“The relationships we develop and value now will form a foundation for eternity… The basis of the everlasting
love of the saints is that they all have something in common. The sharing of something special is the mark of true
friendship. What could make for a more lasting and complete bond of love than a commonly shared attitude of
mind? People with a common outlook on life, common goals and objectives, common ways of dealing with problems, a common appreciation of what is beautiful, will naturally and spontaneously gravitate together. In their immortality the saints will be able to exploit this shared disposition to the fullest extent in all the infinite encounters that lie in the Millennium and beyond. This complete relationship is the cause of great joy for the immortal saints, spurring the spontaneous invitation from the Psalmist King David to those with whom he enjoys sweet fellowship, ‘O Magnify Yahweh with me, let us exalt His Name together’ (Psalm 34:3)” (Study Notes, Tea Tree Gully Ecclesial Camp, May 1989, page 29).

The foregoing comment epitomises the hope of every true saint. The one word which summarises all this is “Fellowship”, hence this issue of The Lampstand focuses attention on a number of aspects of this vitally important subject.

The Apostle John in his First Epistle deals with the theme of fellowship in three stages:–

  • God is Light chapters 1,2
  • God is Love chapters 3,4
  • God is Life chapter 5

These stages correspond with the familiar expressions of first Mental, second Moral or emotional and third Physical and we have likewise developed our Special Feature with this in mind.

Our Special Feature commences with two articles on the basis of our fellowship, viz “The Statement of Faith” and “The Australian Unity Agreement”. We are encouraged to familiarise ourselves with both of these documents as there can be no true fellowship unless there is first a unity of mind based upon a unity of doctrine. Just because we are baptised Christadelphians does not mean we can afford to take it for granted that we are all familiar with the basis of our unity. That basis is, of course, the Bible, but we are also encouraged to re-read the excellent material in the “Unity Book” and especially the supporting articles and addresses by Brother John Carter.

Fellowship goes beyond merely accepting a common doctrine—it embodies a state of mind and an attitude towards those with whom we are “in fellowship”. This aspect of the subject is addressed in the article,“Things Which Become Sound Doctrine”. The third aspect which considers fellowship in practice, is addressed by two articles entitled, “For Even Christ Pleased Not Himself” and “Every Man That Hath This Hope Purifieth Himself”.

 In addition to the contents of our Special Feature, the Our Heritage section consists of an article by Brother Robert Roberts entitled, “True Principles and Uncertain Details” and our Book Review looks at a book entitled “Studies in the Statement of Faith”—both of which have a bearing on our fellowship with the Father and His Son and each other.

The Lampstand has as its theme, “Endeavouring to Keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bonds of Peace” and it is therefore most appropriate that we should give attention to the subject of fellowship which is the very essence of our unity in Christ.

A new section has been introduced into The Lampstand which is really an extension of the Family Bible Project. This is presented with the intention of incorporating younger family members into our readership with the ultimate aim that, as they grow and mature, they will continue to imbibe the teachings of the Word that they may show forth the light of the Truth in their lives. It has been given the interesting title Little Lamps reminding them that, even though they may not be baptised, they should always be conscious of the power of the Word of God in their lives and endeavour to please God in everything they do.