Summary: The incarnation of Christ is important because it provides our salvation, fellowship, joy and forgiveness.

Fellowship, Joy & Forgiveness

Written by the Apostle John, the book of 1 John was written to encourage believers in the truths of the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ. In it he gives a summary of the Gospel, and the evidence of it. He then stresses the obvious and expected result: a holy life. John’s readers needed also to be warned of an insidious philosophy during the end of the first century. A school of thought prevalent during this time was called Gnosticism. Its name is derived from the Greek word gnosis which means knowledge. Those who propagated these ideas boasted of a higher knowledge of certain secret truths. All they really did though was to blend Christianity and philosophy.

These schools of thought were beginning to be met with some sympathy in many of the local congregations. They tended to deify the devil and dethrone Christ. There were two kinds of Gnostics, with both agreeing in the essential evil of matter. Both had trouble with the person of Christ. One group denied the actual humanity of Christ, the other, distinguished between the man Jesus and the “Christ Deity” that came upon him at his baptism and left him on the cross. Some practiced asceticism while others licentiousness.

What John does is refutes these wrong ideas while encouraging and exhorting the believers to live holy lives that backed up their profession of faith.

John’s goals as he begins his letter:

• Fellowship with God and His family

• Fullness of joy

• Forgiveness of sins

I. The Appearance of Christ in the Flesh is Important (1-3)

A. The evidence of his incarnation (1)

i. John had seen him

ii. John had heard him

iii. John had touched him

B. The importance of his incarnation (2)

i. It made our eternal life possible

1. Jesus brings life (John 11:25)

2. Jesus is the way to life (John 14:6)

C. The practical result of His incarnation (3)

i. Jesus bridged the gap to provide fellowship with God and ultimately one another (John 17:21)

II. The Appearance of Christ in the Flesh Brings Joy (4)

A. Man has an innate desire for happiness

i. But happiness depends on the happenings of life

ii. Joy is better

iii. Joy is a spring from within that satisfies no matter what happens

B. Jesus’ humanity ought to bring us joy

i. Because He is acquainted with our sorrows

ii. Because He was able to act as representative of the whole human race

iii. Because He cared enough for us to give his all for us

iv. The question: Are you experiencing the joy of the Lord?

C. Hindrances to fullness of joy

i. Lack of full dedication (John 15:7)

ii. Lack of fruitfulness (John 15:8)

iii. Lack of love for others (John 15:12-17)

III. The Appearance of Christ in the Flesh Unveils the Conditions of Fellowship (5-7)

A. God is light

B. God is not tainted with sin

C. God expects us to live a holy life (7)

IV. The Appearance of Christ in the Flesh Makes the Forgiveness of Sin Possible (8-10)

A. All of us fall short of God’s standard of perfection (8)

B. When we fail forgiveness is available (9)

i. “If we confess…”

ii. “He is faithful and just…”

C. Confession and cleansing are to be a habitual pattern for our life

Are you experiencing real joy today? Draw closer to Jesus, and He will draw closer to you.

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