The Apostle John delights to remind us that as children of God, who have entered into eternal union with Christ Jesus, we also have the right to enjoy intimate fellowship with the Father on a daily basis. And this close communion is possible with the Father and the Son, by means of the indwelling Spirit. As we abide in Him and He in us, we are enabled to enjoy Spirit to spirit communion: truly our fellowship IS with the Father, and with His Son – that our joy may be full. 1 John 1:3.
Although intimate fellowship with God is the right of all believers, it is hindered by sin. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. So we are called to walk in the light as He is in the light so that we may fellowship one with the other, for light can have no fellowship with darkness. God is also holy and has a hatred of sin, and a holy God will never fellowship when sin is present.
Although we are forgiven sinners, and in unbreakable and eternal union with Christ, there are times when we fall into sin and every sin places a barrier between God and us. We are told that we can enjoy fellowship with a holy God, but we have to be holy too! And though the power of sin has been broken in our life at the cross, there are times when we fall into sin, causing our fellowship to be broken, and so here we discover ourselves to be in a ‘Catch 22′ situation.
Every time we sin, fellowship is broken and needs to be restored and John outlines the fellowship formula for God’s disobedient children to be restored back into full fellowship and sweet communion with their Father. And John outlines this most important concept, at the start of his first epistle.
Over the years Christians have made three false assumptions to do with fellowship with God, but John addresses each claim in his fellowship formula, in three important verses: verse 6, verse 8 and verse 10. In verse 6 we read:- If we say.. In verse 8 we read:- If we say.. and in verse 10 we read:- If we say..
Verse 6 reads:- If we say we have fellowship with Him, and yet keep on walking in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. This is like saying.. I am in fellowship with God no matter how I live. Well, this is wrong and it’s a lie, for this is not practicing the truth. God is light and to fellowship with light, we must walk in the light as He is in the light. 1 John 1:6.
Verse 8 reads:- If we say that we have no sin (and this is referring to the old nature), we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. This is saying.. I have fellowship because I have no sin ‘thing…’ This is saying I have no sin nature, or I have got rid of my sin nature. This is saying my sin-nature no longer exists and I no longer sin. This is wrong and a lie, for this is not practicing the truth. It is wrong because while we are on earth, the sin nature is very much alive, and John is telling us that this attitude is self-delusion. It is deceiving ourselves and means there is no truth within us, a serious situation indeed. 1 John 1:8.
Verse 10 says:- If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. This is saying that we have managed to overcome forever the sin nature in our lives. Like verse 8, this is an attitude of self-delusion, for we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:10.
But John continues that we as believers can walk in the light, and in verse 7 we are given three steps:- First, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light. Second, we have fellowship one with another, and Third, the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanses us from all sin. So what does 1 John chapter 1 tell us to do about re-establishing fellowship? 1 John 1:7
Well in verse 9 we are given the one condition to cleansing:- Confess your sins: for if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Though we may step into the shadow of darkness and sin, confession of our sins to our heavenly Father will cleanse us from all unrighteousness and draw us back into the shining light of His glorious presence. Let us seek to walk in the light and He is in the light so that we too may enjoy fellowship one with another enjoy sweet fellowship with our heavenly Father, for indeed... our fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. These things are written so that our joy may be made complete.
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