Divine Fellowship Conditional
Franklin Ferguson, New Zealand
In the first chapter of the First Epistle of John, there is brought under our notice a fellowship of an exceedingly blessed and holy nature, even "fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." Like the Salvation of God, which is offered to all mankind yet realized only by them that believe the gospel; so this Divine, fellowship, whilst open to all saints everywhere, is experienced only by such as observe the simple condition - "If we walk in the light as He is in the light." Many there are who undoubtedly are children of God, yet are they far from this holy communion, because of unjudged sins in heart and practice.
The message that we have heard of Him is that "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." We might have thought a more appropriate announcement would have been, "God is love"; for are not fellowship and love mingled together? In chap. 4, love is fittingly the message, for the theme is God sending His own Son into the world that we might live through Him. But in chap. 1, it is "light" not "love"; because fellowship is the subject, and it can only be had in holiness. "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (Lev. 11.45); and we are exhorted to "follow holiness, without which, no man shall see the Lord " (Heb. 12.14).
We can deceive ourselves in the belief that "we have fellowship with Him," whilst we may actually be "walking in darkness." ft such is the case, how sharply are we reminded that "we lie, and do not the truth." How it calls for an honest examination of ourselves, with unsparing measures with our wicked ways. A real desire to walk with God will humble the flesh within us. How tender will be the conscience, and so sensitive of sin in thought, word, and deed!
Why is there introduced here the Blood of Jesus Christ cleansing us from all sin? Just because the Divine Presence reveals the slightest evil in us. If, on its discovery, we confess and judge with abhorrence the sin, then He is "faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," Thus are we maintained in the light, and so have we "fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." Then in that happy, daily walk together, with nothing between, in sweetest communion shall we enjoy "the days of Heaven upon the earth" (Deut. 11.21).