Fellowship with God the Father and The Lord Jesus Christ

 

Fellowship with God the Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ

Our life in Christ involves a sweet fellowship with Him and with God our Father. Again and again we notice Scriptural passages that reveal an intimate spiritual union and saving relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. What an amazing privilege and blessed experience is ours!

The privilege of our present relationship can only be understood in light of our dreadful condition before coming to Jesus. At that time, we were “dead in . . . trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), “separate from Christ” (2:12), “without God” (v. 12), and “excluded from the life of God” (4:18). We “did not know God” (Gal. 4:8), and the “wrath of God” was upon us (John 3:36). We were spiritually helpless and our condition was hopeless (Romans 5:6-8).

When we came to the Lord Jesus, our condition radically changed! We received the forgiveness of sins (1 John 2:12), reconciliation with God (Romans 5:10-11), a standing of righteousness before Him (2 Corinthians 5:21), and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39). Our night was turned to day and we became new creatures in Christ Jesus (Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17)! One of the most significant and blessed aspects of our new life is a personal and intimate knowledge of God and of His Son. Jesus explained, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3; cf. Gal. 4:8; Phil. 3:8; 2 Peter 1:3; 2:20; 3:18). The reverse relationship is also true: “If anyone loves God, he is known by Him” (1 Cor. 8:3). This close personal knowledge of God and Christ Jesus is a blessed experience that God grants to us who enjoy life in Jesus!

One of the most blessed privileges we have as new creatures in Christ is that of fellowship with God. Paul puts it this way: “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). We have fellowship with Jesus Christ! “Fellowship” is from the Greek koinonia, and it means “sharing,” “participation,” or “fellowship.” We may have moment by moment fellowship with our Savior! John adds this further dimension: “Indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). Although once we were far from God, we now have fellowship with the Father and the Son!

Before Jesus died, He uttered these words: “I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me” (John 14:10, 11). That same night, the Lord prayed to the Father, “[I pray] that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us. . . . I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity” (John 14:21, 23). This was an amazing promise! We may be “in” God the Father and “in” Jesus Christ the Son, and the Son may be “in” us. This speaks of the closest of relationships! And the Lord wants this same intimacy to prevail in the body of believers who are in Him!

The apostle Paul speaks of being “in” Christ dozens of times. Take time to read through his letters with this thought in mind (cf. Eph. 1:3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, etc.). As we walk in the light of God, we have this precious faith-union with the Lord Jesus Christ! And with this union or fellowship with Jesus, we have life: “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

One of the most amazing passages that speak of this intimate fellowship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is found in John 14. Notice these words of the Savior:

“If you love Me, you will keep my commandments. . . . He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him. . . . If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words” (John 14:15, 21, 23, 24a).

This passage not only speaks of the intimate fellowship we may have with the Father and the Son, but it also shows our own responsibility in continuing this fellowship. Notice carefully as we work our way through these verses. Jesus says that we are to “love” Him and this love will be manifested in our obedience to His commands (v. 15). Jesus makes it clear that the one who keeps His commandments is the one who really loves Him (v. 21). If we love Jesus, what will the Father do? He will love us (v. 21; cf. 16:27). But not only will the Father love the obedient believer, Jesus also says, “I will love him.” He goes on to make this additional promise: “[I] will disclose Myself to him” (v. 21). The term “disclose” is from emphanizo, meaning “to make visible, clear, manifest, known.” Jesus makes Himself known to the one who loves and obeys Him!

Look at the passage further. Jesus says that the one who loves Him will obey Him (v. 23). He also reverses this by adding that the one who does not obey Him does not love Him (v. 24; cf. 1 John 2:3-6). Again, He says that the Father will love the obedient believer (v. 23). Then the Lord makes this astounding promise: “We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (v. 23). The Father and the Son will abide with this faithful believer! We may picture this intimate spiritual relationship as in the diagram above (as described in the above verses from John 14).

If we ponder these truths for any length of time, we will surely be overwhelmed by the blessedness of our relationship with God. We “abide” in God and God “abides” in us (1 John 3:24). This mutual abiding is directly related to our response of love and obedience. John writes, “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (v. 24). He explains further: “God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16). Love and obedience (along with saving faith) are the keys to intimacy with God! And this intimacy is directly tied to the gift of the Spirit within us: “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13; cf. Acts 5:32).

If we actually participate in this blessed fellowship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, how is it possible for one to turn away from Him? As incredible as it may seem, some do choose to walk away from the God who redeemed them, the Savior who died for them, and the Spirit who sanctified them. Jesus warns of this danger and possibility: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. . . . If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned” (John 15:2, 6). One may fall away from God and choose not to continue in the sweet fellowship that He graciously offers (Heb. 3:12; 6:4-6; 10:26-39). The one who does not continue in this blessed relationship will forever be banished from His saving, loving presence (2 Peter 2:20-22; Matthew 25:41,46).

Jesus calls us to remain in the saving relationship that we are privileged to share: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

In summary, God calls us to come to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ to be forgiven of our sins and be united to Him in a saving relationship. He wants you and me to enjoy a deep, intimate, and satisfying fellowship with Him that will never end! Won’t you come to Him through Jesus and begin a new adventure, a new fellowship, and a new life—one that will never end!

Richard Hollerman

Comments are closed.