Summary: Sermon series in 1 John
Series: 1 John
Passage: 1 John 1:1-4
Title: Fellowship in Various Forms
Focus: Fellowship Foundations
BIG IDEA: “True Fellowship comes through the Word and of the Lord.”
POINT #1: Fellowship in Existence (1 John 1:1)
• Explanation: John starts his message concerning Christ and how we can be sure that what is written about Christ (biblical accounts) are correct. John responds to this attack in the first verse due to those that doubted Christ’s life, death, messianic status, and resurrection.
o NOTE: Attacks can be either direct or indirect. John is facing this attack on Christ via the reports brought against Christ (some direct, some indirect). Gnosticism was after Christ both directly and indirectly.
o NOTE 2: John establishes his authority over the “secret knowledge” of the Gnostics. Telling his audience that there is no secret and that all that he and those around him have seen, heard, and touched is being testified.
• We can see three times in which God shows not only himself to be true but also a desire to have fellowship with His creation.
• Beginning of God the Father (Genesis 1:1 “God created”)
• Beginning of God the Son (John 1:1 “The Word was made flesh”)
• Beginning of God the Spirit (1 John 1:2 “eternal life.”)
o If the message is from the beginning (Genesis) and came to be known in time (John 1:1) then it cannot be changed by anyone in our era or in the future. Truth is truth. We HAVE HAD this knowledge from the beginning and we have tested its validity throughout the generations.
• Illustration: The wind exists. Test it and you will find it’s there although you don’t see it. It’s been there since the beginning, it’s been tested, and it will continue to blow in the end regardless of whether or not you believe it.
• Application: The antichrists (anyone against Jesus) brought supposed “new ideas” that were not “from the beginning”, “from Christ” or “from the Spirit” (the wind and what it produces is a myth). As the people denied Christ and His reality (human form) the eyewitness’s accounts from the apostles demolished those who speculated. How?
• Heard with our ears
• Saw with our eyes
• Touched with our hands
• John’s message is solidly based on a historical REALITY.
• One that claims you have no life through Christ is crushed when they see the work of Christ work in your life.
Transition: The revelation of God is gaining life in God’s Son Jesus. The sinner can only take advantage by receiving the life given by God, which is the message of life, which starts with the fellowship offered by God. There are only two classes of people “He that has the Son has life, He that does not have the Son does not have life.” (1 John 5:12)
POINT #2: Fellowship in Knowledge (John 1:2)
• Explanation: John says that the life of Christ was made “manifest” by the Word of God becoming flesh (Jesus the Christ, God’s Son).
o Manifest Defined:
• Readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sight
• Easily understood or recognized by the mind
• Within NT text (49 occurrences) “manifest” refers to the full disclosure of hidden meaning by revealing clearly and in some detail.
• The point John is making is that there is no mistaking what he and the believers who were with him experienced. Christ was revealed to them clearly by the will of the Father – and so they testify clearly to the NT church.
• We know God because of the fellowship we have with Christ. Christ was God manifested for us.
o Jesus is not simply a word but THEE Word.
o Jesus is not simply a life but THEE life.
• In the manifestation (God side of Christ) we…
• Have seen God (v. 2) – Perceive by the senses
• Bear Witness to God (v. 2) Understand and recognize
“Testify” (also translated “bear witness”) – means to provide information about a person or event which the speaker has direct and personal knowledge of – the focus of the word is not so much the understanding or recognition, but of the author’s first-hand knowledge of the subject
• Report about God (v. 2) - Evangelize
o All of these show the accuracy of the report of God’s Son Jesus.
o This is a broader term than specific “bear witness”, but points to the announcing of the truth that has been witnessed.
• Illustration: Reporting on the findings of that which you have seen. This is called a testimony. You don’t hide a testimony you share a testimony. So why do we hide that which we have seen?
• Application: We should never have to ask, “Where is our Jesus?” He is manifested (clear or obvious) because He is in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ poured Himself out to dwell in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Now we testify to it and proclaim it. The world may say “Jesus was just a man” but we know him as God the father, proclaiming eternal life. This fellowship with God should be counted as joy.