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Complete In Jesus - Page 8

A Present Fellowship with Jesus

One of the most wonderful thoughts in the New Testament is found in these words:

God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor. 1:9).

Fellowship (koinonia) to the people of the New Testament was active and involved inter-relationship; communion;  intimacy.13, 14  In the Scriptures, the present relationship of Christ to his people is compared to that between a loving husband and wife (Eph. 5:23-32).  Again, our relationship with him is to be so personal that it is described by Paul as being like a "body" in connection to its "head" (Ephesians 4:15, 16).  Because we are the people of Jesus Christ, and because God loves him and us, it has pleased God to call us "into the fellowship of his son." 

How wonderful this is for both us and for our Lord.  How sad it would be if Jesus was to be only a spectator – watching his own work being played out on earth, but having no direct role to play. How sad, if he were to be truly isolated from the people that he so greatly loved and for whom he gave his life. Almighty God has determined that such would not be so.

John also brings to us the wonder of ongoing fellowship with Christ. Amazingly, he parallels it with the fellowship that they had with God:15

We declare to you what we have seen and heard so you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).

That is the relationship that Jesus promised his disciples he would share with them "by spirit" during the time that he will be in heaven.  Jesus is speaking of the coming of the spirit when he tells his disciples:

"I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you" (John 14:18).

This also helps us to understand how he can say to them that it is "to your advantage that I go away" (John 16:7).  Jesus Christ will be able to even more effectively administer his church through spirit - from heaven - than he was able to do while with them in the limitations of the flesh.  And, while he will be separated from them, yet he will nonetheless remain "with them."  The spirit he gives, will not "speak of itself" but rather take what is Jesus' and declare it to his disciples (John 16:14, 15).  It is not the holy spirit that is head of the church - it is Christ! He is head by means of the spirit.

Thus, it is in the discourse of Jesus to his disciples about his going away and the coming of the spirit that we find his parable of the vine and the branches. In that teaching we see the relationship of Jesus to his people is so direct that he is the source of their constant and essential nourishment.  His father is the vinedresser; Jesus is the vine; his people are the branches, and without him they can do nothing (John 15:5).  Surely this is instruction to them about the time now present in which Jesus is in heaven but nevertheless with his people by spirit.

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13  Bauer - Arndt - Gingrich indicates that the sense of koinonia is "association, communion, fellowship, close relationship (hence [in early literature] a favorite expression for the marital relationship as the most intimate between human beings)." Thayer uses the terms "joint participation and [social] intercourse."

14 This is seen "functionally" in Luke 5:10 where Luke speaks of James and John as "partners" (koinonos) with Simeon in their fishing enterprise. They actively worked "together" in their venture.

15 Note in 1 John 1:3 the parallel between: h koinwnia meta tou patrov kai meta tou uiou autou ihsou cristou.




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