Anyone who has raised a child understands the difference between relationship and fellowship. A parent has a permanent relationship with his/her child. But fellowship with a child means the parent and the child are enjoying their relationship. And though their relationship is eternal, their fellowship is not. A father and his son have a permanent relationship, but unless they spend time together sharing with one another, they will not have much fellowship.
The apostle John wrote one book about how to have an eternal relationship with God – the Gospel of John (John 20:31). And he wrote another book about how to enjoy that relationship, or how to have fellowship with God – First John (1 John 1:3-4). Dr. Anderson explains that First John is not about whether one has an eternal relationship with God, but it is about how to enjoy that relationship by having fellowship with God.
And enjoying fellowship with God is what Dr. Anderson calls MAXIMUM JOY.