Les Clemens
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In my last post I directed your attention to our theme for 2021 here at Faith. “Gospel
Connections” is the banner under which we march this year in order to see the kingdom of God
advanced. As a way of reminder here are the “connections” we will strive for;
“Empowered by the Holy Spirit we will strive to build;
Connections with our God through the preaching and teaching of his Word.
Connections with our Family by developing authentic, biblical fellowship.
Connections with our Community by clearly sharing the gospel in deed and word.
Connections with our World by investing in intentionally gospel efforts”.


Previously I discussed that first point, “connections with God through the preaching and
teaching of his word”. That is to say, we put a priority on learning from the Bible because this is
the primary means by which we will connect with its author, God himself. Let me begin by
asking you this, have you been making this a priority in your life in the start to 2021? We need a
starting point and the Bible is the place to begin.


The second connection point gives focus to our relationship with those who are part of the
family, the body of Christ. It is through the communication of God’s Word that we develop our
relationship with each other here in the local church. Our goal, as noted, is “authentic, biblical
fellowship”. The primary point is “fellowship”. Fellowship means having a community of likeinterest, activity, feeling, or experience. In the biblical sense it speaks of a deep relationship
with each other based on the commonality of our relationship to God. Think of the early church
in Jerusalem who spent time together in God’s word under intense persecution (see Acts
2:42-47).


But there are two aspects to this fellowship that we should consider. The first is the word
authentic. To be authentic is to be true, to be real, to be someone who is sincere and honest. In
other words, there is no room for falsehood, or being a fake, as it were. This is vital to building
connections. Too often we put on a facade, hiding who we are from others. As the Spirit works
in us we want to bravely open ourselves up to each other. Are you ready for that? Not easy I
know but there is no true fellowship without it.


The second qualifier and of utmost importance is that this fellowship be biblical. That is to say
our community of like-interest is not based on such things as ethnicity, social standing or our
favourite sport. It is based solely on the fact that we are people of the book - the bible. We are
the blood bought people of God who through Christ are one in the Spirit. The scriptures
themselves remind us of the this fact as a means to deepening our relationship with each other.
Listen to the words of John, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the
darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we
have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1
John 1:6-7). The “truth” is the word of God which stands as the foundation of our connection
one with another.


So, as we move forward let us build this kind of fellowship as each one grows in the word and
collectively we deepen our walk with the Lord for the building of his church and for the glory of
his name.