Tonight I want to begin to look at a word from the Scripture that is used often, but I wonder if we truly understand it. To fellowship means to have something in common. While we as Christians have many things in common, the one essential ingredient of Christian fellowship is Christ Himself. We can have fellowship with one another, but we also can have fellowship with the Father and with His Son. Our Ďunioní with Christ is our "son-ship" and that never changes. However, our "communion" with Christ is our "fellowship" and that can be hindered by sin. "Son-ship is a matter of life and death, but "fellowship" is a matter of light and darkness. In the first epistle of John we find the subject of fellowship explained in great detail. Over the next few evenings, we will see the conditions for fellowship, our conduct in fellowship, the characteristics of fellowship, some cautions in fellowship, and the consequences of fellowship. Tonight we want to consider the conditions for fellowship.
I. Introduction 1:1-4
A. Christís Eternity, Humanity, & Deity v1-2
1. That which "was" - already in existence not came into existence.
2. "From the beginning" refers back to creation Ge. l:l, "In the beginning God..."
3. Certainly God is a spiritual being but John recounts the experience of the incarnation.
4. God became a man - He was born into this world through the miraculous virgin birth.
5. As a result He could be seen, heard, and touched. 6. He "was with the Father" - note Jn. l:l, "The Word was with God and the Word was God" Ph. 2:6, He was "equal with God"
B. Johnís message of fellowship and joy. v3-4
1. As we said previously, fellowship means to have something in common.
2. It is like a partnership which involves three different relationships.
a. Fellowship with believers
b. Fellowship with God
c. Fellowship with Jesus Christ
3. We will expand on this theme of fellowship throughout our study.
4. It means much more than salvation!
5. The result of true fellowship.
II. Conditions for fellowship 1:5-2:2
A. Conformity to a standard (5-7)
1. The contrast: God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
a. Light represents holiness, purity, and glory.
b. Darkness represents evil and wickedness.
c. With God there are no gray areas or shadows.
2. The conflict: Our talk vs our walk
a. If we say we have fellowship with God while we walk in darkness - we do not the truth!
b. Walking in darkness refers to a life characterized by sin.
c. If we say one thing and yet our lives reflect the opposite then we are liars.
3. The correct condition results in:
a. Consistent walk
b. Common fellowship
c. Clean life
B. Confession of Sin (1:8-2:2)
1. The Claim. v8, 10
a. Of no sin nature 
1) Not talking about acts of sin.
2) This is a complete denial of the principle of indwelling sin.
3) This is a denial of Scripture. NOTE: Ro. 3:23, Ro. 5:12
b. Of no sin practice 
1) Here is a claim that we have not committed sin.
2) This is such an outlandish claim which could only be made by redefining sin.
3) Calling sin - errors in judgment or just mistakes.
4) However, no such distinction can be made in Scripture.
c. The result of such claims.
1) We deceive ourselves.
2) We make God a liar.
3) His truth, His Word is not in us - - there can be no fellowship with God
2. The Confession v 9
a. Confess = to say the same thing about sin that God does.
b. Character of God.
1) God is faithful
2) God is just or righteous
c. Cleansing from God
1) NOTE: John is writing to believers - we need confession and cleansing daily!
2) God forgives and cleanses
3) NOTE: Commission of sin by a believer interrupts his fellowship with God - but confession of sin restores that fellowship.
3. The Cure. 2:1-2
a. Sin and the Scriptures.
1) One might wrongly assume that we could excuse our sin because it is our nature, and after all, God will forgive if we confess.
2) John makes it very clear that that is not conclusion we ought to arrive at.
3) Rather bluntly he says, "Sin not".
4) "My little children" reminds them of their new life in God's family and since weíve been born again, we ought to live according to our new nature - not our old!
b. Sin and the Savior
1) He is our supporter -our advocate - He's on our side!
2) He is the satisfaction for sin - His death on Calvary paid the price of sin's penalty.
3) He is the Savior of the whole world - salvation is available to all who will receive it by faith.
Conclusion: What are the conditions for fellowship with God? There are only two:
1. Conformity to a Standard: Jesus Christ
2. Confession of Sin: to Our Savior
Are we in fellowship with God tonight? If we have met His conditions we are. Is He our standard or is the world? Have we kept our account in order? Daily confession of our sins is necessary for daily cleansing!