Summary: John gives us a message of God’s love after being connected to Jesus ministry.

April 30, 2006

There are times as a pastor when I look at the readings on the back of the bulletin and think…how am I ever going to craft a sermon out of this? The selections don’t speak to me and don’t seem relevant to the lives of the church or people. But then there are times when I read the selections and think…man this is a great sermon! I don’t have to touch this and it says everything that needs to be said.

Today is one of those times…when I looked at the particular selection and thought this is great!

For those who don’t know the book of 1 John gives us the best lyrics of love in the whole Bible. There is more about love in this short letter than any other book in the Bible. While we don’t have time to study the whole book it is worth mentioning that the simple phrases, “God is love” “There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear” and “We love because he first love us.” May have never been spoken before and certainly had never been recorded!

That gives us an idea of where John is coming from. His message comes to us after being closely connected to Jesus. Who better to hear this message from than John?

John was one the first disciples. He walked and talked with Jesus for three years. He was the only disciple at the crucifixion. From the cross, Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to John. Further, we hear that Jesus loved John more than the other disciples. John was called the “beloved disciple” or the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”

Yes, this man, this apostle, this most trusted friend of Jesus has the best credentials in the whole Bible to give this sermon. More than any other human being, John understood Jesus’ teachings.

He shares this sermon with us so that we can see the heart and mind of Jesus! During the Easter season we often question why Jesus would do what He did…John gives us a glimpse into the heart of Christ! As we go through this sermon there will be times when I ask you to write something or underline something so get out a writing utensil.

1 We declare to you what was from the beginning, Circle the word, “we,” and you and I realize that a group of people is writing this letter. It is not solely the Apostle John but some of his followers who are with him.

Circle the word “beginning.” "Beginning" does not refer to "the beginning of time" as in the Book of Genesis but the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

what we have heard, The Apostle John and his friends are telling us that they are first hand witnesses, that they have heard Jesus with their own ears, seen Jesus with their own eyes and touched Jesus with their own hands. These are first hand witnesses to the life of Jesus of Nazareth. No other gospel writer claims to be a first hand witness as does the Apostle John.

concerning the word of life— Circle the word, “word.” We recall from John 1:14 that the “Word became flesh, a human being, and lived among us.”

The word, “life,” is also a favorite word of John. The word, “life” is found 45 times in his gospel. He repeats that word all the time. We recall Bible verses from John which says, “I have to bring you life and bring it more abundantly.” “The Son gives life.” “The Father gives life.” “The Spirit gives life.”

2 this life was revealed, Circle the word, “revealed,” and write in the word, “unveiled.” You take a veil off the face of a person and you see that person. You see their strengths and weaknesses. You see their smiles and tears. John was able to see all of those things with Jesus Christ!

and declare to you the eternal life Jesus gives not only life but eternal life. Sixteen times in the Gospel of John we hear about the eternal life that Jesus gives. “You have the words of eternal life.” “I gave them eternal life.” “Whoever believes in him has eternal life.”

and was revealed to us— This eternal life is revealed to us, unveiled to us, uncovered for us.

3 we declare to you what we have seen and heard Again, the Apostle John and his disciples are declaring that they have seen and heard Jesus first hand. They are not second or third hand witnesses.

so that you also may have fellowship with us; Circle the word, “you,” and write in your own name by it. So that ______ may have fellowship with John and his friends. Circle the word, “fellowship” which means community, group togetherness, familyness. As we read John’s letter, we are in fellowship with the Apostle John and his friends.

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