Audio Length: 28:27
Fellowship With God
How do you get to know someone? First, you meet the person. You listen to the person. You talk to the person. Fellowship with people is not a one way road. You spend time with that person to get to know that person. And over time you know a lot about that person, where friendship develops, matures and grows. Same thing with God by first reading His Word. And That’s the start of an intimate, personal relationship with God. And then you receive divine revelation in your own personal life in Christ. And with revelation, you receive wisdom to walk with God in His power and authority. With this same divine revelation you receive conviction not only from His Word, but also by the workings of The Holy Spirit of God as well.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another helper to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.” (God’s Holy Spirit).
“But I tell you the truth: it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Councilor (The Holy Spirit) will not come to you; But if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of Guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.”
“But when the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”
Because God is Holy, and He wants to keep in fellowship with us continually. He must convict us of sin as we progress in Him deeper and deeper in relationship.
1 John 1:3-7
“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him (God The Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
From conviction to cleansing us from sin which is :
The Process Of Sanctification
God our Father has shown us the spectrum of fellowship in our relationship with Him in the following ways:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, (through the Word of God) that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Which is teaching us that the relationship we have with the Lord is progressive. We should not remain the same as we had started in this faith journey with Christ. We started out in the acceptable will of God. Progressing forward into the good will of God and eventually into that perfect will of God, which is obtainable in this life time. This progress is called sanctification which is a life long process as long as we abide in Christ and in His Word. C.J. Mahaney said it best in his book “The Cross Centered Life” (Pg 31) ‘Sanctification is a process-the process of becoming more like Christ, of growing in holiness. This process begins the instant you are converted and will not end until you meet Jesus face to face. Sanctification is about our own choices and behavior. It involves work Empowered by God’s Spirit, we strive, we fight sin, we study Scripture and pray, even when we don’t feel like it . We flee temptation, we press on; we run hard in the pursuit of holiness. And as we become more and more sanctified, the power of the Gospel conforms us more and more closely with ever increasing clarity to the image of Jesus Christ.’
Without the Scriptures. Without reading God’s Word, it is impossible to be conformed to God standards and image. Or simply to change. One of the major differences between a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ is that the believers hates sin, hates to sin as the Apostle Paul wrote in his struggle with sin in:
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual sold as a slave to sin. (which by the way man is naturally unspiritual for if he were spiritual, than man would know the One True God naturally. When we sin we become slaves to that sin or sins. For an example. Before I met the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God I started to delve into internet pornography. Because of its ease of access and privacy of my own apartment, I found myself coming home from work and going straight to the internet porn. And after months have gone by, I found myself getting into more perverse pornography as this sin progressed. Notice, every day when I came home from work, I had to get my fix with the porn sites. I became a slave to that sin just as the Apostle Paul had stated: ‘sold as a slave to sin.’) I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, (which is doing good) but what I hate to do I do. (meaning the sin he hates to do, he does, this is the struggle we all constantly face day-by day.) And if I do what I do not want to do I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, bit it is sin living me.
(man naturally has a sin nature which makes us sinners. It is not the sin that we do that makes us sinners, rather it is the nature that causes us to sin that makes us sinners. This sin nature started with Adam and Eve, when they consciously sinned against God of His one only Commandment found in: Genesis Chapter 2&3. Because all humanity descended from Adam and Eve, we by nature have this sin nature living in us that we constantly battle, Even as believers and followers of Christ Jesus, we still have this sin nature. It doesn’t become dormant nor does it go away as soon as we gave our own will up to God when we submitted our lives to Christ. But Christ Jesus through convictions given us power to overcome sin by the Holy Spirit of God. John 15:5 “I am the Vine you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him he will bear much fruit; apart from Me You can do nothing.”)
I know that nothing Good lives in me, that is, in my sin nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do -this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do , it is no longer I who do it, but is sin living in me that does it. (This is not an excuse that the Apostle Paul is trying to come up with here, to justify the sins he did in his life-time. No, rather he is telling us that we do have a sin nature living in us still. And we battle it even in Christ Jesus) So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in the inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Sin Separates Us From God
We hate to sin because we also know through the Word of God, sin not only displeases God, but it also separates us from God. So if we are separated from God then not only are we vulnerable to satan and his works against us to try to destroy our faith in Christ. But ultimately we cannot have this close relationship with God on a daily basis. And I don’t know about you, but the world is truly a lonely, worthless place without the close relationship with Him, for those who once had a deep contact, a close relationship with Christ Jesus. I say this because often times than not I hear Christians ask, ‘How can this person, or the world live without God the Father, Christ Jesus, the Son of God and without God His Holy Spirit? ‘The answer is simple. I was one who had asked that simple question. But I was bold enough to ask and expected a reply from the Lord Himself. The answer is ‘you cannot miss something you never known or ever had.’
Ephesians 2:11-14 says:
“Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh- who are called uncircumcised by what is called circumcision made in the flesh by hands- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the common wealth or Israel and strangers from the covenants promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both (meaning both Jews and Gentiles) one, and has broken down the wall of separation.” (meaning the separation between man and God because of sin)
Not only what the Apostle Paul in context was talking about here, which is the division of Jews and Gentiles. The dividing walls of race. But also in the spiritual application is dealing with the matter of sin which does separates us from God as well. For another example in Genesis 3 Eve sinned against God with Adam in verses :1-7 In verse : 8. We then notice that they were separated from God’s awesome relationship with them. Because man was pure and knew no sin at one point in time prior to sinning. Adam and Eve had the ultimate fellowship with God. To see Him face to face and to talked to Him literally. Genesis 2:7 “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” Literally God came to earth and formed man from the dust of the ground by His hands. Man was at one point in time as blameless as dirt. And the first thing that Adam saw was God Literally. In Genesis 3:8 however, we read: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees in the garden.” and notice “they heard God” They became separated from God in a physical way to the point that they could no longer see God literally any more. Only could hear Him.
