Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Fellowship – What is it and How Do You Enjoy it?

What is real Christian fellowship?

Fellowship is the flow of the eternal life within all the believers.

When I was a young believer, I thought that Christian fellowship referred to a group of Christians coming together to share some common interests, possibly eating together and enjoying a group activity.

Later, I had an additional thought that it referred to conversations among believers in seeking to know God’s will and understand spiritual matters.

But whether an activity can be considered genuine “fellowship” according to the Bible depends on something deeper. That is, is the spiritual nature as revealed in God’s Word actually there?

First, we will consider what is the real Christian fellowship in the Bible. Then we’ll focus on how we can enjoy it in our daily Christian life and church life.

What is the meaning of fellowship in the Bible?

First John 1:2-3 says,

 (And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us); That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

1. Real fellowship is of God’s eternal life.

First, it’s the flow of eternal life in all of the believers in Christ—1 John 1:2-3.

Second, it’s the imparting of the Triune God as life—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—into us, the believers in Christ, to be our portion for our enjoyment—2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Cor. 1:9.

Third, to be in this divine fellowship, we need to put aside our private interests and join with the apostles and the Triune God for the carrying out of God’s purpose–Acts 2:42; 1 John 1:3.

Fourth, it’s carried out by the Spirit in our spirit and is called the fellowship of spirit—Phil. 2:1.

Fifth, it’s realized by the sense of the divine life in our spirit and is preserved by this sense—Rom. 8:6.

2. It is the flow of the divine life within us as illustrated by the circulation of blood in our body.

Consider. Your physical life is in your blood and your blood is not stagnant. It’s continuously flowing and circulating. Every minute or so, your blood circulates throughout your entire body. It’s this normal circulation that keeps you physically healthy.

Similarly, the fellowship of life is the flow of God’s life within us. The Lord Jesus promised that whoever would believe into Him would have the flowing of His life, that is, His Spirit flowing within them. The Lord Jesus said,

“He who believed into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being would flow rivers of living water. But this He said concerning the Spirit…” (John 7:38-39)

3. Fellowship issues from our receiving Christ as the eternal life.

The Gospel of John reveals Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the eternal, divine life. Jesus said,

 “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live.” (John 11:25).

 From the moment we believe into Him, we receive this divine life into us. In 1 John 5:11-12 it says,

“God gave us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life…”

 You can receive Him right now!

If you haven’t yet received the Lord Jesus as the eternal life, please take a moment to pray,

“Lord Jesus! I believe into You as the eternal life given by God. Thank you for dying for my sins and becoming a life-giving Spirit in resurrection to impart Your eternal life into me. I receive You as my Savior and life. Forgive me of all my sins and fill me with Yourself as life.”

Anyone who receives the Lord Jesus, believing into His name is born of God with His divine life and has the authority to become a child of God (John 1:12-13).

The entering of God’s flowing life into us brings us into this divine fellowship.

4. It is both vertical and horizontal.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, 1 John 1: 3 says,

 “…that you may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

“The fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” is vertical.  While “fellowship with us” is horizontal—with the apostles who proclaimed the eternal life to them and with the other believers who also have received this same life.

We can illustrate this vertical and horizontal fellowship by the flow of electricity within the electrical lamps in our home. On the one hand, the lamps have “fellowship” with the power plant “vertically.” On the other hand, they have “fellowship” with all the other lamps “horizontally.” Though they are all separate lamps, the flow of electricity makes them all one.

How can we enjoy this real fellowship?

1. Spend a personal time with the Lord each morning to strengthen your “vertical” fellowship with the Lord; here are ten short morning prayers to help you enter into such a fellowship with the Lord (Matt. 6:6).

2. Spend regular times each week with other believers to practice “horizontal” fellowship, the “fellowship of spirit”—your spirit touching their spirit (Eph. 5:18-19).

3. Care for the inner flowing of life in your spirit by going along with the sense of life and peace in all the details of your daily life (Rom. 8:6).

4. Confess and deal with any sins or offenses so that neither your “vertical” fellowship with the Lord, nor your “horizontal” fellowship with your fellow believers is interrupted (1 John 1:7-9).

Have you been helped by this post to know this genuine fellowship of the divine life? Share your appreciation in a comment or join in the conversation on the Holding to Truth Facebook page.

 References and Further Resources:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

20 Replies

  1. I love this article. To fellowship doesn’t mean we get together and talk about things or people or situations. Fellowship is something of the eternal life, and it is through the exercise of our mingled spirit. And fellowship is both vertical and horizontal. We need to practice both.

    Recover us, Lord, from any religious and natural understanding of fellowship, and bring us fully into a life in the fellowship of the divine life!

  2. Deola Grace

    This is awesome. always knew there was something more to Fellowship.

    1. Tom Smith

      It is crucial to our Christian life to know this divine fellowship and learn how to live in it. We need to realize that true fellowship is a circulation of the divine life of the Triune God from Him to us and also between us and other believers. A normal Christian life is one lived in this fellowship. Thank you for your confirming comment.

      1. johnnes surepally

        Good information brother.

