Restoring the Fellowship

by Pastor Jeremy
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 1:9
For mutual intimacy and reconciliation to occur in a relationship there needs to be honest confession and real forgiveness. It's the same with our relationship with God. How do you restore your fellowship with God? Here you are and you may have failed in some area or willfully neglected some aspect of obedience, what happens? Our relationship with God isn't broken; the fellowship is. Our relationship with God is forever intact because of Jesus (Romans 8:38-39) but our intimacy and communion with God can be disrupted. And when that happens what can we do about it?

In the context of experiencing fellowship with God (vs.3,6), John tells us that the path to restored fellowship isn't perfection, its confession. This is incredibly liberating because this means that our intimacy with God doesn’t come through some renewed effort at trying harder. How exhausting would that be! The fellowship isn't restored by being perfect but simply by being honest —telling God that we recognize this to be wrong, we own it, and we ask to be forgiven based on what Jesus has done for us.

And that’s an important distinction to make. Our confession isn’t coercing God’s forgiveness. Confessing our sins is not twisting God's arm to like us again. Our confession is not the basis for our forgiveness, the work of Christ is; confession is the process of accessing the forgiveness we need. Think of it like this: the old Puritan Thomas Watson explained that on the cross Jesus purchased all the forgiveness that we’ll ever need in this life, and that forgiveness is applied to us as we confess our sins and ask for it. When there is honest confession from us, then we can know that there will always be real forgiveness from God and that our fellowship will be restored.

God, thank you for making the restoring of our fellowship possible through the death of Jesus. Help me to confess any known sin. Thank you that I can be honest with you about everything knowing that you'll never turn me away at the door. All the forgiveness I'll ever need is appropriated through confession not perfection. So, I come to you now with all that I am and ask that our fellowship would be restored if need be and would be a delight today. Amen.