1 John 1:1-4 by N6w9v83



1 John 1:1-4                                                                             5-16-99
                                  “Joyful Fellowship!”

1.   Book Intro:
     1.1.   All 3 letters written by John the apostle in his old age, while he was
            residing in Ephesus, capital of the Roman Province in Asia.
     1.2.   Do we know that John wrote 1,2,3 John for sure?
            1.2.1.   Many 2nd & 3rd cent. writers quoted from all 3 letters: {Polycarp/140;
                     Papias of Hieropolis/mid 2nd cent.; Iraneus/180; Clement of Alexandria/before 220;
                     Tertullian/ before 215; & Origen/before 250.}

     1.3.   He writes specifically to his “little children”(9 times) for:
            1.3.1.   That they would have the Blessed Assurance of their Salvation(1 Jn.5:13); & That
                     their Joy would be made full(1:4)!
            1.3.2.   I believe that once you have the assurance of your Salvation then you can have
                     Joy instead of Jitters(motivated by fear of not being saved/or good enough,
                     instead of motivated by love)!

     1.4.   Throughout church History, often times “writings” were to counteract
            heresy that crept into the church! (E.g. Creeds & Councils)
            1.4.1.   Here John was dealing with Gnosticism & Docetism!
            1.4.2.   Gnosticism – Pagan philosophy in which “matter” was thought to
                     be evil!
            Which led to 2 extremes:
            Asceticism(“Flesh fasting”)  Sensuality(“Flesh Feeding”)

            1.4.3.   Docetism – The heresy that regarded the body of Jesus as an
            Q: What would this teaching do to the crucifixion account?
                    “He really didn’t suffer then!” – “The presence of the Son of God
                                       was just a masquerade!”
            Strongly refuted by Ignatius writing in the 2nd cent to the Magnesians(not
                              milk of) who said, “Be fully persuaded in the matter of the birth & suffering
                              & res. in the time of the regime of Pontius Pilate, for these things were
                              truly & certainly done by J.C.”

     1.5.   John seeks to dispel any idea of a “philosophically invented Jesus”; or
            a “mythological one”; or some “phantom philanthropist!”

2.        Intro:
          2.1.    Remember the TV show “Truth or Consequences”?
                  2.1.1.   There was a line up of 3-5 guys all claiming to be a certain person.
                           They’d each stand up & say, “I am Mr. Peterson.”(1x1)
                  2.1.2.   One was telling the Truth, & the others were Imposters!
                  2.1.3.   The host would ask at the end, “Would the Real Mr. Peterson
                           please stand up.”
                  In John’s day there was a very large panel of guests all claiming the title of
                  But only 1 an be True, genuine, & not a fraud,…& He is the One described
                                    in the Holy Scripture!
                  And in the final day, only He will be standing & saying, “I am the Christ!”

          2.2.    Warning! Any “reconstructed Jesus” is no Jesus at all!”
          2.3.    Don’t buy into, “well I think Jesus was like this…” – We can’t depict
                  nor describe any other historical figure as we wish!
                  2.3.1.   We can’t say, “I think Elvis played the Tuba! – or that Johnny Cash
                           always wore white! – Or that Abe Lincoln hated hats! Or that
                           Ghandi was Fat! – Or, John Wayne was effeminate! Or that
                           Shaqueile Oneil is a short white guy that can’t jump!”
                  2.3.2.   There is only One true Jesus, as there is only one way to describe
                           any Historical figure.
                  Any other reconstruction of him or revision of Him is absurd.
                  We have to rely on the objective experiences that those around Him had.
          2.4.    Warning! “other Jesus’”
                    2 Cor. 11:4[NLT] “You seem to believe whatever anyone tells you, even if
                                      they preach about a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a
                                      different Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than
                                      the one you believed.”
          2.5.    Main point? – Any other Jesus, who was not “the Son of God in the
                  flesh” could never lead to fellowship w/the Father & Son.
                  2.5.1.   We need this message today more than ever!

          3.1.    John shoots right for the “bullseye” of the issue at hand!
                  3.1.1.   “Here is the central core of Christianity…Christ!”1
          3.2.    Can you “hear, see, or touch Christ”? – How do you know He’s real?
                  3.2.1.   Read Prof vs. student.

