I John Study – Knowing God – Part 7

I John 1:6-7

How are you doing today?  Have you been joyfully serving the Lord Jesus Christ this past week?  Let’s start with a little quiz.  Write down at least 10 things you have done for Christ this past week, not including going to church, praying and tithing.  Ok, now are you starting to get mad at me?

Don’t touch the radio dial or leave this study on Open Bible Ministries of TN.net.  Because if you do you will miss some very important Scriptural truths that can help you grow in your relationship with your Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, all who are God.

Let’s start with a possible misconception because some think they can ignore God’s commands and still have fellowship with Him.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’.”  (Matthew 28:18, NKJV)

The question is do you practice it?  Ok, it is pretty clear, is it not?  But that is not the point, the point of the question we should be thinking about is, do I believe it?  That is proved by how I carry out His commands. For He said:

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  (John 14:15, NKJV)

Here is a little test for all of us and it will help as we begin this study in I John 1: 6-7,  “Am I excited about the fact that Jesus Christ is Sovereign God and I am under His authority?”

If Jesus is God, and He is, then we have responsibilities as a Christian to carry out for Him.  The question is, “Am I willing to do it?”  It will help us to accept the fact that Jesus came to help us if we accept what the Bible has to say.

Ok, having thought about Jesus being the boss, let’s now jump into our text today, I John 1: 6-7, and open Jesus’ “Care Package” to see what exciting things will be there to help us.

We are going to be thinking about misconceptions which often can get us into real trouble.

Another misconception is:  “Can a man Fellowship with God and Still Walk in Sin?”  We will look at two other important misconceptions in future studies.

Let’s look at Scripture and see where we stand.  WE all need to be honest with ourselves in how we answer because it has both a present and eternal application for us.  In reality what is important is not how we look at it, but how God looks at our answer.

In previous studies we have examined the fact that Jesus the Son of God came to earth.  Remember, He came so that man can have fellowship with God the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, as well as the Holy Spirit.

Here is how a lot of people who profess Christ today act when confronted with the real Jesus Christ of the Bible, not the one who they have created in their own minds.

If we are not careful with our lives we will do that.  If we don’t follow the Christ of the Bible, we will invent one of our own.  Sometimes, we don’t feel like we need the Apostle John or anyone else telling us how to approach God, not even Jesus.  What we do is invent in our minds a false Jesus, one who is direct and honest with us.  We want one that we like, so we get hurt by following an idol.

A false Jesus and false doctrine [teaching] causes us to Shout:

  • Wait a minute.
  • We already have fellowship with God.
  • We already worship God.
  • We feel safe and secure.  We are acceptable in our religion.
  • We do not need someone else to show us how to come to God, not even John and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • We can reach God on our own.
  • We can secure His approval by ourselves.
  • We don’t need someone else telling us how we should worship God and secure His approval.

The Great Study of I John 1: 6 – 2: 2 shows that man objects to the idea that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  It then follows that man objects to the facts of Scripture concerning Jesus and how man is supposed to live his life.  If an unsaved man objects to following, the Christ of the Bible, then he will object to the fact:

  • That the way he worships is wrong.
  • That he has no merit with God.
  • That he is unacceptable to God.

Many people object to:

  • John’s declaration that “the Son of God has come to earth.”
  • John’s declaration that Jesus came so that man can have true fellowship with God.
  • He objects to the idea that he cannot reach God on his own.  Man needs what’s in Jesus’ “Care Package.”

The three misconceptions of man that we will look at are:

  1. Man can fellowship with God and still walk [live] in sin.  (1: 6-7)
  2. Man is not totally sinful and depraved.  (l: 8-9)
  3. Man can become righteous and sinless on his own. (1: 10-22)

Today we begin with the first misconception.  The other two in future studies.

Why do we need to look at these misconceptions?  Because many people believe that they can have fellowship with God even while they walk in darkness and sin.  We will hear God telling us loud and clear, that idea is totally false and if we have invented that in our minds then we are following false teaching and a false idol, not the God of the Bible.

In Christ’s “Care Package” He tells us that following a false doctrine will only hurt us.

So here is God’s evaluation from Jesus’ “Care Package.”

1.  Do not think that we can fellowship with God and walk in darkness. (verse 6)  God says that is:

  • a.  That is a lie.
  • b.  That is not the truth.

2.  The truth, God’s Help:  we MUST walk in the light.  (verse 7)

  • a.  Then and only then, we have fellowship with God.
  • b. Then and only then, we are cleansed from sin.

Verse 6,  key words:  Fellowship – Darkness – Man – Salvation.

Good Question:  Why does man object to the deity of Christ and His coming to earth?

