Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 13 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Antinomianism).

Class Outline:

Title: Gospel of John [20:19]. Christ's Resurrection, part 13 (fellowship with Christ and the Father - Antinomianism).


Announcements/opening prayer:



The new teachers in Asia Minor were appealing to an elite group who wanted to go past the so-called humdrum of simple faith and simple devotion and who had supposed that they had reached spiritual heights never experienced by the simple and non intellectual believer. This Gnostic heresy was designed to appeal to the intellectual and not the common man. On the practical level these new teachers claimed to have reached such an advanced stage in spiritual experience that they were 'beyond good and evil'. They maintained that they had no sin, not in the sense that they had attained moral perfection, although some of them did claim that, but in the sense that what might be sin for people at a less mature stage of inner development was no longer sin for the completely spiritual man. For him ethical distinctions had ceased to be relevant. Perhaps he called them 'merely' ethical distinctions.


Christians stand on the brink of disaster when they begin to modify the adjective 'ethical' with the adverb 'merely'.


The new teaching thus combined a new theology with a new morality.


In such a situation it was impossible for those who propagated and embraced the new teaching to continue with those who believed that the old was better. In doctrine and practice alike the two were so incompatible that their respective supporters had to part company. The new teachers led their followers out from the fellowship of those who refused to go along with their teaching; they probably accused those who adhered to the old ways of shutting their eyes to the light, if not of committing the sin against the Holy Spirit.


The Christians who remained in their former fellowship were hard hit and shaken by the secession of these others, and needed to be reassured. The others were so confident that they were right; they talked in such superior terms of their special initiation into the true knowledge that humbler believers might well wonder whether their foundation was so secure as they had thought. Where did the truth lie? Where was eternal life to be found? In their old fellowship, or with the seceders? The seceders probably said, "We've got it; you haven't!" How could it be known which side was right? What were the criteria? For this purpose, this epistle was written. Who knew better than John, the last living apostle and the wisest man in the world at the time. He showed his readers that they were right and the seceders did not satisfy the criteria for truth according the person of Christ, the manifestation to the world of the Father. He knows what the true gospel is, because he was there when it began. He had been a companion of the incarnate Word of Life - had seen Him, heard Him, beheld Him, and touched Him. His readers had not had this experience, but he writes so that they may fellowship with Christ as he had and still did. In his circle of friends John was called 'the Elder' and in this epistle the Elder would teach his little children, as he seven times addresses them. Through this epistle their doubts and fears and ignorance would disappear much like his own did when they witnessed the risen Christ in that closed room. They would rejoice together in the certainty which he possessed already and which, imparted by him to them, would banish their bewilderment and doubt.


1JO 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;


John reminds his readers that orthodoxy of doctrine is no substitute for righteousness of life. Truth in the inward being will manifest itself in life, PSA 51:6.


1JO 1:7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.


Fellowship with the Father and Christ are of first priority. Fellowship with other Christians, if it occurs, is based on this.


1JO 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.


1JO 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


"confess" - homologeo = to say the same thing as another or to agree with another.


Here is the antidote to the false claim of verse 8: those who deny their sin will feel no need of recourse to the cleansing power of Christ; those who, conscious of their sins, confess them have in Christ a Savior from whom forgiveness and cleansing from every sinful act has been freely received - not because God Himself is indulgent and easy-going but because He is 'faithful and righteous'. He is faithful in that His promise of forgiveness of all sin is sure: those who put their trust in Him will not be let down; those who come to Him will not be cast out. Those who deny the sinfulness of sin or claim to be beyond the effects of sin do not walk with God.


Confession of sin on the part of the saint means therefore to say the same thing that God does about that sin, to agree with God as to all the implication of that sin as it relates to the Christian who commits it and to a holy God against whom it is committed. All sin in essence is against God.


If we are to agree with God about sin we are to hate it, not condone it or make excuses for it. You can hate the sin without hating yourself because of the blood of Christ.


If we ask a God that cannot compromise or change to compromise and change, how can we say that we love Him? The acknowledgment of an honest man confronted with the holiness of God takes the form, 'I have sinned.'


