Summary: What is fellowship and what is it’s true purpose? What is the difference between fellowship and relationship. God places high a high importance upon fellowship.
Eph:2:4: But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us,
It is important for us to know that first of all we are greatly loved by God the Father. We can’t come into any kind of a close personal relationship with some one including our Heavenly Father if we think that person is a mean ogre out to get us. This is totally opposite of the truth, and not at all what our Heavenly Father wants from us.
1Jn:4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.
It is because He first loved us that He wanted to restore the fellowship that was lost in the Garden of Eden. After all He went to great lengths to redeem us. He certainly wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to redeem us if He wanted to just stick us over in a corner somewhere after it was all said and done would He? The answer is no He wouldn’t!!!
He wants to have relationship with us, but He also wants to have true and lasting fellowship with us. Fellowship is based on getting to know someone and to be known by them. It is an intimate sharing one with another. This kind of fellowship doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. Knowing and understanding a persons wants and desires is something that happens over a period of time. The same is true with our Heavenly Father, once we come into the kingdom we have to take the time to get to know Him. The number one way to get to know Him is by learning of Him in His Word. His Word is the written revelation of Himself. This is the very reason I have such reverence for the Word of God. He choose this method to give us a true revelation of Him. This is the beginning of fellowship, the beginning of getting to know our Heavenly Father. This is truly the desire of our Heavenly Father, for us to know Him and to be known by Him.
We can come to a place where we can know our Heavenly Father like this, but it first
starts with us coming unto a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Jn:14:6: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jesus is the only way. There is no other way to come to the Father. If you have not accepted Jesus as Lord then you can have no fellowship with the Heavenly Father. Relationship comes first.
1 John 1:3. that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
This is the message of the Gospel, this is the good news, we have been reconciled to God the Father through Jesus Christ.
We have been reconciled to God by Jesus Christ, but in order to partake of this blood bought Covenant we have to acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
2Cor:5:19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
If you have already come unto a saving knowledge of Him, then you must realize that His great desire is to get to know you intimately.
Fellowship is not the same as relationship. Relationship is another way of saying kinship, or family. Fellowship is the sharing of intimacy. You can be estranged from someone who is a blood relative of yours and not have real fellowship, even though you might be a blood relative. Fellowship is not necessarily the result of kinship.
W.E. Vines Greek expository of New Testament words say fellowship is sharing in common. It also denotes “a partaker” or partner. To have communion with. Meaning to have things in common.
Another dictionary says partnership, (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse.
To share the life of God, to be a partaker of God’s very life.
Just because you are now born into the kingdom of God doesn’t mean you know and understand the desires of your Fathers heart or that you know Him intimately, or that you are a partaker and sharer of His life. You might say I am born again, that means I partake of His life. This is true up to a point, every person ever born has a mother and a father and that makes you a partaker of their life doesn’t it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you share their desires or are close to them. This a reality we could all talk about. We all know of such cases to one degree or another.
True fellowship is vital to any healthy relationship. You can not build a trusting relationship with out it.