“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 (1Jn 1:3).”
Why did the apostles preach the gospel? John said that it was so that we can have fellowship with the Father and the Son. Our life in Christ is fellowship with God and other faithful Christians. John offered no other means of entering into this fellowship except by obedience to the gospel of Christ.
Fellowship with God—just the thought of it fills the finite human mind with wonder. The word fellowship conveys the thought of a close, intimate partnership and sharing. Our fellowship with God is not a partnership between equals, which makes it even more amazing.
God is the Creator and we, His creatures. We are created for the glory and pleasure of God (cf. 1Co 10:31; Rev 4:11). Yet we have alienated ourselves from Him by our willful disobedience.
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (Isa 59:2).”
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).”
What is there in us that merits such great favour from Him? Nothing. It is by the sheer grace of God that we can now enjoy fellowship with Him. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Tit 2:11).” He gave us His Son to make atonement for our sins.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).”
The amazing grace of God doesn’t end with our redemption. God is pleased to do more than that; He has adopted us as His children.
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Eph 1:4-6).”
It must be a heart of stone to not be moved by the love and grace of God! It is possible to harden our hearts against the love of God and refuse His fellowship. The apostle warns against just such a hardening of the heart.
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years (Heb 3:7-9).”
Never cease to be amazed and arrested by the great and astounding love of God. No language can express perfectly this love. It is perfectly manifested in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for us on the cross.
Our fellowship is not only with God but also with other faithful Christians. No one is meant to go at it alone. The church is the society of the redeemed, the household of God (cf. 1Ti 3:15). In this household, we are the children of God and the brethren of Christ Himself.
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Gal 3:26-27).”
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee (Heb 2:11-12).”
The Lord Jesus said:
“Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).”
The saints of God have family all over the globe. Where the faithful people of God are, there is our family. In our fellowship with one another in the Lord, we “comfort yourselves together, and edify one another (1Th 5:11).”
We support and help one another in our pilgrimage to heaven. The journey does not need to be lonely. The Lord is with us, and our brothers and sisters in Christ are with us too.
This is the reason why we obey the Great Commission—so that sinful men and women may be reconciled to God and have fellowship with Him.
When the Samaritan woman whom the Lord spoke to at Jacob’s well discovered that He was the Promised One, she ran with excitement to her townsfolks to tell them about Him.
“The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him (John 4:28-30).”
This nameless woman serves as an excellent example of evangelistic zeal. She did not keep the good news to herself; she wanted her friends, neighbours and relatives to share in the amazing discovery.
We ought to also want others to share in this fellowship we have with God and His Son.
Fellowship with God and the Lord Jesus is the greatest honour bestowed upon us. The Lord said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3).”
If we maintain this fellowship, the day will come when we shall see Him face to face. Our fellowship with Him shall be in eternal glory, no longer marred by struggles against sins.