1st John – Part 2 Lawson and Aaron Perdue

Religion is not a good thing. Religion is talking about a system of works and a set of beliefs. And religion will kill you while relationship will bring you into light.

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1st John: Our Relationship With God

When you believe on Jesus and receive the gift of salvation, everything changes! You can now come boldly to your heavenly Father and have true fellowship with Him. You are accepted into His family and have a place at the table! Everything we receive from God is through our relationship with Him. In order to grow as a believer, you need to keep going back to the revelation of how much God loves you!

1st John Transcript

  Praise the Lord, friends. We’re gonna be sharing a brand new series today on 1 John, and we’re gonna be talking today about the difference between religion and relationship. And I’m here to tell you that religion is not a good thing. Religion is talking about a system of works and a set of beliefs. And religion will kill you while relationship will bring you into light. Friends, it’s great to have you with us today. I am so glad to have Aaron. We’re talking today about our relationship with God, and we’re talking specifically from the book of 1 John. And you know, John wrote this in about 90 AD. So he’s been walking with Jesus for over 50 years. Another what you could look at this as lessons we learn as we walk with God. You know, I got born again when I was eight years old, and then I got baptized in the Holy Spirit when I was 14 in Andrew Wommack’s Bible study called The Preach. I mean, begin to understand who I was in Christ. My life really was transformed when I was 14 years old and begin to understand that. But it wasn’t until I was 30 years old that I got a revelation of the love of God and a revelation of the love of God will transform your life


  Well, and really, our identity, how we see ourselves should come from knowing that God loves us. A lot of people find their identity in different things. They find their identity you know, in their profession. You know, if you ask someone to describe themselves, you know, they’ll often start with their profession or maybe relationships that they’re married, they have children, but really our ultimate, identity should come from who we are in Christ. And I love that John calls himself. You know, the beloved, his identity was in God’s love for him. And really, your your greatest value, who you really are is how God sees you.


  Amen. You know, I’ve had sometimes even people that I really respect say something negative about me. And I know this happened several years ago, and I had already in that area, it was in the area of finances, really begin to renew my mind. And because I had renewed my mind in that area, I thought, “Well, they just haven’t seen the transformation that’s gonna take place.” But, you know, those same people have come back and made comments about me that are completely opposite of that now, because I renewed my mind in the word. There was a transformation that took place on the outside. But you know what? Your identity doesn’t need to be wrapped up in what somebody else thinks about you, your husband, your wife, your parents, your boss, your pastor. You know, your, your identity needs to be wrapped up in who God is and who Christ is and what God’s opinion of you is. I know this minister years ago was out hiking with Andrew Wommack, and this minister had been part of a very large megachurch. And this minister said, “Well, this person, this pastor of this very large church said this about you and all these different things.” And it was very negative. And then the minister asked him, “Well, why doesn’t that bother you?” He said, “Because it doesn’t matter what he thinks. It’s not his opinion that matters. It really only matters what God thinks about you.” You gotta get your identity just right down rock solid in Christ. And you know, as we were sharing from this, you know, he’s talking about Jesus who was from the beginning. And he said, “We came into this personal experience of Jesus. We saw him, we looked upon him, we gazed upon him, we handled him the word of life, that life was made known, and we bear witness. In fact, his life so changed us that we’re demonstrating to you his life.” And he says, “Now what we wanna do, him who we’ve seen and heard in verse three, we’re declaring to you that you can come into fellowship.” And this word “fellowship” is talking about koinonia, communion, a partnership, a sharing, a joint participation with… Thank God we’re not on our own. We have a partner. Glory to God, the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.


  And I love too, what happens when we come into fellowship with the Father, with his son, Jesus, with the holy Spirit, that we have fullness of joy,


  Praise God.


  And so many people deal with, you know, just depression, anxiety, worry, stress. You know, Jesus said, “All of you who are, you know, weary and heavy laden, come to me.” You know, in the world, there’s a tremendous amount of weariness and just heaviness just everywhere you go. But Jesus actually called those people. Maybe today you’re feeling just weary and heavy laden, man, come to Jesus. Just come to that understanding of how much he loves you, how much he delights in you, that you are his beloved. That that’s your, you know, ultimate identity is that you’re loved by God. Maybe someone’s rejected you, maybe a family member, maybe a loved one, maybe in your career, you faced rejection, but God loves you and fullness of joy. The true fullness of joy comes from God. It doesn’t come from anything else. It doesn’t come from fame, from riches, from, you know, just having lots of people like you. And a true fullness of joy comes from that revelation that God loves you.


