Summary: Getting Real about the reality of who Jesus is and the reality of living the Christian life
Have you ever witnessed people who appeared to be pretenders in the Christian faith?
Their words don’t match what they say they believe
Maybe what they say they believe doesn’t match what the Bible says, yet they say they are Christians.
There are people from different religious denominations who proclaim Christianity, but will not acknowledge the things the Bible teaches or says as true.
On the other hand, there are people who acknowledge what the Bible says but fail to live in a loving way toward others in the light of that truth.
Well, these things that we see today are not much different than some of the things the early church faced.
And thankfully, we have letters and writings that were inspired by God and recorded in the Bible to help us live in truth and in love.
The Apostle John wrote his letters to counteract some of these things.
Beginning today we are going to be starting a new series looking at a letter he wrote that we know as 1st John.
We find that John says it is time to Get Real! about what we believe and how we live.
But before we get in to today’s message, I want to give you a bit of background on this letter.
John was one of Jesus’ apostles
Probably the last one still alive writing toward the end of the first century.
Probably written 50 to 60 years after Jesus death and resurrection.
There were some false teachers and teachings that were trying to creep into the church and these false teaching were affecting not only beliefs but also how people lived out Christianity.
John, as one of the last living apostles, is writing to
refute these false teachings and
proclaim the truth of how true Christianity should be lived out.
In his letter he states specifically several purposes, but in actuality they are all related.
He tells us he has written to
Make our joy complete (1:4)
So that you will not sin (2:1)
So that you will be aware of “those who are trying to lead you astray.” (2:26)
So that you may know that you have eternal life (5:13)
While they seem like different purposes, they are related in that John recognizes joy in the Christian life can be hindered by false teachers and teachings that lead a person into sin. This can jeopardize their knowledge of their eternal life and rob them of the joy that the Christian life offers.
Now if you would turn to 1 John 1 (p. 862) (at the end of your Bibles)
John begins by expressing some core realities of Christianity in an effort for the Christians he is writing to, to live in a way that expresses those realities.
Living a true and authentic Christian life is what John is all about and it is what we should be all about.
So lets begin and see what John says we need to Get real about.
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard…