Series: Do we REALLY believe?
***Video is HERE***
Light has no Fellowship with Darkness
We left off last week in Phil. 2:9 where we had learned more about walking as Christ walked and living out our salvation in a manner which honors and pleases God by serving one another as though our siblings in Christ are better than ourselves.
Paul offers the supreme example of this in Jesus’ life by His emptying Himself of His privileges as God in order to serve – not just at that time – but forever. He has become one with humanity as well as having and always being one with the Godhead.
Paul ended that part of his letter by saying,
“(12) So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God Who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.
(14) Do everything without grumbling and arguing, (15) so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.
(16) Hold firmly the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run in vain or labor for nothing.”
I want you to really capture what Paul is dating here… fully own it!
He is saying that it falls to us to work out the remainder of our salvation. Wow the salvation of our spirit meaning our core nature was something only God could do for us through Christ and our belief and Reliance upon it. The rest of our Salvation which involves Conformity to Jesus in the way we think in the things we desire in the things that we place our affections ON – can only be accomplished in and through Us by our willful participation and that requires that above all else we hold God in deep and penetrating reverence and respect. Secondarily that our love for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ is so high that we refused ourselves the selfish tendency to Grumble and complain when we don’t get our way. Paul says that this is absolutely necessary if we have any hope of being blameless children of God while in this perverted world. He ends his discourse with this fanctastic statement that if we failed to have Christ formed in US – if we failed to live lives without grumbling and complaining and loving our brothers more than ourselves then that would make all of his efforts as an apostle a complete and total waste of time and he would stand before God having labored completely for nothing. Let that sink in. All of Paul’s traveling, all of his labor all of the punishment and persecution he endured for the sake of the Gospel all that he’d given up as a Roman citizen and a champion of the Jewish faith all of it would literally add up to nothing but zero if Jesus failed to be formed in these people and out of all the things he could have pointed to he pointed to grumbling and complaining as major pitfalls and not loving our brother more than our self as the one thing that could completely derail the whole purpose of salvation. And all of those things can only be maintained if above everything else we love the Lord Our God with all of our heart and respect him deeply. For two love and respect God is to love and respect your brother. And that is why we are turning the first John this morning.
If you remember the beginning of Philippians chapter 2 started with for rhetorical questions all of them focused upon are Koinonia with God. He said,
“(1) If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, (2) fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.
(3) Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.
(4) Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
1Jn. Continues and builds on the thought of a shared life shared experience and shared resources not only between us and God but between us and each other.
It is also consistent with the whole duty of mankind.
I told you last week I was going to start this morning with a few verses which summarize the whole duty of mankind before God, so that is what we are going to do as you wait for me in 1John 1:1.
Micah 6:8, “Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Ecc. 12:13o-14, “ (13) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
So, given that these words and human experience are true we can conclude that when we seek to serve our own self-interest (which includes and involves control, worry and anxiety) we place ourselves inside of an environment that is entirely hostile to our purpose in existence and what is most wholesome and healthy for our existence. It runs contrary to the message and purpose of salvation – which is NOT about us – it is about honoring God!
1Jn 1:1-10, “(1) 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– (2) 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– (3) 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. (4) We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (5) 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. (6) If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” and walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. (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. (8) If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
1Jn 2:1-17, “(1) My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ the righteous One. (2) He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world. (3) This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. (4) The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” without keeping His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (5) But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him: (6) the one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked. (7) Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command, but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the message you have heard. (8) Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. (9) The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother is in the darkness until now. (10) The one who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. (11) But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (12) I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name. (13) I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know the One who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have had victory over the evil one. (14) I have written to you, children, because you have come to know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know the One who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, God’s word remains in you, and you have had victory over the evil one. (15) Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. Because everything that belongs to the world– (16) the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle–is not from the Father, but is from the world. (17) And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.”
I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.
We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.
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