This We Know: Walking in Genuine Fellowship with God

John 1:5-2:2 tells us how to rightly view God, what wrecks our fellowship with Him, and how Christ restores it.

1 John 1:5-2:2 Sermon Guide

For believers, the Christian life is intended to be one of authenticity, intimacy, and vitality through true fellowship with the one true God. Elder Steve Abney continues our series, This We Know: A Journey Through 1 John, by emphasizing the goodness and “God-ness” of God, the deceitfulness, darkness, and destruction of sin, and a charge to “walk in the light as He Himself is in the light” (1 John 1:7a).

Point #1: Genuine fellowship starts with God. (1 John 1:5)

As Steve stresses, John is not questioning his audience’s adoption into the family of God, but their fellowship with God. John’s emphatic assertion of “God is light” was intended to remind them of God’s purity, perfection, and truthfulness. Ultimately, we cannot fully understand ourselves without first and foremost understanding God as He has revealed Himself through His Word and His Son Jesus Christ.

  1. What other words does the Bible use to describe God?
  2. What words does the Bible use to describe sinful mankind apart from a right relationship through Christ Jesus?
  3. In spite of the contrast between us, Christ has made a way to close the chasm between fallen man and a holy God. How does the relationship and fellowship God offers to you comfort and convict you today?

Point #2: Genuine fellowship is destroyed by sin. (1 John 1:6-10)

Although John’s audience may be saved by Christ, they are not experiencing the fullness of life and freedom found in walking with Christ. Likewise, when our conduct is inconsistent with the character of Christ and the Word of God, we are not walking with Christ. As Steve aptly reminds us, “No amount of Christian activity can overcome active, unrepentant sin.” Wherever and whenever we walk in the darkness, the right response is to confess our sin, remember the cross, repent, and follow Christ.

  1. Coping is when we deal with sin through our own efforts, rather than through the past, present, and future work of Jesus Christ. Common coping strategies include turning to alcohol, food, overmedication, consumerism, overworking, or social media to help and heal what only Christ can. Who or what are you most prone to turn to instead of God in response to sin, suffering, or stress?
  2. How would you respond to someone who believes, “I’m saved because I’m a good person”?

Point #3: Genuine fellowship is restored in Christ. (1 John 2:1-2)

in 1 John 2:1, John follows a tough treatment of sin with the tender address, “My little children”. Ultimately, his message is not one of condemnation, but commending to them Christ’s compassion and the sufficiency of the cross to cover and cleanse them of all their sins.

  1. What has unconfessed sin cost you in your life in the past and / or is costing you in the present?
  2. What “untruths” about God, yourself, and community group are you believing that are keeping you from confession, repentance, and a restoration of right fellowship?


  1. Read 1 John 2:3-6 before next Sunday’s message!
  2. Steve provides a compelling survey of various encounters and responses of men with God throughout the Bible. Read the passages he mentioned – Moses (Exodus 3:6), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:28), Simon Peter (Luke 5:8), the disciples at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5), and John (Revelation 1:17).
  3. With your community group, discuss and confess areas where sin has destroyed or is destroying your fellowship with God. Pray for and encourage one another with the truths shared in 1 John 1:7, 1 John 1:9, and 1 John 2:1-2.