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God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1.9, ESV)

This verse struck me in a song my boys were listening to. What does it mean that we have been called into the fellowship of God’s Son?

Does it mean that God called us into fellowship with Jesus? Certainly he has, praise him! I want to enjoy communion with Christ more and more! This is the way some translators render this passage.

But I think the translators of the ESV have served us very well here with their literal translation. It makes clear that God has called us into Christ’s own fellowship with God! God’s Son is the subject whose fellowship with God we share in, not merely the object with whom we have fellowship.

Believers pray to God not merely as the unutterably transcendent God that he is, nor simply as Lord of all, but as “our Father.” Both we and Jesus are included in the “our” as we call him “our Father.” But we can only call him ours because this “only Son of God” allows us and invites us to pray in his own name! We are so united to Christ through Holy Spirit-wrought faith that God loves us just as he loves his one and only begotten, perfectly righteous Son!

For more about how we have begun to participate in and reflect God the Son’s fellowship with God the Father, I highly recommend you check out “Life in the Trinity” by Donald Fairbairn.