1 John,  Dale Lewis

1 John | The Objectives of Fellowship – Part II

Study on: 1 John 1:4, 2:1, 2:26, 5:13

Intro

This morning we continue examining what has changed for the believer once they received Jesus as Lord. As I mentioned the Apostle John scatters them through this brief letter on fellowship but gives us the exact location in the phrase “These things I write to you”. These words preface the FOUR BENEFITS OF THE BELIEVERS FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD”. John states that because of Jesus our fellowship with God has changed FOUR THINGS about LIFE:

  1. 1:4 The character of the Christian life: JOY
  2. 2:1 The course of the Christian life: VICTORIOUS
  3. 2:26 The clarity of the Christian life: TRUTH
  4. 5:13 The confidence of the Christian life: ASSURANCE   

I remind you at this time I have no attention of an indebt examination of these four things, that we will do as we work through the text. Instead, I only wish to give you an overview of them, and we started with 1:4 The character of the Christian life: JOY. It is here that we realized that John discovered the truth during his time with Jesus that, “Fellowship with God through Jesus is the antidote to human loneliness”. I have personally found that to be true in my life after suffering a tremendous loss it was then that I fully understood that God will never leave me or forsake me, (Heb 13:5).  When we examined the Greek we saw that the phrase is literally, “may be full” meant, “that OUR joy, having been filled completely full in times past, will persist in that state of fullness in present times.” The nature of Joy is in view as it comes from our fellowship with God through Jesus and remains full for three reasons:

  1. It is with the Father: It is with the Father and is associated with our pardon, provision, protection, and power all of which comes from Him and is based upon His goodness and not our own!
  2. It is with the Son: It is with the Son and is associated with His sacrifice which was made in full understanding of our failings and sin!  
  3. It is with other believers: Because of the fact of the above two we have fellowship with other believers which ought to produce JOY because we have far more in common than we have differences. Unity and oneness creates JOY with those that belong to Jesus.

The world offers “HAPPINESS” which is based upon favorable “HAPPENINGS”. That’s why so many in the world that are chasing “HAPPENINGS” for “HAPPINESS” are miserable.

John writes NOT only that the reader may HAVE JOY but that they would have the FULNESS of JOY!

2:1 The course of the Christian life: VICTORIOUS

2:1 We now look at the second thing that changed because we now enjoy fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, and it is found in 2:1 where we read that John wrote “So that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Now we will look at this verse in full detail in a few weeks but this morning we will just take a peek at it as John proclaims two very powerful truths about the change in our Christian life when compared to our former life apart from fellowship with God. Our path or course in life has changed from “LOSS” to “VICTORIOUS”. The reason for this change in course is that Jesus NOT ONLY dealt with the penalty of our sin; He also dealt with the power sin had over us. Furthermore, but He rose from the dead and now is at the right hand we are told that He is NOW at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. According to Luke 22:32 on the very night that Peter would reject Jesus, He told Peter that He knew that Peter would do so and that “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Then in Roman’s 8:34 Right before Paul reminds his readers that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ in verse 35 tells them that it is Jesus who is at the right hand of the Father who makes intercession for us. 

  1. “These things I write to you, THAT YOU MAY NOT SIN: ”Jesus’ work of the cross is available to KEEP me from sinning! He not only has paid the penalty for my sins, past present and future but He alone has removed the POWER that sin had over me in my fallen state. I have a New Nature by which old thing have passed away and I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus. As wonderful as that truth is what happens when I choose to disobey and sin? What if in a moment of weakness and stupidity I choose the flesh instead of the Spirit?  
  2. These things I wrote to you, if anyone sins, WE HAVE AN AVOCATE WITH THE FATHER, JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS”. Jesus’ work on the cross NOT only can keep me from sin He can and does also forgive me when I sin. Jesus defends us ay the throne against our accuser satan. Jesus is our advocate our defense lawyer whose credentials are listed right here JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS!

Because of this change of fellowship, the Christian life not only has the characteristic of Joy it has the guarantee of Victory. Both the course we are on has changed and even if we get off course Jesus will get back on course and forgive our getting off course. We will look at how Jesus does this soon enough, but it will require us admitting that we have gotten off course!

