1 John 1: Fellowship & Forgiveness
Christians everywhere seem to be interested in fellowship. They gather in fellowship halls, attend fellowship dinners and participate in well-organized activities with fellow believers. But what really constitutes biblical fellowship? A covered dish supper? Coffee and doughnuts? Social events and activities? Perhaps more than any other passage of Scripture, these opening verses of 1 John establish the basis of true fellowship that is to be enjoyed and experienced by all Christians. More importantly, they enable us to understand how we can know we have fellowship with God.
Warming Up to God
What thoughts and feelings come to your mind when you think of Christian fellowship?
Discovering the Word
- John begins this chapter by announcing an apostolic message. What is the content of that message (vv. 1-2)?
- What are John's reasons for announcing his message (vv. 3-4)?
- John provides a test by which we can know if we have fellowship with God (vv. 5-10).
- The first part of John's test concerns the way we live or "walk" (vv. 6-7). What is the relationship between our conduct and our claim to have fellowship with God?
- The second part of John's test concerns our attitude toward sin (vv. 8-10). What does our denial or confession of sin reveal about the reality of our relationship with God?
- Based on your study of this passage, what does it mean to have fellowship with God—and each other?
Applying the Word
- Does John's test strengthen or weaken your assurance of fellowship with God? Explain.
- How can we enjoy a greater fellowship with those who know the Father and the Son?
Responding in Prayer
Pray that the level of fellowship in your church would be deepened and enriched.