Fellowship With God
How do you get to know someone? First, you meet the person. You listen to the person, and 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. Samething 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.
John 14:16-17 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).
John 16:7-8 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.
John 16:13 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, His Son and His 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.
The Process of Sanctification
God our Father has shown us the spectrum of fellowship in our relationship with Him as we continue to grow and mature in Jesus Christ in the following ways:
Romans 12:1-2 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.
This is also revealing to 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. A real born-again Christian hates sin, hates to sin as the Apostle Paul wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Romans 7:14-25 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual sold as a slave to sin.
Men, women and children are naturally unspiritual/dead spiritually, for if we were alive spiritually, than all humanity 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 porn. 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) 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 makes us sinners, rather it is the nature that causes us to sin makes us sinners. This sin nature started with Adam and Eve, when they consciously sinned against God of His one only Commandment (Genesis 2-3). Because all humanity descended from Adam and Eve, we by nature have this sin nature in us that we constantly have to put under subjection of Jesus Christ, Even as believers and followers of the Lord Jesus, we still have this sin nature.
It doesn’t go away as soon as we gave our own will and heart up to God when we submitted our lives to Christ. He shed His precious blood on the cross to save His people from their sins and for the remission of sins for many. That word “remission” Biblically means forgiveness. But we use that word also in context of cancer. The way we use that word means, “inoperable, rendered powerless.” Even though cancer is still in the body, it is rendered powerless to kill.
Same thing in light of the sin nature. Christians still have the sin nature, but is rendered powerless to kill us spiritually by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as long as we walk in the Spirit and not after the dictates of the sinful flesh. Jesus Christ also have given us power to overcome sin (John 15:1-5)
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.
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 Him. 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 fellowship 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 God through Jesus Christ,
I say this because often times than not, I hear Christians ask, ‘How can this person, or the world live without God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son and without His Holy Spirit? ‘The answer is very simple, ‘you cannot miss something you never known or ever had.’
Ephesians 2:11-14 Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh- who are called uncircumcised by what is called circumcision made in the flesh by hands- 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, who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the wall of separation.
Sin separated us from God, for He is light and sin is darkness and God does not fellowship with sinners at all unless that sinner repents from sinning and gave their heart to Jesus Christ. When you do, through Christ, He breaks down that wall of separation between you and God.
A perfect example of this is Adam and Eve, in Genesis 2-3. They were pure and knew no sin at one point in time, prior to sinning. They saw God literally and physically face to face. They physically talked to God and He, talking with them and walking with God. Eve sinned against God with Adam in verses 1-7. In verse 8-10, we then notice that they were separated from God’s awesome relationship with them.
Genesis 3:8-10 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
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, they could only hear Him. And they were suddenly afraid of God, like they never been before and hid from Him because they realized they were naked and ashamed. God judged them, God made clothing out of animal skins and banished them out His garden, out of fellowship and out of His presence. That’s the ultimate price of sins upon all humanity.
So in order to keep in step and in fellowship with God, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. Helps us to surrender to Him, and to surrender all sinning 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 as a born-again Christians.
The Word of God Cleanses
The Holy Bible also cleanses and convicts us of sin as we read it and do what it says, Ephesians 5:25-27;32 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Notice that the Word of God cleanses by reading His Word. The Holy Spirit is the illuminator of truth. When we read His word, your giving the Holy Spirit something to work with. The Word of God says the church is “cleansed with the washing of water by the word“ So as convictions come, surrender that sin and you will be clean.
Now in reference to this passage of Scripture, not only was it dealing with marriage in the physical realm between a husband and a wife. It is also referencing to Christ and the church in the Spiritual application. As the Lord Jesus also puts it, dealing with the process of sanctification through a real relationship with Him and of the Father, in:
John 15:1-5 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
“He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.“ is the key in continuing a progressive sanctified life in Christ as well as a continued fellowship with God the Father, and of His Holy Spirit. What is He talking about when He mentions fruit? The fruits of righteousness and holiness
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
We must be taught this because the nature of man is evil and knows no good. To clarify this I must tell this thing I witnessed. One night I was watching “Home Funniest Video’s” 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, “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 and Eve (Genesis 2:7-17)
Roman 3:9-18 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: (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, 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. 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? The Holy Bible is Humanities plumb-line of moral standards and truth. As the Apostle Paul ministered, Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”
So through His Word the Holy Bible, we know His standards or boundaries which is part of abiding in Christ. Which brings us to this next point, “How do we abide in Christ?”
Abiding In Christ
John 15:6-10 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
This is a warning against those who do not continue in the faith in Jesus Christ will be cast into Hell,
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
This gives us the clues on how to Abide in Christ, by keeping His Commandments, keeping His word and live it bearing fruit. It also gives us the clue that we cannot do anything acceptable, good, nor the perfect will of God without remaining in Christ. Also John 1:1-2;14 reveals the further 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.” “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.
The Word is referring to non other than Jesus Christ Himself. Whom came into this world by the virgin birth in the flesh conceived by the Holy Spirit. He is the Word of God manifested in flesh as revealed here. And when we read the Holy Bible, and study His Word, doing what it says and live it, Than we are remaining in Him as He abides in us. If Christians truly love God, we would therefore keep His ommands, His word proving to be His disciples Amen!