Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20111005.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
1 John: True, Fulfilling Fellowship With God
Part IV: Identifying God's True Fellowship By Its Exact Alignment With God's Special Revelation
(1 John 2:3-4, 6)
Lesson: We KNOW we truly fellowship with God if we exactly align with the commands of God in His written Word or if we exactly align with the righteousness of Christ's life. Any other standard that even slightly deviates from these sources of God's special revelation is a false standard not to be heeded!
- Sin breaks fellowship with God, and righteousness aligns with fellowship with God, but the believer may have doubts discerning sin from righteousness and ask, "How do I know I truely fellowship with God?!"
- 1 John 2:3-4, 6 answers this question, showing we identify such true spiritual fellowship by how exactly our walk aligns with God's special revelation, be it His written Word or the life of Christ (as follows):
- Identifying God's True Fellowship By Its Exact Alignment With God's Special Revelation.
- The Apostle John claimed we know that we "know" the Lord, that its, we know that we fellowship with Him, by whether we keep His commandments, 1 John 2:3. (Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 888)
- Conversely, it is equally true that if someone claims that he "knows" or fellowships with the Lord, but he does not obey God's commandments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 1 John 2:4.
- In addition to an exact imitation of God's commands, one must also walk in life exactly as Jesus walked in His righteousness on earth to know that he fellowships with, or "abides" in Him, 1 John 2:6. The term "abide" translates the Greek New Testament verb meno (U. B. S. Greek N. T., 1966, p. 814), the same verb used in John 15:7 and 15:10 (Ibid., p. 390) that Jesus used to mean heeding His verbal words.
- One may ask where he is to find God's commands, for lots of sources even within Christendom argue over whether special utterances by various "modern prophets" or "papal" authorities comprise that divine Word. The Biblical context shows this to be the commandments of God in His special revelation -- be it ONLY either (1) His written Word or (2) the Word of God Incarnate, the life of Jesus Christ (as follows):
- We before established that when John wrote in 1 John 1:5-7 about walking in darkness versus walking in light, he as a Jew from Galilee (Mark 1:19-20) who had seen Isaiah 9:1-2 fulfilled regarding God's Great Light shining upon his community's spiritual darkness referred to the Isaiah 8:19-9:2 context.
- In that passage, we recall that Israel's departure from God's written Word had led her into great darkness to where many of her people were involved in witchcraft [involving demons], Isaiah 8:19-20.
- For this reason, the prophet Isaiah had written that unless the people of Israel were to say, "To the law and the testimony," (Isaiah 8:20 NIV) a phrase comparable to our, "Back to the Bible," then "they had no light of dawn" regarding spiritual matters.
- However, into the great darkness that so marked especially Galilee in Northern Israel, God would send a Great Light to shine into it, Isaiah 9:1-2. John knew that Great Light as Jesus of Nazareth.
- The truth of Jesus' shining in dark Galilee is evident in the testimony of Mark 1:32-34: Jesus cast many demons out of Hebrews living in and around Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee, shining as God's Great spiritual Light upon spiritually dark people in Israel even into the late hours of the night!
- In summary, the commandments of God are those commandments in His special revelation, whether they be in His divinely inspired written Word, or in the life of Christ. This also means that any alleged "light" that does not align with God's written Word or with the revelation of God's righteousness in Christ's life, is "darkness" by way of Isaiah 8:20-9:2!
- [Note: we qualify the part of Christ's life that we heed as that which reflects God's righteousness only -- not all of His commands: Scripture reveals Christ's life was lived under the Law when many of God's commands differed from what He commands us today, Lk. 17:14; Lev. 14:1-32; Col. 2:13-17.]
- Thus, we discern whether we truly fellowship with God by how exactly we align with the directives of written Scripture or with the righteousness of the earthly life of Jesus Christ. Any other standard of what constitutes God's commands or revelation is to be considered false and of the realm of spiritual darkness!
Application: May we use only written Scripture and the life of Christ to discern God's true fellowship.