live with me at verse 10. Verse 10 says, "Aristarchus my fellow," what? All right, say those two words. Fellow prisoner. And then would you look lastly at the very next verse in 11? "And Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me".

Here's what I'm gonna throw out to you and this is the first time I've ever done this. And I am so intrigued by it. And I'm just praying, as raw and new as it is to me, that I can get it across to you. I have long since been a fan of this fellow language. I mean, it's just a beautiful thing. And if you look up, by the way, I understand that this is the home of Merriam-Webster's dictionary, and this is just a very beautiful thing to me because there is no end to the words I look up. I love, love, love word studies. And if you and I were to look up the word "fellow," we would see that not until the fourth definition does it even bring up guys. It is all about people who are compadres, people who are associates, people that are with us in our work, and people who are friends to us and companions to us.

And I thought wouldn't it be a beautiful thing if you and I developed, especially all of us women, new terminology? These are my fellows because there are fellows and there's fellow talk all over the New Testament. If you went into the New Testament and looked up every single time fellow is used as an adjective, fellow something or other, you would find this number of fellows. Look at Ephesians 3:6. I'm gonna read it in the NET because it uses the wording. "Through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs," there's one word for it, "fellow members of the body," there's another word for that, "and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus". All of this fellow talk that Paul is doing, if there were a word in the Scriptures for fellow earthlings, that would be a beautiful thing. We could put that on the outside where that broken line is. But all of his fellow talk now is going to be in the terms of insiders.

So, would you go there? Because there are four of those fellow words that go for everyone in the faith automatically, automatically. Three of them were in that Ephesians 3:6 and the other one is fellow citizen, fellow heirs, partakers, and members of the body. Fellow heirs, we are that the moment we come into the faith. We are fellow citizens with the rest of the saints the moment we come into the faith. We are partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus, fellow members of the body, that all comes with it.

Now, I want you to go to those 72 because now what this represents to us is people who are pressing on in from simply being in the faith to now these are people who want to work for the great gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, I'm not talking about, listen, would we ever miss it if we thought that this had to take place in the church? Why on earth would God take the most light and stick it in the house where the most light already is? He takes us like a strand of Christmas lights, and means to wrap us all over the world in every possible ethical kind of work, and profession, and school, and atmosphere. He means to wrap us all over the earth and plug us all in to the socket of the Holy Spirit.

We're meant to be that. But every single one of us, when we take it on that everything I do, everything I do, I want to be for the sake of the kingdom, God would be able to use me in that workplace, not to just evangelize instead of doing my job. No, we do our job more excellently than anyone there because we gotta be salt and light in that place. We're responsible for carrying the reputation of the gospel. So, bring it in next and what you've got around that 72, now you've got your fellow workers and your fellow servants. Now, bring it on down to the 12, and you're gonna have your fellow disciples and your soldiers. By this time, these are people who fight the good fight together. Anybody know what I'm talking about? I mean, fighting the good fight. How about those three?

Okay, this is what I'm just gonna have to go with you conceptually because I can't just support this fully and connect it to you in the Word so I'm just throwing this out. This is not really for Magic Marker. This is very light pencil, very light pencil. But I would press on and say maybe by the time it's coming down to three, just several, maybe those, in some strange way, think with me beyond what it would mean in its most literal term, maybe those are fellow prisoners, the ones with whom you have suffered for the sake of Christ. Does that make sense? The ones with whom, I mean like, you've sacrificed at times when God has called you to, to the point that only a few people around you could really understand and press in with you. Is that fair? Just conceptually speaking, could we make that stick?

Let me tell you something, Jesus has really been hammering me in the last year about learning the difference in my personal life. It's not about somebody else, it's me and my personal life. The difference between being acceptably Christian and pursuing actual Christ-likeness, Christ-likeness, not just to what the world would say, "Well, that's what Christians would do". That's not what we're talking about. The whole objective with us, once we are born again into the faith, is that we are conformed, be conformed into the image of Christ, that everything else goes to the wayside when it comes to that one objective, I want to grow in Christ-likeness.
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