When I was in our youth group during my High School years I heard this definition of fellowship: two men rowing a boat in the same direction. What does fellowship mean to you? Romans 12:3 says, “…to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
We have this common bond with all believers. We were all given a measure of faith. We are all instructed to add to our faith in 2 Peter 1:5-7, and to increase it by hearing God’s word in Romans 10:17.
Here is the crux of conflict. When we disobey God’s word, we walk in our flesh and do not please the Lord. Peter instructed his readers to add these inward graces to their faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.
Verse 8 says, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” However if we fail to do this? Verse 9 says, “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
The root to interpersonal conflict then comes from a disobedient heart. We have not forgiven others as we were forgiven. We forgot that principle, or ignored it because of our pride. We are not walking in grace and therefore God is resisting us. Apart from Him we are barren and cannot bear fruit for His glory.
Romans 12:5 says, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” The Amplified says, “…(mutually dependent on one another).”
Colossians 2:19 revealed what happens when one member is living in sin. There is a disconnect from the Head. It says, “And not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.”
When I fell into the ravine (1977) my muscles atrophied in three weeks. Useless. They no longer supported my body. It is a great picture of one who has disobeyed God’s word to add to their faith. Their place in the body of Christ is missed. The necessary part they supplied is inoperable. Think about what happens when the veins to your heart are blocked.
1 Corinthians 12:23 says, “That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” Let us strive, endeavor, and persevere to keep, protect, and guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”