The 4 C’s of Fellowship with God (lesson #7)

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The 4 C’s of Fellowship with God are as follows:

1. Conditions for FellowshipIrvington Bible Baptist Church

2. Conduct for Fellowship

3. Characteristics of Fellowship

4. Consequences of Fellowship

In our last lesson began to look at the Consequences of Fellowship:

  1. Victory over the world.
  2. Assurance of Salvation.

The first consequence is the knowledge that we now have victory over the world.  Remember that no matter how much we get beat up in this world, or how dire our circumstances may look on the surface.  We know that we have the victory, because we have put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and he has already obtained the victory for us.

Jesus told us in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”  

The Second consequence of having fellowship with God is that we receive assurance of our Salvation.  We know that we did not earn our salvation; therefore, we do not keep our salvation by living right.  Ephesians 2:8-9 is just one of many passages that make that clear. However; If we fall out of fellowship with God, we can forget that we have forgiveness  (2 Peter 1:2-9).

Eternal Security for the believer is a result of maintaining fellowship with God.

Let me explain what I mean.  If you have obeyed the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 10:9-13) then you have eternal life (1 John 5:13). Therefore, you have assurance of your salvation otherwise known at Eternal Security.  However; if you do not maintain fellowship with God; by allowing your sins to go unconfessed (1 John 1:6-9) then we will begin to doubt our salvation.  Doubt is Satans goal for the believers life. He has been introducing doubt into the believers life since the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:1-7)

In the Garden temptation, Satan was able to get Adam and Eve to:

  1. Disobey The revealed Word of God (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-3)
  2. Believe the lie of Satan (Genesis 3:4-5)
  3. Place their will above Gods will (Genesis 3:6)

If Satan can get us to doubt our salvation, then he can keep us from working for God. (Titus 2:11-15)  In other words, he wants you to be so busy worrying about your salvation, and how you don’t deserve it, that you won’t bother sharing the Gospel with anyone else; as we are called to do. (1 Peter 3:15)

The Two Natures of the Believer

Confusion about the “New” nature that we receive upon accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior is the primary source of this doubt.  The Bible gives us two commands in 2 Timothy 2:15:

  • Study the Word of God
  • Rightly divide the Word of God

Failure to follow these two commands has allowed Satan to interject doubt into the believers life, where salvation is concerned.  The truth of the matter is that there are numerous passages in the Bible that teach that someone could lose their salvation.  However;  none of these passages are aimed at the Body of Christ.  As we read in Hebrews 1:1, God has dealt with different people at different times in different ways, but now is dealing with us through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ.  To “rightly divide” the Word of God, you need to look to see what the Lord is saying (in context), who he is talking to, and when.  Since Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13), we get our doctrine from him. We will look at what he had to say about these matters:

The Old Nature

Much of the confusion comes from the idea that once a person has responded to the Gospel of salvation, that they no longer have a sin nature.  This teaching is contrary to what  Pauline doctrine teaches us.  Paul said in Galatians 5:16-26 that we have to decide to walk in the spirit daily. If we could no longer sin as a born again believer than it would just be “automatic” to walk in the Spirit and, therefore, unnecessary for Paul to remind us to do so. See also Romans 7:15-25. In this passage, Paul is explaining the daily battle that the Born Again Believer has to face.  Romans was written around A.D. 60 some 20 plus years after Paul’s conversion.  He writes that he still battles with the flesh.  He still finds himself doing the things that he doesn’t want to do any longer and has difficulty in doing the things that he would rather do (Romans 7:15).

The New Nature

Once we are Born again, we become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new nature is described as the inner man, and also as the new man in Christ.  According to Ephesians 3:16, the inner man is strengthened by the Spirit of the Lord.  Our outward man (old man/old nature) will perish, but our inward man (new man/new nature) is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:7-18). In Colossians 3:1-17 Paul exhorts us to put off the old man and to put on the new man.  If we no longer had to battle with the sin nature than we would not need to be told over and over again to “put off” the old man and to “put on” the new man.  It is a choice that the Believer has to make on a daily basis.

Satan would have you to believe that if you sin you are no longer saved, and, therefore, would make you ineffective for the cause of Christ.  John shows us in 1 John 1:8-10 that if we deny that we still battle with sin, then we are liars, but if we will just simply confess that sin, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin, which allows us to maintain close fellowship with him.

It is critical for the believer to get ahold of the fact that once you are Born Again, you have Eternal Life (1 John 5:13).  Having that assurance will prevent the seed of doubt from keeping you from the service of the Lord.

In our next Post, we will begin to look at 14 salient verses that support the doctrine of eternal security.

 

Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this article provided some encouragement and helped your Christian walk.

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