Fellowshipping with God

How to have fellowship with God (A study of 1,2,3 John)

Live a life of purity

(1 John 1:5-9 NIV)  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. {6} If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. {7} 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. {8} If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. {9} If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Because God is perfectly holy, we cannot have fellowship with Him if we keep on to certain sins in our lives. These verses show that it is both unrealistic to claim fellowship with Him, yet living in sin OR to claim to have fellowship with Him because we are not sinning.

The truth is that we do sin and the only realistic thing to do is to confess our sins regularly so that God can cleanse us from our unrighteousness and restore the fellowship with Him.

Sort out our horizontal relationship (love our brothers)

(1 John 2:5-9 NIV)  …This is how we know we are in him: {6} Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. {7} Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. {8} Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. {9} Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

(1 John 4:7-8 NIV)  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. {8} Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 We cannot have a vertical relationship with God unless we first sort out our horizontal relationship. That is why Jesus tells us to be reconciled with our brother before we offer our worship to God.

(Mat 5:23-24 NIV)  “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, {24} leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Not loving the world

(1 John 2:15-16 NIV)  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.

If we love the world, we cannot have fellowship with God because we don’t even love Him. How do you have genuine fellowship with someone you don’t even love? Those who are in love will spend much time in communion with their loved ones because of love. We don’t like to spend much time with those we don’t love.

Three things of the world we are to guard against – cravings (e.g. materialism), lust (sexual immorality), and boasting (pride).

Guard against false teachings

(2 John 9 NIV)  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

(3 John 3 NIV)  It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.

True fellowship has to be based on truth. We cannot have genuine fellowship with someone if unless we know the truth about that person. A relationship based on lies will not persist for very long.

That is why it is so important to be grounded in the truth so that we will not fall prey to falsehood.

We must also watch who we keep company with. John warns us not to keep company with those who spread false doctrines because they will inevitably influence us.

(2 John 10-11 NIV)  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. {11} Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

Read more about how we can guard against false teachings.