The Berean Expositor
Volume 22 - Page 70 of 214
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A Fourfold fellowship.
The doctrine of Christ (concluded).
p. 19
"That which we have seen and heard declared we unto you, that ye also may have
fellowship with us" (I John 1: 3).
The word "handled" here reminds us of the passage in Luke's Gospel:--
"Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said
unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My
hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. HANDLE Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh
and bones as ye see Me have" (Luke 24: 36-39).
John tells us in his first epistle that the spirit of antichrist denies that Jesus Christ came
in the flesh, whereas the declaration that He had been seen, heard and handled was proof
that he had so come. From the second epistle we gather that it is impossible to have
fellowship with any who deny this essential fact:--
"For many deceivers are entered into the world who confess not Jesus Christ coming
in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist . . . . . If there come any of you, and bring
not this doctrine (see verse 9), receive him not into your house, neither say to him, Hail.
For he who says to him, Hail, HAS FELLOWSHIP with his works of evil"
(II John 7-11).
By giving the word rendered "partaker" its correct translation, the two passages,
I John 1: 1-3  and  II John 7-11,  are brought into vivid contrast. Fellowship is
essentially bound up with the personal Christ.
While we may deplore the many false interpretations of Scripture that exist, we fail to
find one passage of Scripture that states that the basis of fellowship is agreement in
doctrine. What we do see, in the teaching of these two passages, is that there is a distinct
cleavage between those who hold the doctrine of Christ and those who deny it. Those
who deny it "have not God" and are forerunners of antichrist.
This, then, is the first basis of Christian fellowship. There is ample room for the
distinctive ministries of Peter, James, John and Paul, for, though they may have received
different messages concerning Him, and have worked in different spheres, they all
believed and preached the same Christ.