The Way of Fellowship
(Text begins about 4 minutes 30 seconds into audio.)
The only basis for real fellowship with God and man is to live out in the open with both. “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” To walk in the light is the opposite of walking in darkness. Spurgeon defines it in one of his sermons as “The willingness to know and to be known.” As far as God is concerned, this means that we are willing to know the whole truth about ourselves, we are open to conviction. We will bend the neck to the first twinges of conscience. Everything He shows us to be sin, we will deal with as sin--we will hide or excuse nothing. Such a walk in the light cannot but disclose sin increasingly in our lives, and we shall see things to be sin which we never thought to be such before. For that reason we might shrink from this walk, and be tempted to make for cover. But the verse goes on with the precious words, “and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Everything that the light of God shows up as sin we can confess and carry to the Fountain of Blood and it be gone, gone from God’s sight and gone from our hearts. By the power of the precious Blood we can be made more stainless then the driven snow; and thus continually abiding in the light and cleansed by the Blood, we have fellowship with God.
But the fellowship promised us here is not only with God, but “with one another”; and that involves us in walking in the light with our brother, too. In any case, we cannot be “in the open” with God and “in the dark” with him [our brother]. This means that we must be as willing to know the truth about ourselves from our brother as to know it from God. We must be prepared for him to hold the light to us (and we must be willing to do the same service for him) and challenge us in love about anything he sees in our lives which is not the highest. We must be willing not only to know, but to be known by him for what we really are. That means we are not going to hide our inner selves from those with whom we ought to be in fellowship; we are not going to window dress and put on appearances; nor are we going to whitewash and excuse ourselves. We’re going to be honest about ourselves with them. We are willing to give up our spiritual privacy, pocket our pride, and risk our reputations for the sake of being open and transparent with our brothers in Christ. It means, too, that we are not going to cherish any wrong feeling in our hearts about another, but we are first gong to claim deliverance from it from God and put it right with the one concerned. As we walk this way, we shall find that we shall have fellowship with one another at an altogether new level, and we shall not love one another less, but infinitely more.