Easter Special - Fellowship is with a live Person, part 2.
length: 66:41 - taught on Apr, 7 2015
Title: Easter Special - Fellowship is with a live Person, part 2.
All believers are alive now, not just physically, but spiritually. The life we now have is Christ Himself, COL 3:1-4.
So does this mean that every believer enjoys fellowship with his Lord? Unfortunately the answer is no.
Sadly, many believer are ignorant of what fellowship even is and do not live in it during time. Mostly, ignorance and its "partner" arrogance are the reason and the believer alone is to blame. Ignorance fellowships with arrogance.
Since He is alive and we are alive there is absolutely no reason that we shouldn't be experiencing a life of fellowship with Him.
Fellowship: a joint-participation in a common interest or activity. It is a unity of mind, love, spirit, and purpose. It is both of us living His life.
It is a joint participation with Christ in His life which now belongs to every believer.
It is not just some mystical idea that cannot be determined but there is a very real identification with the fact that within himself he loves the things that God loves, righteousness, and hates the things that God hates, sin and evil. If this is not found within himself he can be confident that he is walking in darkness. God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. The joint participant with God walks in the light as He Himself is always in the light.
ROM 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;
ROM 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
ROM 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
ROM 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
God desires us to live holy [sanctified] lives free from the tyranny of sin. His purpose is not merely that we be saved for all eternity but that we live triumphantly [Christ life] in our life here.
Not only does God want us to live holy lives, but He has made it possible and practical for us to do so.
All in Christ's present kingdom are called saints. Many years ago the word saint was spelled sainct - sanctified ones.
The c was dropped to make it easier to pronounce.
Now, if for some reason you're saying to yourself that you came here to hear something about the resurrection and not to be given a lecture on living holy then I would suggest that you fail to see what resurrection means to each of us personally, and if that is true then you fail to see how blessed and wonderful holiness is. Some Christians believe real blessing is eternity alone and if God would just leave me be until I get there, that would be just great.
The believer can strive for holy living without guilt and condemnation for failures, and without judging others who fail.
But left alone without God or fellowship with God would make for what kind of life? It would be the life of a saint, a subject of the greatest kingdom in all history, by miles, that the world has ever seen, and opting to try to reside in the far lesser kingdom until he’s absolutely forced not to. You miss the whole point and you don't see true blessing in time.
To fail to have a life of fellowship with the risen Lord is to fail to see true blessing in life. What earthly life could be greater than the life of the resurrected?
JER 17:5 Thus says the Lord,
"Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
JER 17:6 "For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
Now, no one can be continually holy, nevertheless he may enjoy a life so wonderful that anything else fades by comparison.
If you have ever lived in complete union fellowship with the risen Lord for a moment, you can never be satisfied with anything less. True, the old nature takes its toll and there are periods when you follow afar off; but the memory of such moments with Him will give you a tantalizing hunger that nothing else will satisfy.
1TH 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;
1TH 4:4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
1TH 4:5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God
Some may say, "But I want sexual immorality and lustful passion," but if they do they are fooled into thinking that it is good, profitable, prosperous to body, soul, and spirit, and is rewarding, which they are none of those things and are in fact quenchers of those things - thus says the Lord; the Creator of life.
The KOD wants to fool the world and members of the church that perseverance of the soulish man and his sin nature really is the greatest of the heights of power and victory and freedom because if Satan can do that he can convince us all that we have what we need ourselves and that we don't need God or His way. He did this in the Garden of Eden with success by getting us to believe that God was afraid of us knowing certain things and certain ways and that if we did we would be like Him and like Him is one who is able to determine all things themselves alone. Satan wants the church to compromise God's stated righteousness and condone unrighteousness so that people will feel better and fill the seats. God wants the church to proclaim His grace and love and forgiveness in Christ without condoning sin and evil.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
The Lie - Why strive for fellowship with my Lord when all goodness and true prosperity is in my flesh and in the world?
But it is a big fat lie, as shown by the word as well as our own personal experience, if we're old enough, and also by history of the world.
As early believers we struggle terribly with these things since at salvation we all likely believed that somehow all that desire of the flesh would go away. Or maybe we believed that since we were freed from sin that pursuing sin with abandonment was true freedom and victory in life. Through false conceptions we struggle mightily in our early Christian lives.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
There is another aspect to crucifixion that we often don't remember, it was long. The Roman's were not the first to use crucifixion but they perfected its deadly art. They designed the cross in such a way so that the agonizing criminal would live as long as possible and so suffer as long as possible.
We are fully crucified with Christ at the moment of salvation, but the application of that fact is time consuming and often seemingly excruciatingly slow. An hour on the cross felt like a month.
As I said, we are fully crucified with Christ at the moment of salvation and so this is not a process. Growth is a process and with increased growth we more often reckon our old man to be dead and our new man to be the real life within us.
With doctrine in our souls by which to survey our lives with a clear and objective eye we see conflicts, growing pains, progress, and defeats. Tears mingle with laughter, wailing tears with belly fits of laughter, and all the while, with the objective eye of grace we see overall growth, more love, more power, and more of Christ in us.
Hence, God desires us to have fellowship with Him. What a wondrous thing, that God desires to fellowship with us.
How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with Thee.
The first thing a believer must do if he is to have a lifetime of fellowship with his Lord, a joint-participation in a common interest or activity, or a unity of mind, love, spirit, and purpose, is to learn to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
This knowledge of Him goes beyond knowledge of Him as Savior only but as Lord, constant Helper, Guide, and Friend.
How else could he participate in the common interest of His Lord if He doesn't know His Lord?
He must study the account of His life in the four gospels. He is given ample time by God to come to understand all that He said and did in the gospel accounts. This will give him more of an intimate wisdom of Him than if the Lord stood bodily right in front of Him. A lot of people would love to see Him physically, get a visit from Him, but in that visit would He be able to tell you all that He is and loves and desires? He would have to visit you for the rest of your life. We have the gospel accounts in order to accomplish this.
In addition to the study of the four gospels he also needs to become well acquainted with the rest of the scriptures. The NT expands who He is into the many more things that He desired to teach the disciples.
It finishes what He began to say in the upper room and reveals the mystery of the church, kept secret from long ages past, but now revealed to the saints.
He must also become well acquainted with the OT, all of which points forward to Him and reveals His eternal relationship with Israel.