Summary: "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another"
Open your Bible to the Epistle of 1 John, and I would like for you to follow with me as I read from chapter 1 verse 3 to 8 “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:3-8)
Three things are highlighted for us in this passage: A relationship, a fellowship, and a joy that follows. Here John comes to the most beautiful thing about life -- fellowship, companionship: When you have something in common with another you can have fellowship with him. If you have nothing in common, you have no fellowship. We all have things in common. We have many things in common. But John is talking about that unique fellowship which is only the possession of those who share life in Jesus Christ together, who have this different kind of life, this new relationship. We share the life of the Lord Jesus, and therefore we have fellowship with one another.
The Bible informs us that there are two dimensions to the Christian life. The First and foremost is the vertical dimension, the relationship that has now been established between the believer and God by virtue of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary. Now the believer’s sins have been forgiven, divine justice has been satisfied, and he is received into fellowship with God whom he now knows as his heavenly Father.
The Bible also enlightens us that there is also a horizontal dimension to the Christian life, our relationship with fellow believers. The apostle John (in 1 John 1:3) tells us that when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we are brought into fellowship not only with the Father, but also with all fellow believers who likewise belong to the family of God. There is not only the horizontal relationship but that, in turn, depends upon a vertical one. He goes on, "and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ." We shall discover, as we go on as Christians, that the horizontal relationship is directly related to the vertical one. If the vertical is not right, the horizontal one will be wrong, and, if it is wrong, it is because something is wrong between us and the Father. If we want to straighten out the horizontal relationship, that of getting along with our fellow Christians and fellow men, we must be sure that the vertical one is straight. Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
When a person is born again a new relationship is formed; he becomes a child of God. By virtue of birth you have a relationship with Him. It is your right and privilege to take advantage of that union. However there is another level that we are called to that makes all the difference in the world, a level beyond relationship; and that is fellowship. Salvation is being in the family of God. But fellowship is being in relationship with God. To all who received him, who believed In his name, he gave power to become children of God John 1:12.
When we invite Jesus into our hearts, and ask Him to be our Lord and Savior -- we have established relationship with Him and to our heavenly father through, in and by Him. But to have fellowship with Him takes more effort on our part. Fellowship with the Father is the utmost invitation that anyone can have.
Once we understand and experience the reality of our salvation through faith in Christ, the most important thing to comprehend is the issue of fellowship with God. Fellowship comes from the Greek word, koinonia, which indicates fellowship, association, communion, joint participation, contact, rapport, sharing and partnership. The word, fellowship, then, entails all of these factors and is used in the Bible to indicate the experience of a quality of life that operates on the same as God’s will, accomplishing what He wants us to do here on earth, pleasing Him and being pleased in every area of life.
Fellowship with God is "getting along with God" and enjoying His presence and be a blessing in your life. We must take a step to get to know Him and understand just how great His love for us really is. We have been invited in to fellowship, associate in joint participation and partnership with God the Father. That happens during the communion, prayer and meditation and practice of God’s word. The greatness of God, the wisdom, the power, the glory of his might -- all is made available to me, when I make myself available to him. This is the great secret of fellowship. That is what Paul says: "I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me," Philippians 4:13).