Summary: First in a series of Message from 1 John with a focus on 1:1-5.
“The Touchable Eternal God”
Is it possible to get to know someone without seeing them? Can you develop a relationship without a face to face encounter? People do it all the time through the internet. We develop some sort of affinity or feeling with characters in a movie or a television serial. We experience all the emotions of relationships. Warmth, anger, frustration, sympathy, hope, disappointment all without ever meeting face to face. What cause such bonding? Letters, information, seeing them in a multitude of situations, developing an understanding of likes and dislikes. There are limitations but there are many elements of relationship building without face to face encounter.
The Apostle John’s first letter draws me because it further encourages deeper relationship with God. It speaks of the possibility of fellowship with the Eternal God. It would be a good place for us to start of the New Year. This one of the five portions of Scripture penned by the beloved and oldest Apostle. The intended readers of this letter are unknown. We know he wrote to both Jewish and Gentile Christians at all stages of maturity. We know they were struggling with connecting to God in a tangible way. We know that there were struggling with some false teaching regarding Jesus and the Christian life. By the fatherly tone of his letter, many historians feel that John wrote it later in life. As in most personal letters, John’s letter defies logical outlining. John shares his heart concerning some basic themes. Light (truth), love, and obedience themes occur all through his letter.
The overarching theme has to do with the issue of fellowship with the eternal God.
John left no doubt as to his purpose or objective in writing.
1. That we might have fellowship with God and each other. 1:3
2. That we might have joy 1:4
3. That we might not sin 2:1
4. That we might not be deceived 2:26
5. That we might be assured of eternal life 5:13
Those are things I will be looking for also as we journey through this text together. As we return to a verse by verse teaching there are some fundamental principles I firmly hold. God supernaturally inspired the original message and carefully directed its documentation. He only meant one thing when He inspired it and therefore there is only one true meaning to be carefully and prayerfully discovered. There may be multiple applications but one interpretation.
We will seek to first discover what God said and meant using the ordinary rules of literature.
Only then can we accurately apply the truth to our present life and experience.
We will keep in mind the ultimate purpose of Scripture transcends mere information.
God intends that the words he left for us to study transform us as well as inform us.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17