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Bible Passage 2 John 1

Walking in Truth 12 : Fellowship of the Saints

  • Tony Raker
Date preached October 31, 2021

The Apostle John addresses believers in Christ to purpose one-to-one fellowship.

2 John 1:12: “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

  • Grammatical Usage: “joy” or in the Greek, “chara” meaning, “calm delight”; “complete” or “pléroó” meaning, “full; accomplished.”
  • Literal Interpretation: Though I have many things to write to you, I don’t want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you and talk face to face so that our delight may be full, accomplished and realized.
  • Contextual/Comparison: God keeps His Word: God continually uses His Word. For the saints of God, there are seven distinct traits of Biblical fellowship found in Philippians 4:21-23:
  1. The fellowship of the saints is an inclusive fellowship where every person matters.
    1. Greet every saint ….” The NIV mistranslates, “Greet all the saints,” as if it were a blanket greeting. But Paul uses the singular, meaning, “Greet each one individually.” It’s not generic; he doesn’t want anyone excluded.
    2. At the moment you trust in Christ, the Holy Spirit baptizes you into the one body of Christ, made up of every person worldwide who believes in Him (1 Cor. 12:13). The Holy Spirit sovereignly places you in Christ’s body as a member with a vital function to perform.
  1. The fellowship of the saints is a holy fellowship, set apart from the world.
    1. Saints” means “holy ones.” The New Testament is clear that every believer in Jesus Christ is a saint. Paul even addressed the immature Corinthians as “saints by calling” (1 Cor. 1:2).
    2. God has set us apart from the world unto Himself.
    3. Being a saint is a position that is to result in appropriate practice. Our position is in Christ, set apart unto God. Our practice is to grow in godly behavior.
  1. The fellowship of the saints is a Christ-centered fellowship.
    1. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus ….” That is to say, we are set apart unto God through our being in union with Christ Jesus.
    2. The things of Christ draw us together. The local church is not just to be a social club, but our supreme desire and goal is to know Christ more deeply (3:10). When we come together, He should be the focus of our fellowship.
  1. The fellowship of the saints is a family fellowship.
    1. The brethren … greet you.” We have a common Father; we are now members of the same family. John says, “Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
    2. Every person born of God through faith in Christ is a member of this family that transcends social barriers, ethnic barriers, and national barriers.
    3. Families aren’t perfect. Everyone is in process. But you hang together and care for one another because of the family bond in Christ.
  1. The fellowship of the saints is a supportive fellowship.
    1. The brethren who are with me greet you.” Where was Paul? In prison.
    2. Paul was strong and able to stand alone for the Lord when he needed to (2 Tim. 4:16-17). But he also appreciated the ministry of those who sometimes put their reputations or even their lives on the line to minister to him.
    3. Even though we sometimes have our differences with other Christians, we need each other. We are to bear one another’s burdens. We are to stand with those who are hurting and give support, just as these brethren did with Paul.
  1. The fellowship of the saints is a growing fellowship.
    1. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.” The term does not necessarily mean Caesar’s immediate family, but those in civil service, those in the Praetorian Guard and in other positions who had met Christ through Paul’s witness as a prisoner (1:13). The gospel was spreading to the most pagan corners of that society.
    2. God may have you working in a wicked environment. You may be thinking, “I wish I could work in a more godly, or at least, a neutral place where I wasn’t surrounded by such raw paganism.” But you need to view it as your mission field, a great opportunity for the light of the gospel to shine into that dark place through your witness.
  1. The fellowship of the saints is a grace-oriented fellowship.
    1. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” This is a closing benediction, but it is more than just a nice way of saying, “Good-bye.”
    2. Grace means God’s unmerited favor shown to us who deserve His judgment.
    3. Grace ministers to the spirit (4:23), or inner person, our essential being. It is in our spirit that we commune with God. So many of our troubles can be traced to being defiled in spirit (2 Cor. 7:1): bitterness, greed, lust, envy, or malice.
    4. Without grace, we could not grow in holiness, as we are selfish and sinful that if God gave us what we deserve, we all would have been wiped out long ago.
    5. We are constantly in need of God’s grace; otherwise, we would be consumed.

Commit yourself to the fellowship of the saints by being faithful to your local fellowship; ministering one to another; involved in both your personal and church outreach by presenting the Gospel of salvation as well as being true to the study and application of the Word of God which both sustains and encourages no matter life’s circumstances.

  • Conclusion: Have you committed to fellowship with the saints of God?