By John Foll, finished writing on 5/27/2017 and 5/28/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“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.” 1 John 1:7 NASB.
This text is so true! This is very important! Walk in the light as God is the Light. Jesus is also the Light, the way, and the truth and the life and He came to reveal the love of His Father to the World. John 3:16-17; 9:5, 24:6; 12:46, 35-36; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:1-3. There can be no sweeter fellowship than the fellowship with Jesus and the Father, with the Holy Spirit, and with others who also have true fellowship with God!
The disciples of Jesus were learning of Him, but were bickering among themselves about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. See Matthew 18:1-4; Luke 22:24. But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, they were changed more into His likeness and imbued with His Spirit, and had fellowship with one another. Then the Holy Spirit was poured out on them in Acts 2.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1 KJV. Jesus’ disciples were following His command in Acts 1:4-5 to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on High. So they waited, expectantly for the promise of Jesus. They were in one place, and they were in one accord. They were of like mind, in ‘one accord.’ This made their fellowship sweet, a place where the Holy Spirit would be happy to dwell in, since God is love. 1 John 4:8. This is the way all will be, who have given themselves to God, towards others of like mind; they will be in one accord. This is the only real unity that can be had that is of any value, unity ‘in the Lord.’ Only God can bring about this unity! He brings about this unity among those who are obedient to Him and have yielded fully to Him, because the Holy Spirit is given to all who obey Him. Acts 5:32. And to those who would speak His words, He gives the Spirit without measure! John 3:34 NASB. All those who are God’s are heeding Jesus’ counsel that they should love one another, and are Jesus’ disciples. John 3:34-35; 15:8, 10.
What is the basis for true fellowship? “We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.” Psalms 55:14 NASB. This psalm is talking about the fellowship between fellow believers walking together in harmony, sharing the same beliefs, i.e. in ‘one accord’ like Jesus disciples in Acts 2:1 at Pentecost. ‘What fellowship has light with darkness?’ 2 Corinthians 6:14 NASB. That’s a good question! How can those who are ‘walking in the Light as God is light’ have fellowship with those who do not love God and do not devote themselves to Him? So true fellowship is between those who believe and devote themselves to God. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 NASB. Who are “they” in Acts 2:42? It says those who ‘gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.’ Acts 2:41 KJV. What did “these” do? They ‘continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching’, they studied and thought about what the apostles taught them and put them into practice. They had fellowship with each other, and ate meals together and prayed together. Their fellowship was based on the joy and gladness they had in Christ, i.e. they were “gladly” “baptized”, and steadfastly adhered to the truths taught to them by the apostles, which led to them walking in one-accord with each other. They had received God’s Spirit, the Holy Ghost. How do we know that they received the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit? Because in verse 38 of Acts 2 Peter says, ‘Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:39 NASB. So all those who were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, who had fellowship with one another with the breaking of bread and much prayer, were baptized by Peter or the other apostles and had received the Holy Spirit! They had had a wonderful change wrought in their heart and lives that was impossible for anyone to get by themselves apart from God. They received the infilling of the Holy Spirit as a pledge of their inheritance in Heaven, because they repented and were baptized! There is no good reason why this shouldn’t continue to happen this way now in our day! Paul here states this same wonderful truth that these early believers at Pentecost had: “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of Promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB. This statement by Paul shows that the Holy Spirit is given for your redemption and to seal you; your personal pledge from God of your inheritance in Heaven, reserved for you if you want it! See also 1 Peter 1:4.
Fellowship with one another:
John the Beloved is saying in 1 John 1:7 that if you want the blood of Jesus to keep cleansing you from sin, you must keep walking in the Light of God, allowing God to change you and remake you into His image. What image? Simply put love and obedience. Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10. If we have the love of God in our heart, we will have fellowship with one another. How do you get the love of God in your heart? First you must confess your sins to God and ask Him to help you. Then He will give you a wonderful change if you do not resist Him. Then you must continue to walk in this light, and go where He leads you, not struggling against His will or the truth He has revealed to you from the Bible or for your life. You must walk in the light, if you want the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from all sin! If any are not willing to do everything He wants, stop doing it, drag their feet, or stop asking for His help, they will no longer be walking in the Light, and will lose their ability of having sweet fellowship with the other true believers. If this continues the blood of Jesus will no longer cleanse them from sin. This is the progression. Unfortunately there are many who go to church who are no longer walking in the Light, as He Himself is the Light, or they are not fully walking in the Light of His love and truth. This is the cause of the lukewarmness that is almost universal in the Church which manifests itself. Those in this state are missing the divine spark of God’s love and willingness to obey Him in their life.
But if any want to have life, they will walk in the Light of God’s love, allowing Him to mold and shape them, making them a new creature! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV. This is something no one can do by themselves, but if they want this, they will cooperate with God, and willingly give themselves to Him and desire to please Him. The only way anyone can have sweet fellowship with other believers, is to have God’s love in their heart and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then the blood of Jesus will cleanse them from all sin, and they won’t be guilty of His blood, because they will be forgiven and be led by His Spirit, walking in the Light. 1 Corinthians 11:27. This is God’s wonderful gift that He gave through the gift of His Son, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit that He gives to His people. “Gathering them together, He [Jesus] commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:4-5 NASB. The Father promised to give all of Jesus’ disciples this gift, this promise is for you too if you want it! If you repent, wait and pray for this promise, you will get endued with this power! When you get this power, you will be able to go forth and preach God’s love to the world with the same power that Jesus’ disciples did in the book of Acts! This is walking in the Light, as He is the Light! This is the true fellowship with God and this is how you have true fellowship with His true believers! Amen.
