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grenepages_Ope Rowland THRIVE

Come Online!

Ope Rowland THRIVE_Come Online!

Barnabas who was sent by the church to the believers in Antioch worked amidst them for a while before seeking out Saul to join him. The two spent a year with these believers fellowshipping with them and teaching them. The result was that people recognize the believers and started calling them Christians. They were called Christians because they saw them reflecting Christ. People could see them as images of Christ. They moved from being believers to Christians during the course of that one year.

Generally, people are asked of their religion and some reply being Christians. However, not all with such response are Christians. Being part of the church does not make one a Christian. Being a worker in church does not make one a Christian. Being born in the church to church leaders does not make one a Christian. Being buried in the church does not make one a Christian. The many calling themselves Christian are not all Christians. One might be a believer and still not be a Christian. Being born again makes one a believer.

Initially the Antioch group was called believers but after that one year became Christians. They believed in the work of salvation, eternal life through Jesus. However, they next stage, which was living out the life of Christ made them a Christian. There are so many that claims they are born again but you cannot see any Christ in them. A Christian is a Christ. If you have not become Christly, you are not a Christian. It might be accepted in official forms but you are not one. Those forms should have indicated something like ‘churhianity’ rather than Christianity.

Fellowship is not to come having opening prayers, praise worship, testimonies, choir, message, and benediction. That is not fellowship but worship service. It is to have one on one contact- communion. You can come around and spend hours together and not fellowship. In fellowshipping, we notice one another. In fellowship, we are observant of one another. It is about personal relationships.

The reason many are not becoming Christians is that they are only meeting with us but not fellowshipping. They partake in the services but no relating. It is possible to come to meetings together for hours to make the service run fine and not yet fellowship with one another. People are not fellowshipping when they do not know about one another. Fellowship starts from relationship; doing things together, talking together, sharing together and praying together.

Do not just attend services. That is why there is no change, no transformation to become Christ. Little wonder many people remain who they are, because they are not fellowshipping with the body. What joins you together with the body is that you are fellowshipping with the body.

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:15-16 KJV

Every nutrient you need to grow to become Christ comes from the head through the joints and ligaments. If you are not joined to the body, you cannot grow because there would be no nutrients flowing to you. A separated part of the body cannot receive what the body is eating. Therefore, the body grows but the cut off part would not grow. When you are not joined to the body, you cannot be nourished. You cannot get form the head- Jesus Christ from whom all nourishment flows. The body is not the one that is famished but he/she who refuse to be joined to the body.

There is a lot of feeding going out there but you are missing out by staying away. Your fellowship life joins you together with the body. When you join yourself with the body through fellowship, whatever nutrients, virtue, grace is present in the body will flow to you. You will not know how it works but because you are fellowshipping with others, you just see that your life becomes better. You begin to improve, thinking differently because of the people you have joined yourself with.

When you walk with the body, you become part of the body (Proverbs 13:20). The nutrients flowing in the body will flow to and through you. Therefore, if you are part of Christ you become Christ. Stop hanging; join the fellowship. This not about becoming a member but joining the body. Some might be registered members, serving in one capacity or another but not joined to the body. They are not part. You may be known by name, face, activities, and punctual to meetings but are you actually fellowshipping?

 As each member does its own part, the whole body will grow. What makes you to grow is when everybody does his or her own part. If the mouth does its work well, the food goes into the stomach. The hand will function well because the stomach functions well. If the stomach does not play its part of processing the food and redistributing, the hand will have a problem of growth. The heart is to pump blood to the whole body, e.g. the hand. If the heart does not perform its own function, the heart will not get any supply.

One of the reasons why some join fellowship and yet there is no difference is because some people are withholding their part. When everybody carries out his or her own function, we all grow. Some have given themselves new functions of sitting down and leaving not playing any role in the body. That part being held back is denying others enough nutrition hindering Christ formation. Therefore, people are not becoming ‘Christs’ because someone that holds a class of nutrient is not releasing it.

Amidst the choral group, there are the alto, soprano, tenor and the likes. If one of these parts refuses to participate, keeping quiet during a rendition such as the Hallelujah chorus, you can imagine what will happen. Some feel that there are enough people there already they are not needed. They have enough hands and so they might not be needed, thinking what difference you will make by joining; it will make a lot. As everyone does their part, the whole body grows. There is a circulation of Christ that must be on, as Christ is not localized to one person. He gave parts to everybody, so we only get the fullness when we come together.

However, beyond the spiritual virtues (1 Corinthians 14:26), there are other parts, which are needed in character formation that we pass on to one another. When you come together in true fellowship you see the way another sister is dressing without exposing her body yet she looks beautiful, you will learn from her. She has donated a part to you. She is fulfilling her own part; she knows how to dress well and passes it on to you. Then you too will soon begin to dress like Christ. You might not know how to do some things but when you see someone behaving like that you wonder how he or she is able to do it. Soon in your interaction, you learn. If you are close, you will learn informally.

However, if you do not fellowship together you cannot even know the strengths possessed by your brethren. Therefore, learning cannot even take place. Closeness will make you know how people respond to different situations. Every character you think is deficient in you is strength in someone in the fellowship. You might not have borrowed it and make it part of your life because you have not joined yourself with the person. Avenues offered by our believers’ groupings are designed by God to allow a rubbing of virtues on one another.

The three and a half years the disciple spent with Jesus, Jesus rubbed his character on them. The character of Jesus you need will be rubbed on you when you fellowship with your brethren. When you stay away from fellowshipping, you are staying away from being rubbed.

There were two dimension of fellowship amidst the Antioch believers. One, Paul and Barnabas were fellowshipping with them and they themselves were fellowshipping with one another. They were referred to as a congregation, a church. They were fellowshipping with themselves and then the apostles came with what was lacking to fellowship with them.

Barnabas brought his goodness, fullness of the Holy Ghost and faith to the congregation as his contribution (Acts 11:24). When they fellowshipped together, they all received that goodness, fullness of the Holy Spirit and faith and they manifested these, and people saw all these in them and labeled them  Christians.

Barnabas brought his own strength and joined it with them, what strength do you have both physically and spiritually? Join these strengths with the body and let’s become better. When you see someone amidst us who is not a stable disciple, not growing well, the fault is not with him or her, it is those who have refused to join with such. Look for the weak ones, join yourself with them, and pull them up. Let something flow out of you into their lives.


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Ope Rowland believes in the ministry of every saint. Hence, he talks and writes about believers finding, grooming and operating in their ministries.

He is the author of the thriving blogs and the books- The Young Christian , Manifestation and The Intimate Life  

the_young_christian_ope_rowland manifestation_ope_rowland the_intimate_life_ope_rowland


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more from Ope Rowland THRIVE in grenepages
The path to destiny | God Is Preparing You | What A Day | Day And Night | How To Nurture Grace | How To Live Above Depression | How To Drop Addictions | Three Audiences | Joined To The Head & Body | Glory! | Come Online! | False Intimacy | This Water Is Overfished! | Impostors Or Forerunners | Stars | The Little Yeast’s Vaccination | Complete! | Not Intimidated In Right Doing | The Unpleasant Bus Stop | Get Breathing | When Made A Stakeholder | Connecting To The Real You | Rethink Your Thinking | At Least Do The Least |  
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