1 John 1:1-4
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched —this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
This letter was written by the apostle John. This was the beloved disciple that Jesus entrusted His mother to at Calvary. This letter was written to warn Christians about false teachers who were denying the humanity of Jesus. In this letter, John emphasizes that Jesus was both God and man. He also writes to encourage his readers to keep the faith and to continue loving one another as the time of the antichrist draws near.
John does not begin this letter with any kind of greeting. Instead he jumps into the subject matter immediately. John is making the point that he saw, touched, and heard the physical Jesus. This would refute the Gnostic heresy that Jesus was merely a man when He was born, but that at His baptism the Christ came upon Him, and when He was hanging on the cross the Christ left Him. John refutes this teaching in no uncertain terms when he writes, “The Word was born flesh.” Today, we walk by faith, but the disciples saw and experienced a human Jesus for three and a half years.
John then declares that we can have fellowship with God! How can we have fellowship with God? God is holy. We are unholy. How can this dilemma be resolved? The key is found in our fellowship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We are reconciled to God through faith in the atoning work of Christ at Calvary.
In verse four, John writes about his second reason for writing this letter, “to make our joy complete.” When we are experiencing fellowship with God the Father and God the Son, we can experience a joy that is indescribable. In his book, Discipleship Essentials, Greg Ogden defines joy as “living under the pleasure of the Father’s delight in you.” Ogden also points out that “Joy transcends circumstances.” There is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness has to do with everything going our way. Joy can coexist with suffering and grief. Ogden also writes, “Joy is stable because it is rooted in hope.” Hope grounded in the completed work of Christ is knowing how the story ends.
Questions to Ponder
Are you certain that you have eternal life? Do you have fellowship with God the Father? With Jesus Christ, the Son of God? And with the Holy Spirit? If God is holy and man is unholy, how can this gulf be bridged? In whom or what do you find hope? Are you experiencing the eternal joy that comes from being reconciled to God?
- Worship and adore the Word of Life – Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord for being fully God and fully man – the perfect and spotless Lamb of God.
- Thank the Lord for reconciling us by Christ’s physical body through death to present us holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
- As you sit in the presence of the Lord, invite the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal any sin. Tell Him you are sorry and receive His forgiveness.
- Ask the Lord to help you walk in the light today. Pray for the yielding to His Holy Spirit and to walk in the footsteps of faith.
Holy Father, I praise You for being perfect, righteous, glorious, and magnificent. Thank You for making a way for us to come into the Holy of holies through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You Lord for the abiding joy we have as Your children as You live inside of us by Your Holy Spirit. I pray for our church family today. I ask that You set our hearts and eyes on things above and our affections on You rather than the things of this world. Cause Your love to overflow from our lives to each other as well as those far from You. Make us to be burning and shining lamps for Your glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask. Amen.