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Confession and Fellowship

Confession and Fellowship:

 

Introduction:    If we are to enjoy and reap the rewards of NT fellowship we first:

(a) we must want it. 
(b) realize how important it is.
(c) then to be willing to put forth the effort to be a part of it in our church.

              We also must realize it will not come automatic. It is like everything in the Christian life...it has to be worked at and practiced. As we obey and follow God's word, it becomes a part of us. It is not natural to live a godly and righteous life. All believer's have a carnal nature which must be controlled.

Galatians 3:27 says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

Ephesians 4:24 tells us, "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

READ Colossians 3:8-17: But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

 12 Therefore, as Godís chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Two essential activities of Biblical Fellowship are:

First: Confession of wrong on the part of the offender. The person who does wrong. That confession is first to the Lord for unfaithfulness.

Second: Full and unrestrained forgiveness on the part of the offended.

I. Reconciliation.

A. Being Reconciled to a Brother . Matthew 5:21-24:

 21(A) "You have heard that it was said to those of old,(B) 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable(C) to judgment.' 22But I say to you that(D) everyone who is angry with his brother[a] will be liable(E)to judgment; whoever insults[b] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to(F) the hell[c] of fire. 23(G) So if(H) you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. True fellowship, and a relationship that brings peace and comfort to each other cannot really exist without being reconciled to a brother or sister. Forgiveness and toleration is a vital part of working at the relationship.....and putting on Christ.

1. Context: V13-16 Christ dealt with the example the believer was to be to the world.

Believers are the salt of the earth. What does that mean?? Believer are the example of what is right and wrong. They are the preservers.

Why? In Verse 14-16. Let our light shine. So we should understand that this qualifies the believer who is true the salt of the earth...meaning the one who does right and follows the Word of God.

Verses 21-22, Jesus talks about the sin of murder.

The act of murder is the result of something gone wrong deeper. The root of murder began in the sin of anger. Because it was not dealt with it lead to murder. Before anger was the sin of not being forgiving, before not forgiving was the sin of no loving, and all come from an attitude of wanting the Lord to direct our lives.

Anger is as wrong as murder.

In verses 27 and following He deals with adultery. The one who lusts, is guilty of adultery.

What is the point and the principle Jesus was teaching? One's attitude is important and wrong attitudes are sin!

2. The situation. You have offended someone and have subsequently gone off to worship God, but the matter has never been cleared up (v.23) God is displeased with this arrangement.

3. The procedure. You the offender, are to initiate movement toward reconciliation (v. 24).

Note: The New Testament term to reconcile means "to go through the process of bringing about a change."

What you are doing is two fold.

First: You have dealt with your anger. You have put it aside, desiring to clear up the misunderstanding. Your refusal to make the effort to settle the problem would indicate your is not right.

The world's way to verse 38, "An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth". This is against one's human nature and is following Bible principles.

Second: You go to the offending person and seek to come to terms with him. Your first act of getting your attitude right helped your get your-self straight. This act helps the other person!

4. The consequence. All confession without attempted reconciliation will fail to relieve feelings of guilt (v.24).

We are to worship the Lord in spirit and truth.

An important part of worship is itself is an admission of sin. That is what confession is, admitting our sins, and asking for help to over come it in our lives.

To attempt to worship without trying to get the matter settled shows our wrong attitude and unforgiving spirit to the other person. There can be no true worship when a person does not recognize and practice biblical love.

5. This says some important about worship also. Folks you can not honor and glorify the Lord with unconfessed sin in your life.

B. The Procedure to Follow in seeking Reconciliation when you have been offended. Matthew 18:21-35.

1. The situation. This time, you have been offended, hurt, or in some way mistreated, and you still entertain feelings against the person who offended you.

2. The procedure. You, the injured, are to have mercy on the one who has done you wrong, and are to forgive him... regardless (vv22-34).

3. The consequence. Refusal to forgive will result in misery--inner torture and torment (vv34-35)

              An unforgiving person can never experience true peace in their lives. Being unforgiving will effect and hurt the person whom we do not forgive, but the greatest effect will be on the one who is not forgiving. They cannot please God. That is why the Lord said...leave your offering of worship and go get the matter settled with the other party. God cannot bless nor help a person who is unforgiving.

C. Clarification and limitation of confession. James 5:16: Therefore,(A) confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,(B) that you may be healed.(C) The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.[a]

              James builds upon Christ`s prior thoughts pertaining to the confession of sin, extending the practicality of His message.....confession from one Christian to another (James 5:16).

