Summary: Christians love to listen to and live the truth that Jesus offers them.
Lying seems to be a way of life for many people in America today. The book The Day America Told the Truth says that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lied regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.
When we hear those figures perhaps it’s no surprise that there is so much unhappiness in the world today. Lies are easy to tell but seldom do they help make a situation better. In general lies create mistrust and doubt. That’s why we can give thanks that God doesn’t lie to us. This morning we listen as God through the Apostle John tells us the:
The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth - 1 John 1:1-2:2
I. Listen to It (vv. 1:1-5)
II. Live it (vv. 1:6-10)
III. Love it (vv. 2:1-2)
Several hundred years before the birth of Jesus, a crucial battle occurred between the Greeks and the Persians upon the plains of Marathon. The battle raged for hours. In many respects it was a fight to the finish. Finally the numerically inferior Greeks, the underdogs, managed a tremendous tactical win, but there was a problem. Soon the Senate, many miles away in Athens, was to vote and would most certainly ratify a treaty of appeasement. In desperation they sent a runner in full battle gear to go the twenty-seven miles to tell of the news. By the time the young boy got to Athens he had run a Marathon. It is said he was totally spent, that he literally ran himself to death. In his exhaustion he was able to utter only one word to the Athenians: "Victory." As you might have expected that one word made all the difference in the world when the Senators voted whether or not to accept that treaty of appeasement.
In a sense the Apostles are like that soldier who ran to deliver the good news. They were eyewitnesses to the events of Jesus’ life. They watched as Jesus stood alone on the spiritual battlefield against the temptations of the devil and the evils of this world. They saw him hang on that cross in humility, looking like one who had been taken captive. They watched as he took his last breath, certain that this battle had ended in defeat. But on Easter Sunday morning they became the eyewitnesses to the truth of it all. They saw the empty tomb and for the next 40 days they saw the risen Jesus on numerous occasions. Thomas even had the chance, with his very own hands, to touch the places where the nails had punctured Jesus’ flesh and where the spear had pierced his side.
While the political spin-doctors were concocting their own story to hide the truth about what had happened early that Easter morning, the Apostles
delivered the truth. They declared that he is indeed true God and true man, with the Father from all eternity, but also born of the virgin Mary. He is the living Word of God. They proclaimed that God’s plan of salvation had reached its culmination and conclusion in one person, Jesus Christ. How could they be so sure? Because he was not dead, but he had risen just as he said. The eternal Son of God came to win the victory over Satan and offer eternal life to all people.
That’s the testimony they spent their lives delivering. That’s the testimony they continue to share with us today through the Scriptures. They testify to Christ’s victory. That testimony makes all the difference. They share that testimony with us so that we don’t resign our lives to appeasing Satan. They testify to Christ’s victory because that means Satan’s stranglehold has been broken. We no longer have to live as his slaves. We have been set free to live lives in service to our good and gracious God.
That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from the mouths of eyewitnesses. Listen to it! But don’t stop there. This testimony is more than just fun facts to wow your friends with while your playing Trivial Pursuit. This testimony is truth to live by.
One of the greatest complaints from those outside the church against those who are church members is that they are all hypocrites. It is certainly possible that this is one of many misguided excuses for staying away from church, but is it possible that we sometimes help promote that view? Are we the ones whom the Apostle addresses when he warns against saying one thing and doing the opposite when he says, "If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth"? (1:6)