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ICT 12 - Away from the Lord

Broken fellowship with the Lord

“For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer” (Psalm 32:4 NASB). “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3 NASB). How tragic is our experience as believers when we have broken fellowship with the Lord! We are away from the Lord! Fellowship that was once sweet and joyous has turned sour. The joy of salvation has gone (Psalm 51:12). We may wrap something of temporal satisfaction from the passing scene (2 Timothy 4:10). We may wrap the robe of self-justification about this wretched state by appealing to circumstances. Yet this lamed condition has no inner satisfaction in the present life for a true child of God. Beyond this, there is loss of eternal reward in the life to come (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). We have despised the love of the Savior, who reproves, disciplines and calls us to repentance (Revelation 3:19).

[Psa 51:12 NASB] 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.

[2Ti 4:10 NASB] 10 for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens [has gone] to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

[1Co 3:14-15 NASB] 14 If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

[Rev 3:19 NASB] 19 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

We must see that broken fellowship is a miscarriage of God’s purposes for us to be fruitful in this life (John 15:2). We are saved unto a life of good works (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8). To be estranged from God is to make such a life impossible. One ought to consider well the attitude of the Lord Jesus toward fruitless trees (Matthew 12:33; Luke 13:6-9). As disease, pests and drought blight the trees of earth, so do spiritual scourges blight the intended fruit of God’s Spirit. We will do well to heed the call of the Lord, “Return unto Me, and I will return unto you” (Malachi 3:7).

[Jhn 15:2 NASB] 2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every [branch] that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

[Eph 2:10 NASB] 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

[Tit 3:8 NASB] 8 This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.

[Mat 12:33 NASB] 33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

[Luk 13:6-9 NASB] 6 And He [began] telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 "And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' 8 "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, [fine;] but if not, cut it down.'"

The Christian world commonly uses the word “backsliding” to refer to this condition of broken fellowship. It is amazing how often it is used to explain the conduct of those who show little evidence of being regenerated to a new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yet we should note that the word “backsliding” is not even used in the New Testament. Its occurrence is confined to the books of Jeremiah and Hosea, with the possible exception of Proverbs 14:14. It is used especially of Israel as a nation far from God, not of individuals out of fellowship. It basically describes a condition of apostasy (rejection of the faith) and is so translated in such verses as Jeremiah 5:6; 8:5; 14:7 and Hosea 14:4 (NASB). Considering Hebrews 6:4-6; 2 Peter 2:20-22 and Jude 5-19, one scarcely would describe a child of God as an apostate. Contextually then these Old Testament verses which use the word “backsliding” do not generally describe true believers.

[2Co 5:17 NASB] 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [he is] a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

[Jer 5:6 NASB] 6 Therefore a lion from the forest will slay them, A wolf of the deserts will destroy them, A leopard is watching their cities. Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces, Because their transgressions are many, Their apostasies are numerous.

[Jer 8:5 NASB] 5 "Why then has this people, Jerusalem, Turned away in continual apostasy? They hold fast to deceit, They refuse to return.

[Jer 14:7 NASB] 7 "Although our iniquities testify against us, O LORD, act for Your name's sake! Truly our apostasies have been many, We have sinned against You.

[Hos 14:4 NASB] 4 I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them.

[Heb 6:4-6 NASB] 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and [then] have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

[2Pe 2:20-22 NASB] 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT," and, "A sow, after washing, [returns] to wallowing in the mire."

[Jde 1:5-19 NASB] 5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" 10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. 14 [It was] also about these men [that] Enoch, [in] the seventh [generation] from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." 16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their [own] lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of [gaining an] advantage. 17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.

Out of Fellowship—or Unsaved?

The first consideration in examining the life of one who claims to be a Christian but whose ways do not confirm the claim is to look for genuine conversion. Are we born again? The question is not whether we once prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into our heart; or whether we worked with some Christian group; or whether we were a member of some local fellowship. The question is, “Did we receive the Holy Spirit when we believed?” (Acts 19:2 NASB). If we did not, then we are not born again. How can we be sure? If we continue to be sexually immoral, drunken, a thief, or a jealous, envious, angry trouble-making person, we will never inherit the kingdom of God, no matter how sure we are of salvation (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:20-21). If we say we know the Lord Jesus but do not keep His commandments, God says we are a liar (1 John 2:4). “But who of us always keeps these commandments?,” says the objector. Of course, no one does this sinlessly. According to 1 John 3:7-9 (NASB) it is the practice of sin, or continuing in sin, that is in view. There is no example in Scripture, other than the Lord Jesus, of a sinless person. The rest of us still sin and, therefore, must confess and forsake sin to maintain fellowship with God (1 John 1:9-10). Thus a distinction is made between single-action sin and the practice of sin. Therefore, we must make sure our life and testimony support our claim to be born again. If in doubt, we must submit ourselves to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and turn from our sin. We must have a relationship with God before speaking of broken fellowship.

