What exactly do we mean by “fellowship”? Maybe your church thinks of “fellowship” as a time of gathering around coffee and donuts before or after Sunday worship. Or, you might fellowship with other believers at a Bible study in someone’s home. But fellowship for the early church meant even more.
One scholar explains, “Christian fellowship is not the sentimental and superficial attachment of a random collection of individuals, but the profoundly mutual relationship of those who remain in Christ, and therefore belong to each other.” In other words, fellowship is not an easy task! It requires time and commitment. And it cannot truly happen outside of Christ.
Out of all the people in the Bible, the apostle John would have known what true fellowship was like. He was part of Jesus’ inner circle and experienced fellowship with Jesus and the other disciples that changed his life forever. In today’s passage, he reminds his readers that it is impossible to have fellowship with Jesus and continually live in sin. When we remain in our sinful living, we are not living out the truth of the gospel (v. 6).
Instead, John says that when we are unashamedly Christian and live our lives in a manner worthy of the gospel, not only do we have fellowship with Jesus but also have fellowship with one another (v. 7). John knows that every person is on a journey to “walking in the light,” so he assures his readers that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross purifies us from every sin that trips us up (v. 7). This removes the pressure and anxiety of having to be perfect, and instead helps us rely on the love and grace from God and on one another.
>> Are there sins in your life that are keeping you away from fellowship with one another? If so, confess those sins to God, so you can start on a path to reconnecting with your brother and sister in Christ, as well as with God.
Father, search our hearts. Is there something of which we need to repent? Forgive us and restore us to fellowship with You and with others. We want to walk in the light as You are in the light.