Answer:  Man doesn’t like to be under the authority of anyone or to be told how to live.  However, it was necessary for Jesus to Come.  Why?  To help man with his false beliefs and receive God’s gift of eternal life. Man believes that man can fellowship with God and still walk in darkness [sin] at the same time.  If a man believes this, he creates a false God in his mind and therefore keeps himself out of heaven.  A true Christian must walk in fellowship with God!

Good Question:  What does it mean to walk in darkness?

1.  It means that the world is in the darkness [sin] and consequently does not understand the God of the Bible.  Man cannot see God nor talk face to face with Him in their unsaved condition [living in darkness or sin].

From His “Care Package” God gives us the antidote as He says:

Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  (I John 2:15-17, emphasis added, NKJV)

We will examine this further at a later time.

To have fellowship with God a person must worship Him as the Bible directs:

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  (John 4:24, NKJV)

The person who truly worships God must do so in truth, not through false doctrine.

2.  Man cannot hear God  nor touch God in his unsaved condition.  So, man rejects that John was a true witness and that Jesus came from heaven to earth.

Good QuestionHow then can man know that God really exists since man and the world are in the dark about God? 

Answer:  Biblical truth, God Is Light!  This antidote is found in Jesus’ “Care Package” that He came to earth with.

Good question Since the Scripture is clear, man cannot know God without His Son.  How then can the problem be solved?

Answer:  Biblical truth.  God wants man to live a pure and moral life but he cannot do that on his own.  Therefore, a way had to be provided.

Since man, without Christ, has no way to communicate with God, he has a real problem.  Unsaved man does not know here God is and so he cannot reach Him, nor communicate with Him.  Therefore, man has no way to discover God unless there is something in Christ’s “Care Package” which helps man find Christ [who is God] and how God wants him to live.

To solve the problem, God sent His Son so that man, if he wants, can have a close relationship with Him.

Let’s examine the problem from God’s perspective:

1.  The World is in the dark about God.  When it comes to God, man is in darkness for he cannot see God nor talk with God.  He cannot even be absolutely sure that God exists.   Why?  Because man’s physical senses and flesh can know only the things of the physical and material world.

If there is a spiritual world, and there is, man on his own has no way to penetrate the spiritual world.  Man can take all his technology and science, all his intellectual and creative reasoning and he still cannot penetrate the spiritual world.  Man and his world are completely in the dark about God.  No matter what anyone claims, no matter how religious or how spiritual the person may be, no person from the physical world can cross over and enter into the spiritual world to find God on his or her own, much less have fellowship with God.

2.  So how can man ever know God and fellowship with Him as John is indicating?  There is only one way:  God has to leave the spiritual world and enter the physical world.  God had to come to earth and reveal Himself to mankind.  This is the only way open to man to have fellowship with eternal God.

The problem with man is that he thinks that if he believes in God and does things half-way right, then his belief and good works will put God in debt to him and God will have to let him enter into heaven.

Jesus said NO, and He pointed out that there is only one way for man to have fellowship with Him and the Father:

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  NO ONE comes to the Father except THROUGH ME’,”  (John 14:6, emphasis added, NKJV)

So Jesus is saying, to self-centered man, it can’t be done by you because:

“For when we were still without strength [to save ourselves], in due time Christ died for the UNGODLY.”  (Romans 5:6, emphasis added, NKJV)

In our unsaved condition we were without strength to save ourselves, we needed God whether we believe that or not it is still Biblical truth.  (see Ephesians 2:8-9)  Without Jesus, men are in an ungodly spiritual condition [LIVING IN DARKNESS].  The only way that condition could be cured is for God the Father to send His son, the Lord Jesus Christ into the world as human flesh, but retaining His deity.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while WE WERE SINNERS, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8, emphasis added, NKJV)

Prior to salvation we lived in darkness, unsaved.  The amazing thing is in that condition, God reached out to us and made us aware of the Lord Jesus Christ and drew us to Himself [saved us].

“For God so loved the world [you] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [you] believes in Him should not should not perish but have eternal life [you – if you believe].”  (John 3:16, emphasis added, NKJV)

Based on these verses we can see that in our unsaved state, we lived a sorry life.  It was necessary for Jesus to come to earth in order for salvation to be provided to those who want it.  For those who want a guaranteed way of going to heaven and receiving God’s free gift of eternal life, it’s available and all that has to be done is accept God’s gift.

The key is that if man is ever to know God then God Himself must take some action to make Himself known to man.  In doing this, man can have God’s free gift of eternal life and find out how he is supposed to live.  This God did by sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Word of God is strong.  It says this:  if a person says that he is saved and then lives in darkness [sin] of this world, he lies.  God is light; therefore, if a person walks in darkness, HE DOES NOT KNOW GOD, nor is he fellowshipping with God!

