Fellowship Defended
24 February 2019 PM – 1 John 2:1-2 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs

Introduction: If you really know God as your loving heavenly Father, you should consider companionship with Him your greatest treasure. I heard of a father who had to be away from home for about seven months. On his return, he took his family to a shopping centre. Handing some money to his little girl, he said, “Jenny, take this money and buy anything you want.” The child’s eyes filled with tears as she clung more tightly to his hand. “What’s the matter, Honey?” he asked. “I don’t want money, Daddy,” she said. “I want you!” Oh, that we might, in the same way, cherish God’s fellowship and follow God’s plan to defend it.

Transition: Our text this evening presents three facts about sin which we need to understand in order to defend our fellowship with God.

The 1st fact we need to understand to defend our fellowship with God is …

1.        Resisting sinful temptation protects fellowship
a.         John wrote these things for our protection
1)         Notice that John addresses his readers as “My little children”. This is an endearing title, not a belittling one. It is a title given to Christians. John may have even led them to Christ.
2)         John gives us another of his purposes for writing this book. He said he wrote that ye sin not (i.e., in order that you might not sin).
a)         The many challenges John has already given us in chapter one are to urge us not to sin.
(1)      We can fellowship with God and should desire to, v.3.
(2)      God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1:5)
(3)      We cannot walk in sin’s darkness and fellowship with God at the same time (1:6).
b)         Obeying the commands and principles that John included in this book will help us resist temptation.
b.         Christians can have victory over temptation
1)         Paul wrote at length about this in Romans 6.
a)         (Romans 6:11) “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
b)         (Romans 6:13) “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
c)         (Romans 6:16) “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
2)         Both Paul and Peter instructed us on victory over sin.
a)         (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
b)         (2 Timothy 2:22) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
c)         (1 Peter 1:14-15) “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”
d)         (1 Peter 2:11) “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”
e)         (1 Peter 5:8) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
The 2nd fact we need to understand to defend our fellowship with God is …

2.        If we sin, it threatens our fellowship with God
a.         Sinning is not God’s will, but He knows we might sin
1)         “If any man sin,” acknowledges the possibility. John certainly was not suggesting in this book that a Christian can live a sinless life. We all sin. Review again 1Jn 1:8-10.
2)         Having a frail sinful nature never justifies sin. It is never God’s will that we sin. It is for that very reason that Peter quoted God saying, (1 Peter 1:16) “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
3)         God wants to give us victory over sin and we must strive for that each day.
b.         If we sin, we must promptly confess it or lose our fellowship with God
1)         We looked at this point in detail when we studied 1John 1:8-10. If we do not identify sin promptly, confess it immediately and admit it honestly, we will lose our sweet fellowship with God.
2)         ILLUS: Sin is like a worm in an apple. How does a worm get inside an apple? Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. No, scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside. But, how does he get in there? Simple. An insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Sometime later the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats his way out. To prevent this, farmers spray the apple trees while in blossom to kill the eggs. Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart and works out through the person’s thoughts, word and actions. To prevent this, we must confess sin promptly while it is in the egg form.
The 3rd fact we need to understand to defend our fellowship with God is …

3.        When we confess, we have a defending advocate
a.         Advocates do not go looking for sinners; sinners must seek advocates.
1)         An advocate is one called to our side to aid us. He is our legal assistant. He is our lawyer.
2)         Advocates do not find people to defend. People in trouble find advocates to help them. This is true spiritually as well. When we confess our sin, we are seeking God’s help. At that moment, Jesus Christ steps up to act as our advocate. However, He cannot help unrepentant sinners.
b.         Our Advocate has perfect credentials
1)         He is Jesus Christ – God the Son.
a)         Being God, His understanding is infinite. (Psalms 147:5) “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”
b)         He knows every word we speak. (Psalms 139:4) “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.”
c)         He perfectly knows every thought and intent of our hearts. (Hebrews 4:12) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
d)         Nothing about us is hidden from His eyes. (Proverbs 15:3) “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Hebrews 4:13) “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
2)         He is righteous. He has never sinned. Because He is righteous, He is fully capable of helping us who are far from righteous.
3)         He is our propitiation, v.2. This verse explains how God is just to forgive us (1:9).
a)         Propitiation is an appeasing. It pacifies the wrath of God by fully paying for every sin ever committed by mankind. Christ paid the eternal damnation in hell for every human.
b)         His substitutionary death for us vindicated the holy and righteous character of God enabling Him to be merciful to us.
4)         His propitiation was for the sins of the whole world.
5)         As our advocate, when we confess our sin, Christ lovingly presents His propitiation for our sin to the Father and God promptly forgives us and makes us righteous.
Conclusion: If you are a Christian, you ought to be striving to resist temptation and to obey God fully. God did not provide confession so that we can live a careless sinful life. Treasure sweet intimate fellowship with God as a strong motivation not to sin. If you are not daily enjoying that sweet fellowship with God, begin seeking it with all your heart. When you do sin, promptly cry out to God in confession that Christ might act as your Advocate enabling God to forgive and cleanse your heart. Christ alone can defend your fellowship with the Father.

Song: The Lily of the Valley, 447