Thursday, May 29, 2008

Daily- 1 John 1:3-4 -True Fellowship

...that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
[1 John 1:3-4]

Yesterday we saw that John had a message to proclaim concerning “The Life,” Jesus. John had witnessed Jesus’ life and teaching firsthand. It is important that John used the phrase “we have heard” instead of simply saying “we have seen and touched.” Hearing implies receiving a message. John’s message, found in verse 2 is that the Life was made manifest. God revealed eternal life to John, and now John proclaims it to the recipients of his letter.

First Things First
Now for John’s purpose. This is very telling. It is easy to assume that John is “proclaiming” this eternal life to the lost. However, the motive that John intimates to us is simply fascinating.

He says, “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that ____.”

(you too may have fellowship with us)

That we may have fellowship with them [him]? That’s his purpose? What does that mean? Isn’t Fellowship a potluck dinner or an old-fashioned picnic on a Sunday afternoon? Did they have potato salad in the first century?


It goes without saying that Fellowship is much more than a get-together. The Greek word for Fellowship, Koinonia, is brought into the English in several ways: association, community, communion, and joint participation. The English word I find most illuminating in describing Biblical Fellowship is “intercourse.” [source] Granted, this is a social, not sexual intercourse, but this does paint a very vivid picture of the depth of social connection that is described by this word.

John wants you to hear about this eternal Life so that you may have a deep connection with him. This sounds a bit strange until we read the next sentence. Whom else does John have fellowship with?

(The Father and his Son Jesus Christ)

John has a deep connection with God and His Son, and he wants you to have this connection with him. It seems that John wants to serve as a connecting point, a link, between the lost and this eternal Life. John knows the Life, and John knows the lost. Now he wants to bring the two together.

John’s evangelism strategy is quite different from the way most of us share Christ with people, is it not?

The point here is that Fellowship is a very important- even sacred- word. It is, in fact, a component of salvation. Jesus said in John 17:3 that eternal life meant knowing God. Is there not some Fellowship involved in that equation?

What have we done? We’ve reduced this wonderful type of relationship to fried chicken and baked beans!

Two very important questions for you to answer:

1. How does John’s use of Fellowship relate to how we do (or should do) Evangelism?
(Here’s some more information on a sort of “fellowship-based” evangelism)

2. How does this information change the way you will use Fellowship in your church?