Why?  Because light and darkness cannot dwell together.  A person has to choose in which sphere he wants to live:

he has to choose to live in either the light of God

or in the darkness of the world which is under the dominion of Satan.  (see Ephesians 2:1-3)

Verse 1:7 – key words:   Light – Fellowship – Forgiveness of Sin

“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.”  (I John 1:7, emphasis added, NKJV)

“And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.  To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in HIS OWN BLOOD.”  (Revelation 1:5, emphasis added, NKJV)

“In Him we have redemption through HIS BLOOD, the FORGIVENESS of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”  (Ephesians 1:7, emphasis added, NKJV)

From Jesus’  “Care Package,” we have seen that man cannot fellowship with God and walk in darkness.  There we also find the solution.  Man must walk in the light if he is to fellowship with God.  So, what is the light of God?  Let’s look further in Jesus’ “Care Package,” the Bible to find the solution:

  • The light of God is the revelation of God Himself.  The Lord Jesus came to earth to reveal God.  Jesus Christ has the very nature of God; therefore, He was able to show man exactly what God is like.
  • The light of God is the revelation of just how God wants man to live and what God expects of man, especially the Christian.  With the arrival of Jesus on earth, He taught man and He made the way clear as to how to have eternal life.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6, emphasis added, NKJV)

“And this is life eternal, that they  might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You has sent.”  (John 17:3, emphasis added, NKJV)

Jesus showed man exactly how to live, He showed and taught man what God expects from man, especially the one who accepts Him as personal Savior, therefore moving MAN [YOU] from sin and into God’s light, if you want to go to Heaven.

“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.”  (I John 1:3, emphasis added, NKJV)

“But if we WALK in the light [live as saved people] 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.”  (I John 1:7, emphasis added, NKJV)

We have seen that it is not enough that Jesus came to earth and took upon Himself human form, thereby revealing Himself to mankind.

Why:  Because man is sinful; he transgressed God’s law.  Man has chosen to live on earth and do his own thing, live the way He wants, rejecting God and His Word.  So, man has:

*  ignored God                                       *  cursed God

*  neglected God                                    *  rebelled against God

*  disbelieved God                                 *  rejected God

*  disobeyed God

The point is that man is sinful from birth and has chosen to live his own way, ignoring God and His Word.

Since man has broken God’s law there are consequences, as with any law, that has to be paid.  The lawbreaker has to pay or else someone has to step forward to pay the penalty for him.  This is what Jesus did for you.  He came not only to reveal God to man, Jesus came to take our sins and transgressions upon Himself.  The guilt of all of our sins, Jesus died for our sins, that  is you.

In verse 7, the word “cleanses” is in the present tense.  This means:

  • that the blood of Christ CONTINUALLY CLEANSES us from sin.
  • that if we are walking in the light of Jesus [have accepted Jesus as our Savior], then His blood is ALWAYS CLEANSING us from our sins.
  • that if we walk in FELLOWSHIP with Jesus Christ we are CONSTANTLY CONFESSING OUR SINS, we are living in open confession before Him.

The believer is to WALK [live] in fellowship with Christ all day long, every day.  He is to walk [live] acknowledging God in ALL His ways, praying, praising and confessing his shortcomings and sins ALL day long.  The believer who walks [lives] in fellowship with Jesus Christ is being CONSTANTLY CLEANSED by the blood of Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God.”  (I Corinthians 10:31, emphasis added, NKJV)

“If we say that we have no sin, 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.”  (I John 1:8-9, emphasis added, NKJV) 

“He who covers his sins, will not prosper, but whoever CONFESSES and FORSAKES them will have mercy.”  (Proverbs 28:13, emphasis added, NKJV)

Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?  (John 3:16)  If you do not know how to accept God’s free gift of salvation – answers can be found here on our website.  If you do accept Christ, let us know so we can pray and help you grow as a Disciple of Christ [follower].

Part of God’s “Care Package” is to help us understand how to live in such a way as to bring glory and pleasure to Him (Isaiah 42:7 and Revelation 4:11).  Upon acceptance of Christ please write down the following verses on a 4×3 card and carry it with you:

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and YOU ARE NOT OUR OWN?  For you were bought at a price [the death, burial and resurrection of Christ]; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, WHICH ARE GOD’S.”  (I Corinthians 6:19-20, emphasis added, NKJV)

APPLICATION:

  1. Jesus Christ came from heaven and made known to us that we can have eternal life.
  2. Jesus Christ came from heaven and made known to us that we can have a growing fellowship with God.
  3. Jesus Christ came from heaven and made known to us that God has a particular way for us to live until we go home to heaven.
  4. Jesus Christ came from heaven and made known to us that we can have ALL of our sins cleansed through the blood of Christ.
  5. Jesus Christ came from heaven and made known to us that we have an avenue of maintaining a continuing fellowship with God and other Christians.