So in order to keep in step and in fellowship with God, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. Helps us surrender to Him, and to surrender that sin unto Him, so He can cleans us from all unrighteousness and sin to keep that fellowship with God established. This all starts by reading the Word Of God.
The Word Of God Cleanses
The Holy Word of God cleanses and convicts us of sin as we read it and do what it says.
“To make her Holy cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.”
Now in reference leading up to this passage of Scripture, not only was it dealing with marriage in the physical realm between a husband and wife. It is also referencing to Christ and the church in the Spiritual application. The word “her” is not only used to reference a wife in the natural, but also the Church, both Jews and Gentiles, in the Spirit. The Church is Christ’s bride. And we see this in many Scriptures.
Revelation 21:1-3 comes to mind.
“Then I (meaning John who received revelation in heaven in the flesh, who wrote this book of Revelation through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.) saw (meaning he absolutely saw for real) a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (This is a literal and a factual event that will take place at the very end of the world, Referencing Matthew 24:35 which Jesus Himself says: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” Notice the word will, which means it’s definite, it’s going to happen regardless of anything or anybody praying against this event. It will take place, it will happen regardless.) and there was no longer any sea. (This was written to give us understanding that nothing will be left in the destruction of earth.) I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her Husband (Husband is God, Lord Jesus The Christ , as well as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. The New Jerusalem, the place itself is not the bride, but those who will dwell in the new Jerusalem.) “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with Me“
As the Lord Jesus also puts it, dealing with the process of sanctification through a real relationship with Christ and the Father, in:
“I am the True Vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. ( And notice that the Word of God cleanses by reading His Word. Allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and to convict us of sins in our lives, hearts and minds. By reading/hearing the Word of God your giving the Holy Spirit something to work with. The Word of God says: “we are cleansed by the washing of the water of the word” So as convictions comes, surrender that sin. For God wants you to be cleansed ) Remain in Me, and I in you. (this is the key in continuing in a progressive sanctified life in Christ as well as a continued fellowship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.) “No branch can bear fruit by itself; (meaning without Christ Jesus, because remember in verse 1 Jesus states as fact ‘I am The True Vine.’) it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.”
What is Jesus talking about when He mentions fruit?
Galatians 5:22 says,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”
The fruits of righteousness through God in Christ Jesus. We must be taught this because natural man is evil and knows no good. To clarify this I must tell this thing I witnessed. One night I was watching that show on TV Home Funniest Video with my family. And there was a clip of a little girl roughly at the age of 2 or 3 years of age, who was standing on a chair with a huge bowl of cereal and milk that had over flowed from the bowl and out all over the table. You also see an empty gallon jug of milk. As the parent who was filming came in and asked the little girl point blank and bluntly, “Did you do this?” The little girl looked straight into the camera, straight face and without hesitation, answered with a prolonged “No!” This girl had obviously lied. This is why the Word of God also says, “Train up a child in which way they should go, so when they get old, they will not depart the teachings” You have to train children what is absolute right and what is absolute wrong just as God The Father taught Adam what was absolutely right and wrong before Adam and Eve sinned in: Genesis 2:7-17.
Roman 3:9-18 says
“What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that the Jews and the Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: (as we read further, the Apostle Paul proves his case with the Old Testament Scriptures, quoting: Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20.) ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good not even one. Their throat are open graves, (meaning no one speaks good things. No one edifies each other or lifts each other up, but only tears people down with words. Even Jesus said this in His word “What ever the heart is filled with the mouth speaks.” because of the sin nature we all have.) Their tongue practices deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. ( The nature of sin is that: what ever evil or unholy things we look at. What ever evil or unholy things we hear goes into the heart and brings forth action.) Ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.’”
In Will McRaney Jr’s book “The Personal Art of Evangelism” Pg. 83, States: “People say, ‘People are basically good inside.’ We continue to hear it, but that does not make it true. Fransis Schaeffer said that ‘Man is capable of both nobility and cruelty.’ People who believe that humans are naturally good have not read a newspaper or watched the TV news lately. Mans sinfulness is natural, not his goodness. We are of value to God, but without Him we continue to self destruct. Goodness and moral living are by products of training and following God’s standards.”
How do we know Gods standards of Living? Through His Word, which is one the ways to abide in Christ Jesus.
“I am the Vine; You are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Which brings us to this next point, “How do we abide in Christ Jesus?”
Abiding in Christ Jesus
We have already looked at John 15:1-5. Lets continue in verse 6. Because it gives us further clues and answers to this question.
“If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. ( this is a warning against those who do not continue in the faith in Christ Jesus, and adheres to the “once saved is not always saved, which is the true Theology of God Word) “If you remain Me and My words remain in you, ask what ever you wish, and will be given you. This is to My Father glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Fathers command and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
So in verse 8-12 it gives us the clues on how to remain in Christ, but it also gives us the clue that we cannot do anything acceptable, good, nor the perfect will of God without remaining in Christ. So How do we abide or remain in Christ?
John 1:1& 2 reveals the answer to this question:
“In the beginning was the Word, (Notice the word “Word” is capitalized which is referring to a person. A name.) and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (just in case you don’t understand what John is talking about, lets go down to verse 14) “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth.”
So in this passage of Scripture, the Word is referring to non other than Christ Jesus Himself. Whom came into this world by the virgin birth in the flesh. For He is the Word of God manifested in flesh another words. And when we read this Word, study this Word, doing what it says, living it. Than we are remaining in Him as He remains, abides or dwell in us. If we truly love God we would therefore keep His commands, proving to be His, disciples Amen!