  Amen. You know, there’s a number of things that really speak to this. During COVID, they did like a year into it, a survey nationwide about sectors of people whose mental health was better. And the only sector of people where their mental health was better were the people who regularly attended church. And I know a lot of churches shut down. We were the last big church in Colorado Springs to shut down the first big church to open. And you know, we just didn’t buy into a lot of that stuff. But, you know, people really need to get their identity in Jesus. And I know years ago, Andrew Wommack came to our church when we pastored in Kit Carson in Eastern Colorado, it’s a very small town, but Andrew came and preached. We had about 100 people there, and he preached this message on joy. And when he got done, he gave an altar call and only one person responded. And he told me, “This is amazing.” He said, “I go other places and preach this, and 50% of the people will respond to the altar call, and you only had one.” I said, “Well, Andrew, I live that because I knew my joy is in Jesus.” Praise God. And we need to live that, praise God. It needs to be a revelation to us. You were talking about this leading pastor, has a major, major ministry. He’s a great minister of the gospel, actually. But he did a deal on how many people are discouraged.


  He was writing a book on discouragement, kinda overcoming discouragement. He just did a survey like, are you depressed? Yes or no. You know, hundreds of thousands of followers. But you know, thousands of people responded to this and just clicked yes. Like 80% of people said yes, they were depressed.


  Now, if you’re born again, you should not be depressed because the joy of the Lord, you have joy is the fruit of the spirit. And you have that in you. And the joy of the Lord is your strength. You know, if the devil can’t steal your joy, he can’t keep your goods. And so a lot of people are just letting the devil rip them off because they’re not realizing that their joy comes from Jesus. Praise God. That’s the only place you can get true joy is from your relationship with God in Christ. Now, as we move forward, in verse five, he begins to talk about who God is. And he says, “This is the message that we heard of him.” And to declare to you in verse five that, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” God is absolute pure light. Amen. And if you study the scripture, it says three things that God is. It says God is light. 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love.” And Hebrews 12:29 says, “Our God is a consuming fire.” And that’s actually talking about being consumed in the grace of God or the love of God when you read it in context. You know, October 2nd, 2014, I had a vision of Jesus in the night. I saw the glory of God. And when I saw his eyes, they were as flames of fire, orange and red, and they’re just full of love. Amen. And it’s not this thing where I’m dreading and I’m afraid. Actually, the glory of God spoke to me and I got some great revelation and encouraged me and really changed our ministry at that point in time. So you know what? You need to get a revelation that God is light, that God is love, and then you need to be consumed with the grace of God and the fire of his love.


  And one thing a lot of people do that’s actually wrong. They just attribute everything to God.




  I remember when I first became a pastor eight years ago, a former professor of mine. I’m driving her to the airport and she was asking me a lot of theological questions, and I was a pastor and she asked me, “Why do Christians say everything happens for a reason?” And I said, “That’s actually not an accurate statement. Everything doesn’t happen for God is not the author of everything that happens. There is a devil.”




  You know, and he comes to kill, to steal, to destroy. He actually tries to, you know, destroy God’s creation, God’s beauty, God’s love, his life, his perfection. And man, there is an enemy but Jesus was manifest to destroy the works of the devil.


  You know, I never doubted the existence of God, different things about God until I got born again. And I was born again when I was eight. And immediately after I was born again, I had these thoughts, “All this God stuff, there’s nothing to it.” You know, I had these different things come to my mind. And you know what? It was just the devil. And I know people that struggle with that for years. But you know, I beat it in two weeks when I was eight years old. I thought, “Well, if there wasn’t a God, that’s the devil, because I never had these thoughts before. This is the devil that’s coming against my mind.” And you know, it’s amazing how people just buy a lie from the devil. And you don’t have to buy these lies from the devil.


  Well, just recently, I was ministering to some of our youth, and I used an illustration of an empty In-N-Out shake cup. And I said, you know, the devil tries to make you feel like you’re empty, like you’re worthless. Like you’re just a piece of trash, but you’re not. And then I actually gave them all, you know, In-N-Out shakes. When we picked him up from the restaurant, they said, “We’ve never made this many shakes before. We thought the machine was gonna break.” But I said, “You know, God loves you so much. This is really the mystery of the gospel, that he’s put his spirit inside of us.”




