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Monday, February 24, 2014

Oh, How He Loves You and Me


A Study of 1 John

“Oh How He Loves You & Me!
Chapter Three

 

From the last chapter, one of the points to remind ourselves of before we continue came from 1 John 2:27 where it tells us we have the Holy Spirit to guide us -- That unction is available to us in our daily walks

  • That charisma
  • That physical refreshment
  • God's Oil of Joy
  • God's Oil of Grace
  • God's Oil of Gladness which brings us that JOY and undeserving GRACE  
     

  1. WE ARE HIS
    1st John 3:1-3
    Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God: Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and has not yet been revealed what we shall be: but we know that, when He is revealed, we shall be like Him for we shall see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
     
    What a great promise to us: WE ARE HIS. If the time was ever right to review what's about to come for the Christian it's not only that we are His right now but also the promise of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for His church -- you and me.
     
    We can't even begin to fathom just exactly what that manner of God's love for us entails except that we can know without a shadow of doubt that we ARE His sons and daughters. We have become strangers to the world because even while we are here, the world is not our home. Our homes (our mansions) are being prepared for us right now.
     
    Again, what manner of love does HE have for us?

  • Enough to call us his children (his sons and daughters -- part of his family -- HE is our father)  
  • Because of His love for us we do not have to be part of the world; the world cannot claim us and pull us toward it if we don’t allow it; we can be separated from the things of the world
  • Now that we are the children of God He is making us into something beautiful -- we are only beginning to see that beauty that is happening to us from inside out  

It encourages us that we are not only part of something beautiful, God has marvelous, special, and amazing blessings for us here and come eternity. (We remember He gives us Life and that more abundantly) It teaches us that God can be reflected through our lives and how our life in Christ is a process that is not complete until we meet Him face-to-face

 

  • He is revealing to us that we, as believers, can see Him spiritually, we know Him, we do recognize Him. The world that cannot understand the things of the spirit does not see Him spiritually, know Him, or even recognize Him. (the Bible tells us the natural man cannot understand the things of the spirit)  Sooner than we think the Lord shall appear in the clouds in the rapture and when he draws us up to meet Him in the clouds, and we will be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.

Philippians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 13:12, Galatians 4:6-7, Romans 8:114-17, Galatians 3:26

 

What else is God asking us in these verses? to be content, to walk by faith, to become comfortable being a child of God while we wait for that day and hour. And as we read again in verse three of this chapter: And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 

Question: Am I willing to purify myself for him: How shall I go about this?

 

One way is by always watching for his return. Choose to make yourself ready. He wants us to be ready. Keep our lamps lit at all times -- don't become as the bride whose oil ran out before her bridegroom came for her.

 

We know there is only one GOD, but the world has its own gods. In Psalm 115:1-8 we read this:

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth. Why should the Gentiles (the heathen) say about us, "So where is their God? 

We say otherwise: …our God is in the heaven: He does whatever He pleases.  The world shows us their ways: Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hand mutters. They have mouths, but they do not speak: eyes they have, but they do not see: They have ears, but they do not hear: noses they have, but they do not smell: They have hands, but they do not handle: feet they have, but they do not walk: nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them, so is every one who trusts in them.

 


We can see how the world is becoming

like the worldly gods they serve.

 

Question: Is the Lord God of heaven your guiding principle?  How do youdaily make the choice to become more like the God you serve?   

 

A.        Do we take the time to understand fully what a Privilege it is to make him the principle focus of our lives every day

1 Corinthians 1:9; Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:26-27; Galatians 4:6, 7

 

B.        Do we take pleasure in those awesome Fellowship moments we can have with our Heavenly Father at any time of the day or night. It is really up to us

 

  1. Considering that Three-Letter Word
    1 John 3:4-8
    Whosoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness and you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil. For the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifest that He might destroy the works of the devil.
     


Application Bible

There is a difference between committing a sin and continuing in that sin.

 

            A. What It Is

The meaning of sin is (Hamartia) NOT A WITNESS. So anytime we think or act in a way that is not being a good witness to or for God we are committing sin. We don’t always go out to do this, but we also know that while we are in this tent of flesh, there is not a 24 hour period where sin is not present in our lives? We need only read the first chapter of Genesis to understand when the fall of man came. We can thank Adam and Eve for that. God already knew they would fall but it was the fact that they made a choice to sin. God said "Do not"  Satan said "Do"

And they DID.

