1 John 1:1-3
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
The word fellowship means companionship in a congenial atmosphere and on equal terms, having the same tastes, habits and temperament. The bible teaches that it was a practice for God to come down in the Garden to fellowship with man, we get more insight on this from Psalm 8 where the angel of the Lord asks “what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you visit him”.
Creation reflects the heart cry of God for fellowship, we know after the fall of man, the face to face fellowship with God and man was lost for “no man has seen God”. John 1:18 reveals to us that Christ unveiled in the flesh the fullness of the Father, in Hebrews 1:3 we read that Christ is the “brightness of His [God the Father’s] glory and the express image of His person”. Hence we can infer from this that the same sense of fellowship Adam had with God is likened to the sense of fellowship the close Apostles of Christ enjoyed.
So what happens since Christ is no longer in the flesh? Have we that neither have seen God nor beheld the glory of His Son been short of the same quality of fellowship? Certainly not! John in his first epistle introduces us to the concept of a new kind of fellowship, he speaks in terms of the Son, saying concerning the Son who existed from the beginning, His story was heard and His wonders seen. The Apostle John himself had the privilege to see Him physically, touch Him, and he declares Him as the Word of life, the eternal life of God. This truth is proclaimed to us as he declares “that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
The Apostles enjoyed a sweet fellowship with the Son, and with the Son being in the very likeness of the Father, bearing the full expression of Him, they enjoyed the same sense of Fellowship Adam had with the Father in Eden.
I find it interesting that the Apostle John speaks of this fellowship in the present tense. We know this epistle was written after Christ was no more in the flesh, but He declares “that you may have fellowship with us”, a peep into his mind at the time of this writing is that “we have not lost this sense of fellowship with the Messiah”. He takes it a little further and says “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ”. Could it be that he claims to still have the same sense of fellowship Adam enjoyed with the Father in the Garden? Is he suggesting that though Christ is no longer in the flesh, he does not feel a sense of loss of the Christ’s presence?
We can now explore the repetitive affirmations Christ gave His disciples prior to His crucifixion, one of which we read in John 14:16 where He says “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), who will never leave you” and in verse 18 He says “I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.” Now this brings us to our Aha! moment. The comforter promised, paraclete, is the one called alongside to help. He is the one who facilitates our fellowship with the God head, He is the sweet Spirit of communion (2 Corinthians 13:14). It is because of the reality of His presence John could say “truly our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ”. By the shed blood of Christ, every believing Christian has a right to this same sense of fellowship. “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”. The sense of fellowship accorded Adam in the Garden, same with which John enjoyed with Christ is one “Abba” cry away, and “the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15,16).
Oh! What confidence we have that we are not left comfortless, that truly our restoration in the place of Eden is a reality, for He has promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” We know now that we have companionship with the Godhead, there is relationship on equal grounds, same tastes, and ideals and we too can say with a boldness “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ”.