REAL FELLOWSHIP (I JOHN 1:3)
I. It Seems To Me That John Uses The Word Fellowship In The Same Way We Use Our Word Friendship
A. The word fellowship is used here of our having friendship with God.
1. But we have to come to some definition of fellowship
2. Just what is it to have fellowship with our fellow man.
B. In a short but simple statement it is to have all things in common with him.
1. There are two words that help illuminate this idea of fellowship - they are communion and partnership
2. We use the word communion in the realm of friendship
3. We use the word partnership in the realm of business
C. In using these words in that sense we can come to some understanding of what fellowship really means
1. Fellowship with God then is the privilege of having communion with Him, friendship with Him.
2. Fellowship with God is also entering into partnership with Him, that means reverently, we are in business with Him. Have you
ever thought about that?
3. His enterprises are to be our enterprises
II. Lets Consider First our Fellowship As A Communion
A. I will take three illustrations of what friendship is on our earthly level and make application of them.
1. I propose to present three quotations as setting forth the ideal for human friendship.
2. I begin with a quotation Mrs. Craik's Life for A Life.
B. Oh, the comfort the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pour them all right out just as they are. chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
1. Isn't that a perfect description of friendship?
2. How many people do you know to whom you can pour out your heart. You can tell them anything.
3. The answer is very few for we don't have many real friends who will use the breath of kindness to blow away the words that are useless.
4. With your real friends you can think aloud without any restraint. That is real fellowship or as we use it in modern vernacular -
C. Think of it with God I can pour everything out before Him - troubles, heartaches, failures, sins.
1. Too many however think we have to be carefully prepared the words just right before I came to Him.
2. I think we grieve Him deeply when we come this way
3. Remember you can't have fellowship with an unreal person
4. In conversation with God I pour out everything, I can be assured with the breath of kindness He blows the chaff away.
5. He knows your griefs, doubts and fears, why try to hide them from Him who knows them completely
III. Our Second Illustration Is Taken From Goethe
A. In speaking of a conversation he had with a friend he said "For the first time I carried on a conversation;
l. for the first time was the inmost sense of my words returned to me more rich, more full, more comprehensive from another mouth. What I had been groping for was returned clear to me. What I had been thinking I have been taught to see".
2. Is that not a more subtle definition of friendship?
3. I can pour out my heart to this friend, he can take those same words and turn them back upon me in wise counsel and direction.
4. He will warn me if he feels they are wrong. He will gently direct me in the right pathway
5. You can rebuke a friend if what he says is not on target.
B. I think this applies to our friendship with God~hear the words of the apostle Paul
I. The Spirit makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.
2. This means that He says things to God on our behalf that we couldn't get out.
3. The prayers we really wish we could pray He does it for us.
4. What I had been groping for was returned clear to me What I had been thinking I have been taught to see.
IV. The Third Illustration Is From Dryden Describing His Friendship For His Best Friend.
A. "We were so mixed up as meeting streams, both to ourselves were lost. We were one mass. We could not give or take but for the same, for he was I, I he."
I. Dryden was saying that he and his friend had all things common.
2. Fellowship with god means we have mutual interests
3. God is interested in me and I am interested in Him.
B. Having things in common with God means that my interest doesn't end on Sunday but it will continue on Monday.
I. God is as interested in us at work as He is in the Sanctuary.
2. Because God is that interested in me it is equally true that I am to be interested in the enterprises of God.
3. What are the things God is interested in? We need to find out and become involved.
4. Fellowship demands that I be interested in his goals and thoughts. What are god's interests?
C. Jesus said - I have come to seek and save that which is lost? That is His primary interest.
I. Are you interested in being a partner in that enterprise.
2. Because he is my friend I want to be a part of that which has drawn His interest
D. He also told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel?
I. If I am in fellowship - if I call Him my friend I must be involved in this enterprise.
2. How can I be a part? You can volunteer to be a missionary and take this gospel to other people.
3. If you feel you can't go then you will want to commit your self to sending those who are going
4. You can make a faith promise.
5.He is a partner - I want to work with Him in that which has captured His attention
E. God's great heart desires the salvation of every sinner. Whether you are in this Church or in Indonesia God cares.
I. Do I desire this fellowship with God and His Son? If so in order to be a real friend I will join in partnership with Him in this great enterprise.
2. Let's not only hold the doctrine of fellowship with God, let's practice it and then enter into all the fullness of blessing that comes from His friendship.