Monday, June 15, 2015

Experiencing The Relationship

How easy it is for us to be isolated from the present reality of a relationship through a lack of communication.

"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 cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:7-9 ESV

"For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God." - Hebrews 9:13-14 ESV

Yesterday at the service by the river P Veader made a great statement when he spoke about the work of the blood of Christ cleansing us. He said in effect (I'm not quoting him directly) that we need confession because we need to experience forgiveness and forgiveness is not real to us unless we experience it.

That is so true.

" 'Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?"

And then will I declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.'

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching," - Matthew 7:21-28 ESV

People will know of Jesus but not know Him. We 'know of' people but don't know them but when there is communication then we can know them and have a relationship. As we live in transparency before people we extend a hand to them and relationships are possible. Sure, people can speak many words and hide their true selves. Folks do that all the time but eventually the masks fall away in the light of truth. Grace makes them obsolete. The blood of Christ nullifies the need for those defense mechanisms. The cross kills that old identity. People are raised with Christ in their experience when they participate in true fellowship.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." - Revelation 3:20 ESV

I think the people were astonished because Jesus was offering them an intimacy with God that they didn't think was possible to have. There are very few people who are open enough to talk to us this way in life. They didn't expect God would be a person like that.

We can get isolated and isolation is the enemy. When things start to build up in our minds it can distort our perception of how God sees us. As far as God is concerned the blood of Christ has cleansed us from all sin. Our agreement just puts us on the same page with God in His thinking and two can't walk together unless they agree (see Amos 3:3).

As a friend we can refuse to impute sin to people. Or to put it another way we just don't put error or falling short on another person's account as a mark against them. Then in our communication we function that way. Our faith in God is on display because we trust that God has covered their sin as well as ours. We don't do this as naive people. If some one has a problem or a weakness we don't ignore it. We just don't treat them like they are their problem or focus on it as if it is associated with their identity. As we walk in the light we can have fellowship together.

I plan to walk with God today and if I fail I will confess to God that that failure is paid for. If and when others fail I will make a mental calculation that their sin is paid for also and treat them as justified people.

No isolation has to happen or be reinforced. We can be reconciled ones who have a ministry of reconciliation if we communicate in grace.


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