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Summary: This sermon focuses on personal, rich fellowship with God.

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June 5th Sermon, “Journey to Fellowship with God”

KEY SCRIPTURE:

I Jn 1:5-9, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

7 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, purifies us from all sin.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1: GOD IS PERFECT – no darkness in Him at all.

2: We are created to have FELLOWSHIP with Him, but we are imperfect.

3: If we confess, He IS FAITHFUL and WILL FORGIVE US and PURIFY US.

CHAPTER 2

1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.

I recently asked our youth group, “How many feel God’s presence on a regular basis?”

Some said they’re having Bible studies at work, some said they never gave much thought to it.

Either way, we know God is present everywhere and all the time, but feeling His presence is often just a result of acknowledging His presence.

That’s the difference between presence and fellowship.

Presence is easy. I can be present with my wife or my children in front of the TV, but as long as it siphons away all our attention from each other, there’s no real fellowship.

One of my favorite preachers used to say, “Fellowship is realizing you’re not the only fellow on the ship.” God is with you – all the time!

The question is, “What are you doing with His presence?”

People say it all the time in church, “I felt God’s presence in this morning. Wasn’t it wonderful?” That’s great, I think we should! But did we also really fellowship with God?

FELLOWSHIP IS THE KEY TO A REAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

If you read through the Gospels closely, you’ll find Jesus sneaking off time and time again, praying in solitary places and getting away to spend time with the Father.

Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Luke 4:42, “At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place.”

Matt 26:36, “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."

These scriptures reveal some of Jesus’ habits, the way He lived, the things that were important to Him. We learn – not necessarily that Jesus loved to get up early, but that He made Himself get up early in order to spend quality time with His Father.

Fellowship was extremely important to Christ’s Mission, and so it should be extremely important to us as well.

Turn to the book of Genesis where God and His first few people demonstrate established patterns of fellowship. They made it a point to meet in a special place and at regularly set times. That’s why it seemed strange to the Lord when Adam and Eve didn’t show up at the appointed time in the place where they met to walk together in the cool of the day. Let’s go there together… (Gen 3:8-9)

Gen 3:8-10, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

? Why did Adam and Eve hide? Because they felt guilty. They sinned. They didn’t want to be around God any more because He is perfect and they were no longer transparent.

1 – They felt guilty and ashamed.

2 – They didn’t want to face the unknown punishment.

Adam and Eve’s SIN BROKE THEIR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD!

The same way you feel dirty and distant from God when you sin, they felt first in the Garden of Eden.

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