Back ground on 1 John
This is the disciple who, with his brother wanted to call fire and brimstone down the people who rejected Jesus… He was so hot-headed, impetuous and outspoken that he along with his brother James were nick-named by Jesus the “sons of thunder”. Here in his advanced years he’s singing a different tune… Love!
This letter reveals how a life in Christ can truly be transformed!
This Letter, which was most likely written somewhere around 90 AD while he lived in Ephesus, teaches us about Fellowship:
With Jesus Christ
Which enables us to truly Love (love God and one another), how to walk in truth, righteousness, and obedience.
With each other
We see 4 different reasons for this letter according to Johns writing
With that… let’s get into 1John 1
These things were written, why? (4) that our joy might be full!
What things were written? (back to v1)
JESUS - That which was from the beginning – John 1:1-3
Which we have heard –
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The NLT says it like this: So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
Which we have seen –
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus – sat under His teaching…
Which we have looked upon –
2 Peter 1:16 says they “beheld His Majesty” referring to his baptism. They beheld His glory on the mount of transfiguration and again at the assentation! Every day they gazed into the face of God!
Our hands have handled –
Luke 24:38-39 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
John 13:25 – John leaned upon the chest of Jesus during their last supper together!
Concerning the Word of Life –
Back to John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
This section is obviously speaking of our joy being found only in Christ. John reminding his readers that he was an eye witness to Jesus Christ and His deity – Jesus from the beginning, he heard firsthand the teachings of Jesus – but he didn’t just hear, he heard with understanding. He saw him with his own eyes – but not just seeing, he became acquainted with Jesus through personal experience. His look was not passing – it was an attentive look to perceive to understand. He had touched Jesus.
When I read the word do I simply read or do I desire to hear from my Savior, my Jesus? When I hear His voice to I listen? Do I desire to understand? Do I ask Him to give me understanding, allowing Him to impart His teachings to my life? In my prayer time, do I sit in silence and wait for my Jesus to speak? Or am I the only one talking? When He speaks do I really listen? If I am listening, my life should reflect that with joy.
When was the last time I “touched” Jesus? Or maybe a better thing to ask would be when was the last time I recognized JESUS TOUCH in my life?
Our barometer or the measuring devise is JOY.
A synonym for this word “handled” is cling to or lay hold of.
If we are clinging to Jesus, if we are laying hold of him, we are ABIDING in Him
In John 15 Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches. He explains that we can do nothing apart from Him
How much inner joy you have is a direct reflection on how closely you are abiding in the VINE.
Manifested – made known, visible, whether by word or deed, plainly recognizable.
Seen – or become acquainted with through experience
All of this – Who Jesus is, what we have seen and heard, what we experienced first hand – we declare to you
God makes Himself known to us so many times in our life; by guiding us through scripture and showing us truth upon truth; by bringing His word to pass in our lives.
Although God has done this, for your edification, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith; according to verse 2 he has revealed Himself to you, to me, so that we could declare Him to others. Everything God has done in our lives is ultimately for one purpose – to bring Him glory. When we reach out to Jesus and He touches our lives, others see and God is glorified. Every trial when we turn to Jesus instead of ourselves or the world, God receives the glory. When we turn to Jesus, when we listen intently to what He is saying in His word, when we look to Him and allow His life to affect us, to change us; whether it be by resting in Him, trusting in Him, being obedient to Him during impossible situations – without us even knowing, others will see. This gives glory to God. It isn’t always our words that declare Jesus to others. More often than not, it is our actions, our choices, our attitude. How important to be abiding in Christ so that it is HIM who people see and not us…
WHY??? Why declare all of this to others?
As we share Jesus, Who He is, the things He has done in our lives, His character, His attributes with other believers the fellowship that happens is unbelievable. When Jesus is the center of our friendships, our friendships are transformed. When our conversations revolve around Jesus and what He is doing in our lives, when we edify one another with the Word and hold each other up with scripture when we are being pressed on every side, we are able to experience that joy even in the midst of the trials.
What an introduction!
Message – a promise, a gift graciously given only by God
What is that “promise”, that “gift graciously given” to us by God?
That He is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
John 1:4 John refers to Jesus as the Light of Men
John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I have the light of life in me. This means that if there is darkness in me (sin) and we know according to verse 6 and on that there is – there must be an absence of light. Right? By definition there can be no darkness in light. This means that if there is a problem or as a friend of mine said once, “hiccups” in my relationship with God, the fault lies within me.
“If we say we have fellowship or ABIDE with Him” and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth”
The closer you are to the source of light the more pure it is. As you walk away, there begins to be shades of gray, and on the outskirts is total darkness.
John 12:35 “35Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.”
Ps 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
This word “walk” in verse 6 means –
To be occupied with, continue in, follow after
Jesus, the word made flesh, is our lamp, He is the light for our path. If we are abiding in Him clinging to Him there is no way we will chase after, be occupied with or walk about in darkness.
BUT, IF I AM practicing sin (meaning make it a habbit), my works prove me a liar. When I sin, my heart should be grieved. It is the continuing in sin without true repentance that proves us liars when we declare ourselves to be children of God.
If we walk in light, Jesus illuminates our hearts, revealing even the darkest, dirtiest corners – casting that darkness out.
When Jesus shines his perfect light into the dark recesses of our hearts and the bugs and vermin scurry in search of another dark place, they shouldn’t be able to find any. They should have to flee and look for a new house.
What do you do when you are expecting company? You clean house.
We shouldn’t be embarrassed or pretend that we aren’t home or make excuses as to why someone can’t come over because there are things laying around that we don’t want them to see.
When we are walking in the Light of Jesus Christ, we are able to have fellowship with one another. When we have unrepentant sin in our lives, those areas that are “hidden” create barriers. Remember, nothing is hidden from Jesus, but He will not come in and bust down doors to areas we have locked up. He will wait for you to give Him access to those parts of your life. Our relationships with one another will be a reflection of how much access we have given Christ within our hearts. Why? Because our relationships with other believers revolve (should revolve) around our relationship with Jesus, His blood, His sacrifice, His Lordship in our lives.
We are all sinners, we all sin and fall short of the Glory of God - Romans 3:23. There is non righteous, no not one. For us to think otherwise is foolishness. It is a deception from the enemy – John 8:44. It is a lie that separates us from fellowship with God and fellowship with one another. Worse yet, if we say that we are in no need of the sacrificial blood of Christ, we are calling God a liar because His word says we are sinners in need of a savior, and that Savior is Jesus.
God is pure and holy. He is perfection. He is light. In Him there is no, nor can there ever be any darkness. When Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world, God turned His back on His own Son. He cannot be in the presence of sin or darkness. So what makes us think that we can cling to the things of this world and still have perfect fellowship with God? We need to be willing to let go and repent of those things those sins that we are holding on to and grab onto Jesus with BOTH hands, with our whole heart. Amen?