  And he needs a container for his spirit. He needs, he needs a vessel, he needs an instrument. He needs that container to pour out his spirit, to hold his spirit. And that’s us. And we’re valuable because we can contain the spirit of Jesus. And whenever you go, the spirit of Jesus goes, and you’re not just an empty shell, you’re not just meaningless. You’re not without purpose. Man, you as a believer, you contain the power of God, the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.


  Amen. You know, just in a few seconds, we’re gonna be going into a break. And if you need prayer, I want to encourage you to call in. I have trained prayer ministers that are here, that are ready to minister to you but the devil may have lied to you and told you that you know, you’re a worm. There’s a lot of stuff that’s been taught in the church that’s just absolutely lies. And the fact is, you’re not an old worm, you’re not worthless. You know, God sent Jesus to die for you. And that, you know, God values you above anybody else, and you need to get a picture of how much God loves you and God’s opinion of you. And I’m here to tell you that God’s opinion of you is good. And when you get a revelation of how much God loves you, it’s gonna absolutely transform your life.


  And if you’ve been dealing with depression, if you’ve been dealing with just those continuous negative thoughts from the enemy, that you’re worthless, that you’re not loved, that you’re just trash. You need to call in right now and receive prayer. I believe that God is supernaturally gonna radically shift your mentality, shift your heart, and you’re gonna know that God loves you and you’ll never be the same. A revelation of God’s love for you will change you forever. So if you need prayer for that right now, I’d encourage you to call. Stay tuned. We’re gonna be back in just a couple minutes. Man, this is gonna be a powerful broadcast. You don’t wanna miss the rest of it.


  Friends, we’ve been sharing from my Bible school class, 1 John, our relationship with God. And these truths have revolutionized my life. We are making the teachings of this available live from church, and you can receive them downloadable free in audio form and my syllabus, free online. Blessings. Isaiah 5:13 says, “They’re kept in bondage because they have no knowledge.” But when I found out the truth, I remember that I was so excited when I first heard the full gospel preached. When I found out I didn’t have to be sick and poor and defeated by the devil, that I could believe God, that God had a better life. I remember I was so excited. Friends, I’m so glad that you stayed with us. We’ve been talking about who God is, that God is light, that God is love, that God is a consuming fire. And when that scripture, Hebrews 12:29, it’s actually talking about getting a revelation of the grace of God. And when you get a revelation of the grace of God, only the things that are established in grace are gonna last through eternity. So it’s really great information, but when you get to know who God is, it’s gonna cause some change to come in you. And that’s what John goes on to talk about in verse six and verse seven here of 1 John 1. He said, “If we say that we have communion, that we have fellowship, that we have a relationship with God and walk in darkness, we’re lying and not telling the truth.” You know, James says this, “Be a doer of the word, not a hear only deceiving your own self.” And if you are walking in darkness and thinking that, you know, God, if you’re using grace, for instance, and for a excuse to sin and to serve the devil, you don’t really have a revelation of the grace of God. When you get a revelation of the grace of God, it’ll cause you to sin less. Because you’ll find out that in your spirit, you are sinless.


  Well, when you know what’s been given to you, when you know that you have Jesus, you know, I love some of the scriptures that talk about putting on Christ. Yeah. You know, when you know that, that you’re in Christ and you can put on Christ, you’re not gonna do certain things. You know, if I were to, you know, go buy a $2,000 Armani tuxedo, I wouldn’t go and change my oil while I’m wearing that. You know, if you know what you’re wearing, if you know what’s been given to you, you’re not gonna go roll around in the mud. You’re not gonna go do these things.


  That’s a great example there. And we’re gonna go to Ephesians 5 and share from verse eight to verse 14. But you know, I used to talk about, I grew up on the farm and hogs and sheep and you know, I showed sheep and steers, you know, cattle at the fair. And when you bath a sheep and you get it all cleaned up and nice and pretty and white, you know, you could show that sheep and you could take him home and that sheep will stay clean for a long, long time. And there it might rain and there might be a mud hole in the crowd and they might slip and fall in the mud, but they don’t purposely get in the mud. But there’s people that had hogs at the fair and the barn where they put the hogs, and then the place, the big barn where we showed the hogs in the arena was a little ways apart. And they bath those hogs and milk and make them really shine and pretty. But if those hogs can, they’ll get out between that barn and that arena. If they get out and they’ll go find a mud hole and they’ll just wallow in the mud because hogs love mud. And if you love sin, if you love mud, you need to get born again. You know, I had this employee one time and he was terrible. And I asked him one time because he was doing things that I thought no believer should be involved in. I said, “Why’d you do it?” He said, “Because it’s fun.” I thought, man, my heart would grieve me so much if I did that. How can any born again person say that? I don’t think he was born again. And you know, I talked to a family member of his one time, I said, “This really challenges me.” And this family member said, “Well, he has deep heart-rooted issues.” Well, you, if you’re like that and you love mud, if you love sin, you need to get saved. You need to get born again, praise God. Or you need to renew your mind drastically with the word of God.


