THIS IS ANOTHER of the lost teachings of the Word. For years I wondered why the largest percentage of those who have accepted Christ and have joined the church were failures. I used to ask myself, “Has Satan more ability than God? Has he outwitted God in the fight?” I didn’t believe it. Then one day a man listening to me said, “I see you make a distinction between union and communion.” I said, “Thank you.” Then as he turned to go away, it flashed through my mind that I had been teaching beyond my classified knowledge. The Spirit had unveiled to me something that I didn’t recognize, the difference between union and communion.

Our union with Christ in the New Creation, and our communion with Him, are based on two other words, “fellowship” and “relationship.” I had been very strong on relationship. I had been magnifying the New Birth. Let us study it for a moment. John 10:10, “I am come that ye might have life and have it in abundance.” What was this Life? It was the Nature of God. Who was to have it? The man for whom Christ died. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have Eternal Life.”

But the question is, how are we going to get that Eternal Life? Jesus illustrates it in His talk with Nicodemus in John 3. He said, “Except a man be born from above, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and he that is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say ye must be born again.” Now, if we haven’t Paul’s revelation, we don’t under-stand that, for we have nothing in Jesus’ teaching that explains the nature of the New Birth. Jesus merely tells us that He is bringing us Eternal Life and that we must be Born Again.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Wherefore if any man is in Christ (or if a man has accepted Christ and confessed him as his Lord) that man is a new creation: the old things (of sin, of spiritual death, and of union with Satan) have passed away; and behold, all things have become new; and all these things are of God who has reconciled us to himself through Christ.” That is tremendous! The Father has reconciled us unto Himself. The things that stood between us and the Father have been eliminated. A New Creation has come into us. The old nature is driven out, and we are New Creations in spirit, just as Adam was a physical new creation in the Garden. That spiritual New Creation has come into being, imparted to us in Eternal Life that Jesus said He was bringing to the world.

You remember that the word “Life” is “Zoe,” the Nature of God. Then the New Creation is built out of the Nature of God. Ephesians 4:23, 24, “And that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.” That new creation is the product of God Himself. He, through the Spirit, has given birth to a New Nature in us. The old nature of failure, of sin consciousness, that was ruled by the adversary and was a part of the adversary, has stopped being. A New Nature has taken its place. We are now the very sons and daughters of God Almighty. Romans 8:14-16 is a reality. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are (or have become) the sons of God.” As many as are willing to let the Spirit guide them, will be led into the New Creation.

“For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” That is the fact of our relationship. Now the next fact is that we have not only become New Creations, but we are New Creations with a God-given standing with Himself. Romans 3:26, “For the showing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season; that He might himself be righteous and the righteousness of him that believeth in Jesus” (marginal reading of the American Standard Version). You see, you haven’t only become a son, but a son with a standing with the Father that He gives you Himself.

That is perfectly natural-that if the Father has sons, He will give them a standing with Himself so that they can approach Him with the uttermost freedom and liberty. He becomes their righteousness.
You know that righteousness means the ability to stand in the Father’s presence without the sense of guilt or inferiority, to stand in the presence of Satan without any inferiority, to stand in the presence of anything Satan has done without any sense of inferiority. You stand in his presence as his master. You are taking Jesus’ place in the world, and you are Satan’s master because you do it. Now you may have Righteousness; you may have Eternal Life. You may have the consciousness of sonship. You may have the great mighty Spirit come and make His home in your body, because that is the ultimate of the New Creation. You see, you are recreated so that your body might become the home of God. You remember 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God, and ye are not your own? For ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.”
All this may be true, but you may never have learned the secret of joy. You say, “What do you mean by joy?” John 15:10, 11, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

Then we see in the ninth verse another secret, “Even as the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love.” We are to walk in love and live love, and to keep His commandments. John 13:34, 35 shows us that the Law of the New Creation, the law that governs the New Creation, is the love law. We are to love one another even as He has loved us. Jesus said, “Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” For years that did not mean anything to my spirit until one day I saw that the secret of Christianity, the secret of evangelism, was that we were to have joy in our spirits.
You remember Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” 1 Peter 1:8 tells us that it is joy unspeakable and full of glory. That didn’t mean much to me until the Spirit unveiled it to me. Then I saw the secret of this new thing that was to come with the New Creation. “My joy I give unto you.” This is something that the world can’t take away from me. It is something indescribable that fills our spirits.

