Is 1 John 1:9 a part of God’s will for the present Dispensation of Grace?
This is the fourth time we have come to the word “fellowship” (verse 7). How are we to understand this word in the context? This is important, for it is the main subject in the chapter. The original Greek word which is translated fellowship is “koinonia,” which carries the meaning of sharing in common, communion, fellowship. Like the Biblical word “sanctification,” it has both a positional and conditional aspect to it.
In Paul’s writings, fellowship is spoken of as:
a. Giving to poor saints (2 Cor. 8:4; Rom. 15:26,27).
b. Contributing to the Lord’s servants in the ministry (Phil. 1:5; 4:15-19; Gal. 6:6).
c. The fellowship of Christ’s suffering (Phil. 3:10 cf. 2 Cor. 11:23-33).
d. The Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 10:16).
These are examples of conditional fellowship. That is, we can refuse giving to the poor saints, neglect contributing our resources for the needs of the Lord’s servants, avoid suffering shame for His name, and choose not to participate in the memorial to Christ’s death for us. However, I believe that the New Testament Scriptures also teach a fellowship which is positional, permanent and the possession of every believer in Christ Jesus. Such fellowship belongs to all true Christians regardless of spiritual growth or dedication.
This article was published by the Berean Bible Society in the free monthly Bible study magazine,The Berean Searchlight. We have included a few paragraphs of the article here, but you can read the entire article using the link above.