Summary: 1st in First John Series
JESUS, THE HOPE OF THE WORLD
INTRO: In the letter of 1 John, John gives several keys as to why the book was written. One of the reasons for 1 John is to promote joy (1:4). The second reason he gives us this book is to prevent sin (2:1). In other words, that we might be strengthened by the Word of God and that we might be kept from sin in our lives. Not that we will ever, on this earth, be sinless, but that we will sin less as we get the Word of God in our hearts.
A third reason for the little book of 1 John is to provide protection for the saints, or to protect the saints of God (2:26). The fourth reason for the little book is in order to provide assurance (5:13). You see, God wants you to know that you are saved. God not only wants you to be saved, but He wants you to know that you are saved.
I. JESUS IS THE CHRIST OF REALITY.
Jesus is the Christ of reality. Men everywhere are searching for reality. They are trying to get hold of something that has substance in their life. Well, this little letter says Jesus Christ is reality.
There is a three-fold reality in Jesus given in these verses.
1. He points out that Jesus Christ is eternally real. Look at how he begins in v. 1, “That which was from the beginning.” Then notice what he says down in the middle of v. 2, “which was with the Father.” He is talking here about the eternality of Christ. Christ was in the beginning.
2. Secondly, look at what he says, “which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life.”
John is saying this Jesus I’m talking to you about was not imaginary. This Jesus had a real existence in eternity. Then he says, “our hands have handled.” He is saying that Jesus had a real body, that the Word was made flesh, that Jesus Christ partook of human flesh. You see, when Jesus walked on the earth, those who did not know and understand saw Him, and all they saw was just a man.
ILLUS: Once Jesus Christ went up on a mountain and was transfigured before His disciples. Friend, did you know if there had been one flaw in the humanity of Jesus Christ that sudden blaze of glory would have destroyed Him instantly. You take a piece of crystal and you heat it with fire. If there is a flaw in that crystal the fire immediately finds the flaw and it cracks the crystal.
John says I want you to know He was personally real. Look at v. 2, “For the life was manifested.” The word manifested means to become visible, to appear. John is saying not only was Jesus real eternally, not only was Jesus Christ real historically, but Jesus Christ is real personally. He’s real in my heart and in my life.
II. JESUS IS THE CHRIST OF RELATIONSHIP.
In v. 3, John says that Jesus Christ is the Christ of relationship. “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” He is saying that coming to know Christ brings you into fellowship. The word fellowship occurs two times in that verse. Fellowship is a very special word. It is the Greek word that really means to have something in common. It means to partake of something together.
ILLUS: Somebody said fellowship means two fellows in one ship. Let me explain what fellowship is. Some of you guys like to fish. I had a man say to me one time, “Preacher, did you realize that two-thirds of the earth’s surface is water?” He said, “What do you think that means.” I said, “I’m not sure exactly what it means.” He said, “the surface of the earth is two thirds water because a man ought to spend at least two-thirds of his time fishing.”
Now that’s a fisherman for you. I’m not a fisherman. Every time I’ve ever been fishing, the fish get lockjaw, go on strike, and refuse to bite. But some of you men like fishing. So you see, if a couple of you men who like fishing got together and the subject of fishing came up you would immediately have something in common and you could talk together about fishing because you are both interested in fishing.
That’s what the word fellowship means. But it is a Christian word. It means to have the things of Jesus Christ in common. It means to enjoy Jesus Christ together. It means to be one in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Christ of relationship.