But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
I love John’s first epistle, and I especially love this verse. What a beautiful summation of a profound truth. It reminds me, too, of a sweet time in my life when I experienced this verse firsthand. I was nineteen, and in the midst of forming the friendships that are my dearest today. 1 John 1:7 was the theme verse for our residence hall, and it was perfect. Over the last year, the Holy Spirit had completely transformed my heart and mind, and He was faithful to give me friends who walked each step of the journey with me. The intimate fellowship we experienced as a result of our mutual transformation was, and is, precious. Up to that point, I had never been quite so known.
It started, though, with a realigning of my heart. The link between sanctification and community cannot be understated. Real fellowship cannot happen in the darkness of sin and selfishness. Our fallen nature is severed not only from God, but from one another. We long to know and be known, but that kind of connection is impossible unless we are recreated. How many relationships have fallen prey to pride, secrecy, or anger? Only the love of Jesus transforming my heart can enable me to love others as I should.
The fellowship John writes about comes only as we walk in the light. As we bring all we are and have to the feet of Jesus, we will find that not only are we free to approach God, but we are free in relationships with one another. And the intimacy we find as we together share in the life of the Trinity is one of life’s greatest joys. It is difficult and sometimes painful, for it requires constant humility that sometimes takes the form of an apology or a tearful confession.
But it is there in that place of humble transparency that we really come to be known. That kind of fellowship, I can tell you, is freeing and beautiful.