Summary: Our joy will not complete unless we are in fellowship, and that fellowship is based on the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thesis: From Incarnation to fellowship to joy
Title: Is Your Joy Complete?
Text: 1 John 1:1-4
Is Your Joy Complete?
Intro A circulatory letter probably to the churches of Asia Minor - to Believers
Written by the Apostle John probably before his exile to Patmos
False teaching of Gnosticism: knowledge is superior to virtue
spirit behind scripture can only be understood by few
evil in world proves that there is another creator
no incarnation because God would not mix with evil matter (Docetism) = only spiritual, not physical, so he could not have experienced physical pain on the cross
no resurrection of the flesh
These teachings were creeping in and ripping the heart out of Christianity and John wrote to correct by pointing to the reality of the incarnation and Jesus’ perfect earthly life.
Read the text one long sentence in Greek
I. The Person
That which was from the beginning not necessarily from the beginning of time ie. Jn 1
but from the beginning of the gospel message
That which = neuter form, not referring to a person John uses this idea again in 1Jn 2:7 , 24 and 3:11
Nothing new - of old false teachers always
Not correcting as we go, no revisions introduce new ideas
Always God’s plan , eternal
Now the Apostle asserts his testimony (first hand knowledge and experience) to the message. John’s message is solidly based on a historical reality.
which we have heard
He was a first hand witness to Jesus’ words
The truths were still “ringing in his ears”
perfect active indicative - permanent result of past action
illus. riot on board ship - ugliness of racial bigotry “rings in my ears”
No experience = no real understanding - could have read all about it, been shown pictures
which we have seen with our eyes
examined, perceived to be, with depth, private, PK
2 Peter 1:16-18 Peter, James, & John were there
teaching with parables
walking from town to town
which we have looked at
verb used expresses the calm, intent, continuous contemplation of an object which remains before the spectator
Jn. 1:14 he saw this manifestation
he saw the whole thing from beginning to end
he saw the evidence of miracles and works pile up
he saw its duration and affect on people
he saw the post-resurrection appearance & its fulfillment
and our hands have touched
most powerful verb
same word in Greek translation of OT in Gen 27 (Isaac handled Jacob to see if he was Esau)
Jn. 20:27 - Thomas
Most convincing proof of all is touch
illus. Mom when seeing a lost child
this we proclaim . . . .word of Life
Some (NIV) Word as title for Jesus ie. John 1:1,14
More likely “the message about life”, the words about Life Himself
Next verse personifies Life not Word
vs. 2 The Apostle simply reiterates what he has already said
Uses repetition to make his point
Unmistakably clear that he is talking about Jesus Christ
Brings in eternal aspect and hooks it to beginning of vs 1
Here the Incarnation is unquestionably in view (fighting Gnosticism)
John wants to make sure that we know that Jesus was here in the flesh & never forget that!
Because it is basic to our fellowship!
II. The Progression
vs. 3-4 We proclaim 3rd time used and is the main verb in the text
This proclamation, of God come in the flesh, is basic to fellowship
Koinonia = partner; partaker;
Lk. 5:10 (James & John were fishing partners of Simon)
= setting aside of personal or private interest & desire to join with others for the common purpose of edification.
Why do we need koinonia? a context in which to use gifts
a context in which to worship
a family where we can grow, including mistakes
a place where we can practice & be instructed
ie. love, patience, kindness, faithfulness,
gentleness & self-control
“ So that we can be like Him.
Note: Is that why our most hurt comes from the Church?
We need tough skins, but hearts of compassion!
Because our joy comes from koinonia!
to make our joy complete
Some - your , but whether our or your it says the same thing
Somehow, John’s joy is not complete until others are in fellowship with him
Our joy will not complete unless we are in fellowship
And that fellowship is based on the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ
Is your Joy complete? Complete in the knowledge of your faith?
Complete in the experience of your faith through fellowship?
It is really as simple as that. K.I.S.S.
Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Matthew Henry put it this way:
“The mystery of the Christian religion is directly calculated for the joy of mortals. It should be joy to us that the eternal Son should come to seek and save us, that he has made a full atonement for our sins, that he has conquered sin and death and hell, that he lives as our Intercessor and Advocate with the Father, and that he will come again to perfect and glorify his persevering believers.”
With these words I encourage you today!