There is one more question we must add to our list of fellowship questions, and it is the most important one of all:
Milton Vincent, author of The Gospel Primer makes the case for why the gospel is vital to Christian love and fellowship:
“The greatest gift I can give to my fellow-Christians is the gospel itself. Indeed, I love my fellow-Christians not simply because of the gospel, but I love them best when I am loving them with the gospel! And I do this not merely by speaking gospel words to them, but also by living before them and generously relating to them in a gospel manner. Imparting my life to them in this way, I thereby contribute to their experience of the power, the Spirit, and the full assurance of the gospel. By preaching the gospel to myself every day, I mature the bond that unites me with my brothers and sisters for whom Christ died, and I also keep myself well-versed in the raw materials with which I may actively love them in Christ.”
Mr. Vincent references 1 Thessalonians 2:18 where Paul tells the church that: “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”
We may say that our friends are “very dear to us;” but if we do not live in the good of the gospel, we stifle the source and limit the scope of our love for them. May this motivate us to preach the gospel to ourselves every day—so that we can “actively love” our friends.