Vol.XIII No.IV Pg.4
June 1976

Fellowship With God

Robert F. Turner

Fellowship (koinonia) means sharing and Moulton and Milligan say it was used by the Greeks for the closest of all human relationships. When God is the partner it consists of our sharing His characteristics — as Thayer puts it, partakers in common of the same mind... The ideal will only be realized when we dwell with God in eternity, but it sets standards by which our present relations are measured — with God, and with man.

God ways, Be ye holy, for I am holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (1 Jn. 3:3). God is love, and therefore we must also love (1 Jn. 4:7-11,19). We must walk in the light to have fellowship with him who is Light (1 Jn. 1:5-7). God is Spirit, and our worship must be a communion in spirit (Jn. 4:23-24). Finally, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48).

The means of such a relationship is Jesus Christ. He died for us, that a just God might forgive our sins (Rom. 3:23-26); and in His role of Prophet, Jesus delivered the message by which we are informed of Gods will and are finally judged (Heb. 1:1f Jn. 12:48-50). His declarations, commands and invitations are to all the world; but acceptance and appropriation of redemption is on an individual basis, and fellowship with God is contingent upon our living, obedient faith. John wrote, That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us, i.e., with the Father, and with His Son... (1 Jn. 1:3).

In a practical sense, mans fellowship with God is possible only as man is taught, hears, learns and comes to Him (Jn. 6:45). Faith is the result of an objective approach to revelation (Rom. 10:17), and must not be equated with mystical feelings or emotional inner warmth. And this is the place for the relative knowledge argument. The Grace-Fellowship fellows, who are uncertain about fellowship among men because doctrinal knowledge differs with our background, etc., must acknowledge the same relativity here, where fellowship with God is at stake pursuing their present course, some will eventually accept the evangelical conclusion that God directly and immediately operates upon a sinners heart. Proof of fellowship with God will be heart-felt in the best mourners bench tradition.

Of course mans knowledge is less than perfect, but the sincere truth-seeker has reason to be confident. (1) God, who made man, delivered truth in a way suited to mans capacity (Eph. 3:2-6; 5:17); and (2) God knows our thoughts (Heb. 4:12), our inner spirit from whence we serve Him (Rom. 1:9; 2:29). Since fellowship between God and man is on an unequal basis by its very nature, mans part is at best his sincere endeavor to be God-like. In fact, godliness is more a God-ward attitude that motivates our doings. If I fail to have fellowship with God it is my fault, not His.

Jesus said, If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine ... If a man love me he will keep my words... (Jn. 7:17; 14:23). Do we really believe these words?? (continued next page)