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Bible Study on Fellowship (Complete Lesson & Teaching)

Types of Fellowship in the Bible

There are two primary types of fellowship revealed in the Bible. The first is fellowship with God; God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The second is the fellowship with other believers. Both are essential in our walk with God.

“…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)

Notice how the apostle John connects fellowship with the brethren to fellowship with God. He basically says in this verse that fellowship with the brethren is essentially entering into fellowship with God.

Not that they’re the same thing but that once we enter into fellowship with God it is very easy to have fellowship with believers who are already experiencing this divine relationship.

So let’s look at scripture and break down each one of these aspects of fellowship that is supposed to a part of our lives.

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Fellowship with God (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit)

“…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.

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:3-7)

The first point to notice from these verses is how we enter into this fellowship with God.

John said “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you” that you may have fellowship with us and with the Father.

What was seen and heard? What did he declare to them and to us?

The gospel of Jesus Christ. John physically saw and heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He witnessed the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus. He witnessed the Lord Jesus say, “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:47).

So we enter into this fellowship with the Father by accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ through repentance and faith.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me(John 14:6).

We must first enter by accepting Jesus Christ and responding with repentance for what He has done for us. Then, and only then, can we enter into fellowship with the Father. (Related article: Worship in Spirit & Truth: What it is & How to do it).

Once we have done this, we are free to enter into His presence with bold faith, trusting that Jesus’ atonement is enough (Hebrews 4:16).

The second point to notice is the conduct of our life reveals if we are in fellowship with God.

John says that if we say we have fellowship with Him but yet walk in darkness we are liars. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light then we really do have fellowship with Him as we claimed.

So what does it mean to walk in the light or to walk in darkness?

To walk in the light is to live open before God. Meaning, we live with a repentant heart. We are not straying from Him but we are constantly redirecting our thoughts and affections back to Him.

This is why, I believe, immediately after John mentions walking in the light he begins to talk about confession and how when we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

So we remain in fellowship with God by first living in repentance, and second, by practicing our fellowship with Him through communing with Him on a daily, moment-by-moment basis.

Now the verses above reveal the fellowship we have with the Father and with the Son, but what they don’t mention is the fellowship we have with the Spirit of God.

There are numerous mentions throughout the New Testament scriptures about how talking with Holy Spirit is essential to our spiritual growth and Christian maturity.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2)

What I want you to notice from these two passages above is the level of exaltation that Paul places on the fellowship, or communion, of the Holy Spirit.

If you notice, he placed the same importance on communion with the Holy Spirit as he did with “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” and with “the love of God.”

He did the same thing with the latter verses when he was trying to prove his point that just as sure as there is the comfort of love, consolation in Christ, and fellowship of the Spirit, so too there should be love and like-mindedness among the brethren.

Paul classed fellowship with the Spirit alongside the encouragement, comfort, and compassion of Christ. How amazing is that!

[Related articles: Can You Talk to the Holy Spirit? If so, How do I do it?, A Complete Bible Study on Prayer (With Questions), and Fellowship with the Holy Spirit: What it is & How to do it].

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Fellowship with the other believers

“…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)

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers…Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:42 & 44-45)

There are hundreds of scriptures that address our conduct toward each other as followers of the Lord Jesus. I simply put these two scriptures because I don’t have the time nor space to analyze each “one another” scripture that is revealed in the Bible.

However, these three scriptures sum this topic up beautifully.

The first passage of scripture reveals how we enter into fellowship with one another.

In the same way we came into fellowship with God through receiving the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, so too when we accept the Gospel and begin our relationship with God we find ourselves entering into another relationship, which is the relationship with the church.

It is similar to a father adopting a child. The moment that kid is adopted he becomes a sibling, as well as a child. He joins the other children in their love and respect for their father.

It is the same with us. We have entered into the church of Jesus Christ, which is His family. We now have fellowship with one another because we each have the same Father and the same DNA (Holy Spirit).

The second passage of scripture reveals the goal of our fellowship.

The goal of our fellowship is to stir one another up in love and good works. We don’t come together just to hang out and be friends with one another. Although that is a part of it, it is not the goal.

The goal is that we come together to assist one another in looking more like Jesus so that in turn we can go out and influence the world by making disciples.

Our gatherings are meant to be family training centers to accomplish the mission of our Father on Earth. Which is to make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has commanded us. (Related article: 5 Steps to Make Disciples According to the Book of Acts).

And finally, the third passage of scripture reveals to us how we ought to practice it when we gather together.

There are five keys revealed in these verses. (1) They abided in the word of God or the “apostles doctrine.” (2) They fellowshipped with one another. (3) They had meals together and took communion together. (4) They prayed together and devoted themselves to prayer. (5) They loved each other in practical ways.

If we can practice these five things then we truly have a biblical church. Not one that is built on programs and founded on the shoulders of a pastor. But one that is built on these five things, simply following Christ in every area of our lives.

One more key I want to mention here is the focus of power evangelism in the early church.

Right in the middle and right at the end of the passage of scripture that reveals the five keys I talked about says this…

“Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” (v.43)

“And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (v.47)

People can’t be getting saved without the Gospel being presented to them (Romans 10:14). Likewise, miracles don’t take place without the word of God being preached (Mark 16:20 & Galatians 3:5).

So in addition to following the five keys of fellowship with believers, we need to also be active in spreading the Gospel with power.

I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God.

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