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Last Sunday night’s sermon was, to me, one of the most foundational truths of our faith: God cleans you up through fellowship with Jesus.
In preaching class, we’re taught to give a simple “take-home-truth,” which is a phrase that helps answer the question, “What was the sermon about?” It’s a hook on which to hang your actions throughout the following week. It’s a command from God to be obeyed… if the preaching was biblical, that is.
So, I suppose last Sunday night’s sermon’s take-home-truth was this: Fellowship with Jesus.
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Just fellowship with Jesus. Sit down and dwell a little while with Him.
Our teens joke around about over-simplified advice: “If you’re depressed, just stop being sad.” Or, “If you lose your temper, just don’t get mad.”
Done. Fixed. Why didn’t I think of that?!
Well, the Bible can sometimes feel like it’s over-simplified advice: “Be blameless… God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
And in today’s verse, “be perfectly joined together in the same mind.”
Oh! Simple, right?
Well, actually, yes. We submit to God, and then he does all the clean-up work. He sees the “dirt” of carnality, then He gets the bucket and sponge, and He goes to scrubbing, and He does the cleaning… and WE get the benefit of being clean!
We just have to be available to be cleaned… through fellowshiping with Jesus. The wonderful part is that it’s not a burden! 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
J. I. Packer wrote about how our sin nature dupes us into believing we’d be better off if we ran our own lives. What a lie!
He says of most Christians: “They hang on to the unspiritual and morally murky behavior patterns and feel to give up those things would be impossibly painful and impoverishing, so though they know they should, they do not. Instead, they settle for being substandard Christians, imagining they will be happier that way. The truth is that they are behaving in a radically unnatural way, one that offers deep-level violence to their changed nature.”
In other words, Packer is calling you to BE what you ARE, a Gospel-changed person! To live in selfish sin is to conflict with the spirit—the real you, the new you, the changed you.
This time in church is merely a fraction of the time you need to chip away at those “morally murky behavior patters,” but it’s a great start! God is calling us all to something completely beautiful in His Son, and any level of growth it takes to get there is worth it.
Don’t settle for the substandard Christian path—it’s broad and leads to destruction. Instead, yield to the Holy Spirit. Live in sanctification. You are a saint. You are sanctified. You are in Christ!
Be what you are: changed by the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!
HOW? Some Practical Tips
How do we fellowship with Jesus?
1. Enroll in discipleship. No matter who you are, if you have never completed our one-on-one accountability and Bible study program, see Si Rangel to join.
2. Come to all church services. We fellowship with Jesus every service, but you are also equipped and inspired to do more on your own.
3. Read the Scriptures. I prefer daily. It aligns my everyday life with my eternal purpose. It helps me remember who God is and why I’m here.
4. Pray. Talk to God while you drive, work out, or sing through a hymnal on your own. There’s no fooling him, so be open!
5. Study and Meditate. I like reading, but we’re more often told to study and meditate on the Scriptures. Reading gives the broad understanding, but study and meditation help you connect what you read to God and life.
Are you noticing that a lot of your fellowship with Jesus is fellowship with the Word? That’s on purpose. John 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”