Summary: A sermon examining our relationship with the Savior and the responsibilities that go along with that relationship. .
Relationships & Responsibilities
In the first chapter of John we are told of a man named Andrew who heard the proclamation from John the Baptist that Jesus was the "Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world." - From that very moment, Andrew's life was changed forever. And from that day forward Andrew had a personal relationship with Jesus. Andrew did not keep that relationship to himself. The first thing he did was go and find his brother Simon Peter and tell him about this encounter that changed his life. Andrew had a new relationship with Jesus and a new responsibility...to share Jesus.
Those who are saved have the same relationship and the same responsibility. We are called to be witnesses of Christ.
A witness is someone who by explanation and demonstration gives audible and visible evidence of what he has seen and heard without being deterred by the consequences of his action. - S. Briscoe, Getting Into God, p. 76.
In our selected text we find the Apostle John doing his duty as a witness of Christ. John had some amazing opportunities and witnessed some miraculous events. In the first two verses of his first epistle he shows us the glories of a personal relationship with the Savior. I would like to look at John's testimony for a little while and consider the thought "Relationships & Responsibilities". We who have a relationship with Jesus have certain responsibilities.
i. We Have Responsibilities Concerning The Savior - We are to be witnesses of Jesus' amazing grace and salvation.
ii. We Have Responsibilities Concerning The Saints - We are to encourage and disciple our Christian brethren.
iii. We Have Responsibilities Concerning The Sinners - We are to tell the sinners that there is hope for them to be delivered from their sins.
- Let's begin in verse 1 by examining:
I. Our Personal Relationship - John was not sharing second hand information. He was not some "friend of a friend" of Jesus. He was a personal friend and follower of the Savior. This verse clearly illustrates the intimacy of this relationship. John says "We have heard … we have seen … we have looked upon … our hands have handled”
This relationship had such an impact on John that some 60 years after Jesus had ascended it was fresh on his mind. Thankfully an intimate relationship with Jesus was not reserved for the Apostles. All who are saved can have this close personal relationship with Him! In fact, we can experience the very things that are mentioned in this verse. We can know Him, see Him, hear Him and feel Him!
- verse one makes it clear that...
A. We Can Know Him - 1a That which was from the beginning,
In John's Gospel he states that - John 1:1 ¶In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
This is a clear reference to Jesus. We have the opportunity to know the ETERNAL ONE! The One Who created this world...WE KNOW PERSONALLY!! You may know some important people. You may have relationships with politicians, entertainers and/or royalty...But nothing can compare to knowing the everlasting creator of the universe!
- And because we KNOW Him:
B. We Can Hear Him - 1b which we have heard,
Imagine all that John heard in his time with Jesus. He himself stated that if he were to write it all down - "The world could not contain the books". - He heard Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount. He heard Jesus bless the food before feeding thousands of people with almost nothing. He heard Jesus cry Lazarus come forth! He heard the heartbeat of the Savior as he lay his head on His breast. He heard Jesus cry "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". He heard Jesus cry "it is finished". He heard Jesus give the Great Commission. He heard Jesus promise that one day He would return. (Not to mention all of the things that he heard Jesus say on the Isle of Patmos as He gave him the Revelation.)
And through the blessed Word of God we have heard those same things. We have also heard Jesus call us unto salvation. We have heard Him assure us of our salvation. We have heard the promises of a home in Heaven. We have heard Him tell us to go and make disciples. We have heard Him say that we must "deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him". If we are where we are supposed to be, doing what we are supposed to do WE CAN HEAR HIM EACH AND EVERY DAY! And one day we will hear Him say " Well done, thou good and faithful servant...enter thou into the joy of thy lord". We can hear these things because of our PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SAVIOR!!