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1 John 1

Fellowship in 1 John 1 is, first, individual and, second, collective.

In the first four verses we see the wonderful knowledge of fellowship we have individually with the Father and the Son. It is based upon that which was seen, known, and handled by the apostles and is made known to us today. We are brought, by the grace of God and His sovereign action, into that sphere where, as an individual, we have fellowship with Divine Persons. Every one who has accepted God’s plan of salvation (Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) is now able to walk in the light—to walk in the good of the knowledge of God as fully revealed and known in our Lord Jesus Christ. What a place of favor! To be able to rest in all the blessedness of the closeness of fellowship with the Father; that closeness known and practiced by our Lord, who always dwelt in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18) and knew the rest and peace of that place even in the face of the most extreme opposition when here in this world.

We can know and live in that same sphere so our joy may be full. We can enjoy the communion of Divine Persons at all times and in all of our circumstances.

At verse 7, we are brought into fellowship with one another as we walk in the light, and the basis of it is the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanses us from all sin. This collective fellowship is on the same ground of favor and privilege, brought about by God acting sovereignly for our blessing. We are brought into fellowship (the communion of saints) as those who are "walking in the light," walking here in this world in the knowledge of God displayed and known by the heart. We enjoy the same light and partake of the same life and nature of Him who is light. Those who "were once darkness" (Eph. 5:8) are now righteously and sovereignly introduced into this exalted position. Thus we have this communion with one another, based on the blood of our blessed Lord.

In order to have the power to enjoy this fellowship we are brought into the knowledge of the Holy Spirit, given to dwell in each believer (2 Cor. 13:10-14, Phil. 1:1-2).

What a beautiful display of practical Christian behavior can be seen amongst those who know the Father!

The new life experimentally displays all the gracious characteristics of our blessed Savior because we are born of God (new nature) and our life is hid in Christ; the flesh has no place or part in this life. Paul develops this collective fellowship one step further, describing it as the "fellowship of His Son," 1 Cor. 1:9. The Son of God has here on earth His fellowship, composed of those purchased with His own blood—HE is the owner of it; it is HIS fellowship. Note that this is the place of responsibility every believer is called into (1 Cor. 1:1-3); it is the collective place of the Assembly. Again, let us emphasize that every believer is called to this place and is responsible to reflect the Owner of the fellowship. Even the Corinthians, a company failing in this regard, could recognize that "God is faithful, who has called us."

The basis of the enjoyment of communion is found in 2 Cor. 6:14-18, which contrasts the separation from this world and its practice with separation to God and His service. The great secret of our enjoyment of this fellowship is separation to HIM: "What fellowship has light with darkness?" We were brought from darkness to light.

The reality of the communion or fellowship of saints should be found and enjoyed here in this world, under the Lordship of Christ, owning Him as Head of the Assembly. There can be nothing of this world or the flesh allowed. The character of fellowship is the known possession of Divine life in Christ and its enjoyment is found in the power of the Holy Spirit and in separation from the world to Himself.

May we know it and experience it more and more.

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