1 John 1:1-10 GOD’S FORMULA FOR FELLOWSHIP
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.
I. v. 8, 10 WE MUST RECOGNIZE OUR SINS
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.
II. v.9 WE MUST REPENT OF OUR SIN
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.
III. v.7 WE MUST REVEAL OUR SINS
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
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
IV. v.9 WE MUST RELATE OUR SINS
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.)
V. v.9 WE MUST REST IN THE LORD
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.