The 4 C’s of Fellowship with God are as follows:
1. Conditions for Fellowship
2. Conduct for Fellowship
3. Characteristics of Fellowship
4. Consequences of Fellowship
Read 1 John 1:3-7
As we discussed in our previous Lessons The Conditions for Fellowship with God:
We have seen that having Fellowship with GOD is the only way to experience true Joy in our lives; Therefore fostering that Fellowship is of the up-most importance for the Christian. In Lesson 2 we started to look at what the Conditions for Fellowship are.
Next we will turn our focus to the final Condition for Fellowship with God that we will discuss in this series. Confession of Sins.
Let us take a look at 1 John 1:8-2:2. 8, ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10, If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1, ¶ My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2, And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
You may be thinking to yourself about now.. I thought that my sins were forgiven when I asked Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Saviour…
That is correct. Remember If you put all of your faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, then they are forgiven. 1 John 1:9 gives us that promise. But I would like for you to remember what this passage in 1 John is about..It is NOT about salvation but rather about maintaining fellowship with GOD, once we are saved. Read 1 John 1:3 again to refresh your memory. unfortunately once we are saved, we do not lose our sin nature. We are still in this “body of sin” as the Apostle Paul puts it.
Don’t be fooled by forgetting who is writing 1 John. It is none other than the Apostle John “the beloved disciple“. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Apostle John was a saved man; however we see here in 1 John 1:8-9, that he states that he has sin in his life that must be confessed. This is because we are still in this sinful world, stuck in these bodies of sin. And even though our Sins are forgiven, and we know that we have heaven as our home,(1 John 5:13) we still need to deal with the sins that we commit; until that time arrives that we receive our new bodies in heaven (Romans 8:23, Philippians 3:20-21). Because if we don’t deal with our sins, they will come between us and GOD, and will result in lost fellowship with HIM. Think back to when you were younger; maybe you did something that you knew that you shouldn’t have and you knew that when your father returned home, you would have to answer for the wrong that you did. On more that one occasion I can remember a time like that in my life. On one occasion that comes to mind..I was in the Eighth Grade, and had this crazy idea that after the school took attendance in my first class, that a friend and I would sneak out of the school, and skip the rest of our classes. This was actually a terrible idea for multiple reasons, one of which being that neither of us had any sort of transportation, or anywhere that we could go for the day. The short version of the story is that the school caught us; when a bus driver saw us walking down the street, and reported it to the principle. The only thing the school needed to do; is run attendance and see who was there for the first class, but not at any other class all day. The penalty for “skipping” school was that we each received a three day suspension from school; which never did make any since to me. The penalty of not wanting to be in school was that we were able to spend three more days away from school. But that is not the point of the story. The point is.. I wasn’t really concerned with what the school was going to do; My concern was with what my Dad was going to do. You could probably guess that I wasn’t too excited for my Dad to get home from work on that day! You see, I wasn’t at risk of losing him as my father, or getting kicked out of the family or anything like that, but I knew that I was a disappointment to him, and really didn’t want to face him after that.
That is exactly what it’s like when we don’t confess our sins to God. We don’t lose our salvation, or our place in the Body of Christ, but it will hurt our fellowship with HIM. If we have sin hanging over our heads, then we won’t likely be looking forward to spending time with him in fellowship. You see how that works?
Once we put our Faith and Trust in Jesus, we are “Born Again“. The first time that we are born we are born of the “flesh” this is our old nature or “old man”, and when we are “born again” we receive a new nature or the “new man”. This is why the Apostle Paul told us in Romans 7:15-25, that the he finds himself doing the things that he doesn’t want to do, and the things he does want to do, are so hard to do. We have an internal war going on inside of us every day. (Romans 7:23)
We are like our very own version of Jekyl and Hyde. Read Ephesians 4:17-32. You will notice that in verses 17-22 that the actions and desires of the “old man” are being presented in contrast to verses 24-32 where the actions and desires of the “new man” are presented. According to Galatians 5:17 our flesh and our spirit (Two Natures) are contrary one to another. Again in 2 Corinthians 4:16 Paul tells us that our outward (flesh) man perish, but our inward (spirit) man is renewed day by day. Read Colossian 3:5-15. Did you notice that in verse 9 he told us to Put off the old man, and in verse 10 we are told to Put on the new man? Think about this…If we no longer have a sin nature present within us, then why would the Apostle Paul, when speaking to believers need to tell them to put off the old man, and put on the new man? We wouldn’t need this list if it wasn’t possible to continue living under the old man. He gave us this information because it is a daily choice that we must make. Are you going to live under the old man today, or will you choose to live under the new man?
This is why John is telling us in 1 John 1:8-2:2 that we must deal with the sin issue. We need to confess our sins daily so that they will not affect our Fellowship with GOD. He told us in 1 John 1:8,10 that if we deny our sins, then we deceive ourselves. As it says in Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Psalms 32:1-5 gives us a description of what it’s like to deny we have sin in our lives. It will just make you miserable. God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7), The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3).
1 John 1:9 promises us that If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We are fighting a war within ourselves on a daily basis. The war is between the two natures; the old man vs the new man; that is why we must self judge (1 Corinthians 11:31) on a daily basis. Not self judging can cause the LORD to chasten us, just as we would to our earthly children (Hebrews 12:6-7).
This is a Condition of Fellowship with HIM. We must confess our sins to HIM daily. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Next we will discuss the second of 4 C’s. The Conduct for Fellowship with GOD
My hope is that this article provided some encouragement and help for your Christian walk.