1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life. 2. (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us); 3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ: 4. And these things we write, that our joy may be made full. I don’t think there’s anyone here who has not heard of Jesus. But…
How much do you know of Jesus?
This question must be asked because the fullness of your joy depends upon how much you Christ and how you can be authentic in your relationship with Him. Btw, just for your information and added knowledge, John the Baptist is not John the beloved who is the author of the Book of John and the Books of 1st, 2nd and 3 John and Revelation. John the Baptist is never an author of any book. (Don’t confuse him with John the Baptist, this is John the beloved, one of the sons of Zebedee).
All of John’s writings have specific purposes. In the gospel of John he centres his writing on presenting Jesus as the God/Man. The key verse is John 20:31- But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. He wrote this that we might believe that Jesus is Christ the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.
In the Revelation he reveals him as the righteous ruler who will return as the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings. In these 3 epistles he presents Jesus as a God who is light, love, and life. In writing this, it was the author’s purpose that we are sure about who Jesus is. The common phrase you will find in his writings is “that ye may know”. Oh, that you may know God. I wrote in my Facebook that the most important relationship is a relationship with God.
This morning, I’d like you to know that the most important thing there is to know in the Bible is how to have a personal relationship with God. And the Bible tells us that the only way we can have a personal relationship with Him is to receive Jesus as your Saviour.
In ch5 of the 1st John we read, These things have I written unto … that ye may know that ye have eternal life, that … believe on the name of the Son of God.
Let me tell you Jesus Christ did not leave heaven, be born as human on earth, carry all our sins unto himself, be hang on a cross, buried and rose again for nothing. He came so that you may know that you have eternal life for the taking. It is a gift for you. You don’t have to work for it. It’s free. You only have to receive salvation free by faith. Receiving Jesus is receiving His ways and principles. I said in the message last Sunday, to follow Christ is costly. It has to show some fruits of righteousness.
Jesus came that we might have LIFE, real life and that we may have it more abundantly.
What is your life look like? Is it living in the joy that anytime soon you will be with Him in glory or you do not know where you are going when you die? Is your life mundane or the abundant of peace and joy? I promise that you cannot get real life until you get real about Jesus. Get real today!
If you are a believer this morning, let’s look at 4 things who Jesus is to you and me……
1. Jesus is the WORD of Life V1.
V1- That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life. Word of life! Heard, seen, beheld and handled! You see that Word in capital W? That denotes He is part of the Godhead. Jesus is the Word, one of the persons of a triune God, known as Jesus, the Son. John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word (listen to this) was God.
Understand that this Word is God. He is God incarnate (means – made flesh) and not an idol. He is a person and not a philosophy. Jesus is the Word. And the Word is God. V4 says, All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Jesus is the Saviour for whosoever believes. If you are saved it’s because you have put your faith in the Jesus, the Sweet Lamb of God, and the great I AM who, was, is, and is to come!
And folks, Jesus is coming again to gather those who received Him and placed their faith in Him and to none other, for He alone is the Saviour. John says of Jesus as one that which was from the beginning.
There are 3 beginnings mentioned in the Bible.
First is in Genesis 1:1- In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. This is the beginning of the Material World. When God who was everywhere, come out of nowhere, and created everything out of nothing.
Secondly is in John 1:1- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This is the beginning of The Word. Before it all began Jesus was there. Before there was a here; there was a somewhere and Jesus was there! And even before he spoke way back there, he knew you, and knew that today you would be here!
By the way, the Word is not the Bible, as some believe. Jesus is the Word. And the Bible is the word of truth. The Bible is the words of God!
Thirdly, is “That which was from the beginning”, referred to in this passage. It refers to Jesus Christ as the beginning of the Christian life. And therefore, we see 3 things here:
Here we find that in CHRIST we see SUBSTANCE. Jesus is the substance to every Christian living. And without Christ there are no Christians. Jesus is the substance to our destiny. Jesus is the substance to the whole duty of man. There is no substance in religion. Not in anyone that people worship, be it Mohammad, Mary, Buddha. Only Jesus, God the Son is the Saviour. He bought us with His precious blood. He is the giver of our redemption.
