I John 1:3, 6-7
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ… …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.
(Fill in the blank answers at the bottom.)
Biblical fellowship is described in the original languages as _________________, the word used in this section of scripture in First John. In general, this is fellowship with a purpose – fellowship with a strong sense of having in common all things with God and fellow believers.
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you (v. 3a). In true fellowship, there is a ____________________ of what God has done in one’s life. The principle motivation for Christian fellowship is, and should be, the sharing of faith in Jesus Christ. True fellowship based on God’s terms cannot be achieved nor truly experienced without Jesus in each person’s life. Christ makes fellowship a more__________________ __________________. Does this exclude unbelievers? Yes, to the extent that they cannot understand the joy expressed in true fellowship and they cannot share with others what Jesus has done in their lives. But…
That you also may have fellowship with us (v. 3b). Although Christian fellowship is for believers only, its grand purpose is to draw all people to Christ. There must be a _____________ to bring unbelievers into our fellowship.
We would be poor stewards of the message of hope if we did not seek to grow our fellowship. Our fellowship with one another strengthens our purpose. Where I am ___________, another may be strong. Where I excel, I mentor another who seeks to excel. Together we remind each other that this fellowship must grow. Together, with our bond firmly held in place by Jesus, we declare our desire for others to come to know Jesus and join His purpose, our fellowship.
And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (v. 3c). Our corporate fellowship, that is, fellowship with other believers, is quite useless if the Father and the Son are left out. Our ____________________ to holiness can only be achieved by fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
Fellowship for any other reason does not honor and exalt the Savior. Christians are the _______________, the body of Christ, and Jesus is the head of that body. Passion for holiness permeates this framework for true fellowship. Nothing should be more important than God the Father and Jesus the Son in our fellowship.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (v. 6). Those who don’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord can only _____________ to know what’s going on in the body of believers. It all has to do with our view of sin. In I John 1:10, we learn that if we say we have no sin, the truth is not in us. And because Jesus proclaims Himself to be truth (John 14:6), ______ _____ ______ _________ _____ ___ _________ ________ ______________ ____ _______________ ________ .
Without Jesus in one’s life, there can be no true fellowship with Him or with believers. Jesus guards the integrity of true fellowship.
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 (v. 7). Hope comes in the form of light, Jesus Christ, for He says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
_________________ hides sin; it does not forgive sin. Darkness dismays the soul; it does not heal the soul. Darkness destroys life; it does not promise eternal life. Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness. He is the life and the light of men who ____________ to challenge darkness.
When Jesus becomes real to us, we walk in the light. We are able to see Him and see other believers. We are then and only then able to discern the nature of true fellowship and dare the forces of darkness to harm it.
Fellowship demands that we:
- DECLARE faith in Jesus Christ, sharing Him with others.
- DESIRE to grow the fellowship by reaching out to unbelievers.
- DEDICATE the fellowship to holiness, through God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son.
- DARE to challenge darkness, with the Light and Life of the Man of men empowering us.
Fill in the blank answers, in order of appearance:
He is not Lord of a life that refuses to confess sin *
* To be clear, Jesus is Lord of all (Acts 10:36; Philippians 2:10-11). He is not the confessed Lord of a life that refuses to confess sin, but He is Lord nevertheless.