FELLOWSHIP BY FORGIVENESS
When we experience God's forgiveness, it affects the way we look at others. When we realize that our relationship with God is based on mercy, it helps us to treat others in a more merciful manner.
Forgiveness creates a bond that unites believers, because being forgiven helps us understand that it's all about mercy, it's all about grace, and without God's help we would doomed to the darkness. When believers who are walking in the light get together, there's an immediate connection. Forgiveness from God brings people together.
John says that walking in the light goes hand-in-hand with fellowship and forgiveness. If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
There's a stereotype that you've probably seen on TV programs. That sanctimonious person that thinks that because he is right with God, he's better than everyone else. I've known religious people who think they're better than everyone else, but I can assure you: they're not right with God. They're not walking in the light. They are, in John's words, deceiving themselves and making God out to be a liar — and they are stumbling in darkness.
You can be forgiven because his goal for us goes far beyond merely wiping the slate clean—he wants us to learn to walk in the light. He wants you to live in a right relationship with him and in a right relationship with his people. He wants you to experience his power, his wisdom, his presence, his fullness — he wants you to walk in the light as he is in the light. Once you've become accustomed to living in his light, your friendships will grow deeper and last longer while proving God’s grace and mercy is sufficient for fellowship to flourish.