[Act 19:2 NASB] 2 He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they [said] to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit."

[1Co 6:9-10 NASB] 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor [the] covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

[Gal 5:20-21 NASB] 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

[1Jo 2:4 NASB] 4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

[1Jo 3:7-9 NASB] 7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

[1Jo 1:9-10 NASB] 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

Causes of Broken Fellowship

There can be no fellowship with God if we walk in darkness (1 John 1:6). “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3 NASB). The sin of sinner and saint alike always has the effect of separating from God. “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). One may cease to abide in Christ. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up” (John 15:6 NASB). What begins as wrong priorities and neglect of fellowship with God soon moves to decline in interest, loss of commitment and then absorption in the things of this life (Matthew 13:22). A later stage is reached when one begins dabbling in questionable things, is drawn away by lust (James 1:14) and finally commits flagrant sin.

[1Jo 1:6 NASB] 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and [yet] walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

[Mat 13:22 NASB] 22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

[Jas 1:14 NASB] 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

New Testament examples of broken fellowship are less common than one would suppose. Yet here is a sample of warning symptoms:

1. Loss Of Love For Christ (Revelation 2:4). Our “first love” for Christ begets a deep appreciation for Him and a warm zeal. It is like the love between an engaged couple and is one that God cherishes (Jeremiah 2:2). When we let this change to indifference and take Him for granted, much more than the “honeymoon” is over. We are in danger of becoming like the lukewarm person whom the Lord Jesus promises to spit out of His mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).

[Rev 2:4 NASB] 4 'But I have [this] against you, that you have left your first love.

[Jer 2:2 NASB] 2 "Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the LORD, "I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown.

[Rev 3:15-16 NASB] 15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

2. Bad Attitudes (Ephesians 4:31; Hebrews 12:15). Some bitter attitude, rather than forgiveness and reconciliation, may be left to linger. Argument and turmoil may replace kindness and peace within. Resentments toward God and man become like ugly weeds in the soul.

[Eph 4:31 NASB] 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

[Heb 12:15 NASB] 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

3. Lax Conscience (1 Corinthians 11:28-29). If we do not judge sin in our lives, God will judge it for us (1 Corinthians 11:31). He will discipline us that we may be partakers of His holiness (Hebrews 12:10). We must be sensitive toward God and His claim upon our lives and conduct. As one has said, “Keep short accounts with God.”

[1Co 11:28-29 NASB] 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.

[1Co 11:31 NASB] 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.

[Heb 12:10 NASB] 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He [disciplines us] for [our] good, so that we may share His holiness.

4. Worldliness (Titus 2:12). The system of values, morals, power, pride and ambition which pertains to this world scene has no part with Christ, nor should we have part with it (John 17:14). We are instructed to forsake worldly desire and to live unto godliness in this present age. The desire to accumulate possessions is a part of that system and it is ruinous (1 Timothy 6:9). When we love the world system, rather than recognizing its ugliness and passing nature, we are disobeying God (1 John 2:15-17). Consuming our time with worldly activities is also a danger sign.

[Tit 2:12 NASB] 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

[Jhn 17:14 NASB] 14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

[1Ti 6:9 NASB] 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.

[1Jo 2:15-17 NASB] 15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and [also] its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

5. Missing Church Meetings (Hebrews 10:25). When we love Christ, we love His people. When we love His people we want to be with them. People can be away from the Lord while still attending services. Yet it is a bad sign when departure from God has reached the point of neglecting the assembling of ourselves together at the church meetings. It was the custom of the Lord Jesus to be in the synagogue on the Sabbath day (Luke 4:16). It is never recorded that He used the excuse that it was not necessary to do this to be in fellowship with God.

[Heb 10:25 NASB] 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging [one another;] and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

[Luk 4:16 NASB] 16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.

