core studies : fellowship
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15
Godly fellowship is when believers witness and express the Spirit of God in their lives from faith to faith, from person to person (Romans 1:17, 1 John 1:7). Fellowship will spiritually nourish every Christian that applies himself to it (Hebrews 3:13, Matthew 18:20). Christians get spiritual strength and encouragement when they draw from the strengths of each other (Hebrews 10:24). We also learn from each other's good and bad examples (John 15:4-7, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Ecclesiastes 4:9-11).
Fellowship will make a new Christian strong in a short time (1 John 4:17-21, 1 Peter 4:8). Forsaking fellowship will spiritually kill us by our own negligence (Hebrews 10:25). When we come together in a worship service, we not only receive edification from the sermon, but we should also draw encouragement from others around us (Malachi 3:16). God is able to keep those that do not have the opportunity to fellowship (those who don't have contact with other true Christians) (2 Timothy 1:12) and can also supply fellowship to those who don't have it (Philippians 2:19).
The word "fellowship" means "to participate with"; therefore, we should not seek our fellowship with those that are not true followers of God (1 John 1:6, Amos 3:3, Psalms 133:1-3). We can be friends with unbelievers, but we cannot fellowship with them (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 1 John 2:15-17, Titus 1:16, Ephesians 5:11, 2 John 9-11, Matthew 7:15-20, 1 Corinthians 10:20-22). By being someone's friend (to be kindly interested with goodwill), we can share with unbelievers about God's love, which will allow our friends the opportunity to be saved. As we seek to minister to the lost, we must be sure not to be vexed by their carnal lifestyles and perspective.
If someone has walked away from the fellowship, we should pray for that person, but not fellowship with him. One person's deceptions could mislead others, including us (Romans 16:17, 2 Peter 3:17-18, 1 Corinthians 10:12). It is better to faithfully live a good testimony in front of the backslidden than to concede to any negativity (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).
Likewise, a believer should not fellowship with those who walk in the same carnal lifestyle that he has forsaken (1 Peter 4:1-4, Ephesians 4:14, Ephesians 5:11, James 4:4, 2 John 10-11). If a person just escaped the world of drugs, it is foolishness for him to fellowship with those who use drugs. A person cannot expect God to deliver him from sin if that person doesn't seek to remove himself from his weaknesses. Additionally, God has commanded that His sons and daughters come out from the world and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).