 

Question: Consider a particular time when God made it clear to you "Do not do this" and you felt on the other side of your mind "Go ahead do this"  How did you respond?

 

B.        What Sin Does

Sin takes us out of fellowship with God. Continuing in sin keeps us out of fellowship with God. Choosing to make a habit out of our sin makes it harder to go to the Lord to seek forgiveness, to even confess our sin -- to repent and turn around.  Definitely hard to conquer no matter how religious we think we are. In other words we find ourselves in opposition to our Lord

 

C.        How We Conquer It

Jesus already did.  He became our lamb ithout blemish. He offered his life as a sacrifice for our sins. When he dided on the cross he said it is finished. He lived a life perfectd. He said father forgive them they know not what they do.  And our part? Go to Him, confess our sin to Him, Ask Him for forgiveness. Turn around and go the other way.

 

James 4:8; I Timothy 5:22

 

Question: How do you deal with habits, temptations, and areas in your life that are hard to conquer?            

  1. The Dominate Factor in Our Life
    1 John 3:9-12
    Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous.
     
    To be born of God, the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and gives us new life. Our rebirth gives us a fresh start. We start fresh, cleansed from that sin that was our life. His seed is in us. God justifies us (shows us how to stand strong) and he sanctifies us (sets us apart from the world
    for His use)
     
    Back in verses 7 and 8 it speaks about how He destroys the works of the devil. There is such a difference between Jesus Christ and the enemy. Light to Darkness, Night to Day.
     
    Christ

  • No sin
  • Omnipotent eternal
  • Is God
  • Is all powerful
  • Is omnipresent
  • Perfectly Obedient
  • Came to overcome the evil one
  • Victorious
  • Incorruptible
     
    The Enemy

  • Full of sin
  • Not eternal will be destroyed in the end
  • Is the root of Rebellion
  • No power in him (he's a worm)
  • Unlike God can only be in one place at a time
  • Totally seditious
  • Came to destroy the righteous
  • Defeated
  • Corrupt
     
    How does His seed remain in us? By choosing and living our lives in Christ. By choosing the Lord over the enemy.

  1. That God given Love
    Verses 11- 12 speaks to the difference between the works of Christ which fills us with the message to love on another and the message of the enemy which tries to convince and connive us into taking way of Cain.
     
    Cain:

  • selfish,
  • prideful
  • went the opposite way of doing a righteous deed
  • disobedient
  • brought God displeasure
     
    Abel:

  • unselfish
  • humble
  • Chose the righteous path
  • Obedient to God's request
  • Brought God pleasure by his faithful deed 
     
    Other comparisons as are brought out by Warren Weirsbe in his book Be Real: The differences between the Old Nature and the New Nature
     
    Old Nature

  • Our old man (Romans 6:6)
  • The flesh (Galatians 5:24)
  • Corruptible Seed (1 Peter 1:23)
     
    New Nature

  • The new man (Colossians 3:10)
  • The Spirit (Galatians 5:17
  • God's Seed (1 John 3:9)
     
    IV. The Continued Outworking of the Love of God
    1 John 3:13-24
    Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murder, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
     
    My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And we shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemns us God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved if our heart does not condemn us we have confidence toward God and whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another as He gave us commandment.
     
    A.        Love from Our Heart
    We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.
     
    The Christian life filled with love teaches us about the joy of service, a bit of personal sacrifice for the sake of doing unto others, seeking to bless others, and to be a blessing, doing something from the issue of the heart over doing something simply because it is a duty or is expected, it is the opposite of indifference (we see that once again by looking at the contrast between Cain and Abel)
     


Our relationship with others is an outgrowth of our relationship with God

 

Ephesians 4:8, Luke 10:25-37 (Good Samaritan)

 

By this we know love, because He laid down his life for us.

 

Question: How can we lay down our lives for one another?

 

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And we shall assure our hearts before him

 

And this would be by serving one another without expecting ANYTHING in return. Without seeking recognition. Without going out of our way to have others see what we've done.

