When a person confesses with his/her mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believes in his/her heart that God raised him from the dead, the Bible declares that that person is saved (Romans 10:9-10). At that moment and for all eternity that person is a son or daughter of God, born again of God's spirit.
The epistle of first John is written to born again sons of God and its subject is fellowship. Five times in the epistle of 1st John we are told to be as he is. These uses of the phrase as he is describe how we can walk and maintain fellowship with God.
1 John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
When we walk according to God's Word we walk the way Jesus Christ walked. We have fellowship with God, with the Lord Jesus Christ, and with each other because we are all walking the same walk.
Sonship and Fellowship are not the same thing. You become a son by believing God's Word in Romans 10:9-10. Sonship is a gift. Sonship is eternal. Sonship cannot be "sinned away."
However, as a son you can walk in fellowship with your Father (God) or you can walk contrary to God's Will and outside of the loving fellowship of your Father. When you walk contrary to God's Word you are still God's son! You just are missing the blessings and continual loving care you would experience walking with the Father. The epistle of 1st John was written concerning our walk in fellowship with the Father.
1 John 1:5-7
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. [broken fellowship with the Father]
When we walk in light as GOD is LIGHT we have fellowship one with another. We have fellowship (God and I); and we have fellowship (you and I) because we are both walking with God. If we are not walking with God who is light we are in darkness. God is light and in him is NO DARKNESS AT ALL.
Every good gift and every perfect gift [act of giving] is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
If we walk in darkness (or even in shadow) we are not walking with God for in God there is no darkness;...there is no variableness (the light don't flicker!); there is not even a shadow of turning.
God's Will is that we walk with Him: that we walk in light. When we do we are AS HE IS - Light.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins [our broken fellowship], he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins [broken fellowship], and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
To walk as he is we must walk in light. We must be faithful and we must be just for He is faithful and He is just. And when we mess up and walk in darkness, we must go to God and say "Father, I'm sorry." We stop walking in darkness and get back to walking the Word. And God is faithful and just to forgive us and restore our fellowship with Him.
Just as you walk with your earthly father: When you do something contrary to your father's will, you say "Dad, I'm sorry. I'll do better next time." If you change your actions and follow your father's instructions then you begin again walking in fellowship with him. If you say "Dad, I'm sorry. I won't do it again.", but then you go out and do the same thing then you are a liar. You told your dad you would change but you did not change. To walk in the light of God's Word and in fellowship with Him we must change our behavior when we break fellowship [sin]. But even if we never walk with God again we are still His sons. Just like your walk with your earthly father: If you never speak to him again, he is still your father because his seed is in you.
1 John 2:1, 6
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin [break fellowship] not. And if any man sin [breaks fellowship] we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. . . He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he [Jesus Christ] walked.
Jesus Christ always did the Father's will. Jesus Christ always walked with God. Jesus Christ maintained his fellowship with God and never walked contrary to his Father's will. When we walk as he walked we also maintain fellowship with God even as he did.
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Jesus lived to do God's will. When we
walk as he walked, we also live to do the will of God and to finish His
work. To walk in the light AS HE IS light is to walk with God as
Jesus Christ walked. It is to maintain fellowship with our heavenly
The second use of the phrase as he is occurs in chapter 3.
1 John 3:1-2
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God [and we are]: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [Jesus Christ] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
The first use of the phrase as he is
described how we can walk in fellowship with our heavenly father today
as his sons and daughters. It is our fellowship NOW. This second
use describes our fellowship eternally with the Father at the return of
Christ. It is our fellowship of eternity.
1 John 3:3
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Purifieth and pure are translated from a Greek word which means to keep pure or uncontaminated even though living in a contaminated environment. As we look toward that hope of Christ's return, knowing that we shall be like him, we keep ourselves pure even though we are living in a contaminated world just as the Lord Jesus Christ kept himself pure even though living in this world.
For we have not an high priest [Jesus Christ] which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus Christ was a man. He was tempted to break fellowship with God just as we are yet he continually walked in the Light and walked without sin [breaking fellowship]. He kept himself pure from the sin that is in the world and always did the Father's will. As we hold fast to the hope of his return and focus on what we shall be when he returns we also keep ourselves pure from this contaminated world we live in even as he is pure.
On the night that Jesus Christ was betrayed and taken captive he prayed a prayer to God for his disciples and he also prayed for us. Following is some of what he asked God:
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world [remove us from the contaminated environment], but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil [one]. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them [set them apart] through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself [set myself apart] that they also might be sanctified [set apart] through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also [US!] which shall believe on me through their word: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us [that is the fellowship described in 1st John chapter 1]: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; . . .
Jesus Christ kept himself pure from the contamination
of sin in the world. He prayed that we also would be set apart from
the world [sanctified] but not that we be removed from this contaminated
world. Finally he prayed that we be with him where he is [in heaven
at God's right hand!] As we look to that hope we purify ourselves
even as he is
pure. We focus on what it will be like at the return of Christ and
not on the contamination around us in the world.
When you are born again you are righteous. Righteousness is a gift. When you walk in fellowship with God then you doeth righteousness. But righteousness is not based upon your walk or your works. You are righteous because God made you righteous not because of your works.
Righteousness can be understood as follows: You are in court for committing a crime. The judge is about to pronounce sentence and in walks the Lord Jesus Christ and says: "Put the punishment on me. I'll take his place." The judge then declares that you are free to go. You are acquitted of the crime. Even though guilty the judgment is not guilty because the righteous one [Jesus Christ] who always walked in God's will offered to take your place. Righteousness is your God given justification to stand in the the presence of God without sin or condemnation because the Lord Jesus Christ paid the price for your acquittal. It is not something you did or something you earned. It is something God offered and you accepted by believing that the Lord Jesus Christ took your place.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
II Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one [Adam]; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
When we walk in the righteousness that God
has graciously given us we reign in life and we are righteous even as
he is righteous.
1 John 4:16-17
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
God is light. God is faithful. God is just. God is righteous. And God is love. When we walk in love we are walking in fellowship with God who is love. Our love is made perfect so that we may have boldness in this day of man's judgment.
The day of judgment spoken of in this verse is not "the Judgment day" of the book of Revelations. It is the judgment of man today. It is "man's day." Today men judge. When men judge contrary to God's Word and we are walking in fellowship - as he is - we boldly declare God's truth.
And they [those men doing the judging] called them [the believers], and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
The judgment of men: "Do NOT speak in the name of Jesus."
But Peter and John answered and said unto them [the judges], Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. . . [and later that day in a prayer to God...] And now, Lord, behold their [the judges'] threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, . . . v31b ...and they spake the word of God with boldness.
The response of the believers: "Speak the word of God with boldness."
In this day of man's judgment we have boldness
to speak God's Word because of the love that God has toward us. We
speak with boldness because as he is
so are we in this world.
© Copyright August 1997 Michael Cortright