How can you experience a deeper fellowship with God? How can you grow in that fellowship? The gospel of John was written so that people might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that believing they might have life through his name (John 20:31). In contrast, John wrote his first epistle to Christians so we might enter into the fullness of the eternal life that we possess (1 John 1:3). The gospel focuses on eternal life while the epistle focuses on fellowship with God. Fellowship is the essence of eternal life (1 John 1:3-4; John 17:3).
The letters of John give us a barometer of fellowship. The letters describe the nature of our fellowship with God; what things increase our fellowship, and what decreases our fellowship.
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