“We declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)
Why share the faith we have in Christ? So that the fellowship we have with God that Jesus makes possible is something others can have as well.
Many of us have been raised to think that the central part of being a Christian is belonging to a church. Being a “member” was a sign of respectability and an important part of American life only a few decades ago. Many of us grew up with that notion.
But over the last few decades a lot has changed. If someone asks, “Do you belong to a church?” it may be followed by, “Why?” or even, “Really?” Many have seen the institution decline, heard leaders proclaim hate and bigotry from the pulpit, or seen stories of scandals. Why belong to a church?
But the Bible proclaims a reality that is deeper and older than the struggles of the American church. In 1 John we read a letter from someone who knows Jesus loves them. In Christ they have discovered a living and vibrant relationship with the God who made the universe. It has been life changing and even worldview changing for him.
Part of that reality is that once someone discovers that the Christian faith is more about a relationship with God than it is about belonging to an institution that there is a deep joy that emerges from within the believer’s heart. That joy presses outward and the same love that is received from God in Christ now presses out to others. The goal: that others know and discover the love and grace of the God that made them as well.
This is the Christian life. We are loved and we love. And we show and tell others about the place where love begins – within the heart of God.