The Nature of Communion
1 John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we to you, that you also may have fellowship with us…

Men are formed for society. To social enjoyments religion is no enemy. On the contrary, it sanctifies friendship, and renders it subservient for promoting our best interests. No society among men can be compared with the fellowship which every genuine believer enjoys "with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." This, in so far as it is enjoyed, is a source of pure and exalted happiness. Its pleasures are not accompanied with the alloy of disappointment. The strong asseveration "truly," here used, points out the importance and certainty of what is affirmed. The men of the world are apt to call in question the reality of such an intercourse. In this, however, they are much mistaken. The pleasures which the saints enjoy are the genuine pleasures of life, and the only enjoyments that deserve that name.


1. Union to His person is part of that fellowship which believers have with the Lord Jesus Christ. So long as they continue in their natural state, dead in trespasses and sins, they can have no fellowship with Jesus.

2. Reciprocal communion is included in the fellowship which believers have with Christ. There is nothing that can be properly called His in which they have not an interest, nor are they possessed of anything which He does not consider as His own. Are they men? He too has assumed the human nature. Is He God? They also, in consequence of His Spirit dwelling in them, are in some measure "made partakers of the Divine nature." Their poverty is His, and His riches are theirs. If they bear His reproach, they share also in His honour; if they be conformed unto His death, they have also a part in His resurrection.

3. The fellowship with Christ which believers enjoy includes in it every species of friendly and familiar intercourse.

4. The last thing included in the fellowship believers have with Christ is an interchange of good offices. To Him they are indebted for all the blessings they possess, and for all that they hope to enjoy. Their health, their strength, their time, their talents, their substance, and their influence, when they act in character, are all employed to promote the interest of His kingdom in the world.


1. In consequence of this fellowship, they have the best instruction.

(1) The wonders He reveals.

(2) He opens their dark under standings, removes their unfounded prejudices, and enables them to embrace redeeming truth in all its beauty and simplicity.

2. This fellowship is a source of the most refined delight. They walk in the light of His countenance, in the joy of heaven.

3. The fellowship of believers with Christ is a source of the highest honour. All His companions are "kings and priests unto God"; more honourable than the most exalted among men.

4. Believers derive many great and precious benefits from fellowship with Christ.

5. This fellowship is in every respect a source of the most exalted happiness.Lessons:

1. See and admire the condescension and kindness of the Son of God.

2. Let believers learn to esteem and rejoice in this precious privilege.

3. From this subject let believers learn their duty. This will be found always to correspond, in some measure, to the privileges they enjoy.

(G. Campbell.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

The Internal Basis of Christian Fellowship
Top of Page
Top of Page