All of us desire to be in a relationship. It is the way we were created. As John Donne said, “No man is an island.” People need people. Some more than others. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are in a relationship with the Lord. Theologically this is called being born again or being justified. However, the ultimate goal for the Christian is not only to be in relationship with the Lord but to experience fellowship with Him as well.
Fellowship is the familiar term Koinonia. It is based on a relationship but involves much more. Many of us are involved in relationship with many people, but there are a few of us who actually experience something deeper. We call it fellowship. Most of us know there is a difference in simply being a member of a family versus experiencing a warm sense of harmony. The two do not always occur. By relationship I mean something eternal like the relationship between a father and his child. That is a forever relationship. Once I have a son, nothing and no one can ever change that relationship. He will always be my son; I will always be his father. On the other hand, fellowship is the enjoyment of such relationship. My son and I might have a forever relationship, but if he is a dishonorable son, we will not have much fellowship. We will not enjoy the relationship we do have.
The Lord desires His children to not only be in relationship with Him but to fully experience a deeper sense of fellowship, joy and harmony. The Apostle John explains both the relationship and fellowship the Lord desires for His people when he writes in his first epistle, “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
Eternal life is received as a free gift as we believe the gospel of Jesus. Fellowship and harmony are built upon doing the Father's will, obeying His wishes, and abiding in Him. I pray that you come to be a part of the family of God by faith in Jesus Christ. If you already have, I pray that you are experiencing the joy and peace of fellowship with God as you seek to abide in His word and follow His way.
It is the goal of this plan to look at these two intertwined truths so that we, as Christians, may be relieved of our burden of guilt and fear that accompany many of us, and learn to live with Maximum Joy.
To experience Maximum Joy by learning more about Relationship vs. Fellowship please visit https://www.gracetheology.org/bookstore/maximum-joy-1-john-relationship-or-fellowship/