In many blog posts, I write about sharing life with one another. In fact, my previous post was called “It’s about life in Christ, not ideologies about Christ.” In that post, I said that many problems arise because we disagree and argue without actually sharing our lives with one another.
If the authors of Scripture are right (and I think they are), then God did not give us new life in Jesus Christ in order for us to spend that life alone. Instead, our new life in Christ is to be shared with others in both big ways and in small ways. In fact, for those of us who are in Christ and indwelled by the Holy Spirit, then we share Christ with others when we share our lives with them.
John makes an interesting statement at the beginning of his first letter. After making several statements about his personal interactions with Jesus Christ, he says,
[T]hat 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 ESV)
There are two points that I want to bring up here. First, the word “fellowship” has several different meanings today. But, at the time that John used it, it was based on the word for “sharing” or “having in common.” So, John was saying that announcing what he had seen, heard, felt, etc. so that they could all share their lives with one another in a way that was not possible when they were not all God’s children.
Second, notice that the fellowship (sharing) that John desires with his readers is not ONLY sharing life with them but it is also sharing life with our Father and with Jesus Christ. When we have this kind of fellowship (sharing life) with one another, it is the same as the fellowship that we have with God. Yes, that sounds crazy, but that’s exactly what John wrote.
Let me say that one more time: as we share our lives with one another we are also sharing our lives with God.
But, what happens when we refuse to share our lives with one another? If John is correct (and, again, I think he is), then we are also refusing to share our lives with God. We are refusing fellowship with our Father and with Jesus Christ.
Now, I’m not talking about attending certain meetings or going to a certain location or joining a certain organization. I’m talking about actually sharing our lives with people. Which people? The people that God brings into our lives.
To be honest, Christians are usually less concerned with fellowship with those who are already in their lives and more concerned with fellowship with people who live across town (or perhaps in another town). I think it’s great to share our lives with people all over town, but not in a way that neglects the people who live near us, who work with us, who go to school with us, who God has placed right in our lives.
Fellowship with them is fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ… to paraphrase John.