Fellowship with Christ; January 20, 2022

1 Cor 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

It has been pointed out by many people that the church in Corinth had many problems, but Paul started his letter thanking God for them. This verse tells us why he could have such confidence. There are three elements to it. Word order is very different in English and Japanese, but in both languages the verse starts with “God.” When our focus is on other things, which by definition are less than God, we are easily distracted. Those things might be temptations of various sorts, or they might be an awareness of our own gifts and abilities, or lack thereof. It’s not at all that we are to ignore everything else, but rather that God needs to be supreme in our heart and mind so that we see everything in relation to Him. In so doing, we need to have a clear and accurate image of God in our heart and mind. This verse brings up one of His characteristics that is often totally overlooked by those who don’t know Him personally, and that is His faithfulness. The NIV gives that extra punch by closing out the sentence with it, and the Japanese brings it out right at the beginning, but in either case it is vitally important. The thing is, God is faithful but we aren’t. Spiritual growth can be said to be growth in faithfulness. The less mature we are, the more likely we are to be sidetracked by all sorts of temptations, and the less likely we are to follow through with what God tells us to do. We can’t rely on our own faithfulness, but God’s is totally dependable. What this verse is saying is that this totally faithful God has called us into fellowship with His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We aren’t just called to “be good little boys and girls,” but to have fellowship, intimate communication and interaction with, the Son of God! If God feels far from you, you need to realize two things: God hasn’t moved, and you need to repent and grow. It is logically obvious that our greatest joy and satisfaction will come when we are fulfilling the purpose for which our Creator made us, and here we have it: fellowship with His Son. That can seem like an impossibly high goal, but it’s the one our Creator set for us, and remember, He is faithful! Of course, perfect fellowship will be experienced only when we are before His throne in heaven, but we can taste it here and now, and that should be our goal. (Psalm 42:1)

I have tasted fellowship with God enough times that you would think I’d be totally obsessed with it, but unfortunately that’s not the case. My flesh still gets in the way in various ways, which is why I look forward to being through with it! I am at times painfully aware of my own unfaithfulness, but I have experienced God’s faithfulness too many times to doubt it. I well remember one time I was in a small prayer meeting and the presence of the Lord, the sheer joy of it, was so intense that I felt one more drop would cause my physical body to give up, and I would go straight to heaven. I actually expressed in my spirit, “Lord, if You have more work for me to do here, You’d better let up a little.” Obviously He did that, and that was several years ago. Of the three other men in that prayer meeting, one has gone on to heaven, one I am in contact with fairly often by Facebook, and I recently reestablished contact with the third. God is faithful for them, too! As a pastor, I deeply desire that each of the believers discover the joy of fellowship with Jesus Christ, and that’s why I urge morning devotions all the time. We all need to set the tone of each day by consciously seeking to be in fellowship with our Lord.

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness! Thank You for the incredible privilege of fellowship with Your Son. Thank You that He was born, lived, and died as a human being, in addition to being divine, so that He indeed understands what we are going through. I ask You to use me to bring more and more people into fellowship with Him by faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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