 

 

Ephesians 5:28 Having the desire to do a kind deed to those who are genuinely in need

Galatians 6:10 From our hearts doing good to those especially of the Christian faith

 

Much of this chapter really speaks for itself. We could go through it personally line  by line, and God would have a nugget that would minister just to us. I hope you will take the time to do a line by line reflection in your studies this week.

 

  1. If you had a chance to read through this ahead of time, what scripture ministered to you already and how?

 

  1. To think about this week: What are ways you can show others you do have confidence in the Lord today, and will tomorrow, and throughout the next several days?

 

A quick look back

 

  1. God shows us in this chapter how He is our Father and we are His Children. How do we as Children of God overcome the desires of our OLD NATURE?

  1. What does God mean by Justification and Sanctification?

  1. We reviewed the contrasts between our Lord and the enemy -- about Cain and Abel -- about the Old Nature and the New Nature.

  1. When you consider our Lord what is the first thing that comes to your mind and heart?

  1. When you think of Abel and the kind of man he was, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

  1. What do you hope to take away with you upon reading and studying this chapter today?

Some of my sources for this study were gleaned from
 Be Real  by Warren Weirsbe
and from The Application Bible

 

 

. 

 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Every Step of Our Walk

A Study of 1 John
To Know Him is to Love Him 
Chapter 2

Every Step of Our Walk  


In the last lesson we spoke about the dangers of Gnosticism, our fellowship with God and one another, and our growing knowledge of Him and faith in Him.  In Chapter 2, John will focus on the law of love and the compassion God has toward his children.  He begins that emphasis right from the beginning.

 

Once again, we will need to ask ourselves who we are in the Lord, and why it is so important for us to have our minds and hearts staid on him.

 
       I. That True Relationship
       1 John 2:1-11



(My Little Children) The real relationship between a father and his son is shown to us here in an attitude of love. John is speaking to us as our spiritual father. He's been there. He knows. What does he write to us here? As a son should listen to his dad; a daughter should listen to her mother. 




By this time the body of believers were in a state of feeling guilty and condemned for their attitudes and actions, neglectful when it came to their God-relationships. They were allowing sin to interfere with their fellowship with God.




But Satan is nothing more than the great deceiver and condemner and accuser ready to bring the spiritual death penalty to any who he could convince would they would think God would no longer forgive them if they did certain things they should not have. 




John who had the credentials to call the Ephesian church his son is sharing that they should not be disheartened. It is the same with us when we fail. If we feel guilty or condemned, God doesn’t want us to give up our hope. Our best and only defense is to go to Jesus and ask to be forgiven for our wrongs, knowing He already paid our penalty. It is finished. We have Him to go to at any time in any place and for every reason.


We have successful fellowship with each other when we receive the love, forgiveness and acceptance Jesus has for us. Jesus, our propitiator (our atoning sacrifice) stands before God daily for us. John is hoping the church will see that and respond appropriately.  
Romans 8:33, 34
Hebrews 7:24, 25




It's sometimes difficult to forgive those who have wronged us. But because of a God who loves us, no one is beyond forgiveness.



Question to reflect upon:
Those that say they KNOW Him, who are they? 



WHAT IS THE TEST OF KNOWING HIM 
Keep His commandments by faith                
Keep His Word                                        
Allow the Love of God to be perfected in our hearts and let it show by our actions      
Refuse to walk in immaturity. In other words, grow up.

This is that commandment we have…to love others. (John 15:13) The Application Bible says this: "Love is the key to walking in the light…our growing relationship with God will result in growing  in relationship with others. It's the identifying mark of the Christian community."

 

John is focusing here on attitudes. Christian love is NOT a feeling. It's a choice.

 

As we make the choice to love others with His love He will help us express our love without being tolerant of sin or of someone's disagreeable nature.

      II. The Christian Walk     
           1John 2:12-15 



That spiritual state: We've spoken this before and it is worth sharing again. The difference between little children, father, young men.




12: Little children - Born again believers - Just beginning their spiritual journey. Who have experienced forgiveness.


13: Fathers - Mature believers. Long-standing relationships with Christ.


