The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Relationship vs. Fellowship

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 25, 2008

I’d like to follow-up my It’s a RESCUE! post with this one because I’ve been perusing around other posts and reading the many people who truly believe that the salvation the Lord Jesus Christ had so FERVENTLY GIVEN and is so FREELY GAINED and is so FIRMLY GRIPPED upon His own…can be lost by THEIR actions [or lack thereof].

Forgive my presumption, but just from what I’m reading, I’m seeing that many people do not have a spiritual grasp on what the difference is between RELATIONSHIP and FELLOWSHIP…so here it goes, and may it be a help to you!


Due to the fact that every one of us have been born into this world, every one of us has a standing before God…and it’s not good:

Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; [vs2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: [vs3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

You see, every one of us had [or still has] a standing before God of “being dead in trespasses and sins”; “the children of disobedience”; and “by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.

But don’t stop there…listen to Ephesians 2:5-10!

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, [by grace ye are saved;] [vs6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [vs7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [vs8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [vs9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [vs10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

PRAISE GOD!!! By the Grace of God, and not by OUR OWN WORKS, can a person be saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…delievered from their debt of sin they owe and from their destiny of Hell. [BTW: just thought of this…isn’t it odd that many who don’t believe salvation is forever believe that Hell is?]

Now when a person has partaken by faith the Lord’s salvation, that person is now born into the Family of God! Remember the conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee named Nicodemus in John 3? In that conversation, Jesus said this in verse 5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

“Born of water” – that’s a natural birth [what happens right before a woman delivers…her water breaks]; “Born of the Spirit” – of course, that’s a spiritual birth. BOTH BIRTHS bring a soul into a family…”born of water” brings a soul into an earthly family, and “born of the Spirit” brings a soul into a spiritual family, or “the Kingdom of God”!

FRIENDS, THIS SPIRITUAL BIRTH IS A RELATIONSHIP! After salvation, God has become your Spiritual Father and you’ve become His child: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” [Galatians 3:26]

Now that salvation has been established as a RELATIONSHIP, the question has to be asked: “Can a child of God cease in being a child of God“? That’s the thought and belief that’s on trial! Many I’ve been reading believe because of something they did or of something they will do, they will not be saved or have that RELATIONSHIP anymore with God.

KNOW THIS: Sadly, Christians have turned away from God before – the Apostle Peter is a great example. He DENIED his Lord three times, but he DID NOT lose salvation…because salvation is a RELATIONSHIP.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: THE PRODIGAL SON. Jesus tells us in Luke 15:11-32 the prodigal son forsook his father, took his inheritance, and went and wasted away all that was his. He turned his back on his father, but what did his father do? He received him back – not to be his son again, but because he was his son. Even when his son was away from him, and for all intended purposes he was considered dead, that boy was STILL his father’s son. That boy broke his FELLOWSHIP with his father, but his RELATIONSHIP was always that of his son.

THINK ABOUT THIS: When our children disobey or do wrong, they are still our children – they will always be because they were “born into the family”…but when they disobey or do wrong, FELLOWSHIP has been broken because by their actions they’ve gone against what we said to do or not to do. FELLOWSHIP can be restored if the child receives the correction and love of those parents, just like with the prodigal son and his father…and JUST LIKE WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER!


Is Grace greater than all our sin? Is God “God-enough” to not only save you, but keep you saved? When Jesus says in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: [vs28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. [vs29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” – Do His Words, “they shall never perish, neither shall any man [that’s means even we ourselves can’t!] pluck them out of my hand‘”, mean what they say? How about vs29…a child of God is sealed by the Holy Spirit, seated in the Hand of Christ, and secured with Christ in the Father’s Hand…now I’d say that’s ETERNAL SECURITY!






11 Responses to “Relationship vs. Fellowship”

  1. Kate said

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE: THE PRODIGAL SON. Jesus tells us in Luke 15:11-32 the prodigal son forsook his father, took his inheritance, and went and wasted away all that was his. He turned his back on his father, but what did his father do? He received him back – not to be his son again, but because he was his son. Even when his son was away from him, and for all intended purposes he was considered dead, that boy was STILL his father’s son. That boy broke his FELLOWSHIP with his father, but his RELATIONSHIP was always that of his son.

    Pastor Mike, this is soooo good! Amen and amen!!! If only true born-again Christians would sincerely understand this, they would serve the Lord more fervently! My children have gone astray from time-to-time, but they were still my children. I gave them birth – I am their mother – there is nothing that they can do or say that can make that go away! Praise the Lord that my Heavenly Father loves me despite what I do. I am thankful that my relationship with God does not rest on me or anything I do but it totally rests on God and the precious work of His Son, Jesus Christ! He is perfect and you cannot change what is perfect and make it better or take away from it!

