1 John 1:3 - Fellowshipping Together

Fellowshipping Together
March 2024
Tim Senn

Often when we hear the word, “fellowship,” we immediately think of an activity: a church-wide fellowship dinner; enjoying fellowship in the home of another church member; interacting with others in our Care Group.  This is part of what fellowship means, but it is not the most basic and fundamental meaning of that Biblical concept.  Before we think of fellowship as something we do, or as an activity we engage in with others, we need to learn to think of fellowship as something we possess and as a relationship we enjoy with the Triune God!  In his first epistle, the Apostle John makes this stunning statement:

“What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).  
John provides one good definition of a genuine Christian: a Christian is someone who enjoys fellowship with God!  Fellowship is not simply an activity that we participate in, it is a kind and quality of life in which we participate – we share the very life of God!  The Greek word for fellowship, “koinonia,” as applied to our relationship with God, means that we share in common the divine life, or eternal life!  Therefore, we learn that being a Christian is not just knowing truth or believing a certain way; nor is it merely living a certain way – more fundamentally, it is enjoying a certain quality of life – sharing eternal life with God!  In John 17:3, Jesus Christ defined eternal life in these terms, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  According to Jesus, to have eternal life is to know God personally!  To know God as Father – and to be one of His children!  Through faith in Jesus Christ and through our union with Him, we become partakers of the very life of God (2 Peter 1:4)!  We enter into fellowship with Him!  We are connected to God, united to Him, and reside and live our lives in Him!    

This is why certain NT verses define salvation as fellowship with God.  For example, 1 Corinthians 1:9 states, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  We were saved from sin to have personal fellowship with God!  We were saved to enjoy a close and personal relationship with Him.  Salvation removes the barrier of our sin which separated us from His Holy presence.  Jesus Christ died to bring us back to God!    

Going deeper, the fellowship we enjoy with God through Christ Jesus is a communion with the entire Trinity!  Although John only mentions our fellowship with the Father and with the Son, 2 Corinthians 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”  Did you know that God from eternity has enjoyed fellowship and community within the Triune Godhead?  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have enjoyed communion and conversation and joy in their common life together. When God saves us, He invites us to enjoy the fellowship of the Trinity, and into the community of those who share eternal life!

Therefore, if you are a believer, you are “in fellowship with God,” you are united to Him by faith and enjoy His very life pulsating and surging through you!  You are connected to Jesus Christ in the same way that branches are connected to a vine (John 15).  This is amazing love and amazing grace!  Therefore, since you are in fellowship with God, engage in the life of God by enjoying fellowship with Him and with His people!  This will make your joy complete! (1 John 3:4).