Fellowship – BT6
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Dealing with sin through confession, repentance, and reconciliation to restore fellowship
The whole idea of reconciliation (a) is about restoring people back into fellowship with God that was lost in the garden of Eden (g), which is thus a key to gospel ministry (b), even all things to Himself (c), between Jew & Gentile (d), between husband & wife (e), or with others (f). <Notes> a) diallasso: reconcile or reach mutual concession, where people in conflict come together through meaningful change, ending hostility; or katallasso, katallage: change down-from to an exact point, or exchange of coins or enmity resulting in friendship – exchanging 2 different positions for 1 position, a change on the part of one party induced by an action of the other party; or apokatallasso: reconcile back again, bring back to a former state of harmony, thus to reconcile completely, b) Romans 5:10-11, 11:15; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Ephesians 2:16, c) Colossians 1:20-22, d) Ephesians 2:16, e) 1 Corinthians 7:11, f) Matthew 5:24; Acts 7:26, g) Genesis 3:8.
Yes, this reconciliation is about restoration back to fellowship, especially in the Church. Paul strongly urges: “Be repaired/mended/restored (a), comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace” (b), and “Brethren, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are Spirit-kind-of [people] should repair/mend/restore (a) him in a Spirit of gentleness” (c), and “I appeal to your brethren . . . that all of you agree and/coupled that there may be no divisions among you, but that you be restored to the same mind and/coupled the same judgment” (d). Peter encourages: “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all unconditional-favor-of-grace . . . will Himself repair/mend/restore (a), confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (e). <Notes> a) katartizo: adjust down-from/according to, exactly fit to be in good working order to fully function; to mend, repair, complete; to fit, equip, order, arrange, adjust, b) 2 Corinthians 13:11, c) Galatians 6:1, d) 1 Corinthians 1:10, e) 1 Peter 5:10.
Forgiveness leads to reconciliation between God and man, and between us and others, so “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (a). Thus be “bearing with one another, so if one has a complaint against another, then forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (b), because “if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (c). <Notes> a) Ephesians 4:32, b) Colossians 3:13, c) Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:37.
Surrender, repentance, and confession leads to forgiveness and back into fellowship. That’s what Paul found out about confessing his weaknesses – that’s how he actually became strong in the Lord (a). That’s also what John realized as to how we can continue walking in the light to have koinonia fellowship with God: not by denying our weaknesses or sin, hiding from it, or trying harder to overcome it, but to confess/agree with the Lord about them. Then “He is actually, ongoingly faithful and/coupled righteously just in order to definitively/wholly forgive us our sins and/coupled definitively/wholly cleanse/purify-from-admixture us from ALL (b) unrighteous injustice (c)” (d). <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 11:30, 12:5-10, b) pas: rare case where this means “the whole of”, c) a violation of God’s justice that brings divine disapproval, d) 1 John 1:5-10.
We can see this link between koinonia fellowship with God’s Holy Spirit and fellow Christians in 2 Corinthians 13:14, where the Greek directly links the consoling/counseling comfort (a) of Christ with the consoling comfort (b) of koinonia fellowship with the Holy Spirit (c), but this is linked to koinonia fellowship with others, even house to house (d), even daily (e). That’s what Irenaeus observed around 200 AD – the churches that rejected the charismata grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit were also devoid of its fruit, particularly unconditional-love for others! Koinonia fellowship with God and others is the fruit of Spirit-baptism! <Notes> a) paraklesis, b) paramuthion, c) the Parakletos: ‘close-beside’ caller, summoner, or inviter; helper, succorer, or assistant; encouraging teacher, counselor, comforter, or consoler; defense-attorney, judicial-advocate, or court-intercessor, d) Acts 2:46, e) Acts 6:1.
As a Christian musician, the only way to restore fellowship with God from sin is by surrendering-control, confession, and repentance that leads us back to trusting-relying-faith in Christ’s perfect sacrifice to satisfy justice and actually cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If this involves “working” for God through “acts of penance” we are stuck in the old covenant way of “works righteousness.” The way of reconciliation is through the Spirit of gentleness. Receiving and giving forgiveness is the only way to experience this. Only through restored fellowship can Christ’s Spirit of Holiness continue to destroy the works of the devil in our lives to make us holy. This “work of Christ to destroy the works of the devil” proves that we are God’s children! The only way to continue producing fruit is to continue abiding/remaining in the vine of Christ. The only way to escape the condemnation of the world because of lust is to continue being partakers of the divine nature through the promise of the Holy Spirit. If you deny Spirit-baptism with His grace-gifts, then you are denying Spirit-power and the “fruit of the Spirit” that flows from this. But all this continual fellowship depends on regular proseuche conversational-prayer!