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Basic Principles of Fellowship

Lords Supper

Text: 1 Jn. 1:3-2:6

Aim: To know the principles for having and maintaining fellowship

Fellowship is the objective of Johns letter and in our text he proclaims some fundamental
principles while at the root of all genuine fellowship with God. These principles are of immense
practical value to the everyday lives of all Christians. By these principles believers may test the
reality of their personal communion with God. They may also discern whether they have come
to know the God with whom they desire to commune.
Fellowship describes a situation where two or more persons share things in
common. It is a communion or a partnership.
1. Fellowship = to the share which one has in anything; it is participation in intimacy.
2. The word fellowship is mention 4 times in 1 John and all the references are found
in the first 6 verses (1:3, 6, 7).
Please >> TURN << to 1 Cor. 10:16-22.
Vs. 16 When we take the cup of blessing it is communion with the blood and
body of Christ.
1. The Gk. word for communion in 1 Cor. 10:20 is the same Gk. word for
fellowship as found in John 1!
a. Communion then is to share in the same experience as partners who have
the same investment Vs. 17.
1) Repentance and confession that leads to salvation.
2) Obedience in public baptism as a symbol of a new relationship with
the Saviour and the saved.
b. Communion is intimacy in sacrifice: that of Christ and of His followers.
2. Separation at the Lords Table Vs. 20-21
a. From teachings and practices that originate in hell;
b. From those individuals that hold to the same.
Vs. 16 Theblessing which we bless
1. Bless = Gk. eulogeo, which is made up of two other Gk. words:
a. Eu = well/good
b. Logos = word/sayings/speech
2. To bless = Is to pronounce good words upon someone or something.
a. When from God to us = it is a cause to prosper, to make happy, to definitely
be favoured.
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b. When from us to God = to praise/celebrate with praises.

c. To ask Gods blessing on someone or something = Means to consecrate or
to set apart for holy use. We ask God to bless or prosper whatever to
Gods use.
Vs. 16 Therefore, for the believer to bless the cup of blessing at communion means
we are celebrating with praises Gods mercy and goodness to us through the
offering of His Son for the forgiveness of sin, which makes up the Gospels good
>> TURN << back to 1 John.
Notice in that the believers fellowship is describe as a walk 1:6,7; 2:6
1. This walk begins with a step of faith when we trust Christ as our Saviour. But
salvation is NOT the endit is only the beginningof spiritual life. Walking
involves progress and Christians are suppose to advance in the spiritual life.
2. Just as a child learning to walk must overcome many difficulties in doing so, a
Christian must learn to walk in the light. It is ONLY as was walk in the light that
we have fellowship or communion with our Lord and Saviour.
3. The FUNDAMENTAL difficulty involved in this communional walk is the matter of
a. 9 times sin is mentioned in these 14 verses and is illustrated in the contrast
between LIGHT and DARKNESS: God is light; sin is darkness (1:3-2:6).
b. Our walk of fellowship is also contrasted between saying and doing.
c. 4 times John writes, If we say or He that saith 1:6, 8, 10; 2:4.

It should be clear that the Christian life is to amount to more than a mere talk; we must also
have a walk, or live what we believe. If we are in fellowship with God that is walking in
the light our lives will back up what our lips are saying. BUT if we are living in sin
walking in darkness then our lives will contradict what our lips are saying, making us


A. With US
1. Communion is to be with others of like faith.
2. Fellowship is to be with those who have a shared intimacy and experience.
B. With the Father and with His Son


Vs. 7 Each individual in fellowship has been likewise cleansed by the Lord Jesus
Christs shed blood from sins contamination and condemnation.
Vs. 5-6 We are in fellowship with believers and commune with God when we walk in
purity and in the light of Gods truth.
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1. Vs. 6 the Christian who says he is in fellowship with HE who is Light, but who
is disobeying Him, thereby walking in the darkness is LYING.
2. It is significant that John talked of walking in light, rather than according to the
a. To walk according to light would require sinless perfection and would make
fellowship with God impossible for sinful human beings.
b. Walking in light suggests openness and responsiveness to the light. The last
part of vs. 7 makes it clear that John did not think of Christians as being sinless.
c. Taking vs. 7 in its entirety, it affirms two truths for believers who walk in the
1) They are in fellowship with God and one with another.
2) They are being cleansed from every sin.


A. Deception Vs. 8
1. When a believer is experiencing true fellowship with God he may tempted to think
or say that he is, at that moment at least, free from sin.

This is a dangerous self-deluding conception.

2. Any Christian who understands the truth of Gods Word teaches about the
depravity of the human heart, knows that just because they are not conscious of
failure does mean they are free from it.
3. There is a distinction between sin (vs. 8) and sins (vs. 9).
a. SIN refers to our corrupt, evil nature.
b. SINS refer to the evils we have done.
c. Actually, we are a lot worse than anything we have done! BUT praise the Lord,
Christ died for our sin and our sins.
4. Fellowship with God requires that we acknowledge the truth concerning ourselves.
We have a sinful nature and commit acts of sin.
B. Confession Vs. 9
1. In view of verse 8, the believer ought to be ready as all times to acknowledge any
failure which Gods light may expose to them.
2. Comforting to learn that that the forgiveness that is promised is both absolutely
assured (because God is faithful) and also is in no way contrary to His holiness
(He is just).
3. NOTE: Just in vs. 9 is same Gk. word that is applied to the title of Christ in 2:1
where it is translated Jesus Christ the righteous.
4. When a believer loses personal touch with the God of light, he begins to live in
darkness. BUT confession of sin is the way back into light.
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5. What does it mean to confess?

a. To confess sins means much more than simply to admit them.
b. The word confess actually means to say the same thing [about].
c. To confess sinmeans to say the same thing about it that God says about it.

