Light has no Fellowship with Darkness

Fellowship

Sunday 10/11/20

Series: Do we REALLY believe?

MESSAGE: Light has no Fellowship with Darkness

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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.”

God Bless!

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.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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