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© Copyright 2017 John Foll and earlier.
“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:39-40 NASB. “And He was saying, ‘For this reason I havesaid to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.’” John 6:65 NASB.
Wow! It’s the Father’s will, if you will give your heart to Him, that He will give you to Jesus, and Jesus will raise you up on the last day! Whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life! How do you know that the Father has given or will give you to Jesus? If you behold Jesus and believe in Him, you will be given to Jesus as the text says, and He will raise you up on the last day. You cannot lose if you do this. How do we know this? Because Jesus said here that He will lose none of those who have been given to Him. The condition again? To behold Jesus, God’s Son, and believe in Him.
Stop thinking about your past failures and problems. Just believe that the Father and Jesus the Son love you. Just believe that the Father will give you to His precious Son Jesus, who will raise you up to eternal life. He will give you a wonderful spiritual life now and when you die, He will raise you up on the last day! No one can come to Jesus, unless the Father draws him (by the power of the Holy Spirit). This is what is meant by ‘all that the Father gave me’.
In the New Testament of the Bible there are many comparisons between baptism, death, the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of our heart to walk in the newness of life – but these are often an allusion to the literal resurrection of the dead, that is promised to all who believe. Jesus also said this in our passage above in John 6:39-40 that He will raise up all who are given to Him by the Father on the last day! Is that what you want? To be raised up by Jesus on the last day? Then behold Jesus and believe in Him, and let Him create a clean heart in you (Psalms 51:10), and ask God to help you to become born again, so that you can enter the kingdom of God. John 3:3, 5.
God promised through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make a New Covenant with His people (the house of Israel and Judah, which also includes all Christians who give themselves to God, see Galatians 3:29), which was to be fulfilled starting at Pentecost in Acts 2 and continue to our day: “"Behold, days are coming, " declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."” Jeremiah 31:31-34 NASB. In this promise, not only does God want to write His Law in our heart, He wants all to know Him from the least to the greatest – this is also a prophecy of Heaven, which is when this prophecy will have its sweetest, complete fulfillment! But we can all have the first part fulfilled now, where God will write His Law in our heart.
So there is a link between being baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection and the New Birth of John 3:3, 5 and God promising to create a new heart in His people of Jeremiah 31:31-34, and when Jesus finally takes His people to Heaven, at the Second Coming.Baptism/death, raised from the water/raised into the Newness of Jesus’ resurrection through baptism, and to the resurrection of the dead on the last day. If we love Jesus and want to be saved we will want to die with Him, through baptism (and each day die to sin), and be raised to newness of life, and to be resurrected on the last day. “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13 NASB. Paul indicates that if we want eternal life, we should die with Jesus in baptism, and not deny Jesus. And in 1 Corinthians 15:31, he also adds ‘die to self’. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV. We should ask God for His Holy Spirit to help us to be faithful to Him, and not deny Him or His Son Jesus by our words, deeds, thoughts, or by the way we live, so that He will not deny us. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 KJV. God does not want to appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus, as Paul says above, and that waking or sleeping we should live together with Him. It is the will of the Father, as Jesus said above in John 6:40, that all believe in Jesus and obtain eternal life. Therefore believe.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:3-11 KJV. If you are not walking in newness of life with God’s love in your heart, or do not love God more than anything and everything else, or do not love your neighbor as yourself, then you have not fully, truly been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, or you have not truly beheld the Son Jesus or believed in Him, or you have not continued like this. But if you are walking in newness of life, life is good and sweet, even if you are going through great difficulties and trials, and your heart will long to serve God and tell others how much He loves them, and help them in whatever way you have in your power to do. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”Proverbs 3:27 NASB. And to whom is good do? To every child of God; every human being on this earth, good or bad, because God loves them all! If you are born from above, this will be your sweetest desire, to help all when it is in your power to do so.
If you know you are not yet where you should be, or are not walking in newness of life, and you have not truly beheld the Son nor believed in Him, or are not born again, there is still hope! The door of mercy is still open! Get on your knees and plead with God to have mercy on you a sinner, and ask Him to help you to become born again. Ask God to help you to be more willing, and yield yourself completely to Him. God will always hear your prayer when you beg Him for mercy and cling to Him for help like this!Deuteronomy 10:20, 13:4; Joshua 23:8; Psalms 63:8. And you can yet be born from above! Amen!
This is what we want and continue to want, to be raised in newness of life, and to be raised on the last day to be with Jesus and His Father in Heaven forever.There is a great joy and a great reward in loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor as yourself, because love is the fulfillment of the Law! Romans 13:10, and Psalms 19:7-11. This is God’s promise to all who behold Jesus and believe in Him.
Finally, to end this article, we want to bring this final statement from Paul regarding our blessed hope:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB.
#God #Jesus #Lose #Raise #Behold #Believe #Faith #Resurrection #Baptism #Death #Life #Buried #New #Spirit #Born #Again #Covenant #Condition #Heaven #Pentecost