Grace Baptist Church

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The Fellowship of Christ

The Fellowship of Christ

May 01, 2016

Passage: 1 John 1:1-3

Preacher: Jared Longshore

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: community, fellowship, gospel, message


Pastor Jared Longshore preaches on 1 John 1:1–3 in a message entitled “The Fellowship of Christ.” Fellowship is an old word used primarily today in a church setting. Fellowship speaks to the opposite of loneliness. Many songs over the last decades, from “You’ve Got a Friend” to the theme for “Cheers” have spoken about aspects of fellowship and being connected with other people. Such songs touch us because they are about a deep human need. Our text today teaches about true fellowship found only through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

John wrote this letter in the context of a creeping Gnosticism which labeled physical things as bad and spiritual things as good. This context was a direct challenge to the humanity and goodness of Christ expressed in the gospel. Yet it was the very message of the gospel through which fellowship could be had. Not hearing and responding to the message prevents the fellowship of which John wrote. In this short text there are three considerations the first of which is the message of Christ.

John’s message was about the person of Jesus Christ. Verse 1 emphasizes Jesus’ humanity. Only through that humanity, lived sinlessly, could Jesus destroy death through His death. The message also teaches Jesus’ deity which deity made His sacrifice of infinite and sufficient value. Verse 2 teaches the eternality, and thus the deity of Christ. The message calls all, and all who respond are unified in fellowship with the Father, the Son and all others who have responded. The importance of responding and being unified should be obvious. Without fellowship with God a person can have no realistic expectation of salvation. The person will be doomed to a lost eternity. Only by coming to God through repentance and faith, trusting in the sacrificial work of the Lord on Calvary’s Cross, can a person enter into fellowship with God and be assured of eternal life!

The second consideration is the fellowship of Christ itself. Jesus is the common ground of the fellowship. This fellowship embraces the word’s definition; “a close association involving mutual interests.” Many people have interests in common but these human associations do not rise to the level of fellowship with God or His people. This is primarily so since the fellowship is initiated by God and empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit taking residence within believers at the new birth.

Our third consideration are seven broad implications from pursuing fellowship. First, lacking true fellowship leads us to seek fellowship elsewhere, in the world. This is obviously dangerous to our spiritual well-being. Second, when we are lacking Christian fellowship we need to consciously give me time and attention to Christ and His people to compensate. Third, pursuing real fellowship requires our active growth in trusting Christ. This is in parallel with the fourth implication: we must grow in obedience to Christ, yet another demand for action on our part. Fifth, we must share the status of our relationship with Christ and others to encourage growth in fellowship. This leads to the sixth implication: we need to acknowledge fellowship grows. Growth is not a smooth process but one with bumps along the road requiring our primary focus be on the Lord. Seventh is the church. God has ordained the membership within the church as one of the primary ways to foster fellowship among the saints. Only by coming to Jesus, entering into His fellowship, and working at the growth of fellowship can Christian life be all the Creator meant it to be.