And so, if you cannot make Him to be the object of our affection and the centre of our attention, there must be something wrong. Not only that there’s something wrong. You are actually missing out the many blessings from the substance of His being. And in His being is everything you will ever need. It is either you don’t really believe Him or you’re not real in your belief. Also,
In CHRIST we see STABILITY. Jesus is the Saviour and Lord. Deut. 32:4 says, He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. In His Lordship there is stability. He is our strong and mighty tower. He is our present help in times of trouble. John being there with Jesus in His earthly ministry said, “we heard, seen with our eyes, have looked upon, and our hands have handled him.” And Romans 10:13 says, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
In Scripture we see how the religious people in His day scrutinised, examined and gazed intensely at Him. And yet, instead of believing Him after all the miracles He has done that they have seen Him performed, they rejected and crucified Him. Oh, that today, you won’t reject Him. The world and its lure to worldliness is so strong that people would rather listen to the world than His words. But make no mistake because He said His ways are judgment.
In CHRIST also we see SURETY. Surety is certainty, indubitableness, security and safety. Hebrews 7:22 says, Jesus made a surety of a better testament. Jesus is our guarantee for eternal life that God the Father promised. John heard Jesus preached to thousands. He saw the miracles and ate with him. He was the one who put his head on Jesus chest. John watched him breath his last breathe on the cross. John understood that what Jesus did at the cross was for the sure salvation to whosoever believes.
And John guarantees that to us. He knew that Jesus was the word of life.You might say it was very special of John to experience all this. But let me tell you, you can experience the same through the avenue God has provided for us, which is by faith. You can meet and see Him through the eyes of faith. You can hear Him through the ears of faith. Touch him through the feeling of faith. And you can know him personally with a heart of faith.
2. Jesus is the GIFT of Life – For something to be a gift it has to be free. For a gift to be good it has to be practical, you can use it. For a gift to be great it has to be personal, and given in love. For a gift to be glorious it has to be powerful enough to change your whole life. The most glorious gift ever given was Jesus. Jn.3:16– For God…
It says in that V2 – (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.)! Jesus did nothing or said anything that was hidden. Plain and simple, He is the Gift of Life for you and me.
Let’s talk about this gift very briefly: Who qualifies to receive this gift of life? What is the quantity of this Gift of Life? What is the quality of this gift?
Let’s see who QUALIFIES. The bible says ALL sinners qualify to receive this gift. For WHOSOEVER! Are you one of the “whosoever”? All you have to do to be found is to figure out that you are lost, and then cry out in faith to be rescued. He said in Luke 5:32– I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Now, let’s see the QUANTITY of this gift. You cannot quantify or put value to this gift. God the Son came to die and His death for your sin and mine to pay our way to heaven is beyond measure. He says, this gift is eternal life. Romans 5:8 says, God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And when a person receives Jesus as their Saviour, eternity with God is yours.
At that very moment you receive eternal life. Not only that- He will indwell in you and seal you as His own. You are rescued from hell and now you are heaven bound. That ought to bring your hearts with a big amen and jumping for joy! And life a life of gratitude for His glory! John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Let me also show you the QUALITY of this gift. It is everlasting! It is fire proof. It is God protected. 1 Peter 1:5 says, “…kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” It is unpluckable! It is safe. It is abundant, abiding, abounding life that we receive from Jesus.
We receive all of his riches in glory the very second we receive Jesus as Saviour. John said, “we seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which the father showed us”. Just like John we need to make sure that we are showing that manifested life to others also. Telling spiritually dead folks about the life they can have eternally with Jesus is a greatest gift you could ever give to help change somebodies life.
3. Jesus is our CONCORD for Life – v3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ:
Concord is union in opinions; bearing same sentiments, views or interests; peace; harmony and fellowship. We are one with Christ. There is a saying, “Birds of the same feather flock together”. Our daily life as children of God is one of becoming like Him. As Jesus loves people, we must do, too. As He hates sin, we must hate sin too. Once you experience this real-life in Christ there will be a natural tendency to start being compassionate for people who might die without Christ.
When you have family members who are not saved, you’d be pleading for God’s mercy and grace for them day and night in prayer. If Jesus is not willing that any should perish, that can be seen in us too because we have concord and fellowship with the Father and our Saviour. He says in that verse that we have fellowship together. Fellowship means commonality.
The fact is that man is born a dirty rotten sinner and a dirty rotten sinner doesn’t have anything in common with a holy righteous God. But when you receive Christ, not only is your sin forgiven and forgotten, it is now the righteousness of Jesus Christ that is our robe. Our robe is the righteousness of Christ, our garment of salvation, which we put on by faith in Him. This is the white raiment, which clothes us and hides our nakedness.