What does joy grow out of? What is the secret? 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, through whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Fellowship is the secret, is the thing that gives joy. When the fellowship is broken, the joy dies. The happiness of marriage is the fellowship between those two hearts. Misery comes to full tide when that fellowship is broken.
You may be a child of God, and have all the knowledge and the riches that belong to that marvelous relationship; but if you have no fellowship with the Father there is no joy in your life. It is an empty, dry thing. The power of our ministry lies in our fellowship.
1 John 1:3, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us.” Why? “And our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ: and these things we write, that your joy may be made full.” There it is. Now what is that fellowship? It is that sweet communion between your spirit and the Father. It is that glad richness that comes through the unveiling of the Word to your spirit.
It is the quiet assurance that fills your heart with an unspeakable, irrepressible joy.

Faith cannot grow without rich fellowship with the Father. I don’t care how much knowledge one has of the Word, if his fellowship is broken, his faith is crippled. The adversary takes advantage of him and holds him in bondage. Most people who have chronic physical trouble have an unsatisfactory fellowship with the Father and with the Word. They develop a petulant spirit. They begin to challenge the faithfulness and the love of the Father. “Well, if God loves me, why has He afflicted me like this?” You understand that the Father hasn’t afflicted them. The adversary has afflicted them and they have submitted to the adversary’s affliction, and have lived in misery and bondage.
If they had known what held them they would turn to 1 John 1:5-9. “And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce 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 the darkness, we lie, and do not tell the truth.”
Notice now, if we say we have fellowship and don’t know His will, it is evident that we are in darkness. 1 John 2:10, “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in the darkness, and walketh in the darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because the darkness hath blinded his eyes.” That darkness may come from a hundred reasons.

One may have failed in his finances. He hasn’t given the Lord His share of his income. He may have failed in speaking to men and women about their souls. It can come from a million different sources. Fellowship can be broken because I willfully fail to do His will. I step out of light into darkness. I stop practicing love; and when I do that, I step over into darkness, want-into Satan’s territory. I am filled with restlessness. Joy is gone. My fellowship with the Father is gone.
If I say that I have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, I 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 with the Father), and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” When we break fellowship with the Father by refusing to do His will, and step out of love, we walk in darkness. That minute the Bible stops being a living message to us. No one ever criticizes another believer as long as he is walking in fellowship. All bitterness and criticism and un-kindness is the product of broken fellowship. If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another; but if we walk in darkness, we have no fellowship with one another. We have no knowledge of His will. “And the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” That is effective as long as we are in fellowship.

The correct meaning of the word, “sin,” is “missing the mark.” As long as I am in fellowship with Him, I may miss the mark again and again, but His blood avails for me. Then I deliberately refuse to do His will, and darkness overwhelms me. If I deny that I’ve sinned, I deceive myself and the reality is not in me. How true that is! The truth is not in me. There is no sense of reality. The Word is no longer a thing of comfort and inspiration. But He says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In other words, if we say we have not sinned, and yet are out of fellowship, we do not have the reality of the life in us. But, if we confess our sins, He is just and righteous to wipe out all our sins, or the thing that stood in the way.

Now we go to the next verse: “My little children, these things I write unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” I think that that is one of the most marvelous statements in the whole of the Epistles. Seated at the Father’s right hand is our righteous Advocate; and the minute that I break fellowship, He is there in fellowship with the Father. I lose my sense of righteousness. He is the Righteous One. He is there, in the Presence of the Father, to plead my case. I look up to the Father and say, “Father, forgive me for doing that thing.” And the moment I do, He forgives me. It is wiped out as though it had never been. The instant that I confess it and tell the Father of it, Jesus says, “Lay that to My account.”
Notice that the Father has no memory of your past mistakes and failures. You must forget them too.

2 Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” Romans 8:38-39 will help our hearts just now. This is the climax of His great redemption teaching: “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He enumerates everything that can come to a man or a woman, every calamity that can possibly come in our earth walk, and tells us that none can separate us from the love of our Father.
In the thirty-fifth verse we read, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ nor from the Father’s love. Nothing can do it. Know this. Let this be the background of your faith.

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