Friday, February 18, 2011

A Formula For Fellowship - Part 3

How do you get right with God and stay right with God? 

3.  Now the third thing…Not only must that sin be exposed to the light, not only must be expressed to the Lord, it needs to be expelled from the life.   

Look at chapter 2 verse 1 and see why John is doing this.  

Is John saying, “Oh it really doesn’t make a difference how you sin?” Oh no! 

“Or whether we sin?” Oh no!   

He says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”   

You say, “Hey pastor Rogers, you are making it awful easy to be forgiven.”  No, John says, “I’m not writing these things to encourage you to sin, I am writing these things so you sin not.  But if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  What he is saying is this…”My desire, my goal for you is this…that you live a sinless life.”  That’s the goal, that’s the aim.  But if you sin, here is the way to be cleansed, the way to be forgiven.  John knowing we are not perfect and we would not be until we get to heaven, holds nothing less than a perfect standard mind you.   

Why do I love God?  Why do I serve God?  If I am truly saved, no amount of condemnation will keep me from going to heaven.  God will discipline me. God will chastise me.  But if I am truly saved, I am going to heaven.    Why are you so careful about dealing with these day by day things in a practical thing?  Because I want fellowship with God.  Because I want joy.  John says, “I am writing so that you might have fellowship, so you might have joy.”   

So why do I therefore serve God?  I would as soon eat dirt than to sin.  Why?   
(1) A slave serves because he has to. 
(2) An employee serves because he needs to. 
(3) A son serves because he wants to.   

I am all three.  I am a slave, servant and a son.   I serve him because I have to, because I need to, but mostly because I want to.  He’s done so much for me.  So this is not an inducement to sin.  This is an inducement not to sin. “These things that I write unto you, that you sin not.”  But isn’t this a wonderful salvation.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that He forgives our sins judicially and never again will sin be brought up against us, to send us to hell.  But then as a son, in order that He might have fellowship with us, He tells us that if our sin were being exposed to the light, if our sin were to be expressed to the Lord, it can be expelled from the life.  That’s wonderful. 

Adrian Rogers  3/9/09 “A Formula For Fellowship”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Formula For Fellowship - Part 2

How do you get right with God and stay right with God?

2.  So, first of all, sin must be exposed to the light.  Second, not only must your sin be exposed to the light, it must be expressed to the Lord.  Look at verse 9.  He said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Do you see that?  You see once the Holy Spirit of God shows you what is wrong, what do you do?  You confess it.  Now the Holy Spirit of God legitimately, specifically, redemptively says, “That Adrian is wrong in your life.”  Then I say what He says about it.  I confess my sin.  I agree with God.  I don’t stonewall God.  I don’t say I don’t have no sin.  I don’t lie to others.  I don’t lie to myself.  I don’t lie to God.  I agree with God.  I express it to the Lord.  I confess it.  I agree with God.  God will not settle for an excuse or an alibi.  Don’t to rename the sin and say it’s a mistake and I need to be fixed.  Tell Him it’s a sin and I need to be forgiven.  Now if you do that, the bible says you will be cleansed.

How do you confess that sin?  First, confess it immediately.  This is in the present tense.  “If we confess”  That means do it now.  Don’t just wait until the end of the day to confess your sin.  Do it immediately, as soon as you are aware of sin.  You need to come into the place in your life where you are really sensitive to sin.  You know probably the most sensitive part of your body is your eyeballs.  If you got a piece of sand that flew into your eye, would you say I would get that out later tonight?  No, you would say, “Hey, I’ve got something in my eye, I need to get that out, its bothering me, its irritating me.  You need to be that sensitive to sin, to get that out of your life, immediately.  Now what most of us do is ride a spiritual roller coaster.  We are down here….out of fellowship with God…and then we hear someone preach and then we go to a revival meeting, we confess our sins and get right with God and back into fellowship with Him…then we get away and start coming back down again…then someone speaks to us or we read the bible and then we start going back up again.   The only problem is that our valleys take a lot longer than our peaks.  Have you ridden that roller coaster?  In fellowship and then out of fellowship and then in fellowship.  That’s what they think the Christian life is.  Let me tell you what the Christian life is…its not so much riding that roller coaster.  The victorious life is… you’re not right with God…you get right with God.  You are up here and then you are going along and a lustful thought comes in, or a dishonest thing comes in, or then anger comes in, or then pride comes in…and you are aware that sin is there.  At that point, before you go down there, at that moment confess your sin.  Do it immediately.  That’s the way you live victorious.  Its not that you don’t have sin, its not that you don’t have temptations, its not that you don’t fail….You do not have to go through those long valley’s of despair.  Confess your sin immediately.

