Wednesday, October 7, 2015

In a nutshell.......

Close to the front cover of your Bible you are introduced to God.  This is God of whom the Genesis writer said, "created the heavens and the earth."   Our knowledge of creation is and must remain tied to the opening chapters of Genesis, for therein lies our basis of truth for the beginning of all things.

Near the back cover of your Bible, there is a little book called 1st John, and a lot of what John has to say is supportive information that reaches all the way back to creation.  1 John 1:1, "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."

For those of us who were raised in Christian homes and have been "church folks" for most of our lives, there is a tendency for us to claim our heritage as the basis for our Christianity.  We have no other lifestyle on which to build or expand.  That being said, we still are people who wrestle with sin, we need a relationship with God, and above all, like every person that lives or has ever lived, we need to be delivered from the penalty of sin. 

When John wrote these letters, he included something in his introduction that not only referenced the beginning of time, but also declared some interesting information about us.  Concerning those things from the beginning he says, those are the things we have heard, they are things we have seen with our eyes, and those are the things we have looked at and our hands have touched.   All these things are the things we are to proclaim about the Word of life.  Now watch in the verses that follow, as he expands on this theme:

"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."   1 John 1:2-4

John, because of hearing, seeing, and touching, comes to proclaim Jesus, the Word of life.  Now the verses in the above paragraph not only describes the appearance of that life, but also our opportunity to share in the fellowship which this Word of life has with God, the Father.  After learning that profound truth, it causes us examine ourselves to see where stand with God.  John says we are proclaiming the message of eternal life to you, based on our testimony of the fellowship, and you can be included in the fellowship with us.  It's the fellowship Jesus shares with God.  

I like John's final sentence in verse 4. "We write this to make our joy complete."   Not to compete with John here, but there is a real sense of joy in the life of the preacher, teacher, writer, or even in the life of every Christian as we demonstrate a lifestyle which obviously is in fellowship with God.  John brings home the truth of this fellowship a few verses later in verse 7:

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."


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