1 John 1:3. ‘ … 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’. (ESV)
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we follow in the footsteps of the apostles in keeping with their commissions (Matt. 28:19-20. Acts 1:8).
A simplified version of evangelism may focus on forgiveness of sins however, John shows us that it should offer more. He sees that the gospel message brings people together in fellowship. As he moves along even further, John encourages us to see that this is not the extent of the gospel because the believer’s fellowship is, ‘with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ’.
We are told that we live in a time where social contact and relationships are not what they used to be before social media. Do we render ourselves, and others, ‘shortchanged’ by not clearly communicating the personal nature of the fellowship with the Father, which is possible through faith in the mediating work of the Son?
For some this may be easier to achieve than for others. It is sad that, owing to past experiences, this is a difficult step to contemplate for many in our fellowships, and there should be no stigma attached to those who struggle thus. Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that the healthy do not need a doctor, but the sick, and he is there for them. (Matt. 9:12).
As disciples of Jesus Christ, do we need to take time to appreciate to a greater extent the personal invitation that is extended to us to have fellowship with the Father through the Son. As we grow in faith and likeness of Christ, we are better able to model the love and compassion of Christ and lead the hurt, broken, and misled, to experience Jesus for themselves and through him to know the love of a heavenly Father. When we are in fellowship with God the change brought about in us includes knowing the light and joy of the Lord – the believer can recognise this and give joyful thanks.
Believers may be called many things by those who do not understand or believe – there have always been mockers! Do we need to hear what God calls those whose faith is genuine?
(Ps. 97) Those who “love the Lord” (v. 10); God’s “saints” (v.10); the “righteous” (v.11, 12); and the “upright in heart” (v.11).
Can we rejoice and be glad in the Lord through knowing the ‘light who shines in the darkness’, and giving thanks to his holy name?
I heard evangelism described as, “One beggar telling another where to find food”.
“The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as the love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Most Christians do not have fellowship with God; they have fellowship with each other about God” – Paris Reidhead
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 Corinthians 1:4-9
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”