14: Young Men - Those who are gaining victory with His strength but who still struggle with Satan's temptations…yet win the battles.




In these three verses, John writes to every Christian believer at every step of their walk. Each stage of the Christian pilgrimage builds upon the other. John, who has been around the spiritual block, knows the score.  In Lesson 1 he shared of his privilege of being not only near the Lord Jesus, but right beside him throughout his ministry up through the day of his crucifixion and resurrection.  




As a child, as a young man, or as someone maturing, we are all in a battle every day. God wants full control of our lives during our battles, but Satan does too. Satan will use force, deceit, and guile to bring us back into bondage. What will we do? Stand on the freedom that the Lord gives us, keep looking up, choose to be a bond servant of God, put the enemy at bay. The best defense and only defense we can have in this spiritual battle is the WORD OF GOD and hiding it in our hearts. 
Question to reflect on:
Are you moving from VICTORY to VICTORY today?
Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:9

JESUS ALWAYS RELIED ON SCRIPTURES


 III. How are we living our Lives?
1 John 2:15-17 

In Chapter 2 John show the church how much better it would be to live lives of holiness in contrast to getting caught up on the things of the world. Worldliness is not limited to our external behavior, Even as we think it in our minds it is as doing it, according to scripture: where we spend our time, who we hang out with reaches the heart which deals with our lust of the flesh, our physical desires, our lust of the eyes, what we crave, our pride of life, our obsession for status, importance, recognition. Satan tempted Eve in every matter. Genesis 3:6    


When he tried to tempt Jesus he did the same in Matthew 4:1-11. You and I don’t have to get stuck there. Jesus didn’t. He has showed us how to get away from the temptations. Now, John gives us the formula for continuous right living. Romans 8:34    Hebrews 7:25


And Also:  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk NOT according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1


God doesn’t want us to get overly fixed on anything of  this world,  not on those things that are enticing to our eyes, to our flesh that will only satisfy for a little while. 
The truth is, when we get too hung up on the world or the things of the world, or any person in this world, we are not attached enough to our Lord Jesus Christ. It's difficult to believe that what we want and what we are used to, all our attachments and possessions can have such a strong hold on us if we allow it


John's conviction is based on the life, death, resurrection, and promises of Jesus Christ. He knew then, as we do now, that this evil world and our desires for all its pleasures keep us from having the courage to control our greedy appetites and self-indulgent behaviors. 
But this evil world WILL end and because of that we can seek more after doing God's will first. Verse 17 tells us the world is passing away…That and everything that’s in it.


IV. The Last Days
1 John 2:18-22

John is talking here about the last days and the Lord's return for his church before the antichrist is revealed -- the days we live in right now. The believers from the first century, who died ahead of us, were waiting just as we are now for that time to come when we will meet together in the air. They were in their own last days just as you and I are in ours.


Back in the old times, antichrists abounded, false teachers expressed themselves, people who pretended to be Christians filled the churches and synagogues.


How is it different today? He brings this to our attention in these verses, but we also says: in verse 19

"They went out from us"
"They weren’t of us"
"If they'd been of us they would have continued with us"
"They went out that they might be made manifest that none were of us"


The antichrists and Christians who were not as they claimed to be were not strangers to the church, nor are they today. They were a part of the church but they didn’t really belong. John was showing that their reason for joining was wrong from the start.

Thankfully, the holy spirit can give us the discernment to see the truth from error so we don't have to be taken in by the false. We do not have to be deceived by any of them.


Question to reflect on:
The Bible tells us you and I have the anointing from the Holy One. What does that mean?

Anointing: Pouring out of special olive oil. In the OT times, oil was used to consecrate kings and special servants for service. We can read about this back in 1 Samuel 16. It also talks about this also in the book of James.

The Holy Spirit always guides the believer to Jesus. John shows the reader, it is important to expose the heresies of cultists today, who deny the divinity of Christ. His sacrifices for our sins were permanent. He expects us to freely share this and stand firm on our convictions. Do we?


V. Our Encouragement
1 John 2:24-29

Though the Christian of that day had fully heard the gospel and knew that Jesus Christ was God's Son and that He died for their sins and raised again from the dead and would return again to receive them in the clouds, their fellowship with Him was being infiltrated by those who denied some of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith.


