Our Access To Fellowship With God - John 1:6-10

Preparing our hearts for communion next week:

One of my favorite authors, John Flavel, makes this observation about the need to observe the heart and to see and confess any sin that may be residing there. He says, “Carnal and formal persons take no heed to this; they cannot be brought to confer with their own hearts: there are some people who have lived forty or fifty years in the world, and have had scarcely one hour’s discourse with their own hearts. It is a hard thing to bring a man and himself together on such business...Though bankrupts care not to look into their accounts, yet upright hearts will know whether they go backward or forward. ‘I commune with my own heart,’ says David. The heart can never be kept until it is examined and understood.

Do you think that Flavel is right when he says that most people who have lived forty or fifty years have spent scarcely an hour looking upon their heart?

If this is true, we may be a bit better off because we spend a few minutes reflecting upon our heart just prior to taking communion. However, it seems that it might be beneficial for us to spend some time this week preparing our hearts for communion. Therefore, every Sunday prior to a communion Sunday I am going to remind us to set apart some time that week to prepare our hearts for communion.

When we come together to celebrate Communion we want it to be for the better and not for the worse. The apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthians for this when he said in 1 Corinthians 11:18, “In the following command I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.

I am not doing this because I see any big problem like Paul did. But I do see the value in spending this time searching our hearts in the light of God’s Word with the help of the Holy Spirit. And confessing any sins and giving thanks for any grace that is there in your heart.

It is far too easy to not reflect upon the heart. The failure to do this is the very thing that the apostle John will address today in our text. It is the very failure that the apostle Paul had to address with the Corinthians. May it not be said of us, that in forty or fifty years we only spent a very small fraction of that time reflecting upon our hearts. Let us begin today to make this a more common practice among us. And may we draw closer to Christ and may we be more unified together as a body for having consistently done this together. And if in your time reflecting upon these things you would want prayer and pastoral care reach out to me and I will spend some time with you.

Sermon:

Last week I mentioned a time when as a child I looked directly into a flood light. My mom had warned me not to look into the light but I did it anyways. And when I looked into that light with my dilated eyes I literally felt the pain that made my mom give me that warning.

The apostle John, like my mom, gives us some loving instructions concerning the implications of living in the Light. God desires to have fellowship with us but we sin. To experience intimate fellowship with the LORD we cannot profess to have fellowship with the LORD while we are habitually practicing sin. Nor can we cannot ignore sin or deny our sin.

Let’s look at 1 John 1:5-10,

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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 cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Oswald Chambers has written in ‘My Utmost For His Highest’,

Unless we are experiencing the hurt of facing every deception about ourselves, we have hindered the work of the Word of God in our lives...The Word of God inflicts hurt on us more than sin ever could, because sin dulls our senses...It hurts not only on the natural level, but on the deeper spiritual level, ‘For the Word of God is living and powerful…, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…’-to the point that no deception can remain (Hebrews 4:12)...There is never any mistaking the pain of the Lord’s Word by His children, but the moment that pain is felt is the very moment at which God reveals His truth to us.

Many of us have felt this pain that Oswald Chambers is speaking about. This morning our text will seek to remove all of the deception concerning our sinfulness. And as a result, we should expect to experience some pain and hurt. Sin has dulled our senses, it has slowed our reactions against sin, it has twisted our understanding of sin, it has confused our thoughts concerning sin, and sin has made made us believe things that are not true.

Daily Satan comes to us and tries to get us to believe a lie concerning sin.

  • He comes and tells us that there is pleasure to be enjoyed in sin, but he does not remind us that it will lead to death.

  • Genesis 3:4, “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.

  • Genesis 3:6, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.


  • He tells us that this sin will not bring disgrace upon you and that your sin will not be found out and made public.

  • Proverbs 5:11 and 14, “...and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, and you say, ‘I am on the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.’


  • Satan will try to persuade us that there is some advantage to be found in this sin, and he will not speak of the great price that it will eventually cost.