2:26 The clarity of the Christian life: TRUTH

2:26 Now we come to the third change in the life of a believer as again John identifies it for us by saying, “These things I have written to you” “concerning those who try to deceive you”. Our fellowship with God through His Son Jesus has ended our quest for TRUTH! It was John in his gospel that recorded the words of Jesus when in 14:6 He heard Jesus say, “I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Not only does this end our quest for truth and is the standard for what is truth. We Christians are in need to have the ability to distinguish between truth and error, from right and wrong. There is a lie out there of relativism that says that there are no absolutes, “Nothing is always right, and nothing is always wrong”, THEY say. That’s a lie!!! There are far too many in churches today that are far more impressed with how something is said then what is being said! The Bible is our sole standard to truth and if what is being peddled as being truth isn’t consistent with what God has in His word then we can avoid being deceived. Furthermore, I believe that the Bible offers far more then TRUTH it offers THE EXAMPLE of what that truth should look like. I don’t need to examine every doctrine someone is telling me I need to change too, NO all I need to do is look at what that doctrine looks like in their own life…Isn’t it causing the person who holds the doctrine to behave like Jesus? Does it cause them to want more of Jesus in their life and less of their own self-centered life? John will use a word in this letter not found by any other New Testament writer, “antichrist”. The word is a compound word that is made up of “ANTI” which means “against or instead of” and “Christ”. There are false teachers who are against Jesus and their method of opposing Jesus is to seduce people with lies. They offer people a substitute to Jesus, a substitute to salvation a substitute to the Bible. They want to give people something INSTEAD of the Real Word of God. Jesus told us in John 8:44 that satan is the father of lies, he is very talented at lying and doesn’t just lead people astray by obvious lies but also is very good at using half-truths. He began doing this in the garden when he didn’t appear to Even in his true nature and instead masqueraded in one of God’s creations. He further demonstrated his cunningness when he misquoted God where we are told in Genesis 2:16 that God said, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” Satan lied when he said to Eve in 3:1, “Has God indeed said, You shall NOT eat of EVERY tree of the garden.” Life has forever changed for us in fellowship with God through Jesus in that we have THE TRUTH that grants us the ability to discern the false from the truth. There is a clarity in the Christian that is different than the rest of humanity. We are not living a life that is a fogy road of changing truths as Jesus is the answer to our need for discernment. Jesus said in John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John will cover this “clarity” more in the 5th and 6th chapters of this letter.

5:13 The confidence of the Christian life: ASSURANCE

5:13 The fourth change in the life of a believer John again identifies it for us by saying, “These things I have written to you” but here he first declares the condition that enables this benefit by saying “who believe in the name of the Son of God” before identifying the benefit as “may know that you have eternal life”. In the Greek the order of this phrase is different as it reads “These things I write to you in order that you may know with an absolute knowledge that the life you are having is eternal or unending life, to you who believe on the name of the Son of God”. John’s statement after 70 years is the assurance of the believer min Jesus but not just on the benefits that Life in fellowship with God has granted us but the assurance that such life will never end as it will continue into eternity in the presence of the Living God. So much of life in this world is based upon “HOPE SO” which is as about promising is living life of happiness that is determined upon “favorable happenings”. The confidence of the Christian life is that our life will not end, and such assurance is because it is based upon what Jesus has done for us and not our works or effort. Through 1st John he uses the word “KNOW” more then 30 times as he wanted his readers to have certain and fixed assurance. No true follower of Christ that has committed their life to daily following Jesus that is seen in a continual denying of the former life need ever answer the question of their one-day appearance with Jesus in heaven with the words “I Hope So?” The life Christ has given us is based upon facts as Jesus said in John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” The apostle such as John and Peter didn’t follow “cleverly devised fables…but were eyewitness” (2 Peter 1:16). They gave their lives for what they knew was true not a hoax or a myth. They simply could not deny what they witnessed in Jesus and the impact He had up[on them that forever changed them. Such assurance is not based upon “profession” of faith it is instead based upon “possession” of faith and as such our faith has confidence not just in our destination but also on our journey from faith-to-faith degree by degree.