  And I love that John, you know, focuses on God’s love for us. That’s really the message of the gospel is God’s love for us. Legalism, you know, a lot of ministers try to preach legalism to keep people outta sin, but legalism doesn’t keep people from screwing up. You Know, I was reading an exodus about when God, you know, had Moses up on Mount Sinai and he’s given in the law and he’s shown him, you know, just a lot of beautiful things about the tabernacle and the Holy of Holies and you know, the priesthood and Aaron is gonna be this great high priest and the things he’d wear, and there’d be golden bells and golden pomegranates around his, you know, the hem of his garments. So as he went into God’s presence, you know, these bells would be ringing. And as soon as he comes down from the mountain, here’s Aaron. You know, who’s gonna be this great high priest wearing all this beautiful clothing, making this golden calf for the people. And I man, legalism will not cause.




  People to listen, you help them from screwing up.


  I preached this recently and I was in 1 John and I had this couple from church, and I don’t think they were here that night, so they must have been watching online but they came to church Sunday. And they said, “Pastor, you were talking about the goal as a relationship with God and a relationship with God helps you to overcome sin.” But the goal is not overcoming sin and Satan. And in most churches, people preach that the goal is overcoming sin and Satan. And if you make the focus sin, you’re never gonna free people from sin. Romans 3 I think it’s verse 20 or 21, it says, “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” If preaching sin would free people from sin, then everybody in the Old Testament would’ve been free from sin. And they said, “We had just been two churches, one where our son plays worship. And it’s a full gospel church. And they said they were preaching on sin and how bad sin is.” And they said, “We went to this other one. And I like this other pastor, he’s politically a lot like me.” But they said, “It was the same thing, sin and how sin is, you know?” And if you make the focus in, it’s not gonna free people from sin. You gotta make the focus Jesus. You gotta make the focus the graces of God, the love of God. That’s what frees people from sin. And when you have a relationship with God, he says this in 1 John 1:7, “If we walk in the light as he’s in the light, we have fellowship with one another. And the blood of Jesus Christ, his son cleanses us from all sin.” So a couple of different things happen. When you come into a relationship with God and you really begin to understand who God is. Number one, you have fellowship with one another. You wanna hang around other people that are in the light, right? And number two, you’re being cleansed from all sin. Now, there’s a couple aspects of sin. Number one, you’ve already been forgiven because forgiveness is part of redemption. And you can study that out. I don’t probably have time today to go into it, we might get into it this week. But Colossians 1:14 says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins according to the rich of his grace.” So part of redemption is forgiveness. And then Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law being made curse for us, for it’s written curse. It is everyone who hangs on a tree.” Part of redemption is forgiveness. And according to Galatians 3:13, “Redemption is a completed fact. It’s a finished thing.” So your vertical relationship as a born again believer has already been taken care of. Now you need to keep a good conscience before God. That’s another thing. But this vertical forgiveness, God’s forgiven you before you ever came. God forgave all sin at the cross past, present, and future. And what you’ve gotta do to receive that forgiveness is believe it. Now, if you are really born again, you’re gonna desire right fellowship with one another. And the blood of Jesus is gonna cleanse you from all sin. There’s also an aspect of cleansing. And you know, we’re in a world that’s been affected by sin and by Satan. And there’s a lot of felt, there’s a lot of perversion, there’s a lot of darkness in this world. And so you’ve gotta constantly, you know, renew your mind and be clean.


  That’s why yeah, Paul says, you know, “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” So salvation, it’s a past thing. It’s a present thing and it’s a future thing as well. It’s an ongoing thing. And that the blood of Jesus, you know, encompasses all of those things. I love thinking about the blood of Jesus. You know, right here in verse seven, it says, “The blood of Jesus Christ, his son cleanses us from all sin.” You know, in Revelation, the Bible says, “We actually overcome through the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.” The blood of the lamb. You know, I love ministers that talk about the blood of Jesus.


  Amen, I thank God.


  Man, that the blood of Jesus, those are grace messages.


  Amen, you know, preaching on grace and preaching on the blood of Jesus are really preaching on the same thing.


