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Fellowship With God (10-18-05)

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FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

I John 1:3

(1 John 1:3 NIV)  We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

Introduction

          The great word of this passage is fellowship. It is not exclusive to John but it is peculiar to him. These three epistles (letters) are the result of the wonderful words in the farewell discourses of Jesus to His disciples.

(John 15:15 NIV)  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

          This word fellowship as John makes use of it, is the peculiar and particular word of friendship.

          Maybe you noticed that in these three letters John never speaks of Jesus as Lord, and never speaks of the disciples of Jesus as servants. It doesn’t mean he has forgotten the relationship, which he bore as the bondservant of Jesus. But these letters are those of a close and intimate personal friendship with Jesus.

          The word translated fellowship means companionship or comradeship or intimacy. It means partnership. This word fellowship then, speaks of our friendship with God and our friendship with His Son, Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul referred to this in his writings.

(1 Cor 1:9 NIV)  God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

          And so this is a rich word, full of meaning. Other translations of this word fellowship means or refers to contribution, distribution, communion, communication. Turning from the actual word to the common noun usage and you find partakers, partners, companions.

          An illustration of its simplest meaning is found in Acts

(Acts 4:32 KJV)  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things, which he possessed, was his own; but they had all things common.

(Acts 4:32 NIV)  All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

This idea of having things in common is from the root of the word we are dealing with.

To sum it up WHAT IS FELLOWSHIP? Having all things in common. What is it to have fellowship among men? To have all things in common.

          What is it to have FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD? When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, God takes us into partnership with Himself. He makes us partners with Himself in His work and also in all that He possesses. We become heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

(Rom 8:17 NIV)  Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

          Many have hesitated in giving their hearts to the Lord for fear of losing dear and valued friends, but what are the friendships we lose by coming to Jesus Christ compared with the friends we gain?

Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” What does it matter if we lose every friend on earth if we enter into fellowship, communion, comradeship, intimate friendship and partnership with God and His Son Jesus Christ?

          Two words then, stand out. Communion and partnership. Why the difference? They signify the same thing, but we use them in different relations. Communion in the realm of friendship and partnership in the realm of business.

FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AS TO PRIVILEGE IS COMMUNION WITH HIM. AS TO RESPONSIBILITY, IS PARTNERSHIP WITH HIM. UNDERSTAND THE USE OF THE TERM: WE HAVE GONE INTO BUSINESS WITH GOD.

I.                   FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AS COMMUNION OR FRIENDSHIP

A.   A perfect description of friendship can be found in this quote:

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pour them all right out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away,”

1.     How many people are there to whom you can pour your heart out, say everything and anything?  Probably very, very few.

2.     With your friend, you think aloud. There is no restraint. There is no need to keep up appearance.

3.     I think this well describes true friendship with God. You can pour your heart out and know that He hears and understands. He doesn’t condemn, but loves us in spite of what and who we are.

B.   But just how do we enter into this glorious fellowship?

1.     Notice what John said:

(1 John 1:3 NIV)  We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

2.     What we have seen and heard we declare unto you. In other words we enter into this fellowship with the Father and His Son, Jesus through knowledge of the written word, and through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

II.               FELLOWSHIP AS PARTNERSHIP

Mutual interests, mutual devotion, mutual activity.

A.   Fellowship with God means mutual interest.

1.     That I would be interested in the things of God is understandable. But the infinite marvel is that God can be interested in me.

(Psa 8:4 NIV)  what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

2.     Fellowship with God means that God is interested in my being; in my spiritual life, in my mental ability, in my physical need. Listen to what Jesus had to say to help us understand this:

(Luke 12:22 NIV)  Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.

(Luke 12:23 NIV)  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

(Luke 12:24 NIV)  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

(Luke 12:25 NIV)  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

(Luke 12:26 NIV)  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

(Luke 12:27 NIV)  "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

(Luke 12:28 NIV)  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

(Luke 12:29 NIV)  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.

(Luke 12:30 NIV)  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.

(Luke 12:31 NIV)  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

(Luke 12:32 NIV)  "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

B.   Equally, should be my interest in the things of God.

(Luke 2:47 NIV)  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

(Luke 2:48 NIV)  When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."

(Luke 2:49 NIV)  "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"

(Luke 2:50 NIV)  But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

1.     His business should be my business; His goals should be my goals; His purpose should be my purpose.

2.     What is His business? “You will be my witnesses “

C.   It also means mutual devotion.

1.     God’s resources are at my disposal. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, etc.

a.     Mention Christina’s comment when we talked about this.

“Can I meet your father”

2.     So what is your need? Finances, Food, Clothing. Your heavenly father knows you have need of all these things. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness…”

3.     Mutual devotion means that all of my resources ought to be at his disposal. His knowledge, His power, His wisdom are all accessible to me.

a.     How small demands we make of Him. We do not appropriate what He has provided for us.

4.     On the other hand, my resources, all of them, should be at His disposal. Not just a tithe—a tenth; but let us understand that in finality it all belongs to Him. Just as the one day in seven is the symbol, that seven days belong to Him. If I hold back, what kind of friend am I?

D.   Also refers to mutual activity

1.     God accommodating Himself to my weakness. And I, rising into cooperation with His mind and with His strength.

(Psa 18:35 KJV)  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

2.     Not a brook, but an ocean. A gentle ocean wave that kisses the sand without hurting the child that lays in the sand.

3.     It is an ability to listen, not just to talk. Sometimes we do well to be as Elijah and wait for the still small voice to speak.

CONCLUSION

          So what is your relationship with Christ? Do you have fellowship with Him? In the Garden, God would come in the cool of the evening and commune with Adam Are you about the Father’s business?

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