Congruity vs. Fellowship in the Local Church
Congruity is defined as "a point of agreement", togetherness, in accord, which can be in many relationships in this life, business, social, romantic or religious, the general meaning is the same. What is the difference between fellowship and congruity? Fellowship is the agreement we have with each other through Jesus Christ as we conform to His will. Congruity is the agreement we have formed with each other, because of our commonality of thought.
As we assemble for worship, we have fellowship with all believers because of commonality with Jesus Christ, However we will not likely have congruity with some that we don't know [visitors] other members that we don't have commonality of though because we don't know them either, no point of agreement.
The goal of every congregation of the Lord's people is for every member to have congruity with every other member. In Acts 2:42 the believers were in fellowship, Acts 2:44 they were together — united, sense of family, serving the common needs, a point of agreement.
The Holy Spirit illustrates the term congruity in (Philippians 2:2-5) make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, (NAS95) This is not fellowship, this is describing desired human behavior! The purpose of the gospel is to change the hearts of mankind.
IF every member would follow Paul's instruction many good things would happen in the Lord's church:
- The state of congruity would be achieved
- The union of hearts, purpose and plans would strengthen all
- The congregation would explode with growth — no discord, or dissention
- The need for corrective discipline would disappear — all of one mind
One of the greatest shortcomings of many congregation is not reaching the state of congruity! Why does this happen? There are probably many reasons, most of which could be solved by applying Phil 2 to the situation. Beyond that many haven't understood just how important it is to be in a state of congruity, [a point of agreement], together, united, having a sense of family, serving the common needs of each other.
We get this same sense from Rom 12:10-13, (Romans 12:10) Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference [leading, setting the example] to one another in honor; (NAS95) Consider: IF every Christian, every single one was devoted to one another in brotherly love[tender affection] think of the results on every single Christian and on the Lord's church.
[1Pet 2:17] Jesus stated in (John 13:34) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (NAS95) WHY? (John 13:35) "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (NAS95)
Why do we still have lukewarm Christians today?
- Are we really devoted to one another?
- Are we encouraging the fainthearted? Supporting the weak? [1 Thess. 5:14]
- Are we lifting up the weak hands and feeble knees?
- Are we removing the obstacles of the path of the lame? Heb 12:12-13?
(Mark 9:35) Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." (NAS95)