  Yeah, and we overcome through grace and the word of our testimony, that’s actually talking about faith


  Because it’s talking about what Jesus has done. Right? And when you preach on the blood, you’re preaching on what Jesus has done. When you preach on grace, you’re preaching on what Jesus has done. A lot of times, older Pentecostal people will preach on the blood and then charismatic people preach on grace and then they criticize one another. We’re really preaching the same thing. Now the other thing that happens, the blood clinches you from all sin. You have fellowship with one another. But it says, “We walk in the light.” When you have a relationship with God, you begin to walk in the light. Ephesians 5, I love this verse. Ephesians 5:8, and we’re gonna read a few past it through verse 14. But he says, “For you were sometimes darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, walk as children of the light.” Well if you understand this is who you were, but who you are changed. You know, if you begin to understand I am the righteousness of God, I’m justified by faith in Jesus, I’m sanctified by the blood of Jesus, it changes how you walk because you understand. If you be begin to understand, you’ve got the life of God in you. You’ve got the light who you are changed when you’re born again. So he says you were, but now you are children of the light. Don’t identify with darkness ’cause that’s who you were. Identify with the light.


  And really, there’s only two spiritual conditions, There’s only two spiritual kingdoms. There’s a kingdom of our heavenly Father and there’s a kingdom of the devil. And if you’re not of the Father’s kingdom, you’re in that kingdom of darkness. Jesus said, you know, “You’re of your father of the devil.”


  And his worK will-


  And he just said it how it is. You know, not too many people have that much boldness today, but you’re either part of the kingdom of light or part of the kingdom of darkness.


  Yeah, so when you come into relationship with God and you begin to walk into light, you desire fellowship with other believers, right? Who are walking in the light and the blood of Jesus is cleansing you from all sin. Now, he goes on from that in Ephesians 5:9-14, “The fruit of the spirit is in all goodness, righteous and truth.” The fruit of the spirit in every believer is good, right, and true. And if you’re not operating what’s good, right, and true, it’s not good, it’s not God. And he says, “Prove or walk out what is acceptable to the Lord and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them or expose them for it’s shame to even speak of those things done of them in secret but all things that are approved remain manifest by the light, whatever makes manifest as light.” “Wherefore,” he says, “awake you that sleep in Christ shall give you light.” Now you may be struggling, and if you’re struggling today, it’s either because you’ve never been born again or you failed to renew your mind in the word of God. And you know what? You need to renew your mind in the word of God. Get a revelation of who God says you are. Get a revelation of what we talking about of the love of God. Get baptized in the Holy Spirit. Man, the Holy Spirit will help you. And if you are here watching today and need prayer, I wanna encourage you to give us a call. We have trained prayer ministers that will pray for you, that will minister the grace of Jesus to you. You can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, receive healing, receive salvation, and we’ve got lots of free materials on the internet that you can access. I believe they’ll help you.


  Amen. And I believe that someone right now, you just need to call in for prayer because you’ve just been struggling in life. You just feel like you’ve just dealing with constant struggle. Jesus came to go give you abundant life and he wants you to step into that. So if you need prayer for that, just give us a call right now


  And I’ll be back right after this break to pray. Blessings.


  When you know Jesus and experience his incredible love for you, you’ll know who you truly are. You’ll understand the anointing that’s in you, and you’ll realize that you’re part of God’s great family. You can come home to him today through the person of Jesus. We’d like to bless you with a digital copy of 1 John, a relationship with God, $21 value free of charge. Download your copy today at the CharisChristianCenter.com.


  Hey, everybody, I wanna welcome you to our Charis Camp Meeting where we’re gonna have great teaching for adults. We’re gonna have special youth meetings, special children’s ministry, and special worship. It is gonna be a great time celebrating Jesus and the truth of God’s word. If you can’t come personally, we would love to have you join us online. Thanks so much and blessings. Friends, if you’ve never received Jesus as your personal Lord and savior, I want to give you an opportunity to pray with me right now. Pray with me, and surrender your life to the Lord. Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus Christ is your son. I believe that he died for my sins, and you raised him from the dead on the third day and made him Lord and I surrender my life to you in Jesus’ name.


  Thanks for watching “Grace for today.” This broadcast has been made possible by our faithful partners. If you would like to become a partner, need prayer, or have a question, please call us at 719-418-4000 or to partner online, go to CharisChristianCenter.com/give. You can write us at P.O. Box 63733, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80962. See you next time on “Grace for Today.”

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