Fellowship is something that we generally equate to hanging out with other people or doing something together. In this third week of our series “Going Deep”, we look again at Acts 2:42-47 which says the new believers “devoted themselves to….the fellowship…”.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47
When we look at this passage as well as other throughout the New Testament we see that what these new disciples of Jesus were experiencing something new. This was something different. This was something Deeper!
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life– the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us– 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. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we 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 his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say 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. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:1-10
John shares his first hand experience of the fellowship we see in the book of Acts.
First, he says this fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. He uses the words “Our fellowship”, which is a possessive personal pronoun, indicating fellowship as a distinguishing mark of Christians rather than something just enjoyed by them. This fellowship set them apart as a unique and new experience to them. It is unique because it is with the Father and His Son. This is something they had not experience before now. Their fellowship was based on that which united them; a relationship with the one who’s blood gave grace to cover their sin and who’s resurrection gave them new life and an experience of the Fathers love.
In Thayer’s Greek Definitions, fellowship is the Greek word “koinonia”, meaning association, community, communion, joint participation, intimacy and (social) intercourse. This is more than mere religion or religious acts. This is intimate’ knowing and being known.
Second, he says our fellowship is in the Light. If we walk in the Light we will have fellowship with one another. To walk in the Light means to be expose, open with nothing hidden in darkness. We spend much of our lives trying to hide certain thing from God and most things from people. Even those we consider closest to us. This is why so many Christians substitute Religion for true fellowship. They put on the appearance of outward spirituality while inside they are closed off, bound and burdened by the things hidden in darkness. Ephesians 5:13-14 tell us that anything brought into the Light becomes Light because Christ shines on you. It is amazing the relief we feel when we have no secrets, when we open up and share with someone what we have tried to hide. Satan can no longer hold it over our head and we step out to find, not condemnation, but rather love and grace. We fellowship to the degree we are known.
- Who do you know like this?
- Who knows you like this?
- Are you willing to expose yourself, take the risk of being utterly transparent and real with someone?