Bible Reading: 1 John 1:1-10
“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” (1 John 1:7)
The gospel that John proclaims is not a gospel that tells us to believe in Jesus and receive a ticket to heaven. The gospel God had planned from the beginning, the one that John had physically witnessed, was that Jesus, who is the Word of Life, came into the earth to proclaim eternal life. This eternal life does not mean merely living forever. This means that we are invited into a union with Christ and a personal relationship with the triune God.
John states the reason why he continues to proclaim the gospel, “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” (1 John 1:3). The purpose of becoming a follower of Christ is far richer than being forgiven from sin and becoming immortal. The purpose encompasses knowing God and entering into communion with God Himself and fellow believers or saints. John adds a note in v.4, making it clear that this way of eternal life is what will fill us with the joy we long for. John proclaims these things because these truths are what will make our joy complete.
How then can we attain heavenly fellowship? How can we rise up from our Christianity sold to simplified and cheap versions of the gospel?
Firstly, we must grasp that Christ has already brought us into a relationship with God. Because of what Christ did on the cross, we are reconciled with God when our sin previously separated us from God. In Christ, we can talk to God through prayer, and God speaks to us through His Word. Christ has gifted us heavenly fellowship, by grace. There is nothing we do to obtain it. We ought to rejoice and stand in awe at Christ’s love and work on the cross.
Because of what Christ has done, we have been made holy. We have been separated for this fellowship with God. But how do we grow in experiencing it? How do we taste this joy for ourselves? In v. 7 quoted earlier, John tells us we must learn to walk in the light. That means to walk with openness before God and man in the truth (i.e. correct doctrine) and personal holiness. Walking in these things does not gain our fellowship. We already have it by Christ alone. But, walking in these things is God’s ordained way for us to grow in our fellowship with God.
How much of your time have you focused on knowing the truth and correct doctrine of God’s Word? How much do we desire to walk in God’s truth? This is reflected in how much time we spend reading and studying God’s Word for ourselves. Also, how much do we long to be holy? How much do we hate sin, repent of it, and put it to death? How much of a priority do we make of obeying God’s Word in day to day practicalities? How much time do we spend in prayer bringing all these things before God?
John warns us, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6). Do not live a deceived Christian life. Let us all introspect ourselves, confess our sins before God, and watch Him work to change us and draw us closer in fellowship with Him.
Lord, please forgive us for neglecting You. Thank You for teaching us that to be saved means to enter into a rich fellowship with You and all the saints. Please help us to grow in this relationship. Forgive us for our sins and the darkness our hearts still love. Draw us closer to You and teach us to walk in Your truth and holiness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.