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Looking into the Word
17060
“Fellowship With Your Maker”
by Art Sadlier   
January 12th, 2017

Man was created the object of God’s love with the intention that God would be the object of man’s love. It was God’s intent that man would live in fellowship with Him and govern the earth on His behalf. The design was for a sweet intimate relationship between God and man.

To make this relationship possible both men and angels required a free will, robots could never have a loving relationship with God. What man or woman among us would want to marry a robot? It is obvious that God foresaw the results of bestowing on man a free will and counted the benefit worth the pain that would be suffered by both God and man. God desired this intimate relationship with man and determined that He would work to establish it. If God so values such a relationship with us we ought to value it intensely and cultivate it, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you....” (James 4:8).

In the garden of Eden Adam was tested on behalf of the entire human race. Would man decide to obey and trust God and live in righteousness and have fellowship with God? God is intrinsically holy and only those who are absolutely holy can have fellowship with God. Adam would exercise his God given free will, but how would he exercise it?

We know the tragic answer to that question. On behalf of the whole human race Adam chose to disobey the Lord and rebel against Him. In the loins of Adam the whole human race died. The moment Adam sinned he was cut off from a Holy God. He now had a sin nature and he immediately died spiritually and began the process of dying physically.

The sovereign all Knowing God foresaw Adams fall from His grace, it was God’s grace that placed Adam in fellowship with God in a state of untried righteousness. God was not taken by surprise by Adam’s sin. He foreknew it and He had planned a way to restore man to Himself and a way by which man could live in righteousness and fellowship with God.

That plan is the gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s Son would come to earth, God incarnate as a man, a second Adam. He would live a perfect sinless life, a life that would prove His qualification to die in the place of others. He would go to Calvary and the Father would place on Him the sins of the whole world of men and women. The Father would then pour out His wrath against those sins upon His Son.

We read about that event from the perspective of the Father, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin..... He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:10-11).

The Father offers to all men everywhere salvation full and free on the basis of the sacrifice of His Son for sin on the cross of Calvary. This precious gospel is so simple, yet so profound. Free to all and yet it means surrendering all to the Lord, the surrendering of the will, the heart and the life. It is like a marriage, in marriage, as God intended it; each one gives his or her life to live exclusively for the other. His or her desires are set aside to please the marriage partner. [By the way, that is why so many marriages are failing today; we live in a selfish generation that knows nothing of selfless living.]

When a person comes to Christ in repentance and faith, the old inherited fallen sin nature is put to death, identified with Christ’s death on the cross, and replaced with a new divine nature in a process called regeneration. Jesus said, “....except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John3:3). Paul describes regeneration in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Peter in talking about the promise of the gospel said in 2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

We need to remind ourselves that the purpose for which we have been saved is to fellowship with God. Do not be confused about this purpose. We must not lose sight of this central issue, to do so is to be confused and end up on rabbit trails, chasing after the wrong things.

There are two issues involved in fellowship with God.

First we have the issue of our Eternal Position before God.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.....” (Acts 3:19a). At the moment of salvation our sins are blotted out forever, we will never face them again. Paul said, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus....” (Romans 8:1a). There will never be condemnation on them that are saved, not now or ever.

Until salvation takes place there can be no relationship or fellowship with God.

At the judgment seat of Christ we will not face our sins; the issue will be rewards on the basis of our faithfulness or loss of rewards.

Second we have the issue of our Fellowship with the Lord.

Our sin as a believer does not change our relationship with God. We are sons and we will always be sons. Our sin as a believer does break our fellowship with the Lord. We compare it with our relationship to our earthly fathers. If we offend our father it does not change our relationship, nothing can change that. But if we offend out father it does affect our fellowship with him. That is not hard to understand.

Why does our sin affect our fellowship with God if all of our sins were cleansed from us at salvation?  God is intrinsically and absolutely holy or entirely separate from sin. God cannot allow those who knowingly have sin that is not confessed to have fellowship with Him, He must condemn it or He would be condoning it, confession must be made.

This may seem difficult to grasp, but it is the guilt that is on our hearts because of our sin that robs us of fellowship with our heavenly Father. And in turn our heavenly Father knows that we have not admitted our sin to Him. It is our failure to recognize our sin that grieves the Father. Confession is that which relieves the guilt, satisfies the Father and restores fellowship. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Remember our Saviour High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost (from beginning to the end) that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). He not only makes us clean positionally at salvation, but He keeps on cleansing us daily. God has provided for us so that we can walk in white with Him all through our lives.

My desire is to have a heart and soul that is absolutely pure and holy so that in that quiet secret place I may have sweet, intimate communion and fellowship with the sovereign holy Lord of the universe. I can then hear His voice in His Word, and can pour out my heart to Him. That is the highest experience, the greatest joy and the ultimate purpose of life, the purpose for which God created us.

God has made a way for us to experience in this life the purpose for which we were created. The above mentioned ultimate experience will satisfy our deepest longings and desires which nothing else can do.

When that is my experience, that inner holiness and righteousness will be seen in my life. That righteousness is a righteousness that is imparted to me and worked out in my life by the power of the Holy Spirit of God in cooperation with my new nature.

Then out of that experience I can go forth to serve the Lord. Out of that relationship I have the desire and the power to know and to do the will of God.

All of this is true though our sins are blotted out forever. The issue is the sin of the believer after salvation, sin that is already forgiven, sin that is already blotted out forever. When we sin, even though that sin is under the blood of Christ, our fellowship with a Holy God is broken. That is a momentous loss for us. We temporarily lose the purpose for which we were saved.

But God has provided a remedy for those sins we commit as believers, sin that has been forgiven but breaks our fellowship with Him. 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Verse 4 reveals that this is written to believers. Provision has been made for the sin of the believer, sin that breaks fellowship with our Lord.

Jesus deals with this issue in John 13. After the Passover supper the Lord began to wash his disciple’s feet. When He came to Peter, Peter said to the Lord, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.” At this point Jesus begins to teach the lesson that disciples with dirty feet cannot have fellowship with Him. Jesus replies to Peter, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part (fellowship) with me.” Sin in the life of the believer, though it be forgiven sin, prevents fellowship with the Lord, even though it does not affect His standing before God.

       We read Peter’s reply in verse 9, “Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hand and my head.”  Then our Lord teaches the difference between positional, once and for all, cleansing from sin and daily cleansing from sin that is already forgiven.

Verse 10, “Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all (referring to Judas).” Our Lord is simply saying, when you are saved you are washed in the blood once and for all. All that remains is a daily foot washing. The picture is the attendance at a wedding feast. Before you leave home you have a bath and your whole body is clean. This is an analogy of salvation. As you travel to the wedding feast (an analogy of our life here on earth prior to the marriage supper of the Lamb) our feet become contaminated (the sins that daily beset us) by the dusty roadway. As the guests arrive at the feast they have their feet washed by the host of the feast. That is necessary in order to have fellowship with the Bridegroom.

 In order for the believer to enjoy fellowship with his lord he must continually recognize his sin and confess it.

We are warned in 1 Corinthians 11:30-32 that sin in the life of the believer that is not confessed can have some severe affects. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves (recognize our sin and confess it), we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” Sin not confessed in the believer’s life will bring chastening, but even that does not involve the loss of salvation.

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