Summary: The Apostle John was electrified by coming to know Jesus’ love and see His great light of Truth. He was never the same and his passion never reduced.
Series: Turn the Light On!
Sunday Sermon, November 11, 2007
Intro: Toward the end of the first century, some Christians began drifting away from the truth about Christ. They were losing touch with those who had known Jesus in the flesh as the founders of the church began to die off. They were also being seduced by competing doctrines, especially early forms of Gnosticism. As a result, second- and third-generation believers began to grow cold in their love for each other and lukewarm in their commitment to the truth.
The Apostle John responded to this trend by writing 1, 2, and 3 John. These letters call Christians back to the basics-the truth about Christ and the love of Christ. For that reason, they are crucial for Christians today.
John stresses the themes of:
• And life.
He warnings against:
• False teachers and false prophets
• The deceptive and destructive nature of sin.
John drives home the importance of Christian love.
To be without love is to be without Jesus. To be without Jesus is to be without Life.
The apostle wrote this letter to his dear “little children” (the phrase is used nine times) to help them find assurance of personal salvation and to make their and his joy complete.
John was a Veteran of the Faith. He was likely about 90years old.
I was recently at the funeral of my friend’s father. His Dad was a veteran. At the close service we moved outside so that his fellow veterans could honor his life. They gave Taps, a 21 gun solute and presented my friend with the American flag that had just draped the man’s casket. The words the commander gave that day moved us to reverence and admiration for those who have served and fought for our freedom.
We should all be thankful and honor those who have served and fought OR are now serving and fighting for our freedom.
We should approach John’s letters with such respect. He was the last Apostle standing. In as much as the Kingdom of God is superior to the United States of America we should read with respect.
John MacArthur writes, “When John’s brother James became the church’s first martyr, John bore the loss in a more personal way than the others. As each of the other disciples was martyred one by one, John suffered the grief and pain of additional loss. These were his friends and companions. Soon he alone was left. In some ways, that my have been the most painful suffering of all.”
He was perhaps the last man in the early church-who had actually walked and talked with Jesus. His writing reflects the urgency of that situation. He had to set the church straight.
Mark Driscol calls him: Papa Pastor John / His age and experience a tuned his heart / His words are full of wisdom. These Letters are the Word of God, but they are spoken through the life of the man, John.
John had to root-out the false teaching and lies the enemy had weaseled into the beliefs of those early Christians. The Believer had become unsettled in their security and indeed they were on shaky ground. Truth had been compromised and the Gospel tainted.
John declares, “I am a reliable source, because I am an eyewitness. These false teachers are not credible because they don’t actually know Him.”
He writes to strengthen the faith of the Church and to combat a specific threat to his readers’ faith: Gnosticism. This was a deviant form of Christianity.
• Its adherents’ particular views varied, but they tended to value knowledge as the means of salvation (rather than the Cross),
• They asserted that physical matter was evil, and to teach that the Son of God could not, therefore, have come in the flesh.
• One deadly conclusion the Gnostics drew from there beliefs about physical matter, was sin wasn’t important at all to the sanctification of the spirit. Therefore, they could do whatever they pleased without damaging the spirit.
Text: 1 John 1:1-4 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.