HOW DOES THE BELIEVER HAVE TRUE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD?
1 John 1:1-7

I. WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THE FELLOWSHIP IS POSSIBLE!

    A. 1 John 1:3.."Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

    B. So the basis having this fellowship is in first knowing it is truly possible and obtainable.

      1. How..through trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as one's Savior. . . then fellowship is established.

      2. Romans 10:9-10, "If thou shall confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus and believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead...thou shall be saved"

      3. 1 Corinthians 1:9 say, "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."

      4. Salvation is not some impersonal ritual that the many of the false Christian religions make it to be. It is not doing some act like joining a church, being baptized, or doing good works or deeds. It is a personal surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ in by faith accepting Him as one's personal Savior.

      5. It is impossible to be truly saved and not have fellowship with the Savior? The mark of the person who professes to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, but who if fact is a counterfeit is they have no relationship with the Savior. He is a only a concept to many and not one's personal Redeemer. It is apparent in their lives, because they do not live for the Lord, but live for themselves. Christ is not their Lord and they ignore Him in their everyday living.

II. THE BIBLE SAYS WE CAN HAVE FELLOWSHIP, AFTER TRUSTING IN CHRIST, BY WALKING IN THE LIGHT. Verses 3-7

    A. 1 John 1:3. Fellowship: (Greek word) "koinonia" means having something in common or sharing with. "A joint participation with someone else in things common to both"

      1. It means: Coming in line with God's plans.

      2. Our prayer should be "THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN."

      3. Basis of fellowship is being in a joint venture together.

        ILLUS: Years ago, in the town I lived everyone seemed to wanted a CB Club....Everybody talked about it. We ought to do this, or ought to do the other. Boy, from all the enthusiasm, it looked really good. The club was formed and everyone said this thing going to fly, wow! BUT, shortly, folks begin not to show up for meetings and events, and soon the club died. The basis of fellowship of the members was a supposed common desire to talk on the radio and to get together and do community projects, however when it came time to do them and put in the time and effort. they, they had other things that were more important.

      What do you think was the real problem? The answer is simple, they never really got going with the program because they really were not committed to the goals or purpose of the club.

      Many professing Christians the same way. They say, "I love Christ, I want a strong evangelist church, I want a Christian school, I want our children really taught in Sunday School, I want a programs for our children, I want good fellowships and socials, I want a good choir and singing, I want to see souls saved......on and on it goes."

      Yet, many folks by their actions are saying something else. I want all these things, but I want the preacher to do them, or someone else, and I will help if I can work it in my schedule, I want it if I don't have to do it! In other words they have no real commitment to see the Lord's work done. Am I right? If they were truly committed to the Lord. . . their lives would reflect that. God's goals would be their goals and being committed the the Lord they would be actively going about the Lord's work.

    B. True fellowship begins when one becomes dedicated to the program...God's pure and perfect program.

      1. It begins with a person being faithful to the program God set up.

      2. That program is the LOCAL CHURCH. Who was it that setup the local church? Do you think some professing Christians got together sometime in the past and said, "Hey, we ought to get together and form an assembly to carry on God's work and so we will have a place to worship, be taught and fellowship together." NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

        a. The "ekklesia" which is the biblical word for an assembly of believers was conceived, instituted and empowered by Jesus Christ Himself. It is His idea and His plan for believers.

        b. How was your church formed. Was it your preacher or others who saw a need for a Bible believing assembly in your area? Those who plant churches if they are doing so biblically form a church in obedience to the Lord because they know it is God's plan. Jesus is its Head and Founder.

        b. A true church is founded by Christ. (Read Ephesians 5:22-30) This passage says that Christ is the Head of the local assembly of believers and that Jesus died for the local church, He founded it by his death, burial and resurrection. That is how important it is to Him. (Ephesians 5:30) We are members of his body, the Christ is the body of Christ, his physical representatives on Earth. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says...We are ambassadors for Christ!

        c. This means what a church believes and what it practices is not up to the membership to decide on, but a matter of obedience to the the Founder and Head of the local church.

          ILLUS: When I first began as a church planting missionary working in Utah, the president of this Independent Mission board in Salt Lake City, believed that a church could pretty much vote to do as it pleased. He and his board members formulated an agreement that was mandatory that the missionaries and the churches they started must sign. The unbiblical agreement violated the autonomy of the local church in many different ways. Folks biblical churches do not vote themselves autonomy or vote to put themselves under outside rule. It was Christ Jesus that said the local church was to be an autonomous body....not some mission board or church hierarchy. No church has the right or authority to change the polity and structure Christ's local assembly. This mission board, by the way, fired me because I refused to sign their unbiblical agreement and instead obeyed the clear teachings of Scripture.

        Then the verse says, be reconciled to God! In other words: Get on God's bandwagon, start becoming an active part of God's program.

        2 Corinthians 6:1. . . We then, as workers together with Christ, beseech you also that ye receive not the Grace of God in vain! (V3) Giving no offense in any thing...Read Verse 4...We are "ministers of God." Our ministry is not "our" ministry, but the ministry of God Himself and He is the boss!

      B. How is fellowship established, and how do we know we are in fellowship?

      When we are "Walking in the Light," then and only then, when we are taking an active part in the things of God, in the local church which is his program. A church is not to be turned into social club, yet it has an important social element. It should be a place of fellowship, learning and service to others. Walking is the Light, means walking in the path God has lit up!

    C. Note Verse 6. "If we say (meaning if we profess) that we have fellowship with Christ and walk in darkness . . . we lie, and do not the truth."

      1. Dr. Hoyle Bowman, one of my college professors, said this is a family book, addressed to the God's family, because in 1 John 2:1 John addresses this letter to "My little children."

      2. When family has a talk...it for the good of the family....for its benefit and for the benefit of its individual members. When we love the brethren, meaning brothers and sisters in Christ we will want to serve them. We do not have to prodded, but willing want to serve.

      3. 1 John 1:7. "If we walk in the light, as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

      Lets say it another way; If the professing a Christian, is an active part of God's program in his or her's local church, they are living faithful to Lord in their personal lives and are in truth being lead of the Spirit. They are truly in fellowship with God, because they have been cleansed from sin by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the common bond in their fellowship with other believers.

Conclusion:

    You answer the question for yourself. Does your actions, your faithfulness show you are apart of God's program or does it show that you are outside of it looking on? For you is worshipping the Lord a matter of service to others and obeying Him. This what honors Him and gives us our purpose.

    Jesus says if you are an onlooker. . .then you are not in fellowship with the Lord.

    Over the years I have met many people who say they love God, but they do not live for Him or let Him direct their lives. They profess to have salvation, but there is no evidence of Christ's influence in their lives. Clearly they have not considered the Lord in the choices they make in their lives. They are not living for God, and are often in sin, yet the the chasten hand of God is also not in their lives. God says he chastens his children, yet many who profess to be in the family of God live disobedient sinful lives and are not chasten. God says in Hebrews 12:8, that He does not chasten the Devil's children. We will save that subject for another message when we preach on 1 John 5.

    God says in Verse 6, this person's profession is a lie, and not true.

    Would you right now in the privacy of you own mind and heart examine your life? Do you honestly have fellowship with the Lord? It never hurts to test our faith. James tells us that only faith that is tested is proven to be true. When it is tested by the Word of God it is proven to be true of false. If true, the we can have full assurance of being a child of God, and if not then we can repent of our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Once saved then we can have the fellowship that John is speaking of.

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