What is fellowship? If you ask a dozen Christians this questions you will probably get a dozen different answers.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:5-9, NKJV)
It would seem, that according to John, true fellowship hinges not on the club or group we belong to or even the pet doctrines we all might cling to, but whether all who seek true fellowship (koinonia) are drawing every closer to the Light of God which exposes any darkness that may still abide in us and not making any place for the flesh of Adam to operate within. God is Light and in HIM there is no darkness. If we truly desire to live IN Jesus Christ we will make no provision or place for the flesh in ourselves. What fellowship does light have with darkness?
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Truth is a practice, it is a lifestyle. It is also where all true worship of Jesus stems from. Light exposes the lie within. Without this being dealt with we can not say we are true worshippers of Jesus for He said, “…those who would worship God must do so in Spirit and in truth.”
John continues, “…if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Interesting sentence here! We have all believe that the blood of Jesus washes away our sins, but John puts a condition on our part before this can happen. We must walk in the Light as Jesus is in the Light, have fellowship with those who do and at the same time the blood of Jesus will be cleansing us from all unrighteousness. Wow! This is a very inclusive statement here. We each must seek the light of Christ to expose our secret faults. Close fellowship in the Light can be used by God to do just that as long as we prayerfully restore one another in a spirit of meekness. This is a part of being cleansed by the blood of Jesus. He did HIS part and we have our part. All too often we see salvation as a blank check written out to us to do with whatsoever WE will. This is not the case and it this fleshly mindset that surely makes for the collision of a lot of private agendas when we come together. Yes, it is by grace that we have been saved, but we are not only to be saved from our past sins, but from SIN (falling short of the glory of God) as a principle of life as well! We are to be dwelling in HIS LIFE and LIGHT, always. Light is an ongoing work that does away with the darkness in us that we MIGHT have fellowship IN the Father and the Son. Remember, salvation was not only given us to keep us out of hell, but it was given to us that we would grow up INTO the fullness of Christ and leave our childish ways behind and live to the glory of the Father just as Jesus did and not our own.
There is another part of walking in the Light. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we discover darkness (sin) in our lives we should do the opposite of what the flesh and the devil wants us to do, cover it up. Rather we should run to the Light! My father-in-law once lived out in the country when my wife was a young girl. They had a skunk move into the crawl space under their house and those critters smell even if they don’t spray (sin manifest). So, he put a bright light under the house and the skunk moved out. Sin stinks! Light exposes our darkness so that we can confess our sins to Him and be forgiven and cleansed from all our unrighteousness that is still in us as a breading ground for sin. Not too many of the “easy grace” persuasion we see today among Christians, have taken a serious look at the “If” statements that go with the New Covenant. Jesus did His part and it is up to us to walk in HIS Light by making no place for the flesh in us. Only then will we be fit for true fellowship with one another IN Christ… A fellowship that is uplifting and found abiding in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus and not one that tares one another down.