As one who has decided to live godly, fellowship with the brethren is non-negotiable. In fellowship, we build healthy relationships and also learn how to reach out to others just like Jesus did. In fellowship, we learn from each other and grow spiritually to a place of maturity. When we fellowship, we are living in obedience to the word. Hebrews 10:25a encourages us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
In Galatians 2:12-13, a situation arose whereby Paul had to confront Peter because of what I will call a fellowship misconduct.
Galatians 2:12-13 (NLT)
When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
A little background on this story. In their days, Jews were circumcised and Gentiles were uncircumcised. In order for the Gentiles to fellowship with the Jews, they had to go through circumcision; all these were according to the law. Peter was an apostle to the Jews and Paul an apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8).
Peter (an apostle to the Jew) ate with (fellowshipped with) Gentile Christians (Christians because they are not under the law) but when Peter’s friends came, Peter stopped eating with the Gentile Christians because he was afraid of being criticized by people who believed in circumcision. So, as a result, Peter’s hypocritical action led others astray. Amen.
Our point of emphasis is this, pursue undivided fellowship. Fellowship with purpose and when you do, it will guide you and prevent division. When you fellowship with the brethren, encourage one another. When you find yourself in the midst of unbelievers, bring the message of salvation to them and anything else the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Be careful not to avoid unbelievers without giving them a chance to hear the message you have to bring. Do not be an eye-servant, if you do, you will lead many astray just like Peter did in this situation. Amen.