Fellowship Claimed
3 February 2019 PM – 1 John 1:6 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs

Introduction: When I was a boy, I sometimes helped my uncle pull weeds out of his bean field. His son often help too, but he always wore gloves to keep his hands clean. I thought that was odd, but he worked as a waiter in a fancy restaurant and could not have dirt under his fingernails.

As Christians, we cannot have any dirt in our lives if we want to have fellowship with God. While some claim that a little dirt does not prevent their fellowship with God, they cannot fool God.

Transition: In the verse before us, John’s words against a false claim of fellowship with God that ought to cause us to examine our hearts.

1.        The Claim
a.         If we say that we have fellowship with him.
1)         We may say that we have fellowship with God, but our life must back up what we say. Talk is cheap!
2)         We may say this to others who may enquire, or we may say it to ourselves. We may even truly believe it.
3)         Many Christians evaluate their fellowship with God by their own standard and not by God’s Word. Turn with me to James 1:22-25. What does James tell us?
a)         We must be doers of the Word not just hearers. The Bible is to be our standard not our opinions.
b)         If we hear but do not do, we are like a person who looks into a mirror, sees a need, and ignores it.
c)         If we are a doer we will look (lit. stoop down to look intently) into God’s perfect Word. We will continue meditating on what we learned and then do it.
b.         Remember, fellowship is companionship
1)         Yes, fellowship with God is sharing companionship. It is drawing near to God (Jas 4:8). It is abiding in Christ (Jn 15:5). It is walking in the Spirit (Ga 5:16). It is resting in Him completely (Ps 37:7). It is being totally contented because God is all you need (He 13:5). It is having a passion for God (Ps 42:1). It is dwelling in God’s secret place (Ps 19:1). It is feeding on God’s Word and pondering its principles (Ps 119:18). It is frequently sharing your heart with God throughout the day (1Th 5:17). It is communing with God as you meditate on Scriptures you read (Ps 119:148). It is singing hymns to God (Ps 13:6).
2)         Before we claim to have fellowship with God, we need to consider these and other verses that speak of that sweet communion with God.
2.        The Contradiction
a.         And walk in darkness.
1)         John describes a Christian who claims to be having fellowship with God while he is walking in darkness.
2)         Darkness is opposite to light. It refers to literal darkness, the darkness of eternal doom, spiritual darkness, and to the darkness of sin in general.
a)         (John 3:19) “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
b)         (Romans 13:12) “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
c)         (2 Corinthians 6:14) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (Fellowship)
d)         (Ephesians 5:8) “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Darkness was our former life.
e)         (Ephesians 5:11) “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Christians still struggle with darkness.
f)          (Colossians 1:13) “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Christ set us free.
g)         (1 Peter 2:9) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”
3)         Note again, John’s message in 1Jn 1:5, God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. God totally repels all darkness (like water on a newly waxed car). Consider what James wrote, (James 4:4) “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Again, James wrote, (James 4:17) “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
4)         Darkness includes every sin from a bad attitude to murder and every other evil known to man. Solomon said walking in darkness is leaving the paths of uprightness (Pr 2:13).
5)         If you cannot see the darkness of sin, you have not spent enough time in the light of God’s Word. If you justify attitudes, clothes, actions, words, movies, books, or anything else that you know might be wrong, you are walking in darkness. (Romans 14:23) “… for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
b.         Claiming to be in fellowship with God, yet walking in darkness is a contradiction.
1)         Walking in darkness is being unwilling to yield to God in some area in your life that God calls sin.
2)         If you claim fellowship with God but are unwilling to yield to God, that is a serious contradiction.
3)         Some Christians spend their lives looking for loopholes in God’s standards to justify what they want to do. They will never enjoy God’s fellowship.
4)         Light and darkness cannot dwell together. God cannot fellowship with a Christian who will not confess sin in his life. We will never be sinless this side of heaven, but we must be willing to yield to God in every area He calls sin.
3.        The Conclusion
a.         We lie.
1)         John bluntly says that if you claim fellowship with God while there is sin in your life, you are lying.
2)         Why do Christians lie about fellowship with God?
a)         Self-protection – “I must look spiritual even if I am walking in darkness.” We are a proud people. We hate to look bad.
b)         Self-deception – “I think God understands my situation, He is love and will overlook my walk in darkness.” I once met a young man who claimed to be a Christian. He told me he was living with his girlfriend. I asked him what God thought about that relationship. He answered, “I know what the Bible says, but I think God understands my situation.” That young man was deceiving himself. He was tragically ignorant of God’s holiness.
c)         Self-exaltation – “I know better. I disagree with what the Bible says is light and darkness. God’s standard is not that high.” That kind of attitude is wicked rebellion against God.
b.         And do not the truth.
1)         Not only is the contradiction a lie, but it is rejecting God’s truth.
a)         The truth is that God is light. He is absolutely perfect and holy.
b)         The truth is that in God is no darkness at all. God cannot tolerate the slightest darkness in His presence.
2)         If you claim to be in fellowship with God while you are walking in darkness, you are not obeying God’s truth. You are not doing what God says is true. You are not following the Bible. The Bible is not your absolute standard. You are twisting the Bible to fit your opinion.
3)         If this happens, you must return to verse five and meditate on John’s message until it penetrates your heart.
Conclusion: God longs for your fellowship, but if you are walking in darkness, it is far better to admit the truth than to lie. Then take action to change. God saved you to deliver you from darkness and enable you to enter His light. God knows we will never be sinless this side of heaven, but we must be willing to yield to Him in every area. Instead of looking for loopholes in God’s standards, humbly be willing to give up anything questionable in your passion to glorify God.

Song: O I Want to Be Like Jesus – 320