Monday, October 2, 2017

1 John Pt. 1

Ever meet someone and you have one impression, then go a bit deeper and realize they are much more of a big deal than you first thought. I have that happen all the time.

I was congratulating a lady who had sung in the Christmas show at Second Baptist Church in Houston last year, telling her how much I enjoyed her song. She was cordial, Oh thank you. Then I mentioned that my son was Josh Smith. That Josh Smith, pointing to my son. She hit her knees and took my hand and said: Bless you.

I went to a Gala a few months ago and was introduced to a man who rang no bells in my head, then someone mentioned something about Apollo 13, and I discovered I was meeting Fred Haze, one of the three astronauts we nearly lost to an explosion in space on the way to the moon.

When I met Bill Cunningham I thought, nice guy. Then I found out he was the B in BJ’s Pizza. My absolute favorite pizza place in the world.

I can’t remember a time I didn’t’ know about Jesus. I admit in the early days He was just a Bible story character. But later He became real to me. Suddenly the stories were all true. What He said and did was life-giving.

What about the Disciples? What do you think they thought about Jesus the first time they heard Him speak? It is evident at the beginning they were most interested in what He had to say.

Early on when many were falling away from following Him, Jesus asked the disciples if they wanted to go away, too. Peter said, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life.

Your words are giving value to life.

Then on another day Jesus got specific: who do you believe Me to be? Peter said: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus said: Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matt 16:17)

They had been drawn to the life they found in His words but now they realized He brought value to their lives.

All of a sudden, Jesus became a bigger deal than Peter had first thought. Not because Peter finally figured Jesus out, but the Father brought illumination – insight that brings understanding.
The Spirit was building into their memories things Jesus had said and done in order to help His men understand who He was. He said this. He did that. Remember, that’s an important clue. Like showing them puzzle pieces. Then, by illumination, they saw where the pieces fit and had a much fuller understanding of what the completed picture looked like.

Little girl finished a difficult puzzle of the world and showed it to her mother. Mom was impressed and asked how she had finished it so quickly. The little girl turned the puzzle over and showed a picture of Jesus. She said, see I couldn’t get everything to fit on the other side so I just put the picture of Jesus together and the other picture just came out right.

That’s why John, writing years later, could point out things about Jesus he didn’t grasp before.

1Jn 1:1  What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--
1Jn 1:2  and the life was manifested,

John’s testimony: God revealed Jesus to us, we saw Him and touched Him. He was real, yet we discovered more about who He was when He was manifested to us. Manifest: illuminate, make plain, make something graspable. John says, I have grasped who He is and wish to make Him graspable to you.

I had a teacher who took the complicated subject of Calculus and made it graspable.

 and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--

Vs. 1 – Concerning the Word of Life – Concerning means: all-around (on every side); encompassing, We might say He covers all the bases. Greek word is “peri”.

Perimeter the boundary that defines a piece of property
Periscope an instrument to look all around.

What John (we) found in Jesus encompassed the total subject of Jesus as the One through whom we experience life as God designed.

Logos is the Greek word used for Word – a broad term meaning the message, the reason, the defining idea of a plan.

Reduce God’s agenda to one single word and what do you have? Jesus.

The Bible is the story of Jesus from before creation to the end of time. The whole story is about Him. History is His story.

S.S. class was told that the answer to every question was Jesus. Boy was asked about a picture. He said, “I know it’s a squirrel but I’ll say Jesus.”

Actually the ultimate answer is Jesus –

For John, grasping who Jesus was made what He said of special significance.

1Jn 1:3  what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Vs. 3 – Our fellowship with God and with each other is based upon Who Jesus is and what He has done.

·         Ability to walk together in agreement.
·         Unity of going the same direction
·         Harmony of heart and life
o   Two cats tied together are united but there is no harmony
·         Peace.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck—there’s a pretty good chance it’s a duck.

What does a Christian look like? If determining if a person is a Christian, what would that person look like? What if your Christianity was judged from the outside only?
      He walks, talks like a Christian.
      How does he smell? That’s worldly cologne. Haven’t you seen those commercials?
Did you hear what he said? Did you see that look she gave that lady? Did you see him change his score?

If you hired me for a job, you would judge me on my work, not my heart. Well, he did a lousy job but his heart is in the right place, so he deserves a bonus.

God does both—knows our heart, sees our life. His goal is for the two to match.

1Jn 1:4  These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

Vs. 4 – Being able to fellowship with God and each other completes joy
Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Phil 2:2-4)

Vs. 5 – God is Light – Light expels darkness.
            You can turn on a switch that makes light come on,
            But you can’t turn on a switch that makes darkness come on.
            You have to turn off the light for darkness to take over.

Joh 8:12  Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
Joh 12:46  "I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.
Act 26:18  to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'
Eph 5:8  for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

Vs. 6

One of the tests is fellowship. What are the marks of fellowship?
            Living our lives in the Light, not in the darkness
            Walking together with God and others
            United, going the same direction
            In harmony of life.

Paul asked: What fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14)

If we live in the darkness, fellowshipping with darkness, we will become like the darkness we fellowship with. Why are ex-felons forbidden to associate with known criminals? They’ll likely go back into crime.

Stop acting like a baby and act like a man.

If I have the light of God within me and live like a man of darkness, which is me? I am lying to myself. I am not being who I am.

1.       Jesus came to bring us life.
2.      That life not only changes us on the inside but works its way to the outside.
3.      Living in fellowship with Him is like walking on a well-lit path.
4.      Choosing not to walk with God puts us in the dark.

5.      Why on earth would we prefer to stumble in the darkness when we can live in the light?

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