Christian responsibilities, contribution, koinonia or fellowship, participation, practice what we preach, prayer (hearing from God), preaching and teaching Gospel message, sharing, spiritually maturing, witness for Jesus, witnessing and fellowshipping
And let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds, not neglecting our own congregational meetings, as some have made a practice of doing, but, rather, encouraging each other. And let us do this all the more as you see the Day approaching. ~Hebrews 10:24-25, CJB
Becoming a Christian means making a lifetime commitment of total devotion to Father God and Christ Jesus. Becoming a Christian also means making a lifetime commitment to faithfully growing in the spiritual knowledge of God and Christ Jesus, and spiritually maturing in the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, becoming a Christian also means making a lifetime commitment to live a righteous and holy life, and to do so, while obediently and faithfully serving/ministering to mankind.
So that we who are believers in Christ Jesus might increase in our spiritual knowledge of Father God and Christ Jesus, so that we might spiritually mature in the Holy Spirit, and so that we might not only know but also do that which is the good and pleasing Perfect Will of God (cf. Romans 12:2b; Ephesians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8), which simply means we will be pleasing God in everything that we say and do, the Word of God highlights four extremely important spiritual responsibilities we Christians must accept once we receive forgiveness for our sins. These four responsibilities, thus, are those duties we fulfill (complete) while we are living a life that is consistent with our position as children of God.
The first of these four responsibilities is being a witness for Christ Jesus (cf. Acts 1:8). As the Lord’s disciples, we are His witnesses when we are strengthening and confirming the preached or heralded Gospel message through our daily living of a holy, righteous, and loving life in Christ Jesus, and we should be living such a life, first and foremost, within our communities of witnessing saints. Put differently, our witnessing not only is achieved through the Gospel message that we preach or teach, but also our witnessing is achieved by practicing what we have read, been taught, or heard preached, and/or achieved by practicing what we ourselves are preaching or teaching (cf. James 1:21-23).
Furthermore, more than being believers who just busy ourselves with doing “good deeds,” hoping that our produced “good works” will mean that we are living like Christ Jesus lived, we who are Christ Jesus’ disciples are supposed to have a deeper, more intimate relationship with our Lord. As a result of us getting to know Him better, wanting to hear His Voice, listening to and obeying His Voice, and seeking to be empowered by Him, we not only develop a stronger desire to do those “good deeds” that He has called us to do but also we develop a stronger desire to be more Christ-like. Growing more and more Christ-like means we willingly and obediently will be turning the other cheek, will be loving our enemies, will be loving our neighbors, will be helping the poor, will be feeding the hungry, will be visiting and/or healing the sick, will be giving freely, will be readily forgiving those who trespass against us, and so forth.
Various Scriptures that confirm that we are to be like Christ Jesus more so than try to live like He lived include, but are not limited to, the following verses:
For I have set you an example, so that you may do as I have done to you. ~ John 13:15, CJB
Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on his lips.’ When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults; when he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness — by his wounds you were healed. ~ 1 Peter 2:21-24, CJB
But if someone keeps doing what he says, then truly love for God has been brought to its goal in him. This is how we are sure that we are united with him. A person who claims to be continuing in union with him ought to conduct his life the way he did. ~ 1 John 2:5-6, CJB
Additionally, to fulfill our responsibility of being Christ-like witnesses, we must understand that “…the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20, KJV), which means that God’s supernatural power does not come from our own spoken or written words that we use when preaching or teaching the Gospel’s Truths; and God’s supernatural power does not come from our own spoken or written words that we use, when we are professing our faith in the Lord. Indeed, God’s supernatural power that comes from the taught written or preached unadulterated Gospel messages, and from our personal testimonies, exclusively originates from God’s Grace and His Holy Spirit! The point here is that we must allow the Holy Spirit to prompt and lead us, in regards to what we should preach, teach, or testify. Equally important, we should allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us, which means we should speak His Words—we attentively should listen to and absolutely should use the Words that the Holy Spirit gives us to speak or write, because the Holy Spirit’s ability to speak the Lord’s life-convicting (making people aware of their sinfulness), life-giving, and life-sustaining Words is one of the reason why God sent Him to us (cf. John 6:63; John 16:7-14).
Furthermore, where witnessing to unsaved individuals about regeneration, salvation, and transformation are concerned, saved individuals must help unsaved people know and understand that the Holy Spirit’s ministry also includes Him being the One who supernaturally influences unbelievers’ hearts to respond in the appropriate way to the preached or heralded Gospel messages about regeneration (rebirth; see John 3:6-8; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23). Likewise, the Holy Spirit’s ministry also is responsible for Him being the One who supernaturally influences unsaved persons’ hearts so that they respond in the appropriate way to the preached or heralded Gospel messages about the Lord’s life, death, resurrection, and the redemptive power of God’s saving Grace, as personified in Jesus Christ. For sure, the right response to the Holy Spirit’s influence is the one that makes people’s hearts willing to believe and receive God’s salvation/eternal life plan and then, afterwards, totally surrender their new life to the Lord, as well as to the Holy Spirit’s progressive sanctification/transformation process (cf. Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 2:8-9; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Peter 2:2; James 1:18).
Our second responsibility is to feed on the entire Word of God by regularly hearing or reading His Word and by daily studying and meditating on His Word so that we not only can stay continually in the Perfect Will of God but also so that we constantly will want to produce and are all about yielding “good fruit” (cf. Psalm 1:2-3; Psalm 119:9-16; Matthew 13:8, 23; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15). The bottom line is that the Scriptures make it clear that we should never doubt whether or not God’s Word is our necessary spiritual food, because it is His Word that supernaturally nourishes and strengthens our human spirit, soul, and body so that we are able to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Galatians 5:22-23).
