by Mike Ratliff
14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15 NASB)
Contrary to what most believe about Christianity, what one’s own framework is of their conception of salvation and having fellowship with Jesus Christ is irrelevant. Unless this ‘understanding’ is totally submitted to the Word of God and the authority of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit then it will be according to the counsel of the individual’s own conscience. This counsel is according to the value system of the individual not according to what God has revealed. It creates its own image of God and holds that image accountable to the individual’s value system.
Our whole Salvation consists only in Christ. Those who are ‘saved’ have been redeemed from the slave market of iniquity and been declared righteous according to the righteousness of the Saviour. However, the redeemed are not perfect and still sin. What many who have their own unbiblical concept of our salvation believe is that all we really need to do about our sin is feel bad, make a fuss about it, and promise God that we will try harder next time to abstain. These same professing Christians will cry foul and resist any teaching that calls for the mortification of our sin saying that that is only fodder for self-righteousness.
Many so-called Christian leaders today are teaching that unrepentant sinners such as homosexuals are still part of the Kingdom of God. However, that is an unbiblical understanding. I contend that this sort of thing is a product of the free-for-all theological crapshoot that we described in the introduction. Relativism is of man, not of God. There is no compromise in God. There are no gray areas in God. When we see compromise and gray areas in a teaching then we know that it is not of God. The Bible teaches us that regenerate Christians will not take a boldness to sin. Only those who endeavor to keep Christ’s commandments have truly believed and prove it by walking in repentance.
4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. 5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 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. (1 John 1:4-7 NASB)
God gave this message to the Apostles. The message is that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. The fruits of our faith must declare whether we are joined in God or not. God is pure and holy and will not have fellowship with those whose pattern of life is marked by unrepentant sin for this is the domain of darkness. Those who profess to be Christians, but whose lifestyle is marked by unrepentant sin are deceived or are lying. They posses an evil conscience and have no fear of God. In spite of their claims of enlightenment and fellowship with Christ, their walking in darkness disproves those claims. This also demonstrates to us their lack of genuine salvation.
When we were united by faith to Christ, we were brought into such complete fellowship with Him, that we were made one with Him, and His interests and ours became mutual and identical. We have fellowship with Christ in His love. What He loves we love. He loves the saints-so do we. He loves sinners-so do we. He loves the poor perishing race of man, and pants to see earth’s deserts transformed into the garden of the Lord-so do we. We have fellowship with Him in His desires. He desires the glory of God-we also labour for the same. He desires that the saints may be with Him where He is-we desire to be with Him there too. He desires to drive out sin-behold we fight under His banner. He desires that His Father’s name may be loved and adored by all His creatures-we pray daily, “Let Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven.” We have fellowship with Christ in His sufferings. We are not nailed to the cross, nor do we die a cruel death, but when He is reproached, we are reproached; and a very sweet thing it is to be blamed for His sake, to be despised for following the Master, to have the world against us. The disciple should not be above His Lord. In our measure we commune with Him in His labours, ministering to men by the word of truth and by deeds of love. Our meat and our drink, like His, is to do the will of Him who hath sent us and to finish His work. We have also fellowship with Christ in His joys. We are happy in His happiness, we rejoice in His exaltation. Have you ever tasted that joy, believer? There is no purer or more thrilling delight to be known this side heaven than that of having Christ’s joy fulfilled in us, that our joy may be full. His glory awaits us to complete our fellowship, for His Church shall sit with him upon His throne, as His well-beloved bride and queen. – C.H. Spurgeon
Walking in the light means that Christians’ lifestyles will reflect God’s light into the temporal. This walk will be marked by both correct doctrine (God’s truth) and moral purity (God’s holiness). It also means that when others observe Christians’ lives, even closely, no hidden, unrepentant sins will be found. Why? Christ’s character is progressively becoming more manifest in them along with the same proportion of cleansing from all sin. A continual dealing with sin marks the Genuine Christian walk.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 NASB)
If we break this passage down, we will see that John is including himself and all Christians by using “we” and “us.” We all sin, but the genuine Christian cannot be at peace with it. We must confess our sins to God and submit to His discipline as He forgives us and cleanses us. The more humble we become in this process the sooner we will find our sin dead at our feet with no power over us at all. However, the moment we revert back to believing in ourselves, that we have accomplished the victory and are no longer submitted to the Word of God and our Lord, our flesh will demand to be fed and without the joy of the Lord to strengthen us, we will soon find that the sin we thought was killed will be right back in our hearts making itself at home. Then we must confess our sins and seek repentance by drawing near unto our Lord. Our natural tendency after we sin is to flee from Him, but if we will turn from what our flesh demands and seek His face then what seemed to overpower us before is nothing more then mud in our mouths which has also caused us to become filthy in our own eyes. Then we humbly seek His face and find forgiveness and cleansing. Then it is imperative that we get back into the race with our eyes firmly fixed on our Lord (Hebrews 12:1-2).
My brethren this is what the genuine Christian walk is all about and those fighting this battle are the ones who have fellowship with Christ. Those who do not have it are those comfortable with their unrepentant sin.
Soli Deo Gloria!