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“ … indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3)
Do you remember the theme song to the television show “Cheers?”
“You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” There is a lot of truth in those lyrics. Simply put, humans were created with a longing for sincere fellowship.
Fellowship with God is the substance of life, and this fellowship comes through Jesus Christ.
But how does one enter into this relationship? First, you need to know why you are out of fellowship with God to begin with. Romans 5:12 says that “…just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
It is not just Adam’s sin that separates us from God; it is our sin as well. We choose to disobey God and push ourselves further away from him.
This relationship must be initiated by God. This is called regeneration. Jesus said in John 3:3, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
God pursues us. Once he opens your eyes to his kingdom and you feel conviction of sin that is the Holy Spirit drawing you, you can respond in faith.
You must place your faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone as savior. Puritan pastor John Owen wrote, “To suppose that what God requires of us we have the power to do ourselves is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect.”
God requires perfect righteousness and holiness to enter his kingdom. The problem is, because of our sin, our best efforts fall short. That is why Jesus came to die.
Paul writes in 2 Cor. 5:21 that he who knew no sin was made sin that we might become the righteousness of God. That doesn’t mean we are righteous in and of ourselves; it means that we have his righteousness credited to us by faith. God doesn’t look at me and see a remodeled righteousness; He sees the righteousness of his son.
You must confess Jesus as lord. You bow your knee to his authority. You identify with him instead of the world; you seek to obey his will by his grace. The disciple of Jesus must be willing to leave everything near and dear to him or her and lay their lives down for their savior.
There must be repentance. Salvation without repentance is not salvation. Repentance isn’t a one-time act, but a daily exercise as we are being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
It is the prayer of the Psalmist in 139:24 “see if there be any wicked way in me. … ” Is that your prayer?
As I said, people were created for relationships, and people need fellowship with God more than anyone else. Enter into that fellowship today by faith in Jesus Christ. Repent and believe the Gospel!
Brian T. Owens is an associate pastor with youth and children emphasis at Farmdale Baptist Church. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.