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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: Acts and the Larger Epistles

Chapter 64 - 1 Corinthians 1:9 - Sonship and Fellowship Light & Truth: Acts and the Larger Epistles by Bonar, Horatius


God's faithfulness is our resting place. His true and unchanging love is our security. From first to last it is with a "faithful" God that we have to do. The eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. There is none like the God of Jeshurun,—the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.

It is this faithful God who calls us; saves us; blesses us; keeps us. It is He who begins the good work in us, and will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. He will keep what we have committed to Him.

This calling of His is often referred to. That which He calls us out of is noted: "Who bath called you out of darkness" (2 Peter 2:9). That to which He calls is also noted: "Called unto liberty" (Galatians 5:13); "called to glory" (2 Peter 1:3); "called you unto his kingdom and glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:12). That by which He calls us is also noted: "Called by grace" (Galatians 1:15); "called by our gospel" (2 Thessalonians 2:14). But in the passage before us it is simply said that we are called into the fellowship of His Son. What does this mean?

Fellowship does not merely mean friendship, or converse, or sympathy; it means "partnership," sharing what belongs to others,—"all that I have is thine." Thus the word is used, Luke 5:10, "which were partners with Simon." There is not merely partaking of something as a gift, but sharing, as common property, what another possesses. It is business partnership; family partnership; filial partnership; conjugal partnership; the partnership of adoption or heritage. Our text embraces all these, when it speaks of our being called to the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ; just as elsewhere it is said that we "are made partakers of Christ" (Hebrew 3:14). So that intercourse with Christ is only part of the boundless privilege which fellowship implies.

Let us consider this fellowship or partnership with Christ in the following aspects,—

I. Partnership with Him in what He was. He was crucified, He died, was buried, rose again. In all these we have part. Not that we helped Him to do His work and to bear His cross; not that we were joint sin-bearers, assisting Him to save us. In all this He was alone, suffering the wrath alone. But still we are said to be crucified with Him, to have died with Him, to be buried with Him, to have risen with Him. One cross, one death, one grave, one resurrection. Such is our fellowship with Him, that God looks on us as one with Him in all these things; treats us as having passed through what He did, as if we had actually paid the eternal penalty, and were entitled to the eternal righteousness. In believing we enter on this partnership, and into all the benefits of His death and resurrection. As one with Him, all these are ours.

II. Partnership with Him in what He is. He has not only risen, but He has ascended; He has been seated on the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. We share His present dignity; for we are said to be seated with Him in heavenly places, and are treated by God as such. His ascension is ours; His dignity and glory are ours. We are still no doubt here on earth; but we are called to feel, and act, and live as those who are already at the right hand of God. Simple forgiveness is not all our portion. We are raised higher than this; raised into high favor with God, and made to share in the fullness which belongs to Christ as the risen and ascended and glorified Son of man. Besides all this, we share His name, and are called sons of God. We share the Father's love,—"that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them." We share His offices;—we are prophets, priests, and kings; heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ Jesus.

III. Partnership with Him in what He shall be. Much of His glory is yet in reserve; for now we see not yet all things put under Him. The day of glory and dominion; the day of the crown, and the throne, and the royal robe is coming; and in all these we are to have fellowship with Him; as one with Him; members of His body, sharing the glory of the head; as the bride of Christ, sharing the glory of the Bridegroom; one with Him in all His honour throughout eternity.

Thus, then, there is complete fellowship with Christ. It is to this that we are called by a faithful God; and is it not a high and glorious calling? Fellowship in His cross, His grave, His resurrection, His throne, His glory! All this faith secures to us; and of all this the Holy Spirit bears witness to us. Believing, we are reconciled, saved, accepted, blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.

Let us walk worthy of it; as men who really believe it; happy, holy, unworldly, zealous, generous, loving. Let us carry the consciousness of our calling into every thing,—great or small; into business, daily life, recreations, reading, education, everything; maintaining our true position before men; manifesting our proper character; letting the world know our prospects, and doing nothing inconsistent with what we profess to be now, and with what we shall be when the Lord comes.