SermonGodly Togetherness Includes Faith
An all-creatures Bible Message

Godly Togetherness Includes Faith
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
8 April 2018
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 133:1-3
John 20:19-31
1 John 1:1-2:2

Godly togetherness includes faith, simply because nothing can truly be Godly unless it is in the heavenly will of God.
Sure, people can come together for a number of reasons but if we look closely at them, we find that most of them are not in the heavenly will of God.
A riot for example usually includes violence, for the people who have come together are acting upon emotions that are not in the heavenly will of God.
But what about people who come together for a peaceful protest, arenít their intentions Godly? Not necessarily, because the true intentions of all the protesters may not be seen until they meet counter protesters and individuals who do not agree with them, for if their supposed loving intentions turn into anger and they yell and scream, they are acting worldly and not in the heavenly will of God.
Godly togetherness includes faith, for if we truly believe in God, our faith tells us that Godís lovingkindness is meant for everyone, if they will accept it, so even if others act ungodly, the servants of God will remain lovingly toward everyone.
Even people who come together in a church are not always acting Godly or thinking Godly thoughts about each other, and while these thoughts and actions may not always be visible in church, they can most often be seen in the peopleís lives outside of church.
Think about the way the people of Jerusalem acted toward Jesus, as we talked about these past two weeks.
Even a couple can come together for reasons of lust and self-satisfaction, which are not loving, and thus not in the heavenly will of God; or, they can come together in heavenly love which just seems to be unending, such as with Mary and me who have been happily married for nearly 57 years.
Psalm 133:1-3 is one of those short praise psalms which express the feelings of a person who is truly seeking to live in the heavenly will of God.

1. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!

It is good and pleasant to see this kind of unity, but as we know, not all brothers come together in Godly unity, for all too often they come together in disunity and stress.

2. It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron's beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.

But as we are told elsewhere in the Bible, when Moses went up the mountain to receive the tablets from God, even Aaron went along with the unfaithful people and made a cast image of a calf to be their God.

3. It is like the dew of Hermon,
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing ó life forever.

And in order to have life everlasting, we must have a repentant soul and spirit that faithfully seeks to follow the teachings of Jesus and the heavenly will of God where there is no pain or mourning or death, which means that we are to do everything in our power to end all human caused violence, suffering and death here on earth as it is in heaven.
As we can see in John 20:19-31, Godly togetherness includes faith, even when some might not fully believe.

19. When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." 

This is Sunday evening, the end of the first full day of Jesusí resurrection, but they must have been stunned by His appearance; note what Jesus said next.

20. And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

Did Jesus show them His wounds because He suspected some diminished faith within the group, or was He just confirming it was He so that there would be no doubt?
We just donít know, but their rejoicing sure indicates that their Godly togetherness includes faith.

21. Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 
22. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

When we have received the Holy Spirit, we have the power to choose to reject the corrupt and evil ways of this world and live in the heavenly will of God.

23. "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." 

Along with receiving the Holy Spirit, Jesus is telling them of their awesome power and responsibilities as His disciples, and we believe that we have those same responsibilities.
If we choose to live in the heavenly will of God as His peacemaking children, then, like the disciples, our Godly togetherness includes faith, for without real faith we donít have the heavenly power that the Lord wants us to have.
Unfortunately, most people in the world who call themselves Christians have a diminished or undeveloped faith like Thomas, or perhaps they are not true believers.

24. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25. The other disciples therefore were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

And there are still people who wouldnít fully believe and have faith, even if they saw and touched everything the Lord shows us about who He is.

26. And after eight days again His disciples were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, "Peace be with you." 
27. Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing." 

The Lord is showing both Thomas and us that He knows our innermost thoughts and feelings.

28. Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
29. Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

And this brings us back to honestly evaluating ourselves; do we really believe without seeing, or like Thomas, do we have to see, or do we still not fully believe?
Unfortunately, most people donít seem to believe, because they continue to live in the evil and corrupt ways of this world with all its violence, suffering, bloodshed, and death that cause millions of humans, and billions of animals to suffer and die every year. 

30. Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;
31. but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

As we said before, most people live like they donít believe any of it, and they donít live like they believe that the lovingkindness of the Lord is meant for every living being on this planet, whether they are human or other animal.
For it they really believed, they would also believe that Godly togetherness includes faith.
With these things in mind, letís take a look at 1 John 1:1-2:2Ö

1. What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life ó 
2. and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us ó 
3. what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Why do we say that Godly togetherness includes faith? Because if we donít have the faith, we can never have true fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and if people donít have this kind of faith, itís a good indicator that they are not living in the heavenly will of God, and are working against His purposes.

4. And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

Why does John write this? Itís because God calls us to love one another, and if people separate themselves from God, it brings sadness to Johnís heart and soul, as we hope it does to our own.

5. And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

So if people are living in the corrupt and evil ways of this world, that darkness puts a barrier between them and God, for no sinfulness can exist in the presence of God.

6. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

This is also why we say that Godly togetherness includes faith, for without the faith to live in the heavenly will of God, and reject the ungodly ways of this corrupt world, we can never have Godly togetherness with the Lord or with each other.

7. but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
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.

This is the problem that most people in this world have, and unfortunately including many clergy and parishioners.
Letís go on and look at the beginning of 1 John 2Ö

1. My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
2. and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

If we are truly born again and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, He immediately shines light upon our sin so that we confess it to the Lord and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
This in very important for us to remember, for our righteousness is to be a witness to the world of Godís heavenly will here on earth, and if we are seen as hypocrites, the world will think that what we say is a lie.
We are to lead people to the Lord in truth, for Godly fellowship includes faith that can and will end the corruption of creation, and once and for all bring Godís heavenly will to earth as it is in heaven where there is no violence or pain or death.
We can do it!

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