Today’s topic is dear to my heart. Growing up I was often led to believe that I had all the power to make God move closer or farther from me. Enjoy today’s blog by Dr. Steve McVey, my friend and mentor.
Being Out of Fellowship With God – Not Possible
It is impossible for a Christian to ever be out of fellowship with God. Do you believe that? I begin this article with such a bold statement because I want to shake you into serious thought. As we grow in our grace walk we sometimes find ourselves having to rethink some of the things we’ve heard all our lives. This whole concept of being “out of fellowship” is one of those things we’ve all heard, but it just isn’t true. It isn’t true for one simple reason: the fellowship you have with God isn’t up to you. Your Father has embraced you with an eternal grip that makes it impossible for you to wiggle out of His love and acceptance.
If it is possible to be out of fellowship with God, what would cause that? Sin, of course. That’s the silver bullet against the Christian, right? Don’t be so quick to agree. The truth of the matter is that Christ has dealt a death blow against sin that will eternally keep it from ever interfering with how God sees you. Sin has been defeated. When Jesus said, “If is finished!” that’s exactly what He meant.
John wrote in 1 John 1:7, that “if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Know this: You do walk in the Light. Even when you sin, you are in the Light because He is the Light of the world and you are constantly in Him. Our perception of the light may be obscured, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are in the light. If I go outside into the bright sunlight and put on a sleep mask so that I see nothing but complete darkness, am I in the light? Yes, I am still in the light. My only problem is that my perception of the light has been blocked.
That’s what sin does in our lives. It blinds us to the fact that we are standing in the Light of His love and grace at every moment and to the reality that nothing can change that. John said that “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The word “cleanses” in the verse is the Greek word kathariz, a word which has powerful implications. The word is present, active, indicative – meaning that the blood of Christ at this moment and at every moment is keeping us cleansed of all sin. If we are being constantly kept cleansed of sin, what would cause God to be out of fellowship with us?
When the prodigal son was in the pig pen, his perception of fellowship with his father was totally changed. He would have said that he was out of fellowship but, in reality, his Dad’s attitude toward him hadn’t changed at all. His Dad still loved, adored and accepted him the way he always had done. The problem was in the son’s mind, not in the Dad’s attitude.
The same is true of us. Our Father adores us and nothing ever changes that fact. Our perception may be that we are “out of fellowship” at times, but God never sees it that way. He embraces and loves us even when we feel like we have broken fellowship with Him. You are cleansed of your sins and your Father accepts you. So put aside the notion that fellowship with Him can be broken by your behavior. It isn’t about you. It never has been. It’s all about His unconditional acceptance. He is in fellowship with us and we aren’t big enough to ever change that!