The apostle John was the last of the twelve apostles of Jesus who remained faithful in writing the letters to the early churches. He was tasked with the role of sharing the gospel and the final words of the Bible which are recorded in the book of Revelations. Not only so, in this pericope of the first book of John speaks of the true word of life in which Christ has spoken. The context in which John wrote the words was during a time of confusion within the church. For the churches, they believed that the Jesus of the past was truly God but did not become a real man in the flesh. In a time of turbulence within the church, John reminded the congregation regarding the true source of life that is Christ who did become flesh.
Without a concrete understanding of Christ, the gospel and its essence can be misunderstood and produce a wrong understanding of who God is. In addition to that as Christians, it is a lifelong experience to discern core theologies and have a clear framework of salvation. So, for John, it was a priority that he clarified the doctrinal teaching and defend the congregation from receiving more heresy. It is stated in verse one Christ, being fully God and fully man, came to this world to save sinners. For Christians, we should understand and believe that God dwelt among us. Moreover, the Christ we find in the Bible is the only one who we should imitate and exalt in our life. In verses one to four, John writes that the focus of a Christian should primarily be fixed on Christ as the way and the source of life.
By fixing our eyes and believing in Christ, we will enter into a fellowship with not only God but also other believers within the body of Christ. To whoever confesses and admits the same true Christ, there should not be any pride and a Christian can set aside any cultural or background differences. And to go beyond these differences, as part of the body of Christ, John encourages the congregation to also find it a priority to be concerned about the spiritual well being of members of the church. This is a call given to not only the congregation but more importantly the leaders of the church as well. When members of the church share this same concern, a congregation can be strong and be near to Christ. Above all, the church’s knowledge of Christ should bring us to obedience. And with the right obedience that produces good spiritual fruits, there will be a true assurance of salvation.
The apostle John said that fellowship with other Christians is a direct consequence of us believing in the gospel. Let’s talk about Christian fellowship this week.
a. What is Christian fellowship to you? How does it look like?
b. Why is Christian fellowship important? How has Christian fellowship shaped your life?
c. What is difficult about Christian fellowship? And how do you deal with it?