Summary: God is the light. How can we live in fellowship with him if we’re struggling with issues of darkness? What’s the solution? 1 John 1:5-2:2
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All scripture quoted is from the New Living Translation of the Bible
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I’d like to get going this morning with a little input from you -- input in the form of some agree/disagree statements.
If you agree with the statement I want you to give me a thumbs up. If you disagree – a thumbs down.
Now I know that this is going to be a little tough for a few of you so I think we better start out easy. Okay?
This one will be really easy.
The chairs in this room are green. Agree thumbs up. Disagree thumbs down.
That was too easy.
Try this – just to get you riled up.
Our country would be better if voting was a mandatory obligation of citizenship. Agree/Disagree
Not all will have the same answer. That’s Okay.
Good. Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty -- and the issues at hand.
1. Most people live dull and uninteresting lives because they are totally and utterly clueless about what’s really important in the world. Agree/Disagree
2. The reason that so many people get caught up in the problems of celebrities so that they can escape their own overwhelming problems.
3. The #1 problem in every person’s life is an unwillingness to acknowledge sin and personal failure.
4. The world is an overwhelmingly dark place for most people who live here because they fail to acknowledge God.
5. Most people, including Christians, lack genuine fellowship with God and see such as an unattainable ideal for themselves (perhaps for others but not themselves).
These are some of the issues that work their way to the surface as we continue our trek thru 1 John.
As you recall from last Sunday I said that 1st John is about bonding or fellowship with God and each other – the glue.
And I explained the premise that the apostle lays out – that the basis of our fellowship and joy is the reality of Jesus in the flesh – a true man who completely identifies with us in our humanity.
And secondly, the reality of Jesus the eternal life – eternal God going out of his way and by grace breaking into the world to identify with us in our humanity. Jesus -- the God-Man. Fully God and Fully Man. He is the complete and full basis of our bond and fellowship with God – and each other.
Now, this begs the question -- which is so apparent that John never comes right out and asks it in an obvious way -- IF THIS BOND WITH GOD IS SO WONDERFUL AND SO POWERFULLY, HOW IS IT THAT SO MANY PEOPLE ARE SO DISCONNECTED TO HIM?
Is it because they haven’t had the right enlightening experience? You know, gone thru the right ritual and uttered the right mantras?
And apparently there were some people running around in the first century who were teaching that fellowship with God only comes thru an enlightening esoteric religious experience -- an experience thru which you learned how divorce your spirit from your flesh.
It sounds kind’a new agy doesn’t it. Well, new age isn’t all that new!
And John deliberately picks up on some of the lingo that these false teachers were using and he infuses it with his own new meaning and turns it against them.
Well, the issue is just as real and just as relevant today -- even if you’re not into new age stuff -- which most people aren’t.
How is it that people are so disconnected to God if the fellowship of his Son is so strong?
Why is it that there is so much darkness in the world?
Why is it that people struggle so much to get a handle on life? Sometimes taking their struggles to the extreme.
I am aware of at least three incidents within the last month where people have stepped in front of trains or parked their cars across the tracks.
In a world where the fellowship of God is so powerfully present these things shouldn’t be happening. But they do. And maybe they’re even happening in your life – perhaps not in an extreme form but as a gnawing undercurrent.
Well John, is addressing this point in our text this morning -- 1 John 1:5-2:2. And for the sake of clarity I’ve broken his argument down into two main points and four very practical "how to" responses.
It is amazing that John in the midst of all of this very heady stuff that he’s got in here should also be so very practical and applicable to our own lives.
Well, the first thing that I want to draw your attention to is John’s observation in verse 5. GOD IS LIGHT.