Walking in Fellowship with God
Have you ever wondered, “How do I know I am truly in fellowship with God?” God has provided an answer in the Book of I John. In I John 1:3, 4, John states, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” In other words, John shows us how we can have true fellowship with God and experience the full joy that is a result of that fellowship. Below is a list of questions that a Christian can use to examine his walk with God.
- Do I have joy (I John 1:4)? A Christian that is in fellowship with God is going to have true joy in his heart. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Despite the circumstances, one can have joy in his heart.
- Am I walking in the Light (I John 1:5-7)? When a Christian is living in sin he does not desire fellowship with God. The prayer life and Bible study of one out of fellowship will become less frequent, or stop altogether. The phrase that has been repeated so often still is true that “the Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” A Christian that is in fellowship will desire to remain close to God and will be sensitive to sin.
- Do I confess sin (I John 1:9)? The Child of God that is in fellowship with Him will not only be sensitive to sin, but will quickly confess and forsake sin in his life. Sin in a Christian’s life breaks fellowship with the Father. When a believer confesses his sin “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
- Am I obedient to His commands (I John 2:3, 4)? Obedience to the commandments of Scripture is another way we can know we are in fellowship with Him. Jesus said we show our love to Him by obedience to His commandments. John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
- Am I abiding in Him (I John 2:5, 6)? Abiding has the idea of remaining or dwelling. Jesus said in John 15 that without Him the Christian can do nothing. Just as a branch does not have life unless it abides in the vine, so a Christian must realize he can do nothing unless he abides in Christ. The Christian that is in fellowship not only desires to abide with Him, but also finds rest in Him as the Psalmist said in Psalm 37:7, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”
- Do I love the brethren (I John 2:7-11)? Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Even the world can see our love for Christ manifested in our love for God’s children. A Christian that does not have a genuine love for other believers is not in fellowship with God.
- Am I living in light of His imminent return (I John 2:29-3:3)? The Christian that is in fellowship with God realizes Jesus could return at anytime, and desires to live a holy, separated life that is pleasing to Him. The fact that the Rapture can occur at anytime should motivate the Christian to righteous living.
- Do I no longer have a pattern of sin in my life (I John 3:6-9)? A Christian still sins, but a Christian that is walking with God is not going to continue in a habitual pattern of sin. The believer is no longer bound by sin (Romans 6:6, 7), and the Christian that is in fellowship with God will reckon it to be so (Romans 6:11).
- Do I show compassion toward the brethren (I John 3:16, 17)? If a believer sees another with a need and has the means to meet that need, but refuses to help, he is not in fellowship with God. When one is walking with Christ, he will show the compassion of Christ toward others. As James says this is faith in action, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:15-17)
- Are my prayers answered (I John 3:22-24; 5:14, 15)? There are several hindrances to our prayers given to us in Scripture. The child of God that is walking in fellowship with God and asking according to His will, can have confidence that God will hear and answer his prayer.
- Do I have the conviction and guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit (I John 3:24-4:6)? All Christians have the indwelling Holy Spirit, but one that is not in fellowship with God may not be listening to His guidance and conviction. The believer that is abiding in Him will be sensitive to the Holy Spirits conviction and will be quick to confess his sin. The Holy Spirit will also guide and give discernment. He guides in truth (John 16:13), and helps us try the spirits and detect the false teachers in this world.
- Do I have assurance (I John 5:10-13)? One that lacks assurance of salvation is either not abiding in Christ, or is not saved. If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior I pray you will do so right now. If you have been born again, but still lack assurance, then learn to abide in Him so you can have assurance.
Pastor Jim Kohr