The Rules That Break Fellowship

 October 14, 2011


1 John 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

7But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].


I grew up in a denominational church that taught us that we were constantly in and out of fellowship with Christ.  I am sure they used the scripture above as their basis for fact.


We would do something that we thought was sin and then we were told we were out of fellowship with God and to repair that we would have to repent and get “right” with God and then our fellowship would be restored.


But from everything I’ve been studying in depth over the past few years I have found that theology to be incorrect.


The scripture above says that as long as we are walking in the light as He is in the light we have true unbroken fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations.


The light is the revelation of the grace of Jesus Christ.  How His death on the cross broke through so that we no longer had to live by the law.  It paid the debt for our sinful nature, once and for all.


As long as we walk in that grace we have true unbroken fellowship.  So when we are not walking in grace we have broken that fellowship.


There are only two forms of existence for Christians.  One is living in grace and the other is living by the law.  You are always doing one or the other.


So for a Christian if you are not walking in grace, then you are living under the law and that is what breaks your fellowship.  In grace sin has no effect on you.  You cannot come under its penalty.  But if you are living by the law then you must suffer the penalty of that sin and therefore your fellowship is broken.


We have taken many phrases from the world and we have adapted them to our thinking.


“You made your bed, now you have to lie in it.”

“If you dance you have to pay the piper.”


But there is one that we have actually taken from the word but have taken it out of context.


“You reap what you sow.”


Where this scripture is taken from is a teaching on finances and giving.  It is not talking about a sinful life.  If that were true then everything Jesus died to give us on the cross would have been in vain and a lie.


So let’s talk about the law.  I don’t think many of us have much problem not following rabbinical or levitical laws, but what about all the other man made laws that we ourselves have made through the years?


There are only two commands that Jesus himself commanded us to live by.  Beyond that, every rule regarding how to live life is a man made law.


Now when talking about this do not confuse the laws governing our communal living such as speed limits, etc.


I’m talking about spiritual living and laws of that nature. 


  • If you get a tattoo, you are in sin.

  • If your women don’t wear dresses you are in sin.

  • If you have long hair, you are in sin.

  • If you sing praise songs written after the 18th century, you are in sin.

  • If you use credit cards, you are in sin.

  • If you smoke, you are in sin.

  • If you don’t go to church each week, you are in sin.

  • If you drink alcohol, you are in sin.


These statements are all wrong.  You have fallen out of fellowship and the blood cannot cleanse your sin if you are in fact living by these laws.  You have stopped living by grace and begun living by the law and must pay the penalty of that law.


Now, that I have your attention.  Let me give you these scriptures.


I Corinthians 6:12

12) Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not allow anything to control me.


I Corinthians 10:23

23) Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.


In the first scripture Paul is talking to the Corinthians about sexual and eating behaviors.  In the second one he is talking to them about eating. But his statement that EVERYTHING is permissible brings it into the realm of not being sin.  But NO DOUBT it can lead to a damaging life.


What is the key here?  If we are permitted to do anything and everything, then what do we use to govern our lives?  If we don’t have a set of laws like the ten commandments to live by, how do we know what to do?


By the Holy Spirit.  We must, absolutely MUST learn to live by the governing of the Spirit.


It is not a bad thing to eat, but to overeat is gluttony.  It is not a bad thing to drink alcohol, but in excess it is drunkenness.  Having sex is not a bad thing, but outside of marriage it is fornication.  What is the pattern here?  Overindulgence – excess.


Once we cross that line from moderation to excess we have allowed that behavior to control us and we are no longer controlling the behavior.  If a behavior is controlling us, then we are not being controlled (led) by the Spirit but by the desire to engage in the behavior.


To live in grace you must be led of the Holy Spirit.  When you live by the law you are led by the rules.


Grace gives life, the law brings guilt and condemnation and death.


Now rest assured that the Holy Spirit will not lead you to overindulge in any area.  But His plan to get you out of debt, help you lose weight, work on a project, minister to others, succeed in business, etc. may not be the way that the rule books tell you it should be done.


If we get too comfortable living by plans, which are rules, then we will become desensitized to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We fall into a rut of following the leader to achieve a goal and it is a mindless trap.


Start your day with an acknowledgement of the Spirit.  Ask Him to lead you in every area of your life for the day. 


If you need love – ask Him for love.  If you need joy – ask Him for joy.  If you need peace – ask Him for peace.  If you need to be patient – ask Him for patience.  If you need to be more kind – ask Him for kindness.  If you need to be good – ask Him for goodness.  If you need to be more faithful – ask Him for faithfulness.  If you need to be gentler – ask Him for gentleness.  If you need self-control – ask Him for self-control.


The Holy Spirit is the author and container of these things.  If you need them, and we all do, get them from Him.  Get them from fellowshipping with Him.  God is on the throne.  Jesus is at His right hand, but the Holy Spirit is here with us.  To try to ‘do it on our own’, is to snub Him and that is pride. 


Let Him help you.  Let Him lead you.  That yoke is easy.


No matter what your beliefs are, I want to thank you for visiting my Christian blog!


5 thoughts on “The Rules That Break Fellowship

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