Secondly, confess specifically.  Don’t just pray…. “Oh Lord, if I have sinned…forgive me.”  How does the Holy Spirit of God convict you?  Specifically.  How do you confess?  Confess specifically.  Call it by name, nail, and name it and it will be cleansed.  Say, “Lord, I told a lie, or I should not have read that, or I failed to do this and call it by name.  He says, if we confess our sins, not our sin.  Sing that song “Count your many blessings name them one by one.  And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.  Count your many sins, name them one by one.  It’ll surprise you what you’ve done.“  If you knew it.  Only the sin that the Holy Spirit convicts you of, that has not yet been cleansed, anything that is in the grave of Gods forgefulness you do not have to bring up again.  God will never bring you into double jeopardy.  Do it immediately, do it specifically. 

Thirdly, do it confidently.  “If we confess our sins, (He is what?) He is faithful (and what?) just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Think about the words “faithful” and “just”.  Do you know that if He did not do it, He would be therefore unfaithful and unjust.  Why?  Why must God forgive?  Can we speak God must doing something?  YES, Because Jesus died for those sins.  And the Bible says in the next chapter…He is the propitiation the satisfaction for our sins.  The blood of Jesus Christ would make God unfaithful and unjust if He did not forgive you because it is that blood that has the cleansing power …vs 7…The blood of Jesus Christ, Gods son,  does what?  It cleanses us from all son.  If He were to fail to forgive you, if He fails to cleanse you, He would be going back on the contract of Calvary.  He would be dishonest.  He would be unfaithful.  He would be unjust.  He would be a liar, a crook.  I can know that I know that if I agree with God the Holy Spirit about my sin, if I agree with Him, He is faithful and just to forgive me.  Well, you say, “Some things.”  No, no, no.  What does it say? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.”  Don’t you let that devil accuse you.  Don’t let that devil condemn you. “HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!”  You can confess that sin confidently, do it immediately, do it specifically.  You do not have to go around carrying that load of guilt.  That’s a wonderful thing about being a child of God.

Adrian Rogers  3/9/09 “A Formula For Fellowship”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Formula For Fellowship - Part 1

I John 1:3

A child of God can slip into sin very easily but he should also have a desire to get back into fellowship with God very quickly.

To have fullness of joy you must have fellowship with the God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Two relationships with God is sonship and fellowship.  They ought to both be the same but sometimes they are not.  When you become a Christian you are His, He is your Father.  You can still walk in darkness and still be Gods but your fellowship will cease as you are in darkness and so your joy ceases as well.  So you can have sonship without fellowship.  You never stop being His son.

How to have fellowship with God the Father and with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Read verse 6

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, 
we lie and do not practice the truth;  1 John 1:6

How do you get right with God and stay right with God?

1.  Your sin must be exposed to the Light - “If we walk in the light” (vs 7). 
         Who is the light?  God is light.(vs 5) “… for in Him there is no darkness…”

You just open your life to God and you say, “Lord is there anything in my heart and in my life that is not right with you?”

Many times we don’t want to do that.  We hate the life because our deeds are evil.  But your sin must be exposed to the light.  “If we walk in the light…” (vs 7)  Our     sin must be exposed to the light. 

Look in verse 6.  Look in verse 8.  Look in verse 10….”If we say..”  3 times.  Some people say one thing when the other thing is true.  John is talking about the evolution of a lie.  We first begin to lie to others (vs 6)  and then we lie to ourselves (vs 8) and then we lie to God (vs 10). 

                   vs 6 - If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in 
the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

vs 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.
 vs 8 - If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving 
ourselves and the truth is not in us.
                   vs 9 - If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him 
a liar and His word is not in us. 
If you tell a lie long enough, you really start believing it.  You start making excuses, calling it a mistake, and giving yourself alibi’s, rename it, whatever.   Then finally you start lying to God.  When you lie to God you just stonewall Him and shutout the light.  So therefore you never really have that fellowship with God because you are not walking in light but in darkness.  You pull the veil of darkness over your sin.

Now what you must do is expose yourself to the light.  Just say, “Here I am Lord.  Holy Spirit of God shine your light on me.  Let me know if there is some sin or wickedness in me. Search me o’ God.  Try me and know my heart. Open yourself to God.  Don’t be afraid to do this.  This is not Gods way of punishment this is Gods way of blessing us.  God wants to lead us to fellowship and joy.  But so many of us just want to pull a cloak of darkness over our life.  Expose your sin to the light.  Now the light is the Holy Spirit of God.  The Holy Spirit of God will point out to you that thing in your heart, in your life that is wrong. 

You need to learn the difference between Holy Spirit conviction and satanic accusation.  The Holy Spirit of God convicts the devil accuses.  Now Jesus said, “He will convict you of sin.” But He says of Satan, “He is the accuser of the brethren.”  He accuses you before God and to yourself.

