Monday, October 9, 2017

1 John 1 Pt. 2

Anytime we get a new device, there is a learning curve we go through. We get accustomed to how our previous device worked but the new one has unique qualities that we need to know about.

Remember the old rotary phones? Just put your finger in the hole and spin the dial. Easy. Then push button phones. Instead of spinning the dial you simply pressed the numbers you wanted. Same effect. Only problem, you were attached to the phone base. Then came cordless where we could at least move around. Finally, cell phones. Operation was somewhat similar in pressing a few buttons but now you can talk to someone from wherever you are to wherever they are. It opened up a whole world of communication.

But a new limitation entered the picture. Battery usage. You now have to watch for how much battery life you have left before you need to recharge. Each call takes away some power.

John felt sin worked that way in our lives. Sin’s greatest power is causing separation from God. An eternal problem for the lost and an estrangement problem for the saved. The only solution for either is forgiveness.

So if we are loved by God, justified before Him with past, present and future sins covered, and our additional sins cannot take away our salvation, why do we need to ask for forgiveness?

1Jn 1:5  This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
1Jn 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
1Jn 1:7  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

What John is saying: there is a connected yet separated distinction between relationship with God and fellowship with Him. The closest is marriage without the possibility of divorce.

That relationship changes our lives and defines who we are much like marriage.

But also like marriage, we can mess up the fellowship we have with our spouse. By our attitudes and actions we can make the relationship turn sour, become distant or even cause separation of heart or person.

The relationship remains intact but the fellowship stinks. It causes the whole picture to get fuzzy, feel disconnected, lose its joy.

John says it’s like stepping out of the sunshine and into a dark cave. When we leave the darkness for the light we enter the goodness of God. When we leave that light for darkness, God remains good but the effect of that goodness is diminished in our lives.

How do we sense that goodness diminishing? Guilt. Having been set free from the law of sin and death, the peace we had with God has been replaced by a load of guilt, weighing us down and wearing us out. Not condemnation but conviction. It is the red flag we are out of fellowship.

Each minute we remain out of fellowship with God drains power from our lives like a cell phone losing battery life.

Eddie Murphy played slick talking Jack McCall in a movie called: A Thousand Words. The plot involved a tree that miraculously appeared in Jack’s backyard that held one thousand leaves. Every word Jack said, a leaf would fall off the three. When the tree runs out of leaves, Jack’s life will end. And believe it or not, this is a comedy. With no way to replenish the leaves, the end is certain.

So, like Jack McCall’s tree, our power meter is slowly draining down because we are out of fellowship. But what should we expect? A weak, powerless and destructive life lived separated from the blessings God intends for His children.

I’ve seen marriages with no life, homes with no joy, couples with no love, simply living out their time together like prisoners serving time for their crime. They stay together but the fellowship is gone. I’ve seen believers living a totally inferior Christian life, far beneath their privilege. Grieving God by their neglect. The odor from both is obvious.

You can’t smell good and stink at the same time. Stink – manifesting a repulsive odor.

I know what it’s like to be repulsive. In fact as a kid, my sister told my mom on several occasions the same thing Martha said of Lazarus, “Behold he stinketh.” I wasn’t removed from the family, put in a tomb or lost my identity as a son to my parents. I was made to take a bath.

Sin is repulsive to God. Walking in the darkness is an affront to Him. He dwells in light. Sin is going back into the darkness. Darkness and Light cannot coexist.

Knowing we’re going to struggle there, God provides the fix. If we discover we are walking in the darkness, out of fellowship with God, confess that – admit it, call it what God calls it: sin.

1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

For relationship it’s one and done. For fellowship it may be daily or several times a day. Is God so easily offended? It is the power of the darkness to take away fellowship.

Ask God:
·         Is there anything in my life I’m hanging onto that You disapprove of?
·         Are there any habits, attitudes or practices I have you want out of my life?
·         Are there any past sins I have covered over and not dealt with?
·         Am I grieving You by my neglect?

1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

By refusing to admit we are walking in the darkness, we close the door to fellowship.
By confessing we are walking in the darkness, the door reopens.

What word? That Word that transforms life. We will miss the evidence of the transformed life.

  1. The greatest truth you can ever accept is God loves you.
  2. Through that love He draws you into relationship with Him.
  3. Because of that love He wants fellowship with you.
  4. Choosing to reject His love keeps us separated from Him – lost and disconnected from Him throughout all eternity, or saved and estranged from the goodness He has planned.
  5. Either choice is unacceptable and the results stink.

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