The believer is to ever recognize it in his life when it occurs and understand his guilt of it, not in guilt, but in that it was his decision and no one else's fault.


Sin committed is our fault and we are to be determined to put it out of our thinking, our lives, immediately through the application of truth by means of the Spirit.


The verb is present subjunctive, speaking of continuous action. This teaches that the constant attitude of the saint toward sin should be one of a contrite heart, ever eager to have any sin in the life discovered and ever eager to confess it and put it out of the life by the power of the Holy Spirit.


PSA 51:16-17

For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;

Thou art not pleased with burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.


We must be wise enough to discern words so that we will have proper thought. Does a broken and contrite heart mean guilt and self-condemnation? In certain contexts they can be similar, but not in the scripture. David here speaks of the opposite of rejoicing over sin. He speaks of the opposite of offering an animal sacrifice as just going through the motions with no concern over the sin. He speaks of the opposite of have a "whatever will be will be" attitude over sin. He speaks of the broken pride of man who doesn't care for God's ways or God's righteousness.


A broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart speaks of a broken pride and a broken laissez faire attitude over sin as well as a humility before God who has forgiven all sin.


Everything that God does for us is permanent or eternal. He gives us His righteousness. He makes us His sons and daughters. He enters us into union with Christ. These things and many more are eternal and unchangeable. They cannot increase or decrease. One of these unchangeable and eternal, permanent things is forgiveness.


EPH 1:7

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace


COL 1:13-14

For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


COL 2:13-14

And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.


EPH 4:32

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.


1JO 2:12

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.


The things that we do in our service and worship of God do change. Through our decisions we go in and out of fellowship, we walk in the light and in the darkness, we walk in righteousness and unrighteousness, etc. And so terms like positional and experiential are used. What God has done to us and for us is always positional while our choices determine if those things become experiential or practical. In light of this some teachers and theologians have taught that there are two forgivenesses. The idea is that there is the forgiveness through the work of Christ and then there is the forgiveness when we acknowledge or confess our sins to God. Yet when we look at the act of forgiveness it remains completely on God's side and is His doing and so is permanent and eternal. We are not forgiven a second time.


1JO 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


In 1JO 1:9 we are agreeing with God as to the sinfulness of the sin committed, that it is against Him and opposed to Him, and we thought it, said it, did it - in order to return to fellowship with Him.


In agreement with God we choose not to continue in the sin but to adjust our system of thinking back into conformity with the truth, one of the fruit of the light, and we again walk in that light. Our adjustment is done by means of the Holy Spirit and is not of our own power. We trust Him to lead us back to the way of Christ. God has already forgiven us by means of the work of Christ. He has already cleansed us through regeneration at salvation.


When we are in agreement with God, co-participating in His mind, the Holy Spirit fills us for the purpose of teaching, leading, and empowering.


The mature believer determines to live his entire life co-participating with God in His mind and Spirit, today, tomorrow, and all the rest of the days. He knows he will sin but he does not purpose to do so. God's purpose is righteousness and not sin. Purposing to sin in not being in agreement with God's purpose.


Because of this truth that is fully illustrated in the Bible, some have professed that God does not forgive willful sin. Once again a false teacher takes a precious and gracious truth - the power to overcome sin - and swings the pendulum over to their bias, which in this case is legalism. All sin is forgiven. This is abundantly clear in the scripture. Of course, another false teacher who has a different bias states that we can become sinless, and another states that we should not care about God's restrictions at all since we cannot become sinless. Neither are correct and both are in disagreement with God's mind and purpose.


In confession and recovery we are cleansing our souls from the thoughts of darkness to the thoughts of light by means of the Spirit and as such we walk in fellowship with Him.


2CO 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?


2CO 6:15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?


2CO 6:16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,


"I will dwell in them and walk among them;

And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.


2CO 6:17 "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord.

"And do not touch what is unclean;

And I will welcome you.


2CO 6:18 "And I will be a father to you,

And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,"

Says the Lord Almighty.


2CO 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.