Fellowship = Fellows in the Ship: Get on Board
1 John chapter 1 is about what we call “fellowship” in Christian circles. Fellowship with Jesus Christ requires “transparency” before our loving Heavenly Father. How do we portray ourselves? Do we see ourselves in light of his glorious gospel of truth or according to the darkness of this fallen world? God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. According to the gospel of John, light is anything that makes manifest; it is anything that reveals and illuminates so that we can clearly see. The light of God enlightens so that we can perceive reality from a spiritual perspective. Light reveals what already exists. If there is sin and iniquity in our lives, then these dark places in our lives try to hide from the glorious light of the gospel of truth.
According to 1 John 1:1 through 10:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Fellowship and light go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Our primary goal needs to be to walk in the light as He is in the light. What some Christians think is fellowship others who attend church often think is “food and entertainment.” However biblical terms need to be defined in terms of their biblical definitions. The Greek word “koinonia” means to “share fully.” It means that we need to share fully with our savior Jesus Christ everything that he is. Fellowship denotes an intimate, participating, and sharing relationship of community and communion. As members of the body of Christ we must share the fellowship of the spirit: the righteousness of God in Christ in us.
In marriage God commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Men often have a facade of toughness on the outside because they are overly sensitive on the inside. However, as David was a man “after God’s own heart,” David’s prayer was “break my sinful heart and create within me a new heart.”
Women are often soft on the outside but tough on the inside. They are the stable ones who endure hardness and abusive relationships for the sake of the marriage commitment. Men can learn a lot from their wives in terms of biblical virtues of forgiveness, patience, long suffering and kindness.
A real man is not a man until he “runs to the king and bows down to authority.” It may be difficult to “man-up” and give in, but this is what is required to come before the throne of grace with a heart of humility and meekness. “Transparency” means to be able to divulge ourselves to those who need to be helped. In order to deal with sin, we must first identify the problem so that we can concentrate on the solution. According to 1 John, if we claim that we are in the light while we are in the darkness, then we deceive ourselves. Satan’s name means “deceiver.” If we deceive ourselves, we’re playing in the Satan’s ballpark. However, if we confess our sin, our missing the mark, our shortcomings and failures, He is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness. To come to Jesus, we must crucify our selfish selves in order to come to him with a humble and a contrite heart.
When we’re right with God in fellowship with him, our prayer for others must be the prayer that Jesus prayed while hanging on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” As Romans 12 exhorts us, “be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.”
We cannot have Christian fellowship until we are walking in the light as he is in the light. When we walk together in the light then truly our fellowship is with our Heavenly Father, his son Christ Jesus, and one with another in the household of faith. The exhortation to fellowship is for fellows to get into the boat and row together with our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the captain of our salvation. When we’re in the vessel together then we can be “harmoniously fitted together.” There is tremendous energy released in a “fusion reaction” that unites many into one. We have been called collectively as the “body of Christ” so that others can witness “holiness.” Holiness or “sanctification” means to be set apart according to the purpose intended by the designer. Holiness means to “Give ’em heaven!” Ephesians 4:13 is a picture of fellowship and a fitting benediction: “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,