A counsellor was trying to help a man who had come forward during an evangelistic meeting.
Im a Christian, the man said, but theres sin in my life, and I need help. The counsellor
showed him 1 John 1:9 and suggested that the man confess his sins to God.

O Father, the man began, if we have done anything wrong

Just a minute! the counsellor interrupted. Dont drag me into your sin!
My brother, its not if or we it is YOU who had better get down to business with God!
The counsellor was right.

Confession is not praying a lovely prayer, or making pious excuses, or trying to impress God
and other Christians.

True confession is naming sincalling it by name what God calls it: envy, hatred, lust, deceit,
or whatever it may be.
Confession simply means being honest with ourselves and with God, and if others are
involved, being honest with them, too. It is more than admitting sin. It means judging sin, facing
it squarely as being vile and forsaking it.


John gives Gods perfect standard for His people in 2:1 AND a gracious provision in the event
of our failure. God cannot condone sin in the least degree. He would not be God if He said,
These things I write you, so that you sin just as little as you can. So, He sets perfection before
us as the goal.
A. Advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous Vs. 1
1. An advocate is one who pleads our defence as in a defence attorney.
2. As one who comes to the aid of another in the time of need, he restores us to
fellowship with God the Father, IF we confess our sins.
a. Our Advocacy is NOT with God, BUT with the Father.
b. Sin in a believers life breaks fellowship; it does not change the relationship.
1) When a person is born again, he becomes a child of God.
2) God for all time becomes His Father, and nothing can ever affect that
3) A birth is something that cannot be undone. A son may disgrace his father,
but he still is his son by the fact of birth.
B. Jesus Christ is propitiation for our sins Vs. 1
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It is not often that an advocate (or lawyer) pays for his clients sins, yet that is what our Lord
has done, and most remarkable of all, He paid for them by the sacrifice of Himself.
1. Propitiation (hilasmos) means to be a sacrifice, a covering, a satisfaction, a payment,
and an appeasement for sins penalty.
2. Christs sacrifice turned away Gods wrath and made the only way for man to be
reconciled to God.
a. Therefore, propitiation is to be understood that Jesus payment for sin has
satisfied the demands of Gods Holy Law and made reconciliation between
God and man.
b. Because of His righteousness, He has enabled man to have a relationship and
fellowship with God.
C. Sufficiency of Christs Sacrifice Vs. 2
1. He is the satisfying sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
2. Christ genuinely died for the sins of the whole world.

2 Cor. 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all,
then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto
themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.

Vs. 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their
trespasses unto them

Heb. 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
3. This DOES NOT mean the whole world is saved; otherwise there would be no need
to preach the Gospel.
a. It means that the work of the Lord Jesus is sufficient in value to save the entire
world, but it is only efficient to save those who actually put their trust in Him.
b. Anyone who hears the gospel can be saved if he so desires. Revelation, the last
book in the Bible says in 22:17, Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will,
let him take the water of life freely.

Fellowship requires:
For us to Walk in the light even as Christ walked.
To make an Acknowledgement of the truth concerning ourselves.
In order too make Confession of our sins, we must not deny that we have committed
acts of sin.
To make Confession of our sins, we must not deny that we are guilty of the
condemnation of sin in our body.
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There must be a total reliance on the righteousness of the Lord Jesus for our defence
and forgiveness of sin.


On the Day of Atonement, two goats were used. The one was slain and its blood taken by the
high priest beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies. There it was sprinkled upon and before the
mercy seat where God sat in the Shekinah glory cloud between the figures of the cherubim.

The remaining goat was then taken to the high priest, who placed both his hands upon its head.
He then according to Lev. 16:21-22 confessed over him ALL the iniquities of the children of Israel,
and All their transgressions in ALL their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat. ... And the goat
shall bear upon him ALL their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.

Note the fourfold repetition of the word ALL, preceding iniquities, transgressions, sins. The
word used for iniquities is avon, a word that means perverseness and that comes from a root
meaning to be bent, or crooked; the word used for transgressions is pesha, carrying the
idea of revolt and rebellion and having to do with sin against lawful authority; the word used
for sins is chata, which means to miss the mark, to stumble, or to come short, referring
to sin in thought, word, or deed. Thus, the Day of Atonement represented a thoroughgoing, but
symbolic, removal of sin. All that was foreshadowed by the Old Testament type is now fulfilled
in Christ. He cleanses us from ALL SIN (John Phillips commentary on 1 John 1:9).

25 Dec. `01 (Tuesday) - River Valley BC Leixlip, Co. Kildare

4 Dec. `11, Eve - River Valley BC Leixlip, Co. Kildare