1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Social ties are inevitable either for good or for evil; some are made for us and others are made by us. All religions have made use of the social tendency, the social necessity, which distinguish human nature. Christianity adapts itself to the highest form of the tendency. The Divine Christ has made himself the Associate, the Friend, the Brother of mankind.
I. THE FELLOWSHIP OF FAITH IN CHRIST'S REDEMPTION. The work of Christ was perfect in itself, but its benefits are only to be enjoyed through spiritual association and affinity with Christ. Union of heart and soul with Christ is the condition of true salvation. Christians are built on Christ as the foundation, grafted into Christ as into the vine, joined to Christ as to the body, partakers of Christ as of spiritual bread, friends with Christ as by a congenial attachment.
II. THE FELLOWSHIP OF SPIRIT WITH CHRIST'S CHARACTER. The frequent expression, "in Christ," shows what was the view of the Lord himself and of his apostles concerning the identification of the people of Jesus with their Lord. It is their aspiration to be like him, to have the mind which was in him. They are followers, disciples, imitators, representatives of him whose name they bear. Sympathizing with Christ's obedience and submission to the Father, they are practically and powerfully and beneficially affected by this sympathy.
III. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE ACTIVE LIFE WITH THE WORK OF CHRIST. Christians recognize their Master's devotion to the highest interests of men, his unwearied efforts, his unflinching sacrifice. In communion with him they make their life one of service, of consecration. In motive the Christian life is service to Christ; in result it is service to man. How many a life has been rescued by the cross from selfishness and from sin, and made a life of devoted and successful benevolence!
IV. THE FELLOWSHIP OF HEART AND OF ACTION WITH CHRIST'S PEOPLE. Union with the Head is the basis of communion with the members; yet by this last the former is fostered and perfected. Congeniality and sympathy of disposition and aim, worship and ordinances in common, mutual aid, conjoined endeavours and testimony, - these are the results, and, at the same time, the means of communion with Christ.
V. FELLOWSHIP PROSPECTIVELY IN CHRIST'S INHERITANCE. The Lord ever encouraged his disciples, who shared his humiliation, with the prospect that they should share his exaltation. It was his promise, "Because I live, ye shall live also;" it was his prayer, "Where I am, there may also my people be." Fellowship with such a Being cannot be for a season, it must be imperishable. To be "ever with the Lord" is the bright and joyous expectation of all who honour and who love his appearing. This shall be the crown of communion. Then in the fullest sense shall his disciples and friends be truly "partakers of Christ." - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.