“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:3-4 (NKJ)
What does “fellowship with God” look like in the life of the believer? Fellowship has been described as the “sharing of experiences with like-minded people”. However, fellowship with God is much more, for “who has known the mind of God?” (Romans 11:34) The believer’s fellowship with the Father is dependent upon accepting His Son as Lord and Savior. It is through Jesus Christ that believers begin to “know by experience” God’s heart and mind. Such was the case with the apostle John. True fellowship with the Son and the Father. This fellowship results in joy in the life of the believer.
John and the disciples were uniquely privileged to witness, first hand, the person and works of Christ. “That which was heard” were truths that Christ declared concerning the kingdom of God and His offer of eternal life (Luke 4:43; 9:11). “That which was seen” included the many miracles of Christ; miracles that would attest to the coming of the promised Messiah (Matt. 11:2-5). “That which was looked upon and our hands handed” recounted the disciple’s examination of Christ’s glorified body after the resurrection (John 20:27). All of the disciple’s senses were engaged as Christ manifested (revealed) Himself and the Father.The disciple’s experience with Christ was not viewed from a distance but up close and personal. Since Father and Son were one (John 17:11, 22), the disciples concurrently experienced fellowship with the Father (v. 3). Fellowship is translated as “communion” and “participation in a common life.” John’s personal witness was an invitation to the early church to participate in a life style that centered on relationship–unending communion with God the Father and the Son. Therein is the basis for John’s statement that their “joy may be full” (v.4).
Though John’s letter was written thousands of years ago, its message is still relevant for today. To both the believer and unbeliever, it is an invitation to participate with the only true Source of joy. Jesus invites us to draw near with faith (Heb. 10:22) and learn of Him (Matt. 11:29). Joy begins and ends with fellowship with the Father and the Son.
Prayer: Father God, You have given us the Word of life through Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ and we enjoy fullness of joy in Your presence. We thank You for the invitation to fellowship with You. May we, in return, be faithful witnesses to Your person, power and glory. Amen.