Summary: There’s more to just recieving Jesus into your life - it’s about recieving all that He is
Paddy Venner is Senior Pastor of Harfield Road Assembly of God in Cape Town, South Africa
Foundations of Truth Part 1
Encountering Christ – A Total Body Experience
1 John 1: 1-10
When the Apostle John wrote this letter, he was responding to a group of heretics called the Gnostics who were teaching that Jesus had not come in the flesh, but only in the Spirit.
John was writing to those who had stood firm and was restating the truth for them, as an eye-witness
False teachings always occur, and those who are not convinced of the truth will be lead astray - and the only way to become convinced is to hear from those who have been there.
I can try to explain to you what the Mona Lisa looks like, but to fully convince you I’ll have to take you to the Louvre in Paris to show you.
John here was taking these people into an account of his experience of Christ, with the hope that they will experience him for themselves and in doing so become as convinced as he was. – Paul said ‘I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day’ ( 2 Tim 1:12)
If you want to know the way, ask someone who knows the way.
I once heard someone say ’If you want to know if speaking in tongues is for real, ask someone whose been doing it for 50 years, not someone who’s never done it’
John is very emphatic in his relating of his experience with Christ, and he also pulls no punches as to what your meeting with Christ should result in.
The first thing John says about Jesus is bound up in the Greek word ‘Logos’.
Three times John refers to Jesus uses the Greek word Logos, which means literally the ‘word’, but also means ‘the reason and power behind the word’
What he was saying then is that Jesus is not only God, but also that Jesus was everything that made God God.
The first one is in what we have just read, calling Jesus the word of life.
The second - John 1: 1-3
The Third – Revelation 19:13
John is strongly putting across the view that Jesus is the eternal God who existed from the beginning, was active in creation and is also the reason for everything that was created (Colossians 1:16 – for His pleasure)
Jesus is the Word of Life, but John is also saying here that Jesus is Life personified – just try living without Him and you’ll se what he means.
Jesus is our door to eternal life, to abundant life, to meaningful life.
Jesus is life! He is the embodiment of the power of God, the El Shaddai, the Great I Am, the Ancient of Days – Jesus is true God of true God, the image of the invisible and He is our friend and life source.
John is so exuberant in his descriptions of Jesus, that he states that the realization of who Jesus is should make our joy complete - V 4
John was urging the people to encounter Him, and when you do encounter Jesus, He impacts your life in different ways.
1. Our senses encounter Him
John was saying here that his experience of Jesus was a total one – he didn’t just hear of him, but he saw him too, and touched him.
How did we first come to believe the gospel? – we heard it! – Romans 10:17 – ‘Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through the word of God’
Jesus says to Nathaniel in John 1: 50 that He will cause Nathaniel to see greater things – He opens our spiritual eyes and we see things in the word, in life, in people that we never saw before.
We feel the presence of God when we need His comfort – many can testify to that sense of knowing and feeling that God is near
Psalm 34:8 says ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ – this is an encouragement to seek out a total experience of our Lord – He is not afar off, but is near to be taken a hold of, that we can be the best we can be.
So that just leaves the sense of smell - 2 Corinthian 2: 15-16
2. Our Well-Being Encounters Him
The Logos, Jesus Christ, our Word of Life seeks to make us complete people.
Our wholeness needs to be found in Him.
Ambition and seeking after relationships is good and well, but don’t stake your life on such things – stock markets crash and businesses go insolvent, but we are dealing with One who makes our lives complete irrespective of prevailing circumstances.