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The Fellowship of the Forgiven

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The Fellowship of the Forgiven

I am sure this week in some aspects as messed you up. You say what do you mean? Some of you recieved the teaching from the Kerry Skinner and said I am not sure how I handle all this.
Good
I hope you will keep wrestling with the Word of God and how to live out His word in your daily life.
This morning we launch a new series titled The Fellowship of the Forgiven. We spent several weeks talking about unforgiveness and how to forgive others. After Kerry was here, I really began to zero in on walking in the Spirit. I am ready for our congregation to move from constantly trying to stop living in a life style and for us to begin thinking about and constantly trying to start living a Christ like lifestyle.
So today we begin this transition from stop living in order to be a Christian to we want to start living to be a Christian.
May our thoughts be consumed by what brings Jesus Glory rather than us constantly thinking about how we disappoint him. Jesus may I live a life that brings you Glory. So we titled this series The Fellowship of the Forgiven. We want you to know that you are forgiven of your sin but what does it mean to live a life of fellowship with Jesus.
The Fellowship of the Forgiven
For this series Cameron, Justin and myself began to discuss where we might go for this topic and we settled on 1 John so we will be preaching through the book of 1 John in order to look at what does it mean to live a life of fellowship with Jesus by the Forgiven.
1 John is a pastoral letter. It is a letter that can be viewed as from a pastor to his flock. The author consistently shows a tender, pastoral care for his readers. You will hear this in terms like to make our joy complete, so that you will not sin and so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Joy, holiness, assurance: these are the Christian qualities the pastor desires to see in his flock.

1 John 1:1-4
I need a volunteer...
I need someone who does not mind talking in front of a group of people. This person needs good eyes, good hearing and can follow directions. Who do I have?
Alright come on up.
I want to take you back here where everyone can’t see and we are out of the way. It will just be me and you.
Look at this object
(Illustration continues)
1 John 1:1 HCSB
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life—
1 John
The author writes and says what was from the beginning. He writes about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This continues to affirm the incarnation of Jesus Christ as in Gospel of John
John 1:2 HCSB
He was with God in the beginning.
John 1:1–2 HCSB
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
That Jesus is God and that Jesus being fully God became man for us. We know that the virgin birth testifies that Jesus has always existed and was not created.
So the writer establishes that he was from the beginning and then he begins to testify.
We have heard
We have seen with our eyes
We have observed
We have touched with our hands
He mentions 3 of the five senses. He says we have heard with our ears from Jesus, we have seen with our eyes Jesus and we have touched with our hands Jesus.
This mornings illustration they came to tell you that they had seen what was in my hand they had touched what was in my hand and they had observed what was in my hand. So it became believable for you that I had something in my hand. So what was in my hand?
This marble from Black Diamond Glass Company.
Here you go because you volunteered you can have this marble.
In same way John writes and says We heard from Jesus, we seen with our eyes Jesus and we touched Jesus with our hands.
Jesus was fully God and became fully man and John’s testimony says we really did experience Jesus.
The Letters of John Commentary says this,

To have heard was not enough; people ‘heard’ God’s voice in the Old Testament. To have seen was more compelling. But to have touched was the conclusive proof of material reality, that the Word ‘became flesh, and lived for a while among us’.

Concerning the Word of Life. Our desire is that in this fellowship as the Forgiven we will come to know what it truly means to live. Jesus here is described as the Word of Life. May we shift our thinking away from the things we should not do and embrace Jesus to know what it means to truly live in him.
Jesus is the Word of Life.
To truly live and know the Word of Life is only possible because God manifest himself through Jesus. God made known to us this life through his son Jesus.
I am sure there were some who were saying that Jesus never existed and this in not truth but the author puts all that doubt away when he writes and says I heard, I saw and I touched Jesus. I am telling that he did exist and he is real and I write to tell you that I observed it all.
1 John 1:2 HCSB
that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us —
John 1:2 HCSB
He was with God in the beginning.
The pastoral heart of John shines through here in verse two as he writes and says we testify and declare to you and John wants the readers to share the same experience that he himself had experienced. He wants them to read this letter and say because John heard, saw and touched that we to share in his experience.
This morning some of you got to share in the experience of the marble and some of you in the room may have known exactly what was being described as they described it. You knew what it was and it was like you had seen it yourself.
John wants this same experience for the readers that I declare and I testify that the eternal life that was with the Father was revealed to us.
The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary c. The Authoritative Proclamation

For the Christian message is neither a philosophical speculation, nor a tentative suggestion, nor a modest contribution to religious thought, but a confident affirmation by those whose experience and commission have qualified them to make it.