6. Unbelief (Mark 16:14). When we refuse to believe what God has said, or to lay hold of it because of hardness of heart, we justify His solemn rebuke. “Where is your faith?” was His frequent challenge (Luke 8:25). Direct disobedience to God, such as marrying a non-Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14), is an evidence of unbelief.

[Mar 16:14 NASB] 14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining [at the table;] and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.

[Luk 8:25 NASB] 25 And He said to them, "Where is your faith?" They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?"

[2Co 6:14 NASB] 14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Other symptoms include the neglect of our devotional time alone with God, the failure to confess Christ openly before men and withholding of resources from the needy or the servants of God. Immaturity and carnality (pleasing the flesh) is the seedbed of estrangement from God (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

[1Co 3:1-3 NASB] 1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able [to receive it.] Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

Cost of Broken Fellowship

Once we understand the difference between relationship and fellowship, we need not fear that a breach with God will cause loss of salvation. We will not come into judgment for our sins because we have been set apart through the once-for-all offering of the body of Jesus Christ on the cross (Hebrews 10:10). We will not come into judgment for sins because we have passed from death to life (John 5:24). That being the case, why not enjoy our salvation and the world as well? Why worry about sin if Jesus has paid for it all? God forbid such thinking (Romans 6:1-2)! It is symptomatic of a loss of perspective about eternity and the love of God. The consequences of fellowship broken through sin are enough to make us pause, if not tremble.

[Heb 10:10 NASB] 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

[Jhn 5:24 NASB] 24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

[Rom 6:1-2 NASB] 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

1. To You. There is the possibility of ruining your testimony. The unsaved will trample it under foot as so much salt without flavor (Matthew 5:13). You will come under the discipline of God (Hebrews 12:5-7). You may experience emotional distress, physical illness, even death (1 Corinthians 11:30). You may lose opportunities for service. You may lose the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:12). The Scriptures no longer will come alive as you read or hear them. You pray but He does not hear (Psalm 66:18), for the heavens have turned to brass. Fellowship with other believers is no longer the same. Satisfaction goes out of even the simple pleasures of life. You will lose reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ for the wood, hay and stubble with which you are building your life (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). You may become a shipwreck on the shores of life (1 Timothy 1:19).

[Mat 5:13 NASB] 13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty [again?] It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

[Heb 12:5-7 NASB] 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; 6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES." 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom [his] father does not discipline?

[1Co 11:30 NASB] 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.

[Psa 51:12 NASB] 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.

[Psa 66:18 NASB] 18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;

[1Co 3:12-15 NASB] 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is [to be] revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

[1Ti 1:19 NASB] 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

2. To Others. You will put a stumbling block in the way of believers who have looked to you for an example (Romans 14:13). You may give the unsaved an occasion to reject Christ because you became one of the “hypocrites in the church.” You may cause the loss of life of someone close to you (2 Samuel 12:14) or those under your responsibility (1 Chronicles 21:14,17).

3. To God. You will bring reproach upon the name of Christ (1 Timothy 5:14). The unconverted can sneer at the Lord because of the conduct of those who profess to be His followers (2 Samuel 12:14). You testify by a lagging or wayward life that you have no real devotion to the blessed One who loved you and gave Himself for you. He is nothing to you.

Do you now say that nothing matters in life as long as you are saved?

Cure For Broken Fellowship

God will not leave us to despair if the calamity of being away from God has occurred. However, the enemy may tempt us to give up. In his book, “There’s a Way Back to God,” William MacDonald characterizes the voice of doom with these phrases: “It’s hopeless. There’s absolutely no use trying. You might as well give up. All you can do is cooperate with the inevitable. Things could never be the same anyway… . You’ve sinned away your day of opportunity. You’ve passed the point of no return.”‘ Of course, this is a denial of the Word of God for one who is the child of God. To begin with, nothing can ever separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). We are never ejected from His family for misconduct (John 10:28). In the second place, He is the Great Shepherd of the sheep. He will ever seek those who stray (Luke 15:4). The Lord sought Adam while he was still seeking to hide from God (Genesis 3:8-9). He is the God of Recovery. He found Adam and restored him. He sought out David and restored him (2 Samuel 12:13) and gave him lasting rejoicing which is enshrined in the Psalms for our comfort (Psalm 32:1-2). He restored Peter with a triple confession which blotted out the memory of his triple denial (John 21:15-17).

