Monday, August 25, 2014
“FELLOWSHIP with God: Based on REALITY”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
The epistle of 1 John is short, but profound. In just five chapters, the Holy Spirit through John concisely, yet confidently affirms our faith in Christ and in the promises of God. John was responding to a false teaching called Gnosticism that was in its early stages at the time that John penned this letter. At its core, Gnosticism denied the deity of Jesus of Nazareth, claiming that it was impossible for the perfect Son of God to be manifested in human form on earth. They believed that the earth was inherently sinful and, thus, the Christ could not be incarnated. Further, they claimed that they had a type of higher knowledge that placed them above the first century Christians.
It is in these conditions that John writes and affirms the reality of Jesus. In 1 John 1:1-4, He offers the proof, the preeminence, the preaching, and the purpose of Christ and of His coming.
First, the PROOF. John was an eyewitness of Jesus. In fact, all of the apostles were. That’s why John uses the term “we” through 1 John 1:1-4; he’s referring to the apostles who were also eyewitnesses. They provide for us a reliable testimony for Christ. In 1 John 1:1, John says: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life” (1 John 1:1). John says he has heard Jesus, seen Jesus, looked upon (that is, he consciously, willfully took a close and steady gaze at) Jesus, and touched (handled) Jesus. In verse two, John says that Jesus was manifested, seen, and that he now bears witness and declares Jesus Christ to them. John has the proof! And he wants his readers to have that confidence in Christ, too!
Second, there is the PREEMINENCE. Did you catch how John described Jesus in 1 John 1:1? “That which was from the beginning,” referring to the fact that Jesus is eternal. The Bible tells us that Jesus was not created. No, He is God the Son. He has always existed (Heb. 1:1-3). Further, John says that Jesus is “the Word of life.” He is the Word in the sense that He is the subject and the source of the gospel message. He is the Word of life because He brings the hope of everlasting life to all men who believe on and obey Him (John 3:16; 14:6). In verse two, John says that Jesus “was with the Father and was manifested to us.” This Jesus, God the Son, came to earth and dwelled among men! Amazing! Jesus is supreme; He has the preeminence, that is, he surpasses all others (Col. 1:18)!
Third, notice the PREACHING. John says that he is writing to declare Jesus unto his readers. The tenses that are used indicate that John would unceasingly declare Jesus to them. He would preach the proof, the preeminence, and the power of Jesus Christ to save their souls! You and I should seek to do the same.
Fourth, look at the PURPOSE. Why is all of this so important? John answers that for us in 1 John 1:3-4: “that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” John gives two reasons why this is such important information: first, so that you can fellowship with the Father and with His people; second, so that your joy may be full. Fellowship is so important. It indicates communion and sharing. You and I can share in God’s promises, being partakers in the victory that comes through Jesus! But notice that this fellowship is linked with the doctrine that John preaches: that Jesus is, and that the word of Christ is followed.
In the second place, John points to the joy that Christians can have. When we talk about joy as a Christian, we aren’t discussing some kind of wishy-washy, circumstantial happiness. No, you cannot diminish my joy in Christ just because it’s a cloudy day or because things aren’t going my way. This joy is a joy that is filled full to the brim! This is a complete joy that is based in Christ and in what He has done for me in securing my soul! That is amazing grace!
Let’s wrap it up: Do you want communion with God? It is based on the REALITY of Jesus. John offers us plenty of proof to indicate that Christ has the preeminence. John wanted to preach about Jesus so that you and I can understand the purpose why He came and can be partakers of His promises in heaven. That is simply amazing.
Memory Verse: This week’s verse is all about getting rid of the sin and receiving the word so that we can have fellowship with God. Look at James 1:21:
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21)
Sometime today: Read 1 John 1:5-10 and note that communion with God is based on righteousness. More on that tomorrow.
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This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!