        1. Tom Smith

          Glad you enjoyed the post. May the Lord deepen your fellowship with Him so that in this divine flow from His throne you will advance to reach His goal. Thanks for sharing your appreciation.

  3. Julie Adebayo

    Thanks for this post. I was blessed by the message. I got the real meaning of fellowship. I understood the fact that, there can not be genuine fellowship among believers if individual fellowship with the Father is not meaningful and real. I appreciate you sir, and more grace.

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Real fellowship is the flowing of the Triune God both vertically between us and God and horizontally between us and our fellow believers (1 John 1:3). It is like the flow of electricity both from the power plant to our home and flow between all the electric lights, making them one in the current. We need to learn to “switch on” this fellowship by means of prayer both personally and with other believers. More grace to you too.

  4. pastor Udeme

    Fellowship with God is one spiritual mystery we have to unfold so as to please Him in our walk with God .
    Thank you Sir…. powerful message.

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. This divine fellowship is actually the flowing Triune God Himself as the Spirit of life circulating in His Body (1 John 1:3; 2 Cor. 13:14). This fellowship can be illustrated by the blood circulating in our physical body. We simply need to enter into this fellowship by contacting the Lord with our spirit and remain in this divine fellowship, by abiding in Him, so that He may have a healthy expression of His one Body on this earth. This is something to give our lives for. Thanks for sharing your appreciation in a comment.

  5. waaao am more greatful to listen more about fellowshipping with God both in personal nd among fellows

    1. Tom Smith

      Fellowship of the divine life (1 John 1:3) is the flowing of the Triune God both vertically in our contact with Him and horizontally in our communication with our fellow believers. For God’s purpose to be fulfilled we need to experience this fellowship more and more. Genuine prayer is a basis for real fellowship. Here is a wonderful hymn to fellowship with the Lord that may help you to enter into deeper fellowship with Him. You can listen to the tune here.

  6. Manju

    Thanks for sharing. Let the Triune God flow in us and through us with eternal life so we have vertical and horizontal fellowship. Among believers fellowship is kind of distorted to friendship because of lack of content and goal.The content of fellowship is Triune God flowing in us with eternal life (1 John1 :2-3)and the goal is “for the furtherance of the gospel “. Phil1:5 . For your fellowship unto furtherance of the gospel from the firstday until now. Amen

    1. Tom Smith

      It is good to see that the content of real fellowship the Triune God as life flowing into us and among us. It is good also to realize that this fellowship flows us into its consummation, New Jerusalem, the city of fellowship (Rev. 22:1-2). May we learn to enjoy this fellowship every day in our Christian life and church life (2 Cor. 13:14) so that we may cooperate with God to reach His goal. Thank you for sharing your enjoyment.

  7. Nelly

    My thinking about fellowship have enlightened. Thanks for this powerful message.

    1. Tom Smith

      SO glad you enjoyed the post on fellowship. It is much more than most people have ever imagined. Since real fellowship is the flowing of the Triune God, our participation in this fellowship brings us into vital relationship with Him. It adds more of God’s essence to us, it supplies us to live the Christian life, and it carries us on toward His eternal goal. Thanks for leaving a comment. Please come back often.

  8. Ronnie Armando Ponton

    To fellowship properly…,
    One, first, needs to have a personal relationship with God thru the lord Jesus Christ. ( THE SPIRIT )
    Which is the nature of fellowship.
    Live in the SPIRIT… .

  9. Ronnie Armando Ponton

    To be one with Christ, one has to live the SPIRIT of Christ.

    1. Tom Smith

      Yes, the base of our fellowship is our personal relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through faith and baptism we have been joined to Christ. That is, we have believed into Christ (John 3:16) and we have been baptized into Him (Rom. 6:3). In this way we have grown together with Christ (v. 5). This union with Christ is in our spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). This where we experience the fellowship. Through His death and resurrection, our Lord Jesus became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17), and now He dwells in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). Whenever we call on His name (Rom. 10:12-13) and pray in our spirit (Eph 6:18) we contact Him in our spirit and enjoy a sweet fellowship with Him. In this way we live in the Spirit of Christ. Thanks for your comments.

  10. Asanga Luc

    Wow I have been enlighten… I will be teaching the youth on fellowship. Surely I’ll quote you. God bless your ministry sir.
    Fellowship is both vertical and horizontal. Is not about eating though it may have some sense of fellowship but its more eternal, is about the triune God. Father I want more fellowship with you and with others.

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you were enlightened by the Lord’s word through this post. We really need to see what true fellowship is and how the two aspects of fellowship are related. If we have true fellowship with the Lord vertically, we will want to fellowship with others horizontally. Also, true fellowship with other believers horizontally will lead us into a more intimate fellowship with the Lord, vertically. If we do not have such an experience, we may realize that there is some defect in our fellowship. May the Lord honor your prayer for more fellowship with the Father and with other believers. I would also recommend reading chapter 6 on the “Fellowship of Life” in The Knowledge of Life by Witness Lee. You can download a free copy of the eBook at: BiblesforAmerica.org/books I hope you find it helpful.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.