Biblical Fellowship  #3

By Tommy Thornhill

 In this study I may not be shedding any “new light” on your understanding of “Biblical Fellowship,” but if nothing else it will help confirm the faith you already have on the matter.

As we study on the importance of “Biblical fellowship” keep in mind this truth of which I am fully assured. If one fails to establish fellowship with God and maintain it, then at the final judgment it will make no difference about any other fellowship one might have had in this life. As I closed the last article, I quoted what Jesus prayed as the beginning of His prayer to His Father. In Jn.17:2-3 Jesus prayed that to know God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ is to have eternal life. With these words He was implying that one cannot really know the Father and the Son if they do not form an intimate relationship with them. Without this personal intimacy (spiritual contact of love and affection) one will not know a real relationship with God, fellowship if you please. So, the first question we need to be asking and answering is, “How can I come into this fellowship with God?” 

Part of the answer to this question is found in 1.Jn.1:1-4 where John lays the foundation of fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son. John first declares that Jesus Christ is the Word who is eternal and divine. See also Jn.1:1-2. Secondly, he states that he and the other apostles were eyewitnesses of Jesus, the Word, who was God in the flesh Jn.1:14; 1.Tim.3:16. Thirdly he then writes they (the apostles) had personal fellowship with Jesus Christ and His Father. And with this foundation John then declares his desire is for his readers to have this same fellowship. From this we learn that if we want fellowship with the Father we must go through His Son, Jesus Christ. According to Heb.10:19-20 we are told that we can only enter the “Holiest” (the place where God dwells in heaven) “by a new and living way” consecrated by Christ, through the shedding of His blood. Being allowed into the Holiest means we have now gained fellowship with God.     

Since this fellowship with God comes through Jesus Christ we might ask, how can we come to Christ? Jesus tells us how. He says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him … It is written in the prophets, ‘and they shall all be taught by God’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” Jn.6:44-45. How do we learn from the Father? In 1.Cor.1:9 we are told that God calls us into fellowship with Him, through His Son. For “God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.” We read in 2.Tim.1:9-10a that this calling is “a holy calling (coming from heaven itself t.t.)… according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ”. Calling us into fellowship with Him through His Son was God’s plan from the beginning as Paul states in 2.Thes.2:13-14. “… God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We answer the call of the gospel by obeying it, by being baptized for the remission of sins Acts 2:38; and united with Christ Rom.6:3-5; Gal.3:26-27. Being united with Christ is the bond of fellowship and means we are also in fellowship with the Father, for you can’t have one without the other 2.Jn.9.

Having established this fellowship means we are no longer living in the world of darkness, for “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” 1.Jn.1:5. Darkness represents the world of sin in contrast to the light which is the world in which God lives. James calls God “the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” Jas.1:17. Paul tells us “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” for we are “to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” Eph.5:8, 11.

Making sure we are walking in the light is of utmost importance. For, “if we say that we have fellowship with Him (God t.t.), and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice 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 Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” 1.Jn.1:6-7. From what has been written so far, I believe you see why it is vitally important we must first establish fellowship with God and Christ. In my next article we will discuss establishing fellowship with others and what it involves. 

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