Eternal life that was with the Father.
Eternal life that was with the Father.
Life is found in Jesus and Jesus is eternal life. Our hope and security lies in Jesus alone.
1 John 1:3 HCSB
what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship along with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
What we have seen and heard we declare to you. The author writes and says we have seen and we have heard and we declare to you. They experienced Jesus first hand. You ever try to tell a story that you heard from second hand? What’s the difference between a second hand story and someone who was actually there and experienced it. The person who experienced it can give you every detail.
John was there and experienced Jesus and he declares and desires that through his first hand experience that you might also know Jesus is alive and existed.
We declare this to you that you may have fellowship along with us and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Let’s take a quick survey in our church.
In your opinion who is the biggest Patriots fan in our church?
Cameron
In your opinion who is the biggest Eagles fan in our church?
Carla? no she loves the cowboys. The biggest Eagles fan in our church is not everyone because they are playing the patriots but Larry.
Cameron Patriots and Larry Eagles.
Is this what causes Larry and Cameron to have friendship well maybe but what drew Larry and Cameron to this church was not what football team they like but they have fellowship because of Jesus.
We declare this that you too may have fellowship along with us and this fellowship might be rooted in the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
I observe that often times Churches create small groups based upon age, gender, common life stages, with kids, single, athletic and there is nothing wrong with this but it becomes a problem when we think this is what brings us together.
What brings us together is Jesus and what holds us together is Jesus.
Perhaps if you feel like you don’t fit in here than maybe we need to go back to why we are here and how we all fit in. It’s Jesus that calls us all together and Jesus that holds us together.

We cannot be content with an evangelism which does not lead to the drawing of converts into the church, nor with a church life whose principle of cohesion is a superficial social camaraderie instead of a spiritual fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ

1 John 1:4 HCSB
We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
We move into a life of fellowship with Jesus. We start to learn what it is to walk in Jesus, to live for Jesus, to follow after Jesus.
Again we are moving away from ok what do I have to stop doing in order to follow Jesus to now Jesus what should I start doing to follow you.
It is in this life of fellowship with the Father that we see here in verse 4 that our joy may be made complete.
A life of fellowship with Jesus leads to joy.
A lack of Joy may be an indicator that fellowship with Jesus and living for Jesus is not genuine or real.
1 John 1:5 HCSB
Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.
He tells of of His first hand experience and then he says ok so what is the message that we heard from Jesus?
This is the message we heard and this is the message we declare to you: God is light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.
The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary Additional Note: The Symbolism of Light in Scripture (1:5)

Morally, light is purity and darkness evil.

Contrary to all your life experiences and this religion you may have formulated on your own he says what we heard and what we tell you is that God is light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.
Your life experience may tell you that God is someone other than what you have experienced. You may have formulated God based upon life experiences or what church was like growing up and perhaps this left a negative effect on you.
John writes and says what we heard and seen and declare to you that God is light and there is absolutely no darkness in him.
God is good all the time, God is right all the time, God does what is best every time, God is light.
There is no darkness in God at all.
He is not out to harm you, lie to you, abuse you, use you as bait. There is no darkness in God at all.
The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary Additional Note: The Symbolism of Light in Scripture (1:5)

Intellectually, light is truth and darkness ignorance or error.

1 John 1:6 HCSB
If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth.
1 John
If God is light and our desire is to walk in fellowship with the light then what does that mean for us?
How do we walk in fellowship with the light?
Proverbs 6:23 HCSB
For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective discipline is the way to life.
Psalm 119:105 HCSB
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
Psalm 119:130 HCSB
The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.
Psalm 119:
2 Peter 1:19 HCSB
So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
2 Peter
Light also symbolizes righteousness.
Ephesians 5:8–14 HCSB
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.
The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary Additional Note: The Symbolism of Light in Scripture (1:5)

The effect of the light is not just to make people see, but to enable them to walk. Right conduct, not just clear vision, is the benefit which light bestows.

We are not to just know the truth or know what living in the light should look like but we are to actually live the truth and to live as walking in the light.
The fellowship of the Forgiven is walking in the light. Jesus is light and in him there is absolutely no darkness.
To walk in the light is to know that laws of the Lord and seek to live in them.
Our desire this morning is to understand what is the fellowship of the Forgiven?
The Fellowship of the Forgiven is knowing through the testimony of others that Jesus was heard, seen, observed and touched.
Our desire is that we too may take their testimony and make it our own. Our Savior walked this Earth and died on a cross and rose again and people saw him touch him after His resurrection. Our Savior Jesus is alive today.
Jesus is the Word of Life. We want to start living!
Start focusing today on things that Jesus wants you to do rather than spending all your time on the things you need to stop doing.
Focus on Jesus and what it means to truly live.
Our fellowship with each other is rooted in our fellowship with Jesus. Look around this room and see that what brings us together today is God the Father and His son Jesus Christ.
Remind yourself of this often that this is what brings us together is Jesus.
This fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ brings Joy
God is light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.
Based upon the Word of God begin to change how you think about God and the lies you have believed about God to this point and begin to believe that God is light and in him there is no darkness.
Learn what it means to walk in the light and follow after Jesus.
John 1:1 HCSB
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The opening of the letter is remarkable in that it lacks

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