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Our Magnetic Motivating Messiah (1 John 1:1-4)
Sermon Notes
Sunday, 12 May 2013 00:00

We considered the prologue to John’s letter (1:1-4) in which he introduced his subject matter (1:1-2) and his purpose for writing (1:3-4). Our magnetic Messiah draws us closer and closer to Himself as we observed in the verbs used: “have heard,” “have seen,” “have looked upon,” and “our hands have handled” (1:1). This motivates us to share that message as seen in the verbal progression “have seen,” “bear witness,” and “declare” (1:2).

As we are drawn nearer to Jesus we enjoy a greater fervency for Christ. The apostles could only declare to us, their readers, “that which we (the apostles) have seen and heard (1:3a) because we will have to wait until we see Jesus some day to “look upon (gaze at)” and “handle” Him. That blessed day is coming!

John had clearly stated his subject matter: the truth about eternal life that was revealed from the beginning of the Christian message to the chosen apostolic witnesses (1:1-2). Now John proceeds to state the purpose of his epistle: “that you also may have fellowship with us;” Fellowship (koinonia), means “sharing,” as in shared experiences, shared undertakings, shared possessions, etc. But this is no ordinary kind of fellowship: “and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” This is a book about fellowship with Christ (1:3).

I pointed out that the majority of Greek manuscripts read “our” joy instead of “your” joy (1:4).
John used the term for “joy” three times in his letters and each refers to the joy of the apostle(s):
(1) 1 John 1:4 “And these things we write to you that our joy may be full.”
(2) 2 John “I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in the truth, …”
3 John 4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
John is saying that he will be delighted when those he has led to Christ, or nurtured in the faith, choose to abide in Christ and walk in fellowship with Him. If the present letter succeeds in fortifying his readers by encouraging them to “let that abide in [them] which [they] heard from the beginning (2:24), then the joy of the apostles will be full! “And these things we write to you that our joy may be full.”
Of course, if the apostles have reason to be full of joy regarding the lives of the believers they pastored, then it is will also be true that their (“your”) joy will be full as well.

True joy is gained through knowing Christ and God the Father through the apostles’ testimony.





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