During our small group gathering this week, we discussed Christian fellowship—that we are a family bound together through the supernatural working of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As our discussion centered around considering others ahead of ourselves, of counting one another as more significant, being in one in spirit and in purpose—all the things that are connected with true fellowship in Scripture–I was reminded of something important: None of it happens without an act of God:
The Christian man must cherish a frank and hearty faith in a supernatural redemption. As certainly as the recognition of the great fact of sin is an element in the Christian’s world-conception, the need and therefore the actuality of the direct corrective act of God – of miracle, in a word – enters ineradicably into his belief. We cannot confess ourselves sinners – radically at breach with God and broken and deformed in our moral and spiritual being – and look to purely natural causes or to simply providential agencies, which act only through natural causes and therefore never beyond their reach, for our recovery to God and to moral and spiritual health.
And in proportion as we realize what sin is – what, in the Christian conception, is the nature of that bottomless gulf which it has opened between the sinning soul and the all-holy and faultlessly just God, the single source of the soul’s life, and what is the consequent mortal character of the wound which sin has inflicted on the soul – in that proportion will it become more and more plain to us that there is no ability in what we fondly call the remedial forces of nature, no capacity in growth, however skillfully led by even an all-wise providence, to heal this hurt. A seed of life may indeed be developed into abounding life: but no wise leading can direct a seed of death into the ways of life.
Dead things do not climb. As well expect dead and decaying Lazarus through the action of natural forces, however wisely directed, to put on the fresh firmness of youthful flesh and stand forth a sound and living man, as a soul dead in sin to rise by natural powers into newness of life. No, the world knows that dead men do not live again: and the world’s singers, on the plane of nature, rightly declare,
One thing is certain, and the rest is lies;
The flower that once has blown, forever dies.
Adapted from B.B. Warfield, Christian Supernaturalism
Without God moving, fellowship doesn’t exist. Unless God brings you from death to life, there is no true fellowship. Those things that we like to talk about these days—connecting, authenticity, community… none of those happen without God’s supernatural redemption. Do you cherish it?