John encouraged them to hold on to the truth they had learned at the beginning and teach those truths to others. He encourages us to do the same.

Question to reflect on:
What is the visible proof of being a Christian?

In the last lesson we spoke of how many people do good works but don’t have faith in Jesus. Others claim faith but rarely produce good works. But true faith always results in good works. 
Ephesians 2:8, 9 James 2:14-17


Those who claim faith and are true believers consistently strive to do what's right.
Are we doing that as Women of Faith today?

Monday, February 10, 2014

To Know Him is to Love Him


A Study of 1 John

To Know Him is to Love Him

 

Chapter 1

“How Real is He to Me?”

 

In the time John the Apostle wrote these three letters, the heresy of Gnosticism was sweeping through the church. Before John died at around 100 AD, he was ministering pastor at the Church of Ephesus which had gone from having a first-love relationship with Christ to a church flooded with programs, many of a social nature and where the Lord was no longer the center focus. The world's habits and cultures began coming into the church, and the church latched hold, in part to water down the message in order to draw people in to the fold.

 

The Ephesian Christians were a busy bunch, but John could see in that busy-ness they were growing cold.

 

What was the teaching of Gnosticism? These Gnostics denied that Jesus was ever actually a man (with a physical body). Gnosticism also taught that everything material is evil and everything considered spiritualistic (regardless of what it might be) is good.
 
In this first letter of John, he wants to set the record straight. Jesus was more than a spirit or philosophy. He was and is and always will be God. What else in the Christian Walk in John's first letter all about?

  • Our active relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Our faith and whether we are growing and stretching in it
  • Gaining a spiritual discernment of what is right and wrong
  • Putting in action a growing and developing commitment to God
  • Taking a strong stand in where we will place  our tolerance of sin and how we respond to it



We know John, the Apostle wrote five books in the New Testament: The three letters, Jude, the gospel of John and the book of Revelation. He died shortly after writing 1, 2, and 3 John. The church that he pastored in Ephesus was founded by Paul. He was saddened to see how tolerant of sin this church had become. In spite of them being busy little bees doing works, they had begun to tread on dangerous ground which threatened their walks. We read the details of the Church at Ephesus in the book of Revelation, where John writes to the seven churches, and the Ephesian church was the first.  (Revelation 2:4).

 

John will show that he had the credentials to share this because he saw Jesus with his own eyes. That Jesus was not just a spirit or philosophy. That HE was a living person who wanted then and now to have fellowship with us.

  1. From the Beginning
    1 John 1:1-7
    That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy maybe be full. 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.
     
    1. That Personal Experience
      1:1-4
      John wrote this letter to the church around AD 85 - 90 from Ephesus. This would be not far from the time he ended up on the island of Patmos in AD 70 which we read about in the book of Revelations (1:9)
       
      At that time Jerusalem had been destroyed and a lot of Christians had scattered. The church had faced a lot of persecution too. Some of the persecution unfortunately caused a lot of Christians to not be as strongly committed as they should have been and as they once were. Many in the church were becoming too accepting of the world's standards -- less willing to make stands for their faith and beliefs -- more tempted to compromise.
       
      False teachers and counterfeit believers were part of the cause for the church to be on one fast downhill slide.
       
      John is qualified to write this letter because

  •  (He heard the LORD speak)
  •  (He saw the LORD with his own eyes)
  •  (He got to Look upon the LORD while He was here on earth)
  •  (He touched the LORD)

We become qualified to share the Lord because

  • We have spiritually seen, bear witness,

We need to DECLARE

  1. That we have fellowship together because of Christ
  2. That our fellowship is possible because of our relationship with God
  3. That if we walk in the light and not in darkness we have fellowship with one another.
  4. That it's the blood of Jesus Christ that will cleanse us from all sin.
     
    Most of all, we too are able to handle the Word of Life today every time we open the Scriptures. We hear the Lord speak in our prayers, we know, see and feel His presence in our worship.

    1. The difference between the good, the bad, the ugly
       
      In verses 5 and 6 we see the dissimilarity between light and darkness. (In Him is no darkness AT ALL). How we also see it is in verse 6 specifically. (IF we have fellowship with Him  AND WALK IN DARKNESS we LIE).
       