Rom 3:22 –Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Phil 3:9 – And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:)
Isa 61:10 –I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
God in his unchanging, undeniable, unconditional love wants to have fellowship with man through Christ Jesus. John also said that ye also might have fellowship with us. Being right with Jesus will show in the way we treat others in and out of church like Jesus does.
Everybody has different likes and dislikes, with different traits and characteristics, with different levels of learning, different sensitivity to convictions. And so when we deal with people, patience and understanding, and prayer is vital because offense will always happen. In fact, Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love and nothing shall offend them.”
We’re not cloned. But we are to have some things in common. We are not looking for uniformity, but there should be unity. Christians if you have been born again you will have the likeness of Christ. If you believe in creation, in the virgin birth, in Jesus’ sinless life, his pure sacrifice, the only Saviour, and the second coming, then we have some things in common.
4. Jesus is the JOY of life v4. And these things we write, that our joy may be made full.
Fellowship is Christ answer to the loneliness of life. But his joy is the answer to the emptiness and hollowness of life. You can’t be empty of Jesus and full of joy. John says these things we write to you. Do you realize that we hold in our hands the written record of a man who walked, talked, and ate with Jesus?
John was one of the inner circle. He was that was closest to Jesus. It was John that stood at the foot of the cross and held Jesus mother until he died. John had bad things happen to him and still joyful. John uses the word “joy” just once in each three epistle, but the idea of joy runs throughout the entire epistle. Joy is not something that we can manufacture ourselves. Joy is not fun. Fun is here today and gone tomorrow. Joy is not happiness.
Happiness is dependent on happenings. The happenings in this world make people happy but it’s not joy. Sin promises happiness but produces sorrow. In fact, sin is usually the culprit behind every unjoyfulness). Heb.11:25 says that the pleasures of sin are only enjoyed for a season. God’s pleasures last forever. The Psalmist David declared in Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Joy is an inner gladness! You can’t buy joy. God births it to you! The Lord puts it down in your heart and a glad heart shows up with glad behaviour. I have been to the many poor churches in the Philippines, I have never seen so much smiling people all the time when you meet them. I know they have a lot to frown about but when you ask them they’ll tell you why they are so happy. They’ll say Because I love Jesus! Joy is NOT a by-product of pleasure, position or power, but rather a life centred on Jesus Christ.
In Philippians 4:4 Paul wrote, “rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice”.
Do you ever know where Paul wrote this? Paul wrote that from a prison cell.
Here’s what I want to ask you. Do you want to go through money problems, marriage problems, midlife crisis, and a messed up society with the joy of the Lord? Or do you want to go through it alone moping, moaning, and mourning? Which do you prefer? Some of you perhaps do not have any idea how to go through circumstances joyful! Perhaps you have been negative and soured up for so long that you don’t know how to be any other way.
To some people, reacting joyful to problems would be a shock to their system, and would stun everyone else! It is time to change. Charlotte, I am blest with your life. I have few ideas what you’re going through but have you seen her not joyful? Every time I picture her in my mind, she has this beautiful disposition in her. It’s very encouraging.
It’s time for us to change! You better get some joy here so that you’ll know how to react in heaven. There’s an event in Luke 10, where 70 disciples were set to go out 2 by 2 and they came back and reported to Jesus rejoicing because the demons were subject to His name.
Jesus said yeah that’s really exciting! But don’t rejoice over that, but be joyful that your names are written down in heaven. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?
That’s something to rejoice about!! Joy is not the absence of trouble, it’s the presence of Jesus evident in one’s life! Folks, if you want joy and you want your joy to be full, then you need to care about the same things that Jesus does. And Jesus main concern is that every person would be saved- by putting their faith in him and get real about life. Try, go out and share Jesus to a friend or stranger and see what joy you will have.
No one will commit to go out together winning souls unless you individually sold out to it and already doing that yourself as a matter of conviction. We are living in a time where our society is chaotic. And churches, including us I’m afraid, are cold and complacent towards witnessing. And because of this many people are confused about what true Christianity looks like. Can you honestly say, you have fulfilled being a salt and a light to the lost out there?
We need to get back to what is genuine to the principles and ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the author and finisher of our faith. And if you are here and you don’t really know Christ, the time to know Him is now. 2 Cor 6:2 Jesus says, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Be saved today. You won’t regret it.
Let’s pray….( Invitation)