I John 1:1-4 ESV
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Most all the New Testament apostles were eye witnesses of Jesus Christ in the flesh. We don’t really know whether or not the Apostle Paul actually ever met Jesus Christ prior to his conversion. So all of them but him, it would seem, knew Jesus when he lived on this earth. They were all personally acquainted with him, for most of them had walked with him those three to three and a half years of his earthly ministry.
John is the speaker here, and the testimony he is giving here is similar to what he gave in the book of John, chapter one. Jesus Christ, God the Son, was God, and he was with God in the beginning. All things that were made (created) were made by him. He is our creator God. Jesus was the Word (Logos) of God, i.e. his words were the very words of God, coming from the Father. Jesus was also the Life, the giver of human life, and the giver of spiritual life in God, which is eternal life, which is in Him and is Him.
Jesus Christ, although he was God, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, humbled himself, took on human form, and suffered like we suffer, and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. While on the earth he healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, delivered people from demons, fed the hungry and comforted the sorrowful. He also preached repentance and obedience to God for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-25; Jn. 14:23-24; Jn. 6:35-66; Jn. 10:27-30).
Those of us who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives also know him, not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. For, belief in Jesus is not just a religion or a theology or the study of history. When we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, we get to know him as a person, a person who is living within us in the person of his Spirit. So, we are in a relationship with Jesus Christ, and we talk with him, and he talks with us, too.
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, thus, are in fellowship (communion) with him. We are in the process of getting to know him. And, we should be in the process of being conformed to his likeness, too, by the Spirit of God. It is a lot like forming a relationship with someone whom we have not seen in person, but with whom we have conversations, and so we get to know him (or her) and his likes and dislikes, and what is important to him, and what we can do to please him, too.
The way in which we do this is through the study of His Word, the Bible (Genesis to Revelation), through prayer, and through obedience. And, this should be top priority in our lives, and it should be our daily practice, too. But, this is not something we do each day like a chore of some kind for a predetermined period of time, and then we check it off our list for that day. For, our Lord is with us 24/7, so this is an ongoing and ever present relationship and fellowship that we have with our Lord.
And, so we proclaim him to others so that they can get to know him, too. And, the reason we want them to know him, and to have fellowship with him and with the Father, is because Jesus Christ died on a cross for our sins. In his death, he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die with him to sin and that we might live with him to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Rom. 6:1-23).
So, we want people to know Christ so that they can be delivered out of their slavery to sin and so that they can walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God, and so they can have eternal life with God. We want them to also have fellowship with God, and then with us, too, who are also in fellowship with our Lord. But, this fellowship is on a spiritual level, for it is of the Spirit of God, and thus it gives glory and honor to God, too.
I John 1:5-10 ESV
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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 cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
If we are going to be in relationship with Jesus Christ, with God, thus, we need to understand how that comes about. The Bible teaches us that it is by God’s grace through our God-given faith in him, that we have this fellowship with the Lord Jesus and we have eternal life with God. So, then we need to understand what this “faith” means. For, it is a gift from God, and thus it submits to God and to his will for our lives (Eph. 2:8-10; Eph. 4:17-24).
Thus, to have faith in Jesus Christ it means that we leave our former lives of living for sin and self behind us in order to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands and in surrender to his will for our lives. We are, thus, crucified with him in death to sin, and we are raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-25; Tit. 2:11-14).
Thus, we no longer walk (in practice, in lifestyle) in the darkness (sin, wickedness), but now we walk (conduct our lives) according to (in agreement with) the Holy Spirit of God. For, it is not just the outward profession of faith with our lips that ensures we are genuinely saved from our sins, and that we have eternal life with God, but it is our faith in practice, i.e. it is how we live our lives day in and day out.
For, the faith to believe in Jesus Christ and to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God is not a one-time experience and then we are good to go no matter how we live our lives from that moment forward. The faith that is necessary to guarantee us eternal life with God and fellowship with Jesus Christ is ongoing, continuous, in practice, in how we live our lives in obedience to our Lord. Then, we have fellowship with God and with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from every sin.
Daily we must die to sin and self and follow our Lord in obedience. By the Spirit of God, we are to be putting to death (an ongoing process) the deeds of the flesh, if we want to have eternal life with God. So, confession of sins is not a one-time event, either. It is ongoing. We are daily being cleansed and renewed and made holy as we repent of our sins, put them to death, and as we follow our Lord in obedience to his commands (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Tit. 2:11-14).
For, as long as we live in these flesh bodies of ours, our flesh is going to wage war with the Spirit of God and the Spirit with the flesh. So, daily we must say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions (fleshly lusts) and say “Yes” to living self-controlled, godly, upright and holy lives, set apart from the world, and set apart to God and to his will for our lives. But, we don’t do this in our own power and strength, but in the power and strength of the Lord living within us (Tit. 2:11-14; Eph. 6:10-20).
I Pray for Them
An Original Work / June 4, 2013
Based off John 17
“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son
May glorify our God in heav’n.
Father, You granted Him all power
And all authority over men,
That He might give eternal life
To all those whom now
You have given Him.”
“This now then is eternal life:
That they may know You,
Father, and Your Son;
That they may know the only true God,
And Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.
I have brought You the glory by
Finishing the work that You’ve given Me.”
“I have shown You to those whom
You gave to Me out of the world;
They were Yours. You gave them to Me
And they have obeyed Your words
And they accepted them. They knew
That I came from You, and they believed
With certainty, I was sent.”
“Holy Father, I pray for them by the
Power of Your name: Protect them,
So that they may be one as we are,
For they are still living in this world.
I have given them Your word;
Because of Your word, the world
Has hated them.”
“I pray they may have the full measure of
My joy now living within them.
Father, I pray You sanctify them
By Your word; truly Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world,
I send them to tell the world to repent.”
Saturday, July 20, 2019