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Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-2786-X
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 5 of 49 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST JOHN

MESSAGE FIVE

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE DIVINE LIFE

Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:3-7

In previous messages we have considered the first of the basic matters in this Epistle—the divine life. Now we come to the second basic matter, and this is the fellowship of the divine life. Actually, the fellowship of the divine life is the topic of the entire Epistle of 1 John. In the Gospel of John Jesus Christ is revealed as the divine life for us to receive. When we believe in Him, He comes into us, and we have Him as life within. As the continuation of the Gospel of John, this Epistle shows us that after receiving the divine life, we may have the fellowship of life as the issue of the divine life. The fellowship of the divine life is the real enjoyment of the divine life. In other words, if we would experience the divine life, we need to pay close attention to the fellowship of this life.

In 1:3 John says, “That which we have seen and heard we report also to you, that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed the fellowship which is ours is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” Verse 1 speaks of “have heard” and then “have seen.” Here it is vice versa. In receiving revelation, hearing is the basic thing. But in preaching, in reporting, seeing should be the base. What we preach should be what we have laid hold of and experienced of the things we have heard.

The apostles have heard and seen the eternal life. Then they report it to the believers that they may also hear and see it. By virtue of the eternal life, the apostles have enjoyed fellowship with the Father and with His Son, the Lord Jesus. They desire that the believers may also enjoy this fellowship.

THE ISSUE AND FLOW OF THE DIVINE LIFE

The Greek word for fellowship, koinonia, means joint participation, common participation. It is the issue of the eternal life, and is actually the flow of the eternal life within all the believers, who have received and possess the divine life. It is illustrated by the flow of the water of life in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). Hence, all genuine believers are in this fellowship (Acts 2:42). It is carried on by the Spirit in our regenerated spirit. Hence, it is called “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor. 13:14) and “fellowship of [our] spirit” (Phil. 2:1). It is in this fellowship of the eternal life that we the believers participate in all the Father and the Son are and have done for us; that is, we enjoy the love of the Father and the grace of the Son by virtue of the fellowship of the Spirit. Such a fellowship was first the apostles’ portion in enjoying the Father and the Son through the Spirit. Hence, it is called “the fellowship of the apostles” (Acts 2:42) and “the fellowship which is ours [the apostles’]” in 1 John 1:3, a fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. It is a divine mystery. This mysterious fellowship of the eternal life should be considered the subject of this Epistle.

Fellowship is a common participation, a joint participation. Therefore, to have fellowship is to have a corporate participation in something. The fellowship of the divine life is the issue and flow of the divine life. Because the divine life is organic, rich, moving, and active, it has a particular issue, a certain kind of outcome. The issue, the outcome, of the divine life is the fellowship of life.

The fellowship of the divine life is clearly portrayed in Revelation 22:1. In this verse we see that in the New Jerusalem the river of the water of life flows out from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The throne of God and of the Lamb is the throne of the redeeming God, the Lamb-God. In Genesis 1:1 we have God, but in Revelation 22:1 we have God with the Lamb. In Genesis we have the creating God, but in Revelation we have the redeeming God. Out of this redeeming God as the source flows the river of water of life. The flow of the river of water of life is the fellowship of life. This means that fellowship is the outflow of the divine life from within the redeeming God.

According to the picture in Revelation, the river in the New Jerusalem flows downward in a spiral until it reaches the twelve gates of the city. By this we can see that the entire city of the New Jerusalem is supplied by the flow of this living water; that is, it is supplied by the fellowship of life. The fellowship of the divine life flows out of God and through His people in order to reach every part of the Body of Christ, which will consummate in the New Jerusalem.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE SPIRIT

The fellowship of the divine life, or the flow of the divine life, is the fellowship of the Spirit. Second Corinthians 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Here we see that the love of God is the source, that the grace of Christ is the course, and that the fellowship of the Spirit is the flow of the course. It is this flow that brings the grace of Christ and the love of God to us for our enjoyment. Therefore, the fellowship of the divine life is called the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.


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