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
John introduced his purpose and theme in the first four verses; the proclamation of Christ.
He joyfully proclaimed Christ who eternally existed with the Father, who is the source of life and tangibly appeared to the apostles to bring others into fellowship with them. Five basic points emerge from the initial four verses of his letter.
1. Jesus existed eternally with the father.
“What was from the beginning…which was with the Father”
Many think that Jesus came into existence in a manger in Bethlehem. Scripture declares that Jesus Has always existed. He was “from the beginning”. The beginning of what? Jesus existed at the beginning of all created things. In fact, Jesus created all things. John wrote of it in his gospel.
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. John 1:3
Paul declared it in his letter to the Colossians
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17
Think! Jesus lived prior to the creation of the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets, the solar system, the universe. He was from the “beginning”. Jesus claimed preexistence.
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. John 8:56-59