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1 John 1:1-4 (1–5)1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us
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. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
Fellowship is defined as companionship, company, a community of like interests. It is also defined as an activity, experience, or feeling shared by a company of friends, or equals.
Johns first letter to the believers uses the idiom of fellowship as a theme for his writing. God is Light, Love, and Life. You see this theme throughout the letter. But John also wanted believers to understand that we believers, are in fellowship with Him. This truth is especially appreciated when we go through hard times. It is not enough to believe that God is ‘out there somewhere’. The great revelation for us today is that we share in His love, light and power. In fact sharing is the very basis of real fellowship. Fellowship mean sharing experiences with God, and living in the communion of like minded people.
The greek word used here means that we share in communion, help, and partnership with God. We also share with Him by way of the Holy Ghost. God is not out there, but IN HERE! (Take that to the bank with you when you are going through something).
In John’s time he also had to deal with doctrines of unbelief, including those who doubted the very existence of Christ, or His deity. John begins by assuring believers that he and other believers had in fact seen, handled, and received from Christ. He wanted his letter to be something tangible for people who came to believe on Christ after His resurrection. I am praying that my words today will also serve as a word of encouragement that you are not alone in your struggles. You are in fellowship with the same Jesus that John knew so well.
So what does in mean to be in fellowship with Christ? Simply put in means that He shares everything with you, even the tough times. Think about this. The bible says that Jesus suffered all of the same things that human beings go through.
Hurt, heartaches, desertions, hatred, were all a part of Jesus’ life. He had temptations, and tests. He knows exactly what you are going through, because He has been there. Because of this, Jesus can fully understand your prayers, and complaints, and more importantly is well qualified to help you through them. He shares your pain and your triumphs.
In fact the Lord has decreed as King of Kings that you are eligible to fellowship with Him anytime you desire.
Revelation 3:20-21 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
This scripture gives us a picture of a King who ventured out from His castle to visit His subjects. The King shows His desire to fellowship with us, but first we must open the door. This is a great revelation about intimacy with Christ. We have an open invitation to fellowship with Him where we are. He will feed us, share his treasures with us, and give us whatever help we need, but only when we invite him into our situation. If you need help today, open the door for Him and He will come in and allow you to experience real fellowship with Him.
And of course John wanted us to know that fellowship with Jesus Christ means fellowship with the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. When you have seen Christ, you have seen the Father. (See John 14:9). It was important to John that believers knew that Jesus was the very embodiment of the God of Heaven. Not only that, but He is in you if you have been filled with His Spirit.
John 14:23 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
Right now you have God in You! If this does not encourage you I am not sure what will. Fellowship means sharing in power. Stop feeling helpless and hopeless, and start believing God. This is what true fellowship means.
Fellowship with Christ means fellowship with other believers as well. Here is a promise for you. When believers get together and are on the same page, something wonderful happens.
Matthew 18:19-20 19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
This is why the enemy sows seeds of discord among believers. When we fight each other and refuse to fellowship together we rob each other of power. Many churches have ‘fellowship halls’ but how many of us realize the power of fellowship in the spirit? We can share more than food and deserts. We need to share in our fight against the powers of darkness.
In John 15 Jesus said that He is the main vine, and we are the branches. We are only powerful when we are connected to Him though fellowship. He also gave us another powerful promise that we should cling to when we feel alone and powerless.
John 15:7-8 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Real fellowship dispels hopelessness. When we connect with Christ our faith is bolstered and we become productive again. Let me remind you that you are not alone!
There are many more scriptures I could share with you about fellowship but let me close with this one because it is a reminder to stay connected to each other. Remember this one when life gives you that, ‘I need a drink’ feeling:
Ephesians 5:18-21 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
The word excess in the KJV, and dissipation here conotes a diluting on power. The idea is that being drunk causes people to loose power! So Paul says when you get together don’t drink, (or use other drugs), but instead be filled, (or re-filled) with the Spirit of God!
Fellowship is better than a drug. So stay connected to God, and to each other. Share your hopes, and even your fears. Speak into the lives of your brothers and sisters in Christ by way of the Word, and spiritual songs. Find someone to be thankful with. There is an infinite amount of power available to us when we learn the meaning of true fellowship.
Bishop Horace Ransom Jr. is the Senior Pastor and Founder of New Covenant Church International in Detroit, Michigan. He is a Jurisdictional Bishop and serves on the Board of Presbytery for the Jabula International Network, North America. Bishop Ransom is an outstanding teacher of the Word of God with a passion for challenging believers to become the best that they can be. Faith, Purpose and the Kingdom of God are frequently the subject matter of his dissertation.