For the next few weeks, we’re going to be walking through this epistle, 1 John.
There are times when it’s hard for us to believe that the authors of the Scriptures actually were real people. The author of 1 John is John. He had some pretty unique experiences in his life. He was one of the best friends of Jesus while Jesus walked the earth. He was one of the twelve disciples; who leaned right on Jesus.
John’s writing to a group of churches that are in the region of Ephesus, here’s what he says: 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… (1 John 1:1-2)
Step into Fellowship with God
When John says, “We’ve heard him. We’ve seen him. We’ve touched him,” he emphasizes, Jesus actually came! He lived! He actually walked and talked with John! 1 John 1:3-4 — 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. John is saying that to us, by faith in Jesus, we have the unique, beautiful ability to step into fellowship with God. Fellowship in the Greek is the word ‘koinonia,’ and it literally means ‘to share life together,’ to have things in common. John wants to set a foundation for our fellowship as a church, as a community of faith. He says that our fellowship is based on the fact that we, together, have shared-life with God; in the normal, ordinary, talking, hearing, seeing, every day.
Here’s what John next says in 1John 1:5 - God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. ‘God is light’ in the sense that God is goodness, God is love, God is meaning and God is truth.
Step into a special experience with God
Would you agree that knowing about something theoretically and experiencing it in reality are two different things? If you were to describe to me the Snickers bar, you would say: It’s brown. It’s chewy. Has peanuts, caramel and covered in chocolate. Unless you have taken a bite of it, you wouldn’t tell it’s delicious, lip-smacking and true!
That’s John’s point. Experiencing Jesus is way different than just hearing about Jesus. It’s way different than just having the stories passed down to us. The invitation of the Christian life, as the psalmist says in Psalm 34:8, is to taste and see that the Lord is good! The Christian journey of understanding the heart of Jesus and living in the way of Jesus is always, more than an experience. You can see this in John 9:25. There’s this man that’s born blind and he’s healed by Jesus. Everyone goes up to him and wants him to explain how it happened. He goes, “Listen, I don’t know how it happened. All I know is that I was blind, but now I see!” he’s experienced it and it’s changed everything for him!
What about for you? Will you just pause for a moment and let that sink in?
After saying that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all, John goes on to make three ‘if we’ statements; the biggest inhibitors to walking in the light.
Step out of the “if we…” life!
Verse 6, If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. He’s not talking about the way we all make casual mistakes; he’s talking about a pattern of life that exhibits a continual darkness rather than being in the light of Jesus. How often we acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by our lifestyle?
Verse 8 “If we say have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. John was dealing with a number of spiritually “elitist” types of people. Do we always remember, we are a bunch of people who have really messed up and are saved only by the grace of God?
To finish, John says: If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. This is an unwillingness to be honest. It’s the light of coming to terms with who we actually are that leads us to experience Jesus. John gives us the invitation in 1 John 1:9 — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We are a band of imperfect people forgiven by a perfect God.
Blessed day to You!