Fellowship as a means of complete Joy
First John 1 John 1:1-4
1. John writes for the purpose of fellowship (Main Theme)
1. Fellowship begins in the nature of God: Trinity 1:1-3
2. Fellowship between man and man starts with fellowship between God and man 1:3
3. Joy is made complete when followers of Jesus are in fellowship with each other 1:4
2. John writes to these Christians and gives them encouragement on maintaining fellowship (Main Theme Supported)
1. John writes that their joy may be complete 1:4
2. John writes that they may not sin 1 John 2:1
3. John writes that they may know their sins are forgiven 1 John 2:12
4. John writes that they may know Jesus 1 John 2:13
5. John writes to remind them that they have overcome the evil one 1 John 2:13
6. John writes so that they can understand they know the Father 1 John 2:13
7. John writes so that they will know they are strong because the word of God that abides in them 1 John 2:14
8. John writes so that they know the truth 1 John 2:21
9. John writes so that they will be able to recognize those who are trying to deceive them 1 John 2:26
10. John writes so that they know that they have eternal life 1 John 5:13a
Conclusion: John’s fellowship with them, although by means of pen and paper, was the source of complete joy
3. Fellowship among believers is our source of complete joy inside the Gospel
Joy is not necessarily achieved by God just giving joy.
He, no doubt, can and the Scriptures tell us that in his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand pleasures forever more (Psalm 16:11).
I suppose the question is: Can I have God without having God’s people?
The answer to that question must be resounding no.
God is Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit. Interdependent. Unity in diversity. All persons equally god yet three distinct roles. We are created in the image of Trinity.
We are made to be interdependent and in fellowship with other believers. Fellowship with other believers is not optional.
Fellowship with the believers is the way that John tells these Christians their joy is made complete.
So, how do we fight for complete joy for each other in fellowship?
4. Whatever you do get in fellowship
C. Being present
1. Everyone is necessary
2. Everyone who is a Christian is a priest and can minister
3. Everyone must take the initiative to have fellowship and minister to each other for the sake of their joy and yours
5. Encourage one another in fellowship
These people John wrote to were in the spiritual weeds due to be abandoned by some “super spiritual freaks”. They were wondering if they truly were followers of Jesus or had missed the mark.
Note the tone John took with these people he was in fellowship with: gentle.
John’s harshest sections are reserved as evaluation of those who abandoned them in order to let these Christians know why those who left them are really not Christians at all but rather in sin and in denial of the gospel.
A. Seek to encourage – give support, give hope, build the courage in others to continue following Jesus
6. Seek each other’s joy in fellowship
Joy is often attacked with circumstances and fellowship is where joy is bolstered!
1. Make it ok to be down
What I mean by this is don’t pretend all is well when nothing is well. There must be the freedom to admit when all is not well.
a. Be truthful
b. Ask for help
c. Encourage truthfulness in expressing how people are doing
d. Be of help where its possible
2. When others are down encourage trust in the Lord
a. Remind each other of God’s faithfulness
(once you know folks for a long time you will have a log of the times the Lord has been faithful)
b. Remind each other of the stories of God’s faithfulness in Scripture
c. Pray for each other
3. Listen more and talk less
4. Help bolster faith in the Lord in others through their weak faith seasons when you are in strong faith seasons
5. Tell stories of how the Lord has increased your joy