How to Have Incredible Fellowship in Your Church, part 3
She slammed the phone on the table. Her husband refused to sign the papers, and this kept her from finally having the life she really wanted–living it up with her friends in low places. A few people at church knew what she was doing, but they dared not interfere with her business.
That night she sat alone at the dining room table–staring at the half-empty bottle in her hand. She was angry. Bitter.
And she wondered why it felt like God had abandon her.
Truth is…God never abandons His children.
But the fellowship with Him can be hindered by our sin. The sweet, intimate fellowship that we long for. This is what this lady longed for. It’s what she was created for. It’s what we all were created for.
We’re taking a deep look at the book of 1 John coming to a complete understanding of what fellowship is supposed to be like in our churches. This fellowship is incredibly intimate. It completely fills with joy, peace, satisfaction.
And fellowship with God is in direct proportion to our fellowship with one another in our churches.
What Keeps Us From Fellowship with God?
The lack of fellowship with God is due to some kind of sin. John talks about 3 errors that we sometimes make regarding our fellowship with God. We confuse ourselves easily to believe these errors. Here’s the 1st one.
1 John 1:5-7
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, 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.
There’s a stark contrast between light and dark. I know…duh. But when we are walking in the light, we have fellowship with God. Why? Because He is in the light.
Light is right living. Purity. Christ-likeness.
This lady wondered why she felt away from God. The truth? She was not walking in the light.
If she was honest with herself and with God, she would admit that she was not living right–pure–like Christ. Her sin kept her out of the intimacy with God she longed for.
She lied to herself. If she said to her church family that she was experiencing fellowship with God, John says she is lying.
She also felt that God had abandoned her. Not true. She still belongs to Him because she had believed in Jesus as her Savior. But the fellowship with God was broken. The intimacy is lost. No peace. No joy. No matter where she looked, she cannot find this kind of experience with anyone or anything else other than God.
Here’s the deal: her broken fellowship with God means broken fellowship with her church family.
What Should She Do?
This passage says if she would walk in the light, just as God is in the light, then she and God would have fellowship with one another. The work of Christ made this magnificent thing possible.
John holds back no punches in his book. It’s either black or white.
Light or dark.
To have incredible fellowship in our churches, we must love enough to confront sin, uphold right living, and encourage each other to continue to walk in the light…together.
And if I’m out of fellowship with God, John says I can confess my sin and God will restore that fellowship with me!
Here’s verse 9:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The spiritual health of a church is based on the spiritual health of its people. Because church is people.
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