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Intro:  “Fellowship”, we like that word.  It has a nice ring to it.  It is Baptist for 

food.  In truth, the word fellowship means “things held in common.”  It implies 

standing together on common ground.  Imagine the glory of this statement, “God 

desires to have a close, personal relationship with you, where you and God stand 

together on common ground.”  Sounds good doesn’t it?  However, to many it 

sounds impossible!  John doesn’t think so!  In fact, he tells us exactly how this can 

take place.  He shows how close communion and intimate fellowship with the 

Father can be the normal Christian experience, instead of some mystical thing we 

only hear about, or see in the lives of others.

	Last Sunday, we dealt with the matter of backsliding or sin in the life of the 

saint.  You see a true believer can slip and fall into sin, but there is always a desire 

for a quick recovery.  The Christian will not be happy or satisfied until the 

situation is dealt with and the sin made right with God.  Here’s what happens, 

when a Christian sins, he breaks fellowship with God.  But, praise God, there is a 

formula for restoring and then maintaining that fellowship day by day.

	Allow me to share with you how you can experience this “fullness of joy” 

that John refers to in verse 4.  I want to show you, from these verses, how you can 

draw near to God, and remain there in sweet, wonderful fellowship.  Here is God’s 

Formula For Fellowship.


    A.  True fellowship with God hinges on our ability to admit our sin.  (Ill. 

	Owning up!)  God forgives sin, but it must be admitted before it can be 


    B.  Ill. The world’s attitude concerning sin.

	1.  It does not exist.  (Ill. God says - Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22; Eccl. 7:20)

	2.  It is an accident in the life of an evolving man.  (Ill. This is totally 

            opposite from what God says!  Man did not evolve, he devolved from the 

            image of God into sin! Gen. 1:26)

    C.  Before sin can be dealt with, it must be seen as an affront to God.  Until sin 

	is recognized as a personal attack on God Himself, it can never be forgiven 

	and there can be no real fellowship with God!  (Ill. Self-help movements and 

	guilt treatment techniques.  These are attempts at dealing with sin’s guilt, 

	and at the same time ignore it’s reality!)  As long as sin can be treated as a 

	mistake or a sickness, there is no need to turn to God, no need for Jesus, no 

	need for salvation, no need for the Bible, and no need for man to admit that 

	he is a sinner!  (Ill. This was the Rich Young Ruler’s problem - Matt. 19:16-


    D.  Here is the world’s viewpoint concerning dealing with sin:

	1.  Evolution - Man is on his way up!  Sin isn’t an issue.

	2.  Education - Man can be taught to live without sin.

	3.  Science - Solve the problems and mysteries of nature and man can be set 

             free from sin.

	4.  Sociology - Sin is the by-product of an unhealthy environment.

	5.  Psychology - Talk about yourself long enough, focus on what you need, 

            and eventually you can eliminate your own guilt.

	6.  Religion - Learn the doctrines, practice the rituals and do good things and 

            you will feel better about yourself and God will accept you.

     E.  None of these work, because none of these deal with the problem of sin.  

	After all is said and done, man is still a sinner.  There is only one plan that 

	works to remove the guilt of sin.

	God’s Plan - Admit your sin, trust God totally through Jesus Christ His Son 

	and He will remove both your sin and your guilt.  He will deliver you and it 

	won’t cost $75.00 per hour.


    A.  If we will recognize our sin and confess it to God, and truly repent of that 

	sin, He will absolutely forgive us and cleanse our lives - Heb. 8:12; Isa. 

	43:25; Isa. 1:18)

    B.  What is repentance?  It is a total change of heart and mind resulting in a 

	change of direction and action.  True repentance always results in a 

	radically changed relationship with God!(Ill. To the rear march!)

    C.  When we truly repent, (i.e. leave the sin behind and walk away!), our sin is 

	forever removed  from us and the guilt is replaced with peace and joy. 


    A.  Ill. The difference between relationship and fellowship.  Sin cannot undo a 

	believer’s relationship with God, but it can destroy his fellowship with God.  

	(Ill. Adam in the Garden - Gen. 3)

    B.  Ill. Many believers are attempting to hide sin in their lives.  They have sin 

	and they act as if everything is all right.  They are lying!  They lie to 

	themselves, they lie to others and they lie to God!  Eventually, they begin to 

	believe the lie themselves.  At that point, they deny their sin and by doing 

	so, call God a liar - v. 10!

    C.  This is extremely dangerous!  You will never prosper with hidden sin in your 

	life - Pro. 28:13.  Sin must be brought out into the open, when it is, we can 

	have pure, honest fellowship with others, ourselves and most importantly 

	with God.

    D.  Ill. Light - Reveals error!  This is why many people do not attend church 

	regularly.  Because their sin is exposed to the light of the Word of God, the 

	Holy Ghost brings conviction upon your heart and you are forced to see your 

	sins for what they are - an abomination to God.  People fear exposure, so 

	they stay away from the light, (Ill. Light and a dirty glass!)  (Ill. 2 kinds of 

	conviction - General and specific.  General is a feeling of guilt for no 

	particular reason.  Usually satanic!  Specific is always from God’s Spirit.  

	God desires to fellowship with you as with a Son or Daughter.  Therefore, 

	He calls to you in a direct fashion revealing specific sin.

    E.  Before sin can be dealt with, it must be exposed to the light.  (What you been 

	hiding?  Whatever it is, be notified that God knows!  He wants you to get 



    A.  v. 9 Deals with the matter of confession.  (Ill. As widely as it is known!)

    B.  What is confession?  Simply naming your sin to God, specifically, and 

	agreeing with Him concerning the nature of that sin.  (Ill. Present Tense!)  

	Sin ought to be confessed immediately.  (Ill. You wouldn’t wait all day to 

	get an eyelash out of your eye.  Would you?)  (Ill. A good prayer!)

    C.  A true Spirit filled life is not one that is sinless.  It is a life lived in close 

	fellowship with God.  (Ill. The Spiritual Rollercoaster)  If we would learn 

	the principle of instant confession, we would live more consistent lives.  (Ill. 

	People with mountains of unconfessed sin, lying like heaps of dirty laundry 

	in the corners of our hearts.)


    A.  The best news in the world, for the Christian, is that there is a place where 

	we can deal with our sins.  A place where our guilt can be exchanged for 

	peace.  All men are looking for such a place, (Ill. Where they seek), Jesus 

	offers it freely.  It is in His Blood.  Jesus is the answer.

    B.  Ill. Faithful - He always forgives and cleanses.  No matter how often you 

	come, He will receive you and cleanse you.  (Ill. He also forgets - Psa. 


    C.  Ill. Just - He blots out our sin and declares us “Not guilty!”  He will never 

	hold it over us again!  (Ill. We are seen as the Son Himself - Rom. 4:24!)

    D.  He will do it for whosoever will! (John 6:37; Matt. 11:28; Rev. 22:17)

Conc:  The first and primary step toward fellowship with God is the admission of 

sin.  You see, you cannot save, nor cleanse yourself.  Jesus has already done the 

work, He simply asks for you to respond to Him by faith.  When you do, you will 

be received, forgiven, cleansed and in fellowship with him.  Isn’t that what you 

want?  Come to Him now and get it!  Some of God’s children need to come home 

this morning.  You have wandered far and you are carrying a load of guilt.  There 

is no need to do that any longer.  Jesus waits to relieve you load.  Some have never 

trusted Jesus for salvation.  Please don’t go to Hell when God has made a way that 

you can be freely and eternally saved from your sins.  Don’t you want to walk in 

fellowship with the Lord?  You can, but you must come His way.

 The Fundamental Top 500    


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