James. Peter and John,
those reputed to be pillars,
gave me and
Barnabas the right hand of fellowship
when they recognized the grace given to me.
They agreed we should go to the Gentiles and then to the Jews.”
Galatians 2:9 (NIV)
Jerusalem, a man named Joseph, an encourager, earned the nickname,” Son of
Encouragement’ or Barnabas. He felt drawn to those
who needed to be built up. Thus, he befriended Paul.
Barnabas saw the change of heart in Paul and encouraged him to continue in his new found
mission to expand God’s kingdom.
Barnabas’ standing with him, Paul
was accepted and approved by the Jerusalem Christians. The body of believers
extended the right hand of fellowship to both Paul
In my teen and early adult years, the denomination in which I worshipped extended the right hand of fellowship to believers who aligned themselves in their churches when they came from another church of that group. I haven’t heard of this expression in several years. As I have researched this I wonder if people on both sides of the act realize the meaning of this term-acceptance and approval.
As children of God, we seek His approval. We should measure ourselves according to God’s standard. All other instances of judgment fall under His purview.