Summary: This sermon deals with a great deal of background information on 1st, 2nd and 3rd John. The application is two fold: 1. Have you experienced Jesus? 2. Have you shared that experience with those around you?
TEXT: 1st John 1:1
TITLE: Introduction to John
SERIES: Letters from John
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, November 7, 2010
PROP.: Sharing Jesus based on my experiences.
INTRODUCTION: Good morning and welcome! Today we start a NEW SERIES! We are going to be studying the books of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John.
I want to start this series off in kind of a strange way. I want to talk about our church name. BURNSIDE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. It’s a pretty straightforward name, is it not? I mean, it’s not fancy. It’s not creative. But I’m ok with that! I hope you are too! Because there is no confusion about our identity. I’ll explain what I mean.
Let’s first talk about
BURNSIDE: Burnside gives the location. That doesn’t mean much to people who don’t live in Hancock county. Most people will get a confused look and say - BURNSIDE? And what I’ve come to realize is that when I talk to people who don’t live in Illinois (like at a convention or something), when they ask: “Where are you at?” and I say, “Burnside, Illinois.” Their next question is: “How close to Chicago are you?” As if Chicago is the only city in Illinois. So Burnside talks about the location.
Let’s talk about
CHURCH: The word church in the first century when Jesus first uttered the word, wasn’t a religious word. It simply meant GATHERING or ASSEMBLY or MEETING. So when people would have “church” in the first century, they were basically just meeting together. And when they met they could talk about a bunch of different stuff.
In our communities, they have church to discuss school business - it’s called school board meeting. They have church to watch the chargers play - it’s called football. But that’s not why we’ve gathered together to meet.
Notice what kind of meeting or gathering we are to have:
CHRISTIAN: That term CHRISTIAN is very descriptive. It’s a Biblical term. Did you know that?
Acts 11:26 - the followers of Jesus Christ in Antioch were called CHRISTIANS.
“…Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
Christian describes what the gathering is all about. It describes WHY we meet together. We are the gathering who meet for the purpose of all things relating to Jesus! We love Jesus. We teach Jesus. We worship Jesus. We remember Jesus. In case you haven’t noticed, we are a little obsessed with Jesus! And maybe if you’re new here, you’re like: “I wonder what’s their infatuation with Jesus?”
Let me answer this question if I may. I am not sure if you are aware or not, but I have a sin problem. In fact, so do you. The Bible makes it clear that we all have a problem with sin! (Romans 3:23) We do bad stuff - all the time!
And this sin was such a problem for me that I didn’t know what to do with it! It was weighing me down with guilt. It was making my life a mess! And then I found out that Jesus SPECIALIZES in taking care of sin problems! (Romans 6:23)
But I also have another problem. I’m getting older. My body is wearing out. And every day that passes is one day closer to my death. I don’t want to die! I want to live forever! Do you feel the same way? And then I learned that Jesus Christ died on a cross (to take care of my sin problem) but also was put in a tomb and three days later rose from the dead - giving me hope that if I follow Jesus, if I commit to having Jesus as Lord of my life and as Savior of my life, that one day, when my body is put in the grave, my soul will rise from the dead to live forever in heaven! (John 3:16)
So do you see why we are fans of Jesus around here? SIN - no problem! DEATH - no problem! And the world is full of people who have problem with those two things. And around here, we have an answer for those two problems - JESUS CHRIST!
BURNSIDE CHRISTIAN CHURCH - We are the followers of Jesus Christ who meet in Burnside regularly to concern ourselves with all things Jesus!
Now I want you to hold onto that. Because we are going to come back to that later on in this sermon series.
Open up your Bible to 1st John. 1st, 2nd and 3rd John. are these three small books at the end of the Bible right before Jude and Revelation. It’s different from the Gospel of John although they were written by the same guy.
These three books are really letters. And so here’s the deal. We are reading someone’s mail! Now if I was to go to your mailbox and start opening your mail and reading it - first of all - I’m guessing you wouldn’t be ok with that; but if you were ok with that, I’m guessing the personal letters you would receive wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to me! Because there would be a lot of inside jokes that I wouldn’t get and reference to people I wouldn’t know.