Summary: The glue which holds us together is Jesus himself – not just Jesus as a philosophy of life but Jesus as a fleshy reality and Jesus as eternal life.
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All scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
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I have in front of me several types of glue – bonding agents.
Elmers household glue is the most common. Very versatile – non-toxic, too. It dries kind of slowly, has limited bonding power. Don’t try to reattach your steering wheel with this. It also cracks as it gets old.
This is Liquid Nails – another versatile glue – for small projects – “construction grade, waterproof, fast bond.” I’ve used this on household projects – glueing paneling or furniture together.
This is Super Glue – fast drying – and dangerous. Cheryl doesn’t actually let me use this glue anymore – ever since that time that I accidently glued my fingers together!
Fortunately, Super Glue will break down with nail polish remover.
Folks, these are just a few of the thousands of glues that are on the market out there. And they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. They are each designed for specific uses.
This morning we are going to be talking about a glue that isn’t marketed. It isn’t available in a bottle or a convenient squeeze tube – but which is more powerful than anything you can buy.
This is the glue that holds us together as a church – and by church I’m not talking so much in organizational terms as I am in relational terms right now.
Now, of course, there are a lot of relational types of glue out there. Ethnicity can be a glue of limited strength.
And then, there are symbolic types of glue.
Scouts wear uniforms.
Different generations have their own hair cuts and some have pierced various body parts to show they belong.
Gang members have their colors. As do sports fans.
Americans tend to fly the flag as a symbol of patriotic unity.
Sometimes the glue is experiential. Those who went on the mission trip in Mexico have a unique bond that none of the rest of us can enter into.
Bonding, community, fellowship, GLUE!
And this is what the book of 1 John is about – except that John’s message is that Christians have a glue which is more powerful – and which transcends ethnicity, symbol, or experience. A unique glue which holds us together.
Look at verse 3 in 1 John 1 -- "...We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ."
The word that John uses here for fellowship is KOINONIA -- which was the ancient Greek word for a common bond or partnership.
If two men went into business together they had koinonia. It meant to have something in common.
And John is saying: I want to tell you about true koinonia – true bonding -- a bonding that not only draws US together as partners but also links us up with God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ!
This is powerful glue!
This isn’t just the lite version that you might experience as you discuss your business. Even the bonding that soldiers in battle experience -- as powerful as that is--is lite, compared to the koinonia that we all have together as believers united with each other and God.
As a matter of fact, says John, this is so powerful and so important that his joy hinges on our willingness to take it all in.
Verse 4 -- “We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete...”
My happiness is, at least to a degree, dependent on your bonding with God and with us. There is nothing that’s going to make my day better than knowing that we’re united in fellowship.
Which brings us to the question -- why? Why is this type of fellowship so important? What makes this bonding so unique and powerful?
The answer that John gives us is summed up in one word. JESUS.
There is nothing more basic to our faith than Jesus. We believe that it is through JESUS alone that we are reconciled to God. Thru his life, death, and resurrection we enter into the good graces of God. We get reacquainted with God and his love for us.
So, it shouldn’t surprise us that John is pointing to Jesus as the source of our common bond – the glue that holds us together.
Now, in our four short verses this week John carefully lays out two aspects of Jesus that are key to our understanding of him and this common fellowship.
The first is this: THE BASIS OF OUR FELLOWSHIP AND JOY IS THE REALITY OF JESUS IN THE FLESH.