Romans 7:14-25

Fellowship – Just Do It!

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Today’s passage of Scripture, John is telling us how to go about sacrificial love.

19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 3:19-23

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In the previous post, Fellowship – The sweetness of Life, we discovered that love is more than just words we speak, but love is shown in the actions and deeds we do in truth. Now we will look deeper into what is meant by “in truth” John explains what he means by “in truth.” In order to get the point across John explains the problem of a shameful conscience (3:19-20) and the blessing of a clear conscience (3:21-23). 

The problem of a corrupt conscience: “19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” 

When we put our minds to do something to help others, it is then that our hearts may condemn us and accuse us of false motives, our own unworthiness, or any number of doubts. Where do these doubts come from? From our hearts and our conscience. 

The New Testament frequently refers to conscience as being a person’s heart. This is where our morals live, what tells us what is right and wrong. Our conscience came from the spirit of Adam and Eve when their relationship and fellowship with God was restored after they sinned. Remember that before sin they were innocent. But that after they sinned, they did have some knowledge of good and evil. Although the gift of conscience is from God, our consciences do not possess complete knowledge of good and evil. 

God knows our hearts!

For this reason we must appeal to God’s infinite and greater knowledge. How do we do this? We can assure our hearts by realising that our own consciences do not have a perfect understanding of the thoughts and intents of the heart. But God does!

So do not let the doubts of your own conscience keep you from acts of sacrificial love. Arise and shine, display God’s glory all around you.

Photo by Ray Piedra on Pexels.com

Just do it!

Fellowship – The sweetness of Life

Advertisements I am overwhelmed by the passage of scripture in this post today. The passage is so profound. Open your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through this passage. We know how sin stops us from being who we really are – and that is children of God! Sin also shacklesContinue reading →

The Importance of Fellowship

Advertisements The Cancer of Sin In this series of posts, we will look at the New Testament book of 1 John. A letter written by John to the church. Through this letter, we can understand that as Christians we can be certain of our salvation and our position before God. We have been forgiven andContinue reading →

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Importance of Fellowship, 0 comments

Fellowship – The sweetness of Life

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I am overwhelmed by the passage of scripture in this post today. The passage is so profound. Open your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through this passage. We know how sin stops us from being who we really are – and that is children of God! Sin also shackles our fellowship with God and the presentation and manifestation of His glory in and through us.

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10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Love One Another

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:10-18

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Hating your brother, which means fellow Christians or non-believers is a sin. In this passage we are instructed towards right loving — the kind of love that comes from God, true and sacrificial love. We are given three ways to love in this way – exhortation to love, an explanation of love and an expression of love. Let us look deeper into these truths. 

Exhortation to love“whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

As Christians, we practice righteousness and we also love each other, this is an action as children of God. The disciples heard this message from Jesus after the Last Supper when they received the new commandment – love each other as Jesus had loved them. It is crystal clear that John calls us to love, but, what does that mean? How?

Explanation of love12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.”

The parallel John draws on is brotherhood. One brother having problems with the other. One Christian having problems with another Christian. One person having a problem with another person. The examples that could come to our minds are countless. For this reason, John warns us, 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

This is an exceptionally strong image – to hate someone is to be considered a murderer! Hectic! Hating another is like us having a Cain attitude. Such a person is clearly not enjoying the wonderful abundant life and fellowship Christ offers us. The hatred is destroying the person and causing them a miserable existence.

John explain the opposite of hatred, right loving 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” The same words echoed in John 15:13? 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” If you have experienced Jesus’ sacrificial love, then you understand what love is all about. As we live out this kind of sacrificial love, God’s abundant life will abide in us—we will experience full joy.

Expression of love17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 

Whilst the need to physically give your life for another is unlikely to happen, it would be a blessed opportunity if it were to physically come your way. But that does not mean we cannot express love sacrificially. When our brother or sister has an emergency situation, urgently needs help, grab the opportunity with both hands – don’t miss it. To say we love without actions, without meeting his or her needs is pure hypocrisy. 

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Let’s love sacrificially, let’s give sacrificially! Unmeasured giving reaps unlimited living! To love as Jesus loved and loves us, that is the nectar of life!

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Roots and Fruits – Children of God

Advertisements Are you experiencing the deepest intimacy with God that you can? Do you soar in the heavens with Holy Spirit? If your answer to this kind of life is no, it is because barriers are chaining you down. If you are not soaring through this series, I will help you to understand what chainsContinue reading →

Roots and Fruits – the Child of the Devil

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The Importance of Fellowship

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Importance of Fellowship, 1 comment

On our own we are nothing

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He takes all our sins, faults, weaknesses, and failures, and gives us His ability, His righteousness, and His strength. He takes our diseases and sicknesses and gives us His healing and health. He takes our messed-up, failure-filled past and gives us forgiveness and hope of a bright future.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6.

But in Christ, we have a beautiful future, one worth looking forward to. In Christ means that we have placed all our faith in Him in every aspect of our lives.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the bright future we have in your son Jesus Christ.

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Roots and Fruits – Children of God

Advertisements Are you experiencing the deepest intimacy with God that you can? Do you soar in the heavens with Holy Spirit? If your answer to this kind of life is no, it is because barriers are chaining you down. If you are not soaring through this series, I will help you to understand what chainsContinue reading →

The Importance of Fellowship

Advertisements The Cancer of Sin In this series of posts, we will look at the New Testament book of 1 John. A letter written by John to the church. Through this letter, we can understand that as Christians we can be certain of our salvation and our position before God. We have been forgiven andContinue reading →

Move far away from the shallow

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Importance of Fellowship, 0 comments