A BELIEVER'S STANDING AND STATE
[Sonship and Fellowship]
Many Christians believe that they can no longer sin once they are born again of God's Spirit. Our spirit cannot sin -- it is perfect. However, unless we make a concentrated effort to renew our mind to God's Word, after being born again, we will sin in the flesh. In fact, God says that even while renewing our mind, we will occasionally make mistakes and break fellowship with Him. We are going to sin somewhere in our lives. God does not take the spirit out of us when we sin. That teaching is a counterfeit as we will later see. This study will enable you to distinguish between your STANDING WHICH IS SONSHIP [permanent] and your STATE WHICH IS FELLOWSHIP [fluctuates]. Remember, God is not a God of confusion, but of order. You will see that understanding these two points is simple and you will never be swayed by wrong teachings in this area again.
You must take care not to misunderstand the difference between being released from the 'penalty of sin' and the fact that we can sin [broken fellowship] AFTER we are born again. The first chapter of I John talks much about fellowship and how we are to confess our sins TO GOD and get back in fellowship when we sin. Our STANDING as a son of God is permanent -- it never changes. But our STATE fluctuates by being IN fellowship and harmony with God or being OUT of fellowship and harmony with God. Of course, we want to stay in fellowship as this is the secret to living life more abundantly.
When all seems to be going wrong, we are probably out of fellowship due to sin -- broken fellowship. Our spirit of God in Christ in us CANNOT sin. It is perfect but we can sin in the flesh AFTER we are born again. The sin that we were born into is done away with once we are born again. Jesus Christ gave us all the option to start off with a clean slate. Because we are born again does not give us a license to sin. We can still face consequences when we sin and we will live a miserable life. If you think you are out of fellowship with God, get back in as quickly as possible. No one wants to be in 'left field'. The first epistle of John Chapter One talks about Fellowship with God.
I John 1: 6 -- If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
If we say or think that we are in fellowship with God, but in our heart we are really not blessed and walk in darkness, God says in verse 6 that we are a liar. You can't be in fellowship with God and walk in darkness at the same time.
I John 1: 7 -- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light [“as he is in the light” is not in the text and can be omitted], we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin [broken fellowship].
Because Jesus Christ gave his life, we are able to walk in the light (get back in fellowship) as this verse states. The 'blood of Jesus Christ' is a figure of speech meaning Jesus Christ giving his life. Because of this, "his Son cleanseth us from all sin." What sin? I thought he died for all of our sins. He did and we all then had the opportunity to start with a CLEAN SLATE after being born again. But the Word clearly states that we can and will still sin in our flesh. This is another area where religious teachers have such a difficult time and they teach erroneous doctrine due to a lack of understanding of God's Word.
I John 1: 8 -- If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
I John 1: 9 -- If we confess our sins [after we are born again], he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1: 10 -- If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us [in our minds].
The phrase "we make him a liar " is an idiom -- a figure of speech, meaning we 'attempt to'. No man can make God a liar. This issue of broken fellowship needs to be understood. It is not difficult. We would be lost without the epistle of I John Chapter One. Why does God want us to know this?
I John 1: 4 -- And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
God wants us to be blessed, not full of anxiety and fear, not only in this area but ALL areas of life. His Word is to be our blueprint for living. One of the worst things that can happen to a Christian is that they get out of fellowship with God and they don't get back in. It can happen if you don't stay sharp and continue renewing the mind. The world is a tricky place, to make an understatement, and anyone can be deceived into believing something that is not true. The counterfeit is very close to the genuine. We are studying the genuine and I thank God every day that it was made available to me in such detail and that I can make it available to others who want answers. God wants His kids to know the score and to be able to separate truth from error. God wants us to be winners -- more than conquerors in every single situation. This is available to you through an accurate knowledge of His Word.
II Corinthians 2: 17 -- For we are not as many, which corrupt [adulterate, water down] the Word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we in [of] Christ.
These teachers who water down the Word teach that we must be born again over and over again unless we never sin again! Hebrews Chapter 6 clearly states that this is "impossible." But they still teach it and people believe it. What a bunch of ridiculous, religious nonsense. These people do very much harm to a well-meaning believer. Look at the following example and then you make up your own mind.
When your earthly father put his seed in you, you now have his seed permanently, don't you? Do you think that God Almighty could do any less??! This counterfeit teaching that you are born again of the seed of the Almighty God one day and lose it the next day is a joke. When you're born again, it's permanent. That's your STANDING as a son or daughter of God. Now, lets say you did something your earthly father did not approve of. Now your STATE with your Dad is not very good. You may be grounded or lose your allowance. So what do you want to do? You want to "get things right" with Dad. So you tell him you are sorry and, lo and behold, you have your privileges back! Now your STATE is a good one with your Dad and you want to leave it that way.
Well, it is no different with God. Our STANDING as a son is permanent, however, our STATE can fluctuate. So if we mess up and sin [break the Word], we simply tell Father we are sorry in the name of Jesus Christ and get back in fellowship with Him. Then we get blessed and live the more than abundant life.
By knowing and understanding our Sonship Rights, we will break fellowship less. The more of God's Word we know and apply, the less we will break fellowship. When your thoughts start flowing together like two parallel rivers that finally meet, you'll know that you are truly in fellowship and your mind is renewed with rivers of living water -- God's matchless Word. Then, and only then, will you experience the fruit of the spirit.
Galatians 5: 22, 23 -- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
These nine fruit of the Spirit are the result of the operation of the nine manifestations of Holy Spirit which you can operate by your own free will [I Corinthians Chapter 12: 8, 9, 10].
BUT REMEMBER, TO RECEIVE THOSE BENEFITS, YOU MUST BE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
FELLOWSHIP IS THE SECRET