Summary: Our fellowship with God causes fellowship with each other
August 7, 2011
Tonight we’re going to look at what it means to have fellowship as Christians.
Our fellowship with each other is rooted in our fellowship with God (:1-4)
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; 2(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;) 3That 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. 4And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
This word for fellowship is koinonia.
It’s used in Acts to describe the fellowship of the believers (2:42).
It’s used in First Corinthians to show how we’re called unto the fellowship of Christ by God (1:19).
It’s used again in 10:16 to show how we have communion (fellowship) with the blood of Christ.
In 6:14 we’re told that light has no communion (fellowship) with darkness.
There’s this sense of oneness and association and community in fellowship. It’s more than just being together—coworkers can work in the same office every day and not have fellowship—it is being one.
It’s the same picture we see in marriage where the two are united.
It’s the same picture we see at the cross where we are crucified with Christ.
We’re one temple, one body, one bride, one people.
But we owe it all to the fact that Christ Jesus took on flesh and revealed the glory of God. John and the disciples saw this manifestation and gave testimony to it so that those who hear may join in belief and have fellowship together.
Even in our fellowship God is found to be the foundation. It’s not dependent on our likeability or our personalities; we are united in fellowship because we’ve all believed in the same true God and in His Son.
Our fellowship with God causes us to walk in the light (:5-10)
5This 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. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7But 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. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
John can sometimes be hard to follow because he seems to go back and forth and even contradict himself in the same sentence. The idea here isn’t that a Christian never sins—that’s ridiculous. The idea is that believers no longer walk in sin as a way of life, but when we do sin we confess and repent.
A couple of things to keep in mind are David’s psalm after Nathan rebuked him for adultery and murder (Psalm 51) and when Jesus cursed the fig tree for failing to bear fruit (Mk. 11:20).
David was already a “believer” yet he still asked God to renew his heart. Hadn’t David already been washed and cleansed of sin? Yes, but he was (as all of us are) in a constant need of grace. His flesh was still corrupt, and he still failed, but He genuinely loved God and sought Him out.
When Jesus cursed the fig tree it was a picture of how something may appear to be right but in fact it is wrong. There are plenty of religious folks who seem to walk in the light but in reality they are hypocrites—it’s almost as if God will owe them something for all their piety and good works.
John says that walking in the light means that we don’t walk in the darkness. We’re cleansed of sin and the blood of Jesus covers our sin. We’re guilty, but we’re also repentant.
This repentance is real because we have fellowship with God and walk with Him in the light.
We have this fellowship with God because of Christ (:1-2)
2:1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.