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What is fellowship with God?


fellowship with God
Question: "What is fellowship with God?"

Answer:
The Greek word translated “fellowship” in the New Testament is koinonia, meaning “partnership, sharing in common, or communion,” and the essence of partnership is agreement or unity of purpose. Fellowship with God is, at its most basic, agreement with Him in all things. The New Testament assures believers of this partnership. Not only do we have fellowship with God the Father, but we also have fellowship with His Son and the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 1:3).

To have fellowship with others, there must be a oneness of the heart, something that links two people together: “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). At the very heart of fellowship, there must be like-mindedness. Two in fellowship must have like wishes and like desires, which is why Paul exhorts believers to not be “unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Believers have true fellowship with one another because of the Holy Spirit who indwells all believers (John 14:17). Through the Spirit we have true fellowship, unlike any relationship we can have with those who do not know Christ.

Fellowship with God is only possible through the blood of Christ. Before we are saved, we are at enmity with God (Colossians 1:21). But Jesus reconciled us to God through His death on the cross (Romans 5:10). When we repent of our sin and trust in Christ, the result is that “now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

It is important to know that fellowship with God comes exclusively through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6), yet throughout the ages man has attempted to devise other paths to God through false religions or to live in such a way as to merit His approval. We cannot have fellowship with God if we reject His Son (1 John 5:10–11), dispute His foreordained plan of salvation, or attempt to find another path to His presence.

Scripture identifies some things that are at odds with true fellowship with God: the “mind governed by the flesh” that does “not submit to God’s law” (Romans 8:7) and “friendship with the world” (James 4:4). God is light, and light cannot have fellowship with darkness: “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out 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, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:6–7).

Those in fellowship with God are trusting in Christ. Their sins are forgiven. They are filled with the Spirit. They believe that in all things God deserves to be glorified. They spend time in Bible reading and prayer in a pursuit of “spiritual wisdom and insight so that [they] might grow in [their] knowledge of God” (Ephesians 1:17, NLT).

God’s Word, the Bible, is all that we need for fellowship with Him. We glorify Him by submitting to His will and obeying the commands contained in His Word. “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him” (Psalm 103:17). May we enjoy the harmony, contentment, and joy of the fellowship God has provided us with. May we follow the example of Enoch, a man who, throughout his long life, was known for “walking in close fellowship with God” (Genesis 5:24, NLT).

Recommended Resource: Masterlife: Developing a Rich Personal Relationship with the Master by Avery Willis

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