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Duties of Christian Fellowship book cover
  • ISBN: 9781-84871-7725
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Page Count: 96
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth

Duties of Christian Fellowship (John Owen)

$8.00 $7.25

John Owen’s Duties of Christian Fellowship deals with a matter of perennial concern for every truly Christian church. In just a few pages it sets out in very concise terms the responsibilities all Christians have, first, to their pastors, and then second, to one another within the fellowship of the local church.

John Owen was a pastor as well as a theologian and therefore this is a most practical manual of church fellowship. It was likely intended to be read by individuals with self-examination, meditation and prayer, but it would also be very suitable for group Bible study or adult Sunday School classes. This edition is enhanced by a modernized text and the addition of questions which have been added to facilitate group discussion.

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Description

Duties of Christian Fellowship

A Manual for Church Members

John Owen’s Duties of Christian Fellowship deals with a matter of perennial concern for every truly Christian church. In just a few pages it sets out in very concise terms the responsibilities all Christians have, first, to their pastors, and then second, to one another within the fellowship of the local church.

John Owen was a pastor as well as a theologian and therefore this is a most practical manual of church fellowship. It was likely intended to be read by individuals with self-examination, meditation and prayer, but it would also be very suitable for group Bible study or adult Sunday School classes. This edition is enhanced by a modernized text and the addition of questions which have been added to facilitate group discussion.

A Reader’s Commendation

“I would recommend this book for two reasons, and the first has nothing to do with its purpose. If you have been wanting to read John Owen but have felt intimidated and didn’t know where to start, this book is the solution. This is an easy read, and I am speaking as a slow reader who has struggled with some Puritan books. “Duties of Christian Fellowship” got me into reading Owen, so that the next one I tried, straight out of his collected “Works,” was not all that difficult. The first book prepared me for the denser stuff.

My second reason for recommending this book is because it fulfills its purpose. John Owen looks past denominational dividers and focuses on what makes a local church a local church. He then explains the duties that all believers have to one another, emphasizing the love and glory of Christ as the root and goal of all true Christian fellowship. He does so in a very accessible format that could be read in a single afternoon if one so desired.”   — Robert

About the Author

John Owen was born in 1616 in Stadhampton, Oxfordshire and died in Ealing, West London, in 1683. During his sixty-seven years he lived out a life full of spiritual experience, literary accomplishment, and national influence so beyond most of his peers that he continues to merit the accolade of ‘the greatest British theologian of all time.’

No outline of Owen’s life can give an adequate impression of the stature and importance to which he attained in his own day. He was summoned to preach before Parliament on several occasions, most notably on the day after the execution of Charles I. During the Civil War, Owen’s merit was recognized by General Fairfax, then by Cromwell who took him as a Chaplain to Ireland and Scotland. He was adviser to Cromwell, especially though not exclusively on ecclesiastical affairs. But Owen lost Cromwell’s favor after opposing the move to make him King. In 1658 he was one of the most influential members of the Savoy Conference of ministers of Independent persuasion. After the Ejection he enjoyed some influence with Charles II who occasionally gave him money to distribute to impoverished ejected ministers. All in all, he was, with Richard Baxter, the most eminent Dissenter of his time.

Despite his other achievements, Owen is best famed for his writings. These cover the range of doctrinal, ecclesiastical and practical subjects. They are characterized by profundity, thoroughness and, consequently, authority. Andrew Thomson said that Owen ‘makes you feel when he has reached the end of his subject, that he has also exhausted it.’ Although many of his works were called forth by the particular needs of his own day they all have a uniform quality of timelessness.

Table of Contents

  • Suggestions for the Use of this Book
  • Foreword

Section One:

Rules for Walking in fellowship with respect to the pastor of the congregation, with explanations of the rules, and motives for keeping them.

(summed up in briefer language):

  • 1) Regular attendance at preaching of the Word and the ordinances
  • 2) Observe and follow the pastor’s example as he walks with Christ
  • 3) Prayer on behalf of the pastor, to carry out his duties
  • 4) Hold the pastor in great respect and submit to him
  • 5) Support the pastor and his family, supplying all their earthly needs
  • 6) Remain loyal the pastor as persecutions arise because of the Word
  • 7) Gather as a congregation at the times appointed by the pastor

Section Two:

Rules for walking in fellowship with respect to other believers, with explanations of the rules, and motives for keeping them

  • 1) Practice affectionate, sincere, genuine love to one another
  • 2) Maintain continual prospering of the church under God’s protection
  • 3) Strive to maintain the purity of the ordinances
  • 4) Maintain unremitting care and effort to preserve unity
  • 5) Keep separate from the world and in particular the false worship of men of this world
  • 6) Engage in frequent spiritual conversation unto edification, according to our gifts
  • 7) Bear with one another’s infirmities, weaknesses, failings, with patience, meekness, and pity
  • 8) Tenderly support one another in various conditions
  • 9) Voluntarily contribute and share in temporal things with those who are truly poor
  • 10) Watchfully and carefully avoid all causes of division
  • 11) Cheerfully accept the lot the portion of the whole church, in prosperity or affliction
  • 12) In church affairs, to not discriminate between persons, but perform service even for the least
  • 13) If any member is in distress or suffering, to engage in earnest prayer on his behalf
  • 14) Watch one another’s behavior and warn one another to avoid disorderly conduct
  • 15) Live in an exemplary way, for the glory of the gospel

 

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