1 John is a book written to believers, written to encourage them in light of false teaching and people leaving the church. It tells believers that anyone who rejects Christ is a false teacher and encourages believers to remain faithful to Christ. I would like to share 3 things: the basis of fellowship, what fellowship is about, and the end result of fellowship.
The basis of fellowship is Jesus. Jesus, as the Word of Life, is the perfect revelation of God to us and is the One who reconciles us to God, allowing us to have eternal life. When we are reconciled to God, we are drawn together and baptized into one body (1 Cor 12:13). Verse 1 and verse 2 are the declarations of the disciples’ experience with Jesus. What is their purpose in declaring Jesus to us?
The purpose of this proclamation is in verse 3. In verse 3, John invites us to join the disciples’ fellowship. And he says, “truly our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ”. Here I believe that fellowship is used both as a noun and a verb which means that when John and the disciples tell us about Jesus, we are invited to have fellowship and communion with God and also to become part of God’s family, united under Christ.
How exciting this is! This means that when we fellowship with each other, we are not only interacting with each other, but we are part of this big circle of fellowship which includes God the Father and Jesus! I think this knowledge should change the way we fellowship with each other. On one hand, fellowship becomes more serious but on the other hand, it is amazing to think that our fellowship with each other allows us to draw nearer to God and have fellowship with Him.
The meaning of the Greek word for fellowship – is having things in common. As Christians, what we have in common is Christ and it is His love for us that allows us to love one another. In order to be part of this Christian fellowship, however, it is imperative that you have been saved.
1 John 1:6 KJV
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
Finally, verse 4 tells us that knowing that we are part of this fellowship, this circle – should fill us with joy. Imagine that you are in a foreign land and you finally meet someone who speaks the same language as you. I’m sure that’s something that would make us happy. Joy because we are God’s people, together, we are rejected by the world, joy because being reconciled, we have access to God and joy because having a common bond with each other through Christ, we are able to mutually encourage each other and help each other to grow in our faith.
I hope this helps us to reflect on our fellowship with each other. If our fellowship does not spark joy, could it be because we are not loving each other as Christ would have us be? Could it be that we have become superficial and worldly? Let’s be excited about being part of God’s family, sharing all things in common, praying together, eating together, and praising God together.