Summary: John has something the world needs to know – why? - because he walked with Jesus and walking with Jesus changes everything!
The Guy Who Walked With Jesus - 1 John 1:1-4 - May 5, 2013
Series: That We May Know – Life With Jesus - #1
This morning we start a new series of messages in the book of 1 John. And what I’m going to encourage you to do, is to read through this book once a week during the course of this series. It’s not a long book – you can easily read it through in one sitting. But maybe your question is this: “Why would I ask you to do that?” Why? Because this is God’s word and it’s for us today. I have the privilege of standing before you week after week and trying to share with you what God has been laying on my heart, what He has been speaking to me – but as much as I enjoy doing that, as much as I might pour my heart into that - it’s not enough. Each of us needs to be getting into God’s word on our own as well. And if we’re reading the same things, if we’re talking about them week after week as we meet for worship, we’re going to be growing together in the Lord and that’s what we want to see happening.
I’ve called this series: “That We May Know – Life With Jesus.” In the 5th chapter of this epistle – this letter – John says this, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13, NIV84)
I want you to read through this book week after week so that you may know if you have eternal life or not. And what you’re going to discover is that woven throughout the fabric of this book are – I believe - nine ways to test yourself to see if you really are in the faith. I encourage you to take those things seriously. Because chances are that some of you here this morning – good, loving and gracious people – have been going day by day thinking you’re good with God – but in reality you’re not. You’re going through the motions, but you’re fooling yourselves, and you need to know the truth so that you can humble yourself, surrender to God, and begin to walk in the reality of new life with Jesus.
And then there are others of you here today and your need is something a little different. See, you are living in light of the truth, you’ve believed, but you have no assurance of your salvation. You have fear in your heart. Fear that God will reject you, turn away from you, cast you aside. Fear that He doesn’t hold your future in His hands. Fear that God is not big enough to save you from hell or to help you in these present moments. You need to know that you have eternal life so you can really begin living the life that God has set before you and called you into.
And there are still others here today, and you’re walking with God, and you’re certain of your salvation – and that’s great – but the book of 1 John was written for people like you too. This is God’s word and God has preserved it down through the centuries because it’s His truth for us today. And together we can grow into this life which we’ve been given, we can allow the Spirit of God to shape and form our characters – to conform them even – into that of Jesus as we take His word to heart.
So let’s begin! I’ll invite you to open your Bibles with me please to the book of 1 John. 1 John, chapter 1, and we’re going to begin reading in verse 1. Now 1 John is one of those little books that can be hard to find as you’re flipping through your Bible. It’s in the New Testament, right near to the end. You have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, then you have the book of Jude and then last, but not least, the book of Revelation. If you’re coming from the other way you’ve got the book of Hebrews, James, 1st and 2nd Peter, and then 1 John. And if you’re here this morning – a guest or a visitor and you don’t have a Bible, but would like to follow along – we’d be happy to give you one. It’s yours to keep no strings attached – simply raise your hand and we’ll make sure you get one …
Alright … now this is what we read beginning in verse 1 …
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” (1 John 1:1–4, NIV84)