October 8, 2023
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Things that Hinder Fellowship.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Behavioristic psychology today says that man is not wicked; he is weak. He’s not sinful, he is sick. Therefore we never really deal with the problem, because we never get to the root.
The way to deal with sin is to recognize it for what it is. Jesus did not die for “mistakes”—He died for sin! Sin is not an accident; it is high treason against God.
When you repent of your sin, and receive Christ by faith, you are born again. As a result, your sin is legally dealt with forever.
I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
Does that mean God cannot recall your sin? God remembers our sins, but He remembers them as sins that have been forgiven and therefore forgotten as sins. In the same way, you can remember a sin that you committed, but not as a sin held against you.
This is the Gospel of grace.
You are saved by grace, kept by grace, and no sin will be brought up against you.
So how does God deal with you day by day, when you sin? In a parental way.
You have two vital relationships as a Christian. When you are born into the family of God, your relationship as a child of God is established and will never change.
But what can change is your fellowship with your Heavenly Father. You always have a relationship with your father—you are always a son or daughter—but you don’t always have fellowship. Sometimes you are under discipline. “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6).
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
John is not talking about judicial or legal forgiveness here; He’s talking about parental forgiveness.
Here is how to experience fellowship with Jesus and get rid of those secret faults that divide you from the Father’s face.
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6; emphasis added).
Do all Christians have their hearts right with God? No. People can hold Bibles, sing songs, nod their heads and say, “Amen,” yet things in their hearts are not right.
After a while, a person starts to believe his own lies.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8; emphasis added).
You stonewall God for a while…nothing seems to happen. You still sing in the choir, still teach Sunday School. So you start to say, “Maybe it’s not sin at all. Maybe I’m all right.”
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:10; emphasis added).
God cannot lie. So when you call God a liar, you are the one who is lying. When God brings us under conviction, we say, “No God, you’re wrong. It was a mistake.”
When we do that, fellowship with God is gone.
How does God bring us back? The Holy Spirit will pull back the veil on the lies you have been telling to others, to yourself, and to God, and bring you under conviction.
It is very important that you learn the difference between the Holy Spirit’s conviction and satanic accusation. (See Revelation 12:10.)
If a sin that has been confessed and forgiven comes up again, that is from the devil. The Holy Spirit will convict you legitimately. Confess it once; praise God a thousand times.
Satan will convict you vaguely—just make you feel unworthy. You are the righteousness of God in Christ! (See 2 Corinthians 5:21.) Jesus is not ashamed to call you His brothers! (See Hebrews 2:11.) Vague shame is satanic accusation. You don’t have to take it.
The Holy Spirit will convict you specifically. If you do something and it has not been cleansed and forgotten, the Spirit will say, “Hey! That was a lie.” “You were rude just then.” He will put His finger on the sore spot and push.
Accusation discourages. The Holy Spirit’s conviction says, “Here is what you have done—but if you come to Jesus, He will forgive you. Come back into fellowship. You are loved.”
Once the Holy Spirit shows you a particular sin, here is what should happen.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is not the judicial cleansing we got when we were saved. This is God dealing with us as children. This is restoring fellowship.
Saying, “Well, ok, I did it,” is not a biblical confession of sin. To confess, you are saying about your sin what God says about that sin.
In the original Greek, “if we confess our sins” (see 1 John 1:9) is in the present tense. That is, confession of sin is to be a habit—not just at the end of the day, end of the week, or during the annual revival meeting. If you get a speck of dust in your eye, when do you try to get it out? Immediately! Be sensitive to sin.
The victorious Christian life is not a life without any temptation, fault, or failure. We all sin—that’s what 1 John 1:8 tells us. But in the victorious life, we’re walking in the light, we’re right with God, and the minute we sin, the Holy Spirit says, “You did wrong.” In that moment, confess it!
John says, “If we confess our sins…” Plural. We are not talking about sin nature—we are talking about what we did particularly. Call it by name.
If you want to do business with God, say, “God, forgive me for reading that dirty book. Forgive me for that lie. Forgive me for that selfishness. Forgive me for that pride.” Name it and nail it to the cross.
“He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9b). If God did not, He would be unfaithful and unjust.
There is no sin the blood of Jesus cannot cleanse. (See 1 John 1:7.) Not only does He forgive; He washes out the stain.
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
John is saying, “Therefore, don’t be cavalier about your sins.”
1 John 1:3-10, 2:1; Isaiah 43:25; Hebrews 12:6; Revelation 12:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:11
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.