NTDS 87: Fellowship with God
1Jn 1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
One of the most amazing aspects of the Christian life, is the reality of having fellowship with God. I imagine that since you have become a believer, you have heard this term, “fellowship,” many times. It could be considered synonymous with the phrase, “personal relationship.”
If it is true that we can have fellowship with God, then it would be of the utmost importance to know just what that means and how it comes about. Chapter 1 of 1st John is a great place to find out.
The Greek word for fellowship is koinonia. It is used four times in this chapter alone. It comes from the root word koinonos, which means “a sharer”. It is translated 12 times in the New Testament as fellowship, twice as participation and three times as sharing and twice as contribution. The Greek scholar, Thayer describes it this way, "fellowship, association, communion, joint participation, intercourse(socially).”
Looking at the many descriptive English words used for fellowship, helps to give a fuller understanding of what it entails. You can see some common characteristics that describe true fellowship. What are they?
It involves some type of sharing
It involves participation
. It will involve some contribution on your part
There will be a need for communication
So, by definition, we see that we can share, participate, communicate and contribute to this fellowship with God. And in turn, He does those same things with us!
Notice here that the fellowship spoken of is with the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ, but we also have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, (2n Cor 13:14). This shows us that God is triune in nature, one God in three persons and that we have fellowship with all of who God is!
Now, there is a requirement to having this fellowship. In verses 5- 7, we are told that since God is light, we must be walking in His light, in order to partake in this fellowship. That begins with our confession of faith in Christ for salvation, but it does not end there. The word “walk”, literally means to tread all around or figuratively to live. It is a continuous action.
We know that we will not always be walking perfectly in the Light. John says in verse 8, that we will still sin. But the key to getting back into fellowship is found in verse 9. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Isn’t it wonderful that God not only provided the means to fellowship with Him, by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, but He also provides the way to stay in fellowship, by forgiving us and continually cleansing us!
There is another important aspect to this gift of fellowship. Not only do we get to have a beautiful relationship with Him, but we get to have that with each other as well (v.3). In fact, it is the very way God has designed us to live in this world. He has made His church one body of believers (Eph 4:4-6). We are constantly urged in the New Testament to live in peace, unity and harmony with fellow believers and be known as Christians by our love for one another.
This is what true fellowship is all about. It is walking in His light, speaking and listening to Him, sharing and participating with Him. He should be such a part of our lives, that we literally do nothing apart from Him. It naturally follows that we will then be sharing and participating in life with other believers as well. What a beautiful design God has for His church! Let’s determine to walk closely in fellowship with Him and each other. We will be blessed!
God bless you,