Fellowship Maintained
17 February 2019 PM – 1 John 1:8-10 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs

Introduction: If you go camping and start a fire, that fire will always burn out if you do not maintain it by adding wood. The same principle is true in fellowship with God; it must be maintained.

Transition: We gain fellowship with God by walking in the light. We maintain fellowship with God by dealing with our sin in three distinct ways. In 1John 1:8-10, John presents a possible response to sin marked by subjunctive verbs and then identifies the results that will follow.

To maintain fellowship with God we must first …

1.        Identify Sin Promptly, v.8
a.          If we say that we have no sin,
1)         To whom is John talking? He is talking to the Christian who is walking in the light with God.
2)         We learned in verse 7 that Christians walking in the light still sin, but the blood of Christ cleanses them.
3)         Thus, the Christian who claims that he has no sin is claiming to be sinless. He thinks that while walking in the light he is exempt from sin. Some Christians actually believe they can become sinless in this life.
4)         If that were true, then verse 7 would not include the promise of the cleansing blood of Christ.
b.         We deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1)         John clearly gives us two facts about those who claim to be sinless.
a)         That person deceives himself. He is not deceiving God, and usually he is not deceiving those who know him well.
b)         The truth is not in him. What he is claiming is simply not true.
2)         Charles Spurgeon once said, “When I meet with a brother who tells me that he is nearly perfect, I know that he is living in the dark; for, if he lived in the light, he would see how far short he came from the glory of God.” Exploring the Mind & Heart of the Prince of Preachers, p. 342
3)         It is important for us to get this straight before we continue studying this book. No Christian is sinless.
c.          The solution is to identify sin promptly
1)         If we are walking in the light, in fellowship with God, when we sin, though it be a slight sin, we must promptly identify it as sin. We must not deceive ourselves.
2)         We cannot fool God in the least.
3)         We must ask God to make our hearts sensitive so that we will promptly identify even the least sin. Frequently pray, (Psalms 139:23-24) “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
To maintain fellowship with God we must second …

2.        Confess Sin Immediately, v.9
a.          If we confess our sins,
1)         The word “confess” simply means to agree with God, to say the same thing as God says about our sin.
2)         Remember, God is light and in Him is NO darkness at all. He sets the standard of what is right and wrong, not us. He knows every sin we commit. (Psalms 44:21) “Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.” True confession makes no excuses. It is motivated by a passion to maintain fellowship with God.
3)         Once we promptly identify a sin, confession is the correct response that should immediately follow. If we do not confess immediately, God will have no choice but to separate us from His fellowship.
b.         He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1)         God is ready to do His part, but He cannot until we identify our sin and confess it to Him.
2)         When we confess our sin by agreeing with God, God promises to do two things for us.
a)         He promises to forgive us our sins. (Psalms 86:5) “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Forgiveness is sending our sins away from us. The Psalmist tells us of God’s promise in (Psalms 103:12) “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
(1)      God is faithful to forgive. He is trusty. You can depend on Him to do as He promised. (Lamentations 3:23) “… great is thy faithfulness.” He is ALWAYS faithful. He will never fail you.
(2)      God is just to forgive. It is righteous for God to forgive you because Jesus Christ has already paid for all of your sins – past, present, and future.
b)         He promises to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Remember, unrighteousness is anything that is not right in God’s holy sight. Not only will He send away our sin as far as the east is from the west, but He will also clean our hearts, leaving no trace of anything unrighteous. We are left with His righteousness.
3)         When we sincerely confess our sin, we must accept God’s promised forgiveness. Guilt is a fact not a feeling. When we sin, we are guilty (even if we do not sense it) until we sincerely confess. When God forgives, the fact of guilt is gone. The devil delights in reminding us of our past forgiven sins. He is the accuser of the brethren. When that happens, meditate on 1John 1:7, 9 and claim the blood of Jesus Christ and God’s promises.
4)         This verse is one of the most precious in the entire Bible because we must claim it every day. Our sin grieves God, but our confession brings Him joy because it allows us to maintain fellowship with Him.
5)         If we walk in the light by submitting to God’s holiness, yielding obediently to Him in every area, and immediately confessing sin when we fail, we can have sweet fellowship with God. It will also help us to avoid big sins that leave scars and sometimes limit what we can do for God.
To maintain fellowship with God we must third …

3.        Admit Sin Honestly, v.10
a.          If we say that we have not sinned,
1)         Once again, John is writing to Christians who are walking in the light with God. We still sin because we are not sinless. When we sin, we ought to identify sin promptly and confess sin immediately. However, sometimes we get stubborn and do not want to agree with God about our sin. How does that happen?
a)         God convicts us that we just sinned.
b)         We argue that we do not think our attitude, word, choice of clothing, action or activity is not that bad. We argue that other Christians do the same.
c)         We may argue that we cannot afford to tithe.
d)         We may argue that we did not have time to read the Bible, pray or do something else that God said we need to do.
e)         We refuse to agree with God that what we did is sin. We are saying, “I have not sinned” when God said I have sinned.
2)         That might sound exaggerated, but we have all done it. When we do that, God has no choice but to separate us from His fellowship. Two other results take place.
b.         We make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1)         Being unwilling to confess or agree with God, we make Him a liar. We are saying, “God what you said in your word is wrong. Your conviction in my heart was wrong. God you are lying!”
2)         Anytime we disagree with God, His Word is not in us. In other words, we are not obeying God’s Word. God is ALWAYS right. If we disagree, we are wrong, not God.
3)         Disagreeing with God is no minor offence. It is very serious.
4)         If that happens, we cannot fellowship with God until we confess (agree with God about) our sinful wrong and confess our sin of accusing God of lying and get back in the light. It is far better to admit sin honestly.
Conclusion: I trust that you want to have fellowship with God every day. If so, you must identify sin promptly, confess sin immediately, and admit sin honestly. When you fail, bow to God and sincerely confess.

Song: Cleanse Me – 166