GOD’S SIMPLE FORMULA FOR FELLOWSHIP 1 John 1:1-10
“Fellowship”, we like that word. It has a nice ring to it. It is Baptist for food. Someone said it is two fellows in a small ship. In truth, the word fellowship means “things held in common.” It implies standing together on common ground. Imagine the glory of this statement, “God desires to have a close, personal relationship with you, where you and God stand together on common ground.” Sounds good doesn’t it? However, to many it sounds impossible! John doesn’t think so! In fact, he tells us exactly how this can take place. He shows how close communion and intimate fellowship with the Father can be the normal Christian experience, instead of some mystical thing we only hear about, or see in the lives of others.
We can experience this “fullness of joy” that John refers to in verse 4. Look from these verses, how you can draw near to God, and remain there in sweet, wonderful fellowship. Here is God’s Formula For Fellowship.
I. WE MUST RECOGNIZE OUR SINS v. 8, 10
A. True fellowship with God hinges on our ability to admit our sin. (Owning up!) God forgives sin, but it must be admitted before it can be forgiven. We must look at sin as God does.
B. The world’s attitude concerning sin.
1. It does not exist. (God says – Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22; Eccl. 7:20)
2. It is an accident in the life of an evolving man. (This is totally opposite from what God says! Man did not evolve, he devolved from the image of God into sin! Gen. 1:26)
C. Before sin can be dealt with, it must be seen as an affront to God. Until sin is recognized as a personal attack on God Himself, it can never be forgiven and there can be no real fellowship with God! ( Self-help movements and
guilt treatment techniques. These are attempts at dealing with sin’s guilt, and at the same time ignore the reality of sin!) As long as sin can be treated as a mistake or a sickness, there is no need to turn to God, no need for Jesus, no
need for salvation, no need for the Bible, and no need for man to admit that he is a sinner! ( This was the Rich Young Ruler’s problem – Matt. 19:16-22)
D. Here is the world’s viewpoint concerning dealing with sin:
1. Evolution – Man is on his way up! Sin isn’t an issue.
2. Education – Man can be taught to live without sin.
3. Science – Solve the problems and mysteries of nature and man can be set free from sin.
4. Sociology – Sin is the by-product of an unhealthy environment.
5. Psychology – Talk about yourself long enough, focus on what you need, and eventually you can eliminate your own guilt.
6. Religion – Learn the doctrines, practice the rituals and do good things and you will feel better about yourself and God will accept you. Sadly many church members fall into this line of thinking.
E. None of these work, because none of these deal with the problem of sin. After all is said and done, man is still a sinner. There is only one plan that works to remove the guilt of sin.
God’s Plan – Admit your sin, trust God totally through Jesus Christ His Son and He will remove both your sin and your guilt. He will deliver you and it won’t cost $175.00 per hour, like the Doctors charge.
II. WE MUST REPENT OF OUR SIN v.9
A. If we will recognize our sin and confess it to God, and truly repent of that sin, He will absolutely forgive us and cleanse our lives – Heb. 8:12; Isa. 43:25; Isa. 1:18)
B. What is repentance? It is a total change of heart and mind resulting in a change of direction and action. True repentance always results in a radically changed relationship with God!
C. When we truly repent, (i.e. leave the sin behind and walk away!), our sin is forever removed from us and the guilt is replaced with peace and joy.
III. v.7 WE MUST REVEAL OUR SINS
A. The difference between relationship and fellowship. Sin cannot undo a believer’s relationship with God, but it can destroy his fellowship with God. ( Adam in the Garden – Gen. 3)
B. Many believers are attempting to hide sin in their lives. They have sin and they act as if everything is all right. They are lying! They lie to themselves, they lie to others and they lie to God! Eventually, they begin to believe the lie themselves. At that point, they deny their sin and by doing so, call God a liar – v. 10!
C. This is extremely dangerous! You will never prosper with hidden sin in your life – Pro. 28:13. Sin must be brought out into the open, when it is, we can have pure, honest fellowship with others, ourselves and most importantly with God.
D. Light – Reveals error! This is why many people do not attend church regularly. Because their sin is exposed to the light of the Word of God, the Holy Ghost brings conviction upon your heart and you are forced to see your sins for what they are – an abomination to God. People fear exposure, so they stay away from the light, (Light and a dirty glass!) (2 kinds of conviction – General and specific. General is a feeling of guilt for no particular reason. Usually satanic! Specific is always from God’s Spirit. God desires to fellowship with you as with a Son or Daughter. Therefore, He calls to you in a direct fashion revealing specific sin.
E. Before sin can be dealt with, it must be exposed to the light. (What you been hiding? Whatever it is, be notified that God knows! He wants you to get honest!)
IV. WE MUST RELATE OUR SINS v.9
A. v. 9 Deals with the matter of confession. (As widely as it is known.)
B. What is confession? Simply naming your sin to God, specifically, and agreeing with Him concerning the nature of that sin. ( Present Tense!)
Sin ought to be confessed immediately. (You wouldn’t wait all day to get an eyelash out of your eye. Would you?)
C. A true Spirit filled life is not one that is sinless. It is a life lived in close fellowship with God. (The Spiritual Rollercoaster) If we would learn the principle of instant confession, we would live more consistent lives. ( People with mountains of unconfessed sin, lying like heaps of dirty laundry in the corners of our hearts.)
V. WE MUST REST IN THE LORD v.9
A. The best news in the world, for the Christian, is that there is a place where we can deal with our sins. A place where our guilt can be exchanged for peace. All men are looking for such a place, (Where they seek), Jesus offers it freely. It is in His Blood. Jesus is the answer.
B. Faithful – He always forgives and cleanses. No matter how often you come, He will receive you and cleanse you.
( He also forgets – Ps. 103:12)
C. Just – He blots out our sin and declares us “Not guilty!” He will never hold it over us again! (We are seen as the Son Himself – Rom. 4:24!)
D. He will do it for whosoever will! (John 6:37; Matt. 11:28; Rev. 22:17)
Conclusion: The first and primary step toward fellowship with God is the admission of sin. You see, you cannot save, nor cleanse yourself. Jesus has already done the work, He simply asks for you to respond to Him by faith. When you do, you will be received, forgiven, cleansed and in fellowship with him.
Victory Baptist Church 06 November 2019 victory palmetto.com