Our third responsibility is to maintain an intimate fellowship and relationship with God, by frequently praying to (talking with) our heavenly Father. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that we are to pray continually, and that we either should be praying in our native tongues or praying in the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 18:1; Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 5:18-20; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
While there is no specific time when we must pray and no specific place where we must pray, when and where we do pray it is clear that God wants us to listen more to what He has to say to us than for us to just give Him our concerns or our “give me” or “bless me” with this-or-that lists. In fact, our Lord Jesus says that if we believe in Him AND, as a result of our belief, are doing the Perfect Will of the Father, meaning we are doing the kinds of “good works” that our Lord did, then we can pray to God, in Jesus Christ’s name, asking for anything, and whatever we asked for will be given to us, but ONLY so that we can glorify the Father with our received “blessings” (cf. John 14:12-14)!
Our fourth responsibility is to fellowship (koinonia) with and disciple (teach) individuals who are born again, saved (justified), filled with the Holy Spirit, and being sanctified believers. These believers also will love Father God and the Lord Christ Jesus (cf. Matthew 28:19-20, ESV). Put differently, as coal stays hot longer when left in the fire with other coal, so will our desire to remain on fire for the Lord when we fellowship with other believers who are filled with the Holy Spirit’s fire. These are those brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus who rejoice with their siblings who have received honor, who suffer with their siblings who are suffering, who bear their siblings’ burdens, and who edify and encourage their siblings to continue growing in the Holy Spirit and to continue becoming more and more Christ-like. These brothers and sisters also are those children of God who are active participants in their community of saints (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:25-27; Ephesians 4:11-13; Galatians 6:1-3; Galatians 6:9-10).
Furthermore, the New Testament Greek word, koinonia, not only is translated as “fellowship” but also translated as “participation” (as in participating in a common life of faith, and in the Breaking of Bread or communion), “sharing” (as in sharing one’s goods and wealth with those in need), “distribution,” and “contribution.” Concerning how this koinonia should affect the fourth responsibility of fellowshipping with and discipling (teaching) other likeminded believers, God’s Word says:
They continued faithfully in the teaching of the emissaries, in fellowship, in breaking bread and in the prayers. Everyone was filled with awe, and many miracles and signs took place through the emissaries. All those trusting in Yeshua stayed together and had everything in common; in fact, they sold their property and possessions and distributed the proceeds to all who were in need. Continuing faithfully and with singleness of purpose to meet in the Temple courts daily, and breaking bread in their several homes, they shared their food in joy and simplicity of heart, praising God and having the respect of all the people. And day after day the Lord kept adding to them those who were being saved. ~ Acts 2:42-47, CJB
~ and ~
Therefore, if you have any encouragement for me from your being in union with the Messiah, any comfort flowing from love, any fellowship with me in the Spirit, or any compassion and sympathy, then complete my joy by having a common purpose and a common love, by being one in heart and mind. ~ Philippians 2:1-2, CJB
In other words, the koinonia we should be keeping in this 21st century is the koinonia that basically means being in agreement with one another, being united in purpose, and serving alongside each other.
Finally, although there are many more responsibilities that should be fulfilled during every believer’s life on Earth, especially before the Lord’s Second Coming, there is no doubt that God expects every true child of God to fulfill the previously mentioned four responsibilities. These earlier mentioned four responsibilities are: being a true witness for Christ Jesus; feeding on the entire Word of God; praying ceaselessly (more to hear from God than to ask God for His blessings); and fellowshipping intimately with and frequently discipling brothers and sisters in Christ.
For sure, being a witness for Christ is an extremely important responsibility that primarily involves knowing how to lead others to the Lord. That is why our witnessing not only must include preaching the authoritative unadulterated Gospel message, but also our witnessing must include practicing what someone preached to us or what we ourselves are preaching to others. Then too, effective witnessing is the kind that relies on the Holy Spirit to give us what to preach and to lead us in how we should say what we have been given to share with this lost world. In other words, the power that is behind regeneration, salvation, and sanctification involves both the preached Word (the Gospel message) and the mighty workings of the Holy Spirit.
The second responsibility involves feasting off of the entire Word of God, which means that regularly hearing or reading the Word of God, plus diligently studying the Bible, are key ways to learn God’s Perfect Will for our lives, and how to avoid erring/sinning—rebelling against His Perfect Will. Next is prayer. Let there be no doubt about it; prayer is our best way of thanking God, praising Him, making known our needs, and, most crucial, hearing directly from God—from His lips to our ears. Lastly, intimately fellowshipping with and steadily making disciples of saved and being sanctified believers are our best ways to demonstrate the central point of the Gospel message, which is the love and care God has for this world that He demonstrates primarily through His gift of Grace, as personified by Christ Jesus, and the power of His Holy Spirit.
The bottom line here is that every Christian not only is expected to willingly make and obediently and faithfully fulfill a lifetime commitment of total devotion to Father God and Christ Jesus, but also every Christian is expected to obediently and faithfully fulfill these four mentioned responsibilities, while obediently and faithfully living a life that is consistent with his or her position as a child of God. Indeed, it is very possible that a believer’s spiritual growth could very well become stunted, if he or she chooses to default on fulfilling these aforesaid four responsibilities!