    James Montgomery Boice - John

     3.3.   Though we can not hear, see, or touch Jesus today…the apostles did
            & we stand on their testimony!
     3.4.   3 channels of 1st hand knowledge came to the Apostles!…Via, Ears,
            Eyes, & Touch!
            3.4.1.   Eyes – “we have heard”.
            Wow! And what words they heard!
            The officers who went to arrest Christ were even amazed! - “Now some of
                              them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him. Then the officers
                              came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why have you
                              not brought Him?" The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this
                              Man!" (Jn.7:44-46)
            Jesus said, "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for
                              they hear; "for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous
                              men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what
                              you hear, and did not hear it.” Mt.13:16,17

            3.4.2.   Eyes – “we have seen(in 1st 3 vss.), & “we have looked upon”.
            There is 3 main Greek words for “saw”. We find them all in Jn.20:5-8.
                     saw/Blepo()[5] – only indicates the object had
                                       impresed itself on John’s eyes.
                     saw/Theoreo()[6] – To behold w/intelligence,
                                       perceive, or scrutinize.
                     saw/Orao()[8] –To see w/understanding”..& believed.

              It is this last word() that John uses 3 times in 1Jn.1:1-3.
            3.4.3.   Touch – “our hands have handled”.
            In the upper room Jesus said, "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I
                              Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as
                              you see I have." Lk.24:39
                     word as “handled” in 1 Jn.1:1.

     3.5.   And so, John showed us 3 channels of his 1st hand knowledge he had
            of Christ!
            3.5.1.   These were “Touchable & Tangible Truths” about the Historical

     4.1.   “manifested” – made visible.
            4.1.1.   2 times: [1] Incarnation [2] “to us”…i.e. the apostles.
            He was revealed to John personally.
            This is John seeing Him & believing on Him.

            4.1.2.   “We can’t repeat the Objective experience of Christ like the
                     apostles did.
            That’s why we need their testimony as preserved in their writings.
            Nevertheless we can & must repeat their subjective experience, as on the
                              basis of the Objective revelation, the H.S. makes Christ alive & real both
                              to our minds & hearts.”2
            4.1.3.   The historical Jesus, & a personal commitment to Him, “belong
            The separating of the 2 in John’s day, & today, is combated already in the
                              1st 2 verses!
     4.2.   In vs. 1 John shuts the Door to Docetism, in vs. 2 he turns the key
            locking in Personal Commitment!

     5.1.   The message the apostles received wasn’t only for themselves.
            5.1.1.   Jesus gave them the jingle from “Lucky Market”…
                     ”Tell a Friend!”(“we declare to you”.)
     5.2.   John uses 3 words in describing how the gospel is shared.
            5.2.1. [1] “bear witness”[justify/NIV] (2) – used in the courts, denotes the
                     bearing of testimony to that which one has seen.
            5.2.2. [2] “declare”[proclaim/NIV] (3) – suggests a commission from
                     Christ’s authority. (Stott, “They have an authoritative commission to preach
                     the Gospel”)
            5.2.3.   [3] “write”(4)[ - This is how the gospel came to us & must be
                     passed on. {Gideons 2050 bibles – China team/17 back to Hong Kong by train
                     today, then come right back in. Pray 4}
     5.3.   So why the 3-fold proclamation? Why was this done? Why all of this
            incredible effort(set up before time began, was put in O.T. writings; was manifested
            thru Jesus; recorded in the N.T.)…Well, 2 reasons:

     5.4.   [1] Fellowship – (def) “The setting aside of private interest & desires
            & the joining in w/another or others for common purposes.”
            5.4.1.   Or, as they say in the Navy “Fellowship is 2 fellows on the same

                  5.4.2.    It’s having things in common! (e.g. you might share American
                            citizenship in common”, or have coffee fellowship in common; or
                            surf fellowship in common.)
                  5.4.3.    But of course John’s talking about that unique fellowship which is
                            only for those who share life in J.C. together.

                  5.4.4.    Also, fellowship has been described using 2 English words:
                            Partnership(God & I working together) & Friendship(God & I
                            sharing the lives of friends together).
                  5.4.5.    Note: the Horiz. & Vert. Fellowship!
                   You must have Vertical Fellowship 1st(hold up 1 vert. finger) before you
                                     can have the Horizon Fellowship(+)…note they intersect at the cross!!!
                   If one of Gods goals for us is this Horizontal Fellowship!
                   Q: How can we be content w/that which disrupts that fellowship?
                   Q: How can we be content to Win men to Christ, but fail to draw them into
                                     vital & visible relationships w/one another?
                            of you are great at that!

          5.5.    [2] Joy – see below.

6.        JOY! (4)
          6.1.    “That your Joy may be full” – To make your excitement complete!
                  6.1.1.    Joy = Quiet inner excitement!
          6.2.    John the Baptists Testimony, "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the
                  friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the
                  bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.” Jn.3:29
          6.3.    Fellowship w/the Father, & w/His Son, leads to fellowship w/other
                  believers, which leads to Joy, which leads to enthusiasm & strength of

    James Montgomery Boice - John

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