What is the road to restoration? We begin at the point where we got off the track. We confess and forsake our sin (Proverbs 28:13). He will not despise a broken and contrite spirit (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15). We repent and do the deeds we did at first (Revelation 2:5). We must bring forth fruit (deeds) in keeping with our professed repentance (Matthew 3:8). Confessions which do not involve forsaking sin and changing our lives are empty words. We need to deal with sin— root and branch. We must cry out to God with deep sincerity just as we see in Psalm 51.

Can we be sure that He will forgive us? We have only to believe His Word on this point. He will have mercy and abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:7). He will bind us up and heal the wounds (Hosea 6:1). His way is to deal with sin and then be done with it. There may be temporal consequences, such as debts, unholy alliances, sinful children and damaged health. Yet we can have sweet fellowship once again with Him who loves our souls. That is the priceless possession that we forfeited so lightly, then regained with such pain. Those who fear they have committed the “unpardonable sin” (Matthew 12:22-32) should study the words of our Savior carefully. The wide-spread fear of this sin is heaviest with those who have the least knowledge of what it is. The wicked men of Jesus’ day said that His miracles were done by the power of the Devil rather than by the power of the Spirit of God. Their willful refusal to believe those works of God and their insult to the Spirit were the works of ungodly men, not believers.

Commitment to Unbroken Fellowship

The blessedness of restoration should not tempt us to believe that straying from God has an easy remedy always available. We should learn a lesson which will prevent any repetition. We should resolve to stay close to God. If we have dealt thoroughly with sin in major areas that have stumbled us, recurrence is less likely. Yet the one who thinks that he stands secure should take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). We must learn to hate sin as that which brought suffering to our Lord Jesus and which has ruined the lives of millions and cast many into hell. We need a healthy fear or awe of God, which will not trifle with His holiness or presume upon His grace. We must learn to abide in Christ and to draw daily from the spiritual resources available in Him. Day by day, we must learn to draw near unto God and know that He, in turn, will draw near unto us (James 4:8). Then our new perspective on life will reflect the desire to live daily only for the glory of Him who loved us so deeply and gave Himself for us so sacrificially. Hopefully, He will restore unto us the “years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25), the wasting of precious days which could have been spent for the kingdom of God.

Away From The Lord

l. What are the tests of being a real Christian in the following verses? Romans 10:9-10

1 John 2:4-5; 5:2-3

1 John 3:14

James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:10

Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 3:8-10

Galatians 5:22-24; 1 John 37

Why is it important to establish reasonable assurance that a person is a Christian before labeling him as “out of fellowship” or “backslider”?

2. Identify the causes of broken fellowship in the following verses, and make a specific application as to how these might apply today:

Hosea 11:2,7

Jeremiah 2:13; 5:6-7

1 John 2:15-16

3. What did David do that caused him to turn from God (2 Samuel 11:1-4)?

4. What does a person usually do after committing a sin if he does not immediately confess it (2 Samuel 11:5-17; Proverbs 25:5-6)?

What method does God often use to get the attention of someone out of fellowship (2 Samuel 12:1-7)?

[2Sa 12:1-7 NASB] 1 Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said, "There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 "The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. 3 "But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb Which he bought and nourished; And it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, And was like a daughter to him. 4 "Now a traveler came to the rich man, And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; Rather he took the poor man's ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." 5 Then David's anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. 6 "He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion." 7 Nathan then said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul.

5. From the following verses write a brief definition of confession (Psalm 32:5; 38:18; 66:18; Proverbs 28:13).

How have you applied this in your own life?

6. What steps did David take that brought him back to God (Psalm 51:1-10)? List the steps.

7. Some people get the idea that a Christian can sin and get away with it. What did David’s sin cost him?

Psalm 51:12 2 Samuel 12:10,14b

2 Samuel 12:14a 1 Chronicles 22:8

8. What may happen to someone who does not confess and forsake his sin (1 Corinthians 5:3-5)?

9. When we truly repent, God promises to restore “the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). How do the following references illustrate this principle in the life of David?

Psalm 51:12 Matthew 1:1,6,16

Psalm 51:13 1 Chronicles 22:9-10a

10. In your own experience what have you found has helped you ‘‘ get back on the right track’’ when you were away from the Lord?

What aspects of “preventive maintenance” are indicated in the following verses?

Matthew 18:21-35 Romans 13:14

Romans 12:9b

Romans 14:22-23

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