Today there are many people that are struggling with their salvation. They do not know, in these times of uncertainty, if their salvation is true. This was also the case in the time where John was in combat with the false teaching of the day. Where the Gnostics were proclaiming that you could not know God, John said that you certainly can know Him through Jesus Christ. It is our salvation through Jesus Christ that allows us to have fellowship with God, the Father (1 John 1:3), and that, through this, one could have fellowship with other believers (1:7). The fellowship with God is possible because of the blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin, which separates us from God (1:7).
The purpose of fellowship here today is to help us to learn about what it will be to fellowship with Jesus Christ when we depart from here. Fellowship comes from understanding truth (1:3). The message is that Jesus Christ is the word of life and eternal life through God the Father (1:1-2). All of this, however, is based upon the acceptance of this truth. If you reject the message, you reject the Father and Jesus Christ, and the fellowship. John made the statement that what was seen and heard was true for the purpose of all of us having fellowship with Christ. Knowing the message of Jesus Christ is the basis of our fellowship. The purpose of Jesus Christ’s coming to earth to live, die for our sins, and rise again was for us to have fellowship with the Father and with one another. “‘I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me‘” (John 17:20-21). It is our fellowship that joins us together in body, belief, knowledge, goals, and destination. Our fellowship…our closeness in church helps to check us and become grounded in our belief in Christ. It brings us knowledge and understanding of what we believe. We can see, in this fellowship, how God operates in our lives, and we can help one another, pray for one another, and we can strive towards the same destination, which is fellowship with Christ.
Fellowship takes place only in the light (1 John 1:5). You must decide if you want to be in the light (John 3:19-20). The darkness is where our flesh wants us to be, but there is no darkness in the Lord. God reveals to us who we are and what we stand for, and He does it openly. Everyone who does evil hates the light. We need the fellowship to counter the influence of sin and iniquity. When one comes to God, we enter the light, which helps to keep us in focus with truth in Christ. Our walk with Christ shows others our sincerity and desire to be in the light and in the truth. Light and truth go together. If you claim to walk in truth and light, yet walk in darkness, you are lying (1 John 1:6). We lie when our lifestyle does not match our message about Christ. Without the message of the Word of God, the truth of God is unknown. Without the message, the Christian life is unknown. Without the fellowship, God is unknown. The result of all of this is a false Christian lifestyle; therefore, a lie is being lived out. If there is no fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the saints, there is no Christian life. One has to come to a place where you are in love with the fellowship of the Father, the Son, and the saints in order to truly know and follow Jesus Christ.
Our walk demonstrates our daily lifestyle. It is how we are to live each moment of the day. “Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12). “‘Aren’t there 12 hours in a day?’ Jesus answered. ‘If anyone walks during the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. If anyone walks during the night, he does stumble, because the light is not in him‘” (John 11:9-10). “Jesus answered, ‘The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going‘” (John 12:35). To continually exhibit a life of darkness makes it impossible to say that you are in fellowship with God. The wrong lifestyle says we are false in our words and our deeds.
Fellowship with God and with one another brings about change (1 John 1:7). Christ’s blood purifies us from all sin and the change comes from learning the righteousness of God, and separates you from those things that caused us to sin…our daily life that was not pleasing to God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Son purifies us from all sin (John 7:7). We are in the process of being cleansed daily from our old life. As one fellowships with God, there comes an agreement that there needs to be a repentance from the old sin and lifestyle…the old ways where we once lived, and we are cleansed in His righteousness (Philippians 1:6). It doesn’t often happen overnight, and while the thoughts of sin may still be present, thankfully, the cleansing comes through the truth and fellowship with God, who loves us dearly. He helps us to bring these thoughts under control. The message of Christ deals with your conscience, making you aware of sin (Hebrews 9:14). In our confession of sin, our cleansing and in our understanding of God’s Word, we learn how to live for Him (1 John 1:8-9). By walking in the light, you bring forth your own identity through Christ. All we need to do is be honest about who we are. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10).