      Ask yourself: When is it right to be tolerant and when is it unwise or displeasing to God? 
       
      Though Jesus had tolerance of disciples when they doubted; Jesus tolerated crowds who misunderstood Him. God tolerated David's ups and downs. Jesus has often shown tolerance of our failures, thanks to His Mercy and Compassion, when he's seen hearts are right and his children let Him turn them around. God has no tolerance for blatant sin. According to scripture God cannot LOOK on Sin.
       
      Neither the Lord nor John were tolerant when it came to the path to salvation and we'll see that in this letter. When it comes to a person having a relationship with God, Jesus, and later John remained bold and apologetic about what that means. The road is narrow, and the path is fixed. And there are few that will find it.
       
      Being truthful as a Christian means an INTOLERANCE of what is counterfeit
       
      The only real thing we have in God is in knowing we can ONLY reach Him by way of His Son. His life has never been hidden from us. It was revealed openly then, as it is revealed openly today through His Word. The more we know about Him the more we realize
       

  • WHY HE CAME
  • WHO HE IS,
  • WHAT HE REQUIRES OF US,
  • WHEN IT'S TIME TO STEP OUT ON FAITH, and
  • WHEN WE NEED TO WAIT
  • WHERE WE CAN GO WITH HIM LEADING OUR LIVES.
  • HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO SERVE HIM WITH OUR WHOLE HEART

 

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.

 
(If we are wrong about knowing who Jesus is and why He came,
we'll always be wrong about knowing what we need to know about God.) 
    1. Staying in Condition
      1:6-7
      Too often many people profess to know God and have fellowship with Him, and yet they are walking in darkness, contrary to the commands of God.  These two verses show us the difference once again. We must be walking in the light, and to what is good and holy and true and reliable to be in proper fellowship with God. Only God can guide us out of the darkness of sin.
      To claim we live for Him and are in fellowship but still live for ourselves is living a hypocritical life. We can't love God and court sin at the same time. It just won't work.
       
      Question: How does REAL FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD CHANGES US FROM WITHIN?
       
      Any person can have a wonderful prayer life and feel close to God but still be living a lie if she does not turn away from her sins. Just because we pray does not speak to true fellowship and relationship. Where are our hearts?
       
      We know David had his problems with God.
                    We know Saul wasn’t what he claimed to be
HE WAS NEVER REAL WITH HIS RELATIONSHIP TO GOD even WHEN HE PRAYED AND PROPHESIED

So what are the three principles of true fellowship?
  • be grounded in His Word
  • keep unity with other believers who are committed to Him
  • stay in spiritual interaction with other believers.
We show we have a living active relationship with Christ by wanting to be able to share it.
 
        II. Life's Struggles
             1 John 1:8-10 
If we say that we have no sine, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The Gnostics denied the reality of sin. The false teachers were instructing the Ephesians Christians about this and some were falling for this false teaching. But the Ephesians were fooling themselves.
 It is the same today, when we accept the changes in society today  as if they are okay with God when we figure He has no problem with them. We are only fooling ourselves. 

  • Where am I willing to compromise?
  • Where do I find myself compromising the most?
  • How far can  a Christian go before she has gone too far?
  • What makes life for a Christian more of a struggle? Is it to compromise their faith and go the way of the world, or is it to stand for her beliefs, knowing she may be rejected by some who she thought before were her friends?
We have to make decisions, and one of the most important of those is, where will I stand today and with whom will I stand.
 
There is nothing more important in our lives today than this: and that means removing every sinful activity from my life that GOD knows shouldn’t be there. We may be making excuses for it, but He does not. He says back in verse one that he writes these things to us so that we may not sin. John expects us to see that a true commitment to the Lord involves NOT to continue in sin.
 
The Bible makes it clear if we walk in darkness it is impossible to be in right fellowship.
 
                A. The Sin Nature  
                     1 John 1:10    

      When we sin against God we need to come to the place where we will admit to our sins, humble ourselves and admit our weaknesses then ask God for forgiveness and pray for the strength to defeat temptation to sin again.

It's in our weakness, that He can show Himself strong in our live