When one speaks of fellowship today, often times it is associated with food, fun and a get together. And in a secular sense this definition is appropriate. But when one speaks of the fellowship we have with God, the secular definition is lacking greatly.
John wrote, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life– and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us– 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. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” (1 John 1:1-4) Indeed, fellowship with the Father and His Son is far greater than food, fun, and a get together.
John continues, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. ‘If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.’” (1 John 1:5-7)
God is Light. He Himself is in the Light. We walk in the Light. We have fellowship with one another. The blood cleanses us from all sin. These are facts of truth from revelation.
Jesus spoke of this truth when He said to the nation of Israel in the Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world.” Israel was to be, according to the Prophets of old, a light unto the nations. But they failed. Jesus, however, was not only speaking to the nation of Israel, He was also speaking to the very ones who would be His disciples in the New Covenant kingdom of God.
The fellowship is a label which speaks of a great deal more than is commonly understood. The fellowship is walking with one another together in God; it is walking with one another together with God; it is walking with one another together beside God; it is going where God is going; it is doing what God is doing; it is living as God lives.
However, the fellowship (koinonia) of which we are dealing is much more significant and much deeper than any secular “fellowship”. Even marriage, as significant and as deep ‘of a sharing and participating reality,’ pales in comparison. Marriage ends in death, but the fellowship of love with God and with one another in Christ — death cannot even touch.
If what we are really doing is recreating, then let’s call it recreation. If what we are really doing is shaped and driven by our walk with God, then it is indeed fellowship.
From my heart to yours
South Jackson Street Church of Christ