1 John 1:6-7
“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
The first part of this passage is about those who say one thing and then do another; those whose nametag says “Christian,” but whose life points to something else. The Scripture says that “God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5). So it doesn’t make much sense to think that we can walk with Jesus and walk in darkness at the same time. We certainly can’t be a follower of Jesus and end up in the dark – He doesn’t lead in that direction! If we are going to walk with Jesus, we are going to have to walk in the light. And that gets us to the second part of the passage.
Now if you are like me, you would expect the passage to read: “But, if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with Jesus . . .” Look again, it doesn’t say that. It says: “. . . we have fellowship with one another.” Here is the point: when you walk with Jesus you always end up in fellowship with other Christians.
This certainly has ramifications for those who take the position that they can be “good Christians” but not be part of the church; who think that it is OK with Jesus for them to live as spiritual “Lone Rangers.” No, God has designed us to be part of something bigger and greater than we could ever be alone. He has purposely made us to be an essential part of the body of Christ. We grow better, we learn faster, we worship more fervently, and we serve more effectively together.
This is a concept that is a little hard for us to grasp. In America we honor the individual who can "pull himself up by his own bootstraps." We hold up rugged individuality as a model for our children. But that ideal is based on a falsehood. The truth is, we are stronger together than we are individually; and that truth is affirmed in this passage. We need to encourage one another, help one another, and depend on one another. Fellowship is one of Christ's many gifts to His church, and a precious gift it is! True fellowship with Christ always involves true fellowship with His people.
Pastor Keith Andrews