What comes to mind when you think of the word “fellowship”? It is much more than hanging out together. Notice what 1 John 1:3 and 1 Cor. 1:9 say about this,
“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, 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).
“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 1:9)
When used in scripture fellowship is describing something believers can share with one another because of their connection to Jesus. In fact, it is something we are “called” to enjoy. The word “fellowship” means, “an association involving close mutual relations and involvement—‘close association” (Louw and Nida).
Biblical fellowship is is dependent upon our relationship with Jesus. No relationship with Jesus means there is no fellowship with him or with God the Father. This is another reminder of the exclusivity of Christianity. Jesus really is the only way to God and the only way to enjoy a relationship with him.
Constable summarizes this well when he says,
“He (John) identified two dangers that are still prevalent in the church today. One is the assumption that Christian fellowship is possible without common belief in Christ. The other is the assumption that someone can have a relationship with God without a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Have you noticed how deep your connection can be with other believers in Jesus? It is a special relationship that can be shared because we are part of God’s family through belief in Jesus. Not only can we have rich relationships with one another, but we can have a rich relationship with Jesus and God the Father through our belief in Jesus! Are you enjoying your relationship with Jesus and with other believers?
Father, it is so easy to forget the privilege I have as a believer to be in an intimate relationship with you through your son. It also is a strong reminder that you have created the church as the place for your children to enjoy their rich family relationships because you are our Father. Help me to not take either of these truths for granted and help me to make my relationship with you and other believers a high priority in my life. It is in these relationships where you can change me and I can find abundant life!
Following Jesus with you,