              The context in is regard to asking for healing of a sickness. The sick person is to call the pastor and spiritual men of the church and ask them to pray for him/her. The "anointing of oil" here is medicinal and means the sick person is to take their medicine. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

              However, the passage continues and says to the sick person to confess his faults or sins to one another. In other words the sickness could be the result of God's chasten a sinning believer. We are to confess our sins to the Lord as 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is(B) faithful and just to forgive us our sins and(C) to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. says then and if the sin involves a brother....go to him also.

              It is not telling us to publicly or privately confess sins to each other. The context restricts the meaning to confession to someone we have offended only.

              God chastens those who are not forgiving. In love the Lord seeks to bring peace and blessings to their lives. The unforgiving person will be miserable and can never be happy.

II. Confession of sin.

1. Be careful about standing before a body of believers and giving a list of your sins. The Scripture states we are to confess our sins to "one another" not to everyone. Discretion is vital. Private sin is to be confessed privately. Public sin confessed publicly. In both cases only to the ones offended or effected.

SIMON THE SOURCER Ė ACTS 8:22: 22Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that,(AG) if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 

               Denial of sin, blocks getting over it and getting victory over it in your life. It harms your testimony and example.

2. Be careful in your confession that you identify only your own sin. Do not bring others into your declaration so as to embarrass them by sharing scandalous information.

3. It does not mean that you use the confess to scold someone or point out their failure, or show how they have hurt you. I means to honestly and simply confess your sin and seek reconciliation.

E. Seeking Reconciliation is the natural result of being born again. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21: Therefore, if anyone is(A) in Christ, he is(B) a new creation.[a](C) The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God,(D) who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us(E) the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling[b] the world to himself,(F) not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us(G) the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore,(H) we are ambassadors for Christ,(I) God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21(J) For our sake he made him to be sin(K) who knew no sin, so that in him we might become(L) the righteousness of God.

1. Verse 17 is subjective. It says "IF" a man is in Christ Jesus he will be a new creation. That means when compared to the unbeliever, the believer becomes a new man/woman.

2. It says all things become new. That means we live a different way than we just to. Again the contrast is clear, we live differently than the unsaved. We have a new nature which is now to guide us and we are not to live carnal lives anymore.

3. This verse compares the Pretender with the genuine Professor of Jesus Christ. The Pretender will live according to his carnal nature because he does not have the new nature.

4. Verses 18-21 addresses the basis of the believer's new life and also gives a practical application of that basis.

              Christ died for our sins that we might be reconciled to the Lord and he has given the Christian the "ministry" of reconciliation. Having a ministry means having a service (minister) and that service is to others, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.

               If means that we personally remain reconciled to others and we also help other to be reconciled to those in the local assembly.

5. Verse 20 says we are Ambassadors for Christ, that means we represent Him to others. The verse in strong language beckons believers to be first reconciled to God. You cannot have a ministry of reconciliation without being in a state of reconciliation with the Lord.

               You cannot really present Christ to others when there is unconfessed sin in your own life. You cannot help others if you do not apply God principles in your own life. For the sake of Christ.......be reconciled to God.

               How? Confess your sins which means admit your failure and ask God to help you overcome that sin or tendency to sin in your life. You will never overcome a sin unless your want to. You see sin offend brings a temporary pleasure, and we often do not want to give it up.

Conclusion:

               The Lord wants us to live together in harmony. To work together to do His will in seeing folks saved.

               He cannot do that with strife between us?

               Nothing cleans away the heat of anger, such as the cooling soothing effects of confession and making up when we are at odds.

               It takes effort on our part, it should not be allowed to fester. It takes forgiveness, realizing we too are sinners and are very capable of hurting one another.

               What is your response this morning to this....God's instruction. I fear some will ignore it, some will deny they have a problem, but thank God for the child of God who hears his Master's voice and says...."Yes Lord! I understand Lord" and confesses their sin to Him and clears the matter. That brings wonderful reconciliation with the Lord and those around us.

               It will bring peace and the real joy of our salvation. It will reconcile husbands and wives, children to their parents, brothers and sisters to each other.

               As individuals make their peace with the Lord, it will make peace in a congregation. It will bring the Power of God to a church and many will be saved and come to Christ, lives will be changed.

 




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