The Holy God wants to have close relationships with human beings. He wants to accept them, be close to them, and redeem them. This close relationship is called fellowship in the Bible.
All fellowship is based on the redemptive work of Christ. Were it not for the cross and the resurrection, we could not have a relationship with God. Christ was made sin on our behalf, so that we might become righteous through him. A human being comes into God’s fellowship when he/she hears and obeys the gospel of Christ. John wrote, “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you, so that you may have fellowship with us.” As Peter shared the words of life so that Cornelius and his household might be saved, so we must share the message of the gospel so that others might have fellowship. When people hear, understand, decide to submit to Christ, and obey Christ by being baptized into his death, such people enter into divine fellowship.
When we come into fellowship with God, we also come into fellowship with others who enjoy fellowship with God. When one person holds the Father’s hand, that person shares a relationship with all other persons who also hold the Father’s hand. We share spiritual things with God and with these other people, things we do not share with those who have no fellowship with God.
When we take the Lord’s Supper on Sundays, we openly demonstrate our fellowship with God. All who take the bread proclaim that they are part of the body of Christ and participants in the atoning sacrifi ce of his body. All who drink the fruit of the vine proclaim that they share in the cleansing blood of Christ. We partake together, demonstrating our fellowship with one another. We do not willingly share the Supper with those who have no part in the body and blood of Christ. Fellowship is contingent upon walking in the light of God’s word. If we say that we have fellowship, but live in non-compliance with his word of light, we lie. Only those who make every effort to walk according to God’s moral, spiritual, and religious commands maintain true fellowship. As we maintain that fellowship through our sincere and penitent efforts, we are continually cleansed of sin by the blood of Christ.
Those in fellowship with God must respect that fellowship by withdrawing their fellowship from those rebellious brothers and sisters who willfully live in disobedience to God. This means that God’s people, the church, will no
longer welcome these people to the communion table, and will not act as
if they are in good standing with God, when they are not. As Paul told the
Corinthians, the church must, “put away the evil from among you.”
Fellowship is a precious, real, and spiritual thing. We have fellowship and maintain it on God’s own terms. The true church of Jesus Christ does not treat lightly the most sacred thing in heaven and earth.