Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P27 (10-06-21)
Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Set You Free
Much of the so-called Christian community have been taught that you can be in and out of fellowship with God, either meaning that you can lose your salvation or you can lose fellowship with God when you sin, and when you lose fellowship, you have to confess those sins in order to get back in fellowship. Has anyone tested to see if what is being said is true, according to the bible, as the apostle Paul commended the people of Berea for doing (Acts 17:11)? And if they did, do they know how to properly interpret the scriptures? Do they even have a sufficient background to do so? Many people do not know what the New Covenant of grace is that we live under today.
There are many people who do not know the complete gospel message, the totality of the cross and of being made complete in Christ. Without the framework, understanding a passage like 1 John 1:9 in isolation is like trying to understand a gear shaft without knowing it is part of a car. So people are trying to understand forgiveness without knowing it is under a New Covenant of grace or that propitiation has taken place, where Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished”, in agreement with God who said His shed blood was all sufficient to take away the sins of the entire world and no more sacrifice is needed. So, since Jesus has risen He can now always live to intercede for those who are in Christ. In Christ is redemption, the forgiveness of sin, and holiness, righteousness and eternal life. Are you in Him?
A principle in biblical interpretation is to not go to the obscure in order to interpret the obvious. You go to the obvious and then interpret the obscure. You do not take an obscure passage and then interpret the rest of the bible around the obscure passage. You take the entirety of the teaching of the bible and then interpret obscure passages in light of the whole and not vice versa.
When you talk about being in and out of fellowship and of continuing to ask God to forgive you, it is not that you have to ask or do not have to ask. That is not the issue. The issue is are we going to walk by faith in truth or are we going to walk by faith in a lie. If I am going to walk by faith according to the word of God, then I have to walk by faith in the truth of the word of God. If I am going to walk by faith, then I act by faith. I know what truth is and I act upon it. I do not have to. It is not the case of whether I have to or not. It is the case of if I know something to be true, then it is the most logical thing to do.
So, if I am in Him, then I do not ask for redemption, for the forgiveness of sins, for holiness, or eternal life. I have that already, since I am in Him. I am a born again child of God, so Christ living in me is where I have all that as my eternal possession. I walk by faith in what God says He has already given me. It is not faith to ask for something I already have.
There are so many passages in Hebrews that explain to us this New Covenant we are under today. We also have the clear explanation of what the gospel is by the epistles of the apostle Paul, particularly Romans, Colossians and Corinthians. It is wise to read these books in their entirety many times over, relying on the Holy Spirit to teach you and not relying on your own understanding or to interpret based on what some preacher or religious denomination says. Then, drill down to studying the chapters and then the verses. Only in the entire context of the whole do you understand the smaller pieces. And then, knowing what is super clear, you come to a conclusion of what truth is. Then when there are passages of scripture that are less clear, then you base your understanding of what it could mean, not in contradiction to what you know to be true, but in the light of the fact that there is an absolute foundation of truth that cannot be torn down by an obscure passage.
So the passage of scripture that so many believers get confused on is this passage in 1 John 1:9. Many are taught and believe that it is written to Christians, like a Christian bar of soap you use to get cleansed of sin. So every time you sin, 1 John 1:9 is picked up like a bar of soap so as to ensure you quickly get back in fellowship with God, which can only occur when you confess your sin to God. This is faulty teaching. It negates the truth of the finality of the cross, that Jesus died on a cross, never to die again, and where God said propitiation has taken place, where their sins and lawless acts are remembered no more and there is no longer any sacrifice for sin, and Jesus then said, “It is finished” as he hung on a cross. By saying you need to confess your sins to God to get your sins erased is making a mockery of what Jesus says is finished, insulting the Spirit of grace and exposing Jesus to public disgrace all over again.
As long as you hold onto that in and out of fellowship philosophy, you can never rest in the finality of the cross. You are trying to work for what God has already given you, redemption and the forgiveness of sins, which you already have, if you are in Him. You are trying to make yourself holy when God has said He has already made you holy. There is no rest in that thinking.
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
You can never rest in what God says is finished, and enter into the promised land. You could be eating from trees you did not plant, drinking from wells you did not dig and take a vacation in Jesus. You have a choice of where you want to live. You can remain dead in Egypt. You can choose the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is how He saved you to begin with. “I love you. I died for you and I came to live in you.” You can remain in the desert, chowing down on manna thinking this is as good as it gets. Or enter the promised land and enjoy the freedom God has called you to. That is the whole emphasis of the book of Hebrews.
This disobedience spoken of is a lack of faith. Even in their case, the twelve spies, including Joshua and Caleb, there was already provision for their sins to be covered these last ten times when they failed. But God had spoken again and told them the land is theirs, and He will defeat their enemies before them. Just go in and feel free to eat whatever is there, for it is yours. There was no work for them to do. Just believe God in what He has said and enter in that rest. The root of all sin is not trusting Jesus in what He said. When Adam sinned, it wasn’t the dirty five or the nasty twelve sins we think of, like murder, adultery, stealing or covetousness, for there was no one to sin like that against. He did not believe what God had said and chose for himself right and wrong independent of God and ate of the tree God had warned him that if he did so he would die. He decided he did not need God and would rather trust the lie of Satan instead of God.
So, in 1 John 1:9, this fellowship God is talking about is not cookies and cokes, but an abiding trust in Jesus. It is a Sabbath rest spoken about in Hebrews. Fellowship is not I am in fellowship one moment but when I sin I am out of fellowship. Fellowship in the bible is two fellows in the same ship. It is talking about being lost or being saved. God has called you into fellowship. He has called us, and He will keep you strong to the end so you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7:25-27). God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. God is faithful. He called you into fellowship and He is the one who keeps you there.
In this passage in 1 John, there is this contrast between light and darkness, and whenever you see light and darkness in the scriptures, it refers to saved and lost, respectively. To convince you of that, and you can verify this through searching the scriptures, but here is a list of passages to convince you of that.
1 John 1:5-7
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light [salvation], and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
1 Thessalonians 5:4-9
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have [past tense] redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”[Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27]
8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
So 1 John 1:9 is not using darkness as if you are sinning, as if you are now walking a little in the dark right now and so have to get back into the light. That is not what the apostle John is saying here. If you claim you are in the light, saved, but walk in darkness, because you are lost, then the truth of God is not in you, and you are calling God a liar. That is written to someone who is lost so they may recognize they are lost. That is written to the Gnostics among them who are proclaiming to have fellowship with God, but not with Jesus, whom they claim is not God but is just an illusion and who are also claiming they do not even have a sin nature.