Many people recognise that the most important things in life are not things at all, they are relationships.
For Christians the term ‘fellowship’ first and foremost describes the relationship we have with God and with Jesus. In his letter the apostle John says,
“our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 3 verse 3).
This would have been an amazing concept for many who read John’s letter back at the time when it was written, just it is for us today. This living fellowship with God is made possible through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts by bringing us to faith in Jesus.
John goes on to explain we cannot have fellowship with God if we are living in spiritual darkness and instead encourages us to live in spiritual light. He says that if we do this one of the results will be that we have fellowship with each other too.
(1 John 1 verses 6 and 7 say, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out 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, his Son, purifies us from all sin.)
Fellowship in this sense describes the friendly association and unity we develop with other believers in Jesus. When we believe in Jesus the bible tells us that we are actually adopted into God’s family:
(Ephesians 1:5 says, ‘he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will’).
The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in the Roman culture that existed when the letter to the Ephesians was written. This standing belongs to men and women, boys and girls through faith in Jesus.
It is one of the great truths of the Christian faith that irrespective of things which may generally divide society, such as our background, social standing, race, etc. when we believe in Jesus and what he has done for us, we become God’s adopted children and therefore we have a common bond with all other Christians too.
While we must have our own individual faith, we are not meant to be isolated as believers - we are part of a bigger family!
The practical side of fellowship with one another is that Christians should meet, bond and grow in our faith with other believers in Jesus. In our congregation this initially happens as we get to know each other better, perhaps by taking time to talk to each other before or after the church services or at the Tuesday Drop-in.