    This post blessed me, Pastor!

  2. AMEN, sis ~ Great comments!

    You are so right – our relationship DOES NOT rest on us or on anything we must do…it’s all on our Lord Jesus Christ!

    Great reason to serve Him more fervently…

    Lord bless, sis!

  3. Part of the problem is that so many people just believe someone is a Christian because they said they were – without determining whether their profession of faith and how they got saved lines up with the Bible. In their minds, if everyone is a Christian who says they are one, and then later turns from God, then they must have “lost their salvation.” Of course, when we really dig into the Bible, we know those who later reject the Lord never really knew Him to begin with.

    1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

  4. You’re right, bro. Jerry…

    Many today “profess” something that they really do not “possess”.

    It’s funny you quoted 1 John 2:19…I just quoted that verse about someone who had “talked a good game” as a Christian, but when confronted with sanctifying Truth, could not accept it and turned from it and from our congregation. If we all were of “the faith”, then why would they have turned away? 1 John 2:19.

    Thanks for clicking in and commenting, my brother!

  5. Michael said

    Amen and amen

  6. Thanks, Michael…

    Lord bless!

  7. RAQUEL said

    Our relationship with god is the very best thing that happen to us. every time,days,weeks, and years has passes by our relationship with god is still father and son even though we made a lot of mistakes in life we cannot change the fact that god is our creator. we should always pray and ask forgiveness to the lord. always have faith and trust god by all our heart and soul and surrender our life to him.

    godbless as all………. thanks god for the love and care and for the salvation that only him can do……….

  8. Gregory said

    God Bless You, I have believed and taught that for years. Funny how people want to make the two, (relationship and fellowship the same)and refuse to come out of bondage just wanting to maintain a relationship. Thank God He chose to have fellowship with us.

  9. Chris Lind said

    Thank you for your wisdom. I teach 6th Grade in a Christian School. We had this discussion in class today. This will help clear up some confusion.

  10. Alheri said

    I’ve gotten more dan what is seen on d page, knowing and loving God is an eye opener to life secret.

  11. Heather said

    While I agree with your teaching about relationship vs. fellowship, the once saved always saved theology is hell inspired drivel.

    My son will always physically be my son, he is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, DNA establishes that fact. However, just as I can disown him, by not recognizing him as my son, if he were to do something that was beyond belief, then that would be on my part to decide, so it is with God. If a Christian were to fall into the temptation to commit murder, that act disqualifies or annuls his status as a son of God – according to Scripture, so he is no longer saved. However, if that person were to repent, then spiritually speaking, God would forgive that person and his salvation – status as a son/daughter, would be restored to him/her. However, they would still be subject to paying society back for the crime, by forfeiting their freedom and/or life on this earth. The debt must be paid here in the physical realm – to society, even though Jesus took care of the debt in the spiritual realm according to God’s blood requirement. If the person is not repentant, then not only will they be physically locked up, he/she is not a child of God and will not go to heaven when they die. According to Paul, there are not murderers in heaven.

    Peter DENIED the Lord Jesus Christ, therefore according to Jesus, he would DENY Peter before God the Father and his angels- that is the loss of his salvation. So, Peter did indeed lose his salvation, but Jesus went after Peter, the lost sheep, to reinstate his salvation. Judas’ sorrow was not godly sorrow, so instead of waiting upon the Lord, he was driven to suicide. While Peter’s sorrow was godly sorrow, so he was ready to repent when the opportunity was given. Godly sorrow leads to repentance, ungodly sorrow leads to death. A Christian can lose his salvation by his own will, God will not force you to repent, there are sins that lead to death and sins that don’t lead to death, so don’t lie to the saints, tell the truth. The prodigal son, was dead to his father, not physically speaking, but figuratively or spiritually – I don’t know how else to put it. After the boy came to himself, then he decided he was going to go back as a servant, not as a son, he was repentant in his heart. Yes the father was looking for him, for his son’s return, but he did not go after him and force him to repent. His father could have made him a servant, making him no longer eligible for inheritance, after all, he did squander what he was given, but the forgiving father reinstated him as his son who would part of his estate once more. Your example of the prodigal son as you present it is only half true, you bent it to prove your wrested biblical point of view. Being stronger than God means, you can’t change his rules, you must abide by them or you will be lost, don’t be guilty of the sin of presumption.

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