The 4 C’s of Fellowship with God are as follows:
1. Conditions for Fellowship
2. Conduct for Fellowship
3. Characteristics of Fellowship
4. Consequences of Fellowship
Read 1 John 1:3-7
As we discussed in our previous Lesson on The Conditions for Fellowship with God, The first step is to ensure that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Once that is settled, then you may turn your attention towards maintaining and/or improving your fellowship with him.(Philippians 3:10)
You will notice that in the passage that you have just read, the issue at hand is NOT salvation, but rather is FELLOWSHIP with your Saviour. In the first two verses we read 3, That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4, And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
John plainly states that he is telling us that we may have fellowship with God and that this fellowship is the ONLY way for us to be truly joyful. What does it mean to be joyful anyway? Following is the definition of Joy in the Websters 1828 Dictionary: JOY, n.
1. The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; that excitement of pleasurable feelings which is caused by success, good fortune, the gratification of desire or some good possessed, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exultation; the exhilaration of spirits. 4. A glorious and triumphant state.
Joy is more than mere happiness. Happiness or Sadness for that matter can, and usually are dictated by the current circumstances that you may find yourself in, and are subject to change at any moment from one extreme to the other. Joy is something that you can hold onto; no matter your current circumstance. Because your joy is based upon the acquisition of Fellowship with your creator; therefore no matter the circumstances that you find yourself in, that very well may make you happy, or sad in that moment; can never take away the joy that you have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Which brings us back to our subject today of what are the Conditions that we must meet in order to foster this Fellowship?
1) Conditions for Fellowship
In order to maintain fellowship with God, we must conform to HIS standard. 1 John 1:7 states 7, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. And Romans 12:1-2 we are told: 1, ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2, And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We can not maintain fellowship with God, and fellowship with the world at the same time. The world system is the enemy of God (James 4:4). We are also told in 1 John 2:15-17 that we are not to love the world or the things that are in the world. And again in Colossians 3:2 we are told not to set our affection on things of the earth. We are to be in the world but not of the world. In other words we no longer belong to this world (John 15:19, John 17:14-15), but are seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6); therefore our motives, desires, likes, and dislikes are different than they used to be (2 Corinthians 5:17). The passage in Romans goes on to tell us that in order for us to not be conformed to the world any longer is to have our Minds need to be renewed. For more information on this subject, please review the posting Concentration brings Conformity and Eight rules for maintaining a proper thought life.
Not only do we need to have our minds renewed in order to be Conformed to HIS Standard but according to 1 John 1:7 We Must Walk in the Light. You may be asking yourself, What is this Light that I must be walking in? Let me explain: We read in Psalms 119:105, that GODS Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. And in Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
In light of these two passages and many more that we could look at; it is clear that in order to walk in the light, we must spend time in GODS Word. The “light” that is being spoken of is, in fact, GODS Holy Word. We are to walk in his statutes and commandments. Not to “earn” salvation or favor, but because we have already received Salvation and Favor, we should want to. Think of it this way; Think of whoever is your “best” friend today. How did you get to know them? You spent time together; right? The only way to truly get to know someone and develop a deep, or close relationship with them is to spend time together. Jesus said in John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. And in John 10:27 Jesus said My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Did you catch that? Jesus just said that his sheep (followers) would know him by his voice. How do you get to the place where you can recognize someone simply by hearing their voice? By spending time with them and conversing with them. That is what we are doing when we Read and Study GODS Word; we are getting to know him and to be able to recognize “his” voice.
So far we have looked at two primary Conditions for Fellowship with God. First and foremost you must be born again. Without that foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), it is impossible to have fellowship with God. The next thing that we looked at was the fact that We Must Conform to HIS Standard. In the next lesson, we will look at one more crucial Condition that is needed to maintain fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
My hope is that this article provided some encouragement and help for your Christian walk.