Beginning your new life of fellowship with Christ


FOLLOW-UP 2

Bible verses from New Living Translation (NLT)

When you received Jesus Christ, you established a personal relationship with Him. You became a child of God.

(John 1:12). 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. You received His life, so now you bear His name, “Christian.”

A common question that many Christians ask is,

‘What happens when I sin and do things that are displeasing to God?’ In other words, ‘Is my relationship broken?’ ‘Does Jesus leave my life?’

The answer to this question can best be understood if we distinguish between our RELATIONSHIP to God and our FELLOWSHIP with God.

RELATIONSHIP

We can illustrate the difference between our relationship to God and our fellowship with God by the father-son relationship in a human family. When a boy is born into a family, he is the son of his father, because he has his father’s life in him. He then bears his father’s name.

Let’s suppose the son decides to leave his home and does many things to disgrace his father. Is he still his father’s son?

The relationship of the father and son is permanent. This relationship exists regardless of the behaviour of the son.

FELLOWSHIP

However, what would happen to their fellowship?

Because of the action of the son, their fellowship has been broken. What must the son do to restore their fellowship?

The son must go to his father, admitting he is wrong and asking for forgiveness.

Let us relate this illustration to our relationship with God:

  • Our relationship with God, our Father, is permanent.
  • We are His children.
  • This relationship never changes.

But when we sin and do things that are displeasing to God, our fellowship is broken. So, in order for our fellowship with God to be restored, we must admit to Him that we have been wrong and accept His forgiveness.

We can illustrate the difference between our relationship and our fellowship with God using three diagrams:

Read 1 Corinthians 2:14 - 3:3

14 But people who aren’t spiritual (natural man) can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

15 Those who are spiritual (spiritual man) can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

3:1 Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world (worldly or carnal man) or as though you were infants in the Christian life. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?

1) What is the non-Christian called in 1 Corinthians 2:14? See diagram 1.

2) What is the Christ-directed man called in 1 Corinthians 2:15? See diagram 2.

3) What is the self-directed man called in 1 Corinthians 3:1? See diagram 3.

Diagram 1: Non-Christian / Natural Man

4) Does this man have a relationship with God?

5) Does he have fellowship with God?

Diagram 2: Christ-Directed Man / Spiritual Man

6) Does this man have a relationship with God?

7) Does he have fellowship with God?

Diagram 3: Self-Directed Man / Worldly or Carnal Man

8) Does this man have a relationship with God?

9) Does he have fellowship with God?

The fleshly man in diagram 3 can restore his fellowship with God by confessing his sin.

Confession involves three things: agreeing, thanking, and repenting.

  • When we confess, we AGREE with God that what He has revealed to us as sin, is sin.
  • We also THANK God that this sin has been paid for by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.
  • Confession also involves REPENTANCE.

Repentance is a change of attitude which will result in a change of action.

The Christian needs to understand that when he does sin and takes over the direction of his life once again, he should immediately confess his sin and God will restore him to fellowship.

Read 1 John 1:9

9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

10) According to this verse, what are we to do with our sins?

11) What did God promise to do when we confess our sins?

SUGGESTED READING

Read 1 John 1

MEMORISE

John 1:12

12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

1 John 1:9

9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Answers:

  1. Natural man
  2. Spiritual man
  3. Carnal man
  4. No
  5. No
  6. Yes
  7. Yes
  8. Yes
  9. No
  10. We are to confess our sins.
  11. God promises to forgive us and cleanse us from all

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