What is the difference between Holy Spirit conviction and devil accusation?  If you don’t know the difference between Holy Spirit conviction and satanic accusation you are going to be in deep trouble trying to have fellowship with God. The Holy Spirit of God will convict you legitimately.  The Holy Spirit of God will never convict you of any sin that has already been confessed and cleansed.  He will not bring it up again.  Lets say you tell a lie to your husband.  You said, “Oh God, I’m so sorry I told a lie. God forgive me.”  You confess that.  God forgives you because you confessed.  Then later on you feel dirty and guilty about that.  Who brought it up again?  NOT GOD.  The devil brought it up.  The devil wants to accuse you to bring you into double jeopardy.  Now the devil is dirty.  Remember what I told you…before you sinned, the devil said, “Oh, go ahead and do it, you can get away with it.”  But after you sinned, the devil will say, “Oh, you will never get away with it.”  Isn’t the devil something.  See he wants to bring up that sin that has been buried in the grave of Gods forgetfulness.  Don’t you let him do it.  The Holy Spirit will convict you legitimately, only a sin that has not been confessed.  But the devil will accuse you illegitimately, something that has already been forgiven. 

Another way the Holy Spirit of God convicts you is not only legitimately, He will convict you specifically.  Now the devil will accuse you generally.  If he cannot get you to dredge up some sin that has already been forgiven, then he will just try to make you feel guilty about anything or over nothing.  He’ll just say, “You are no good.”  Has he ever pulled that on you?  “Your just no good.  You’re unworthy.  God doesn’t love you.  You’re just vile.  You’re just a sinner.  You are no good.”  You are the righteous of God in Christ.  You’ve been saved, redeemed, born again, made a partaker of the Holy Spirit.  But the devil would just like to accuse you generally.  For the Holy Spirit of God convicts you specifically.  The Holy Spirit of God will tell you exactly, precisely, where it is that you went wrong.  You don’t have to do it.  You don’t have to dig around.  You don’t have to poke around.  You just expose yourself to the light and the Holy Spirit like a skilled physician will put His finger on the sore spot and push.  He’ll say you told a lie or you were proud or you were arrogant, or you were cruel, or you were selfish, or you were dishonest, or you were lustful, or you watched that show you ought to not have watched, or you told that lie you ought to not have told.  He is will name it exactly, specifically.  See, until He puts His finger on the sore spot, and tells you exactly what it is, you will really never have a sense of forgiveness.  But with the Holy Spirit of God convicting you legitimately and specifically, then you are going to have that sense of a wonderful cleansing, wonderful forgiveness. 

The third way the Holy Spirit of God will convict you redemptively.  I mean by that this…that He wants to bring you back into fellowship.  He wants to give you joy, he wants to bring you back.  Now, accusation leads to despair.  Conviction leads to confession and cleansing.  Accusation drives you from God, causes you to be morose and guilt ridden.  That’s on the devil.  The devil is the accuser.  He does not want to redeem, he wants to condemn.  But the Holy Spirit of God wants to draw you into fellowship with Himself. 

Adrian Rogers  3/9/09 “A Formula For Fellowship”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Trust His Ways

"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (Psalm 37:5).

"Having taken the step of faith by which you have put yourself wholly and absolutely into His hands, you must now expect Him to begin to work. His way of accomplishing that which you have entrusted to Him may be different from your way; but He knows and you must be satisfied.

I knew a lady who had entered into this life of faith...with a wonderful flood of light and joy. She supposed this was a preparation for some great service... Instead of this, almost at once, her husband lost all his money, and she was shut up to domestic duties, with no time or strength left for any Gospel work at all. She accepted the discipline, and yielded herself up as heartily to sweep, and dust, and bake, and sew, as she would have done to speak, or pray, or write for the Lord. And the result was that through this very training He made her into a vessel 'meet for the Masters use, and prepared unto every good work.'

Another lady who had entered this life of faith under similar circumstances of wondrous blessing ... was shut up with two peevish invalid children to nurse and amuse all day long. Unlike the first one, this lady chafed and fretted, and finally rebelled, lost all her blessings, and went back into a state of sad coldness and misery. She had understood her part of trusting to begin with, but not understanding the Divine process of accomplishing that for which she had of the Heavenly Potter, and the vessel was marred on the wheel. I believe many a vessel has been similarly marred by a want of understanding these things. (Hannah Whitall Smith - adapted)

When trouble, restless fears, anxious fretfulness strive to overpower the soul, our safety is in saying, 'My God, I believe in Your perfect goodness and wisdom and mercy. What You are doing I cannot now understand, but I shall one day see it all plainly. Meanwhile I accept Your will, whatever it may be, unquestioning, without reserve.'

There would be no restless disturbance, no sense of utter discomfort and discomposure in our souls, if we were quite free from any -- it may be almost unconscious -- opposition to God's will. But we do struggle against it, we do resist; and so long as that resistance endures we cannot be at peace. Peace, and even joy, are quite compatible with a great deal of pain -- even mental pain -- but never with a condition of antagonism or resistance." (Henrietta Louisa Sidney Lear)

Thus will I live and walk
from day to day,
Contented, trustful, satisfied, and still.
What life so shielded, or what life
so free,
As that within the center of Thy will!
Jane Woodfall