We live in a time when conviction and certainty about what is taught in the Bible is no longer tolerated. A Politically correct attitude is one of uncertainty....no absolutes....There is even a new Hermeneutics of HUMILITY which says, I can only offer my opinion on what the Bible teaches, but I am too humble to make a statement of exactness and precision.....this is only my opinion. [they think they are humble]
We are studying a man whose name is John, who was the apostle of CERTAINTIES and the apostle of CONVICTION.
36 TIMES some form of the word "know" is found in this epistle.
1 John 2:28....”we may have confidence.” 3:21...”we have confidence.” 4:17....5:14....this word means BOLDNESS and can mean boldness of speech. John knew where of he spoke, thus, He had confidence....John is confident in what he is saying.
I believe in Biblical dogmatism. I know I may be construed as insensitive, unloving and out of touch, but this is the way it is. John will normalize knowing and confidence.
CERTAINTY FALLS INTO THREE CATEGORIES.
1. The first is the THEOLOGICAL CERTAINTY OF THE GOSPEL..... 1-3 John will tell us that the Gospel is true and that it is FIRM....and there is no MOVEMENT on the GOSPEL. 2:1...2:22...if you deny Him, then this is the spirit of Antichrist. 5:1....5:20...
2. The second is the MORAL CERTAINTY OF THE LAW....2:4....God has given us a law and we are to obey it.....the law of God....2:7... God has given us a law 3:9....you cannot practice sin...for His seed abides in you. 5:2...
a. We are to obey the law of God.
3. The third is the RELATIONAL CERTAINTY OF LOVE....4:7-...love is the relational certainty or feature....5:3.....
a. Everything in this epistle falls into one of these categories....of absolutes, certainties....These categories become the test which tests your state. If you fail to pass the test in any of these categories, than you are false.
b. John will lay down some tests....and with these, your life can be measured....as to whether you are saved or not.
c. These are the certainties of the Christian faith.
THE THEME: 1:1
1. Is the WORD OF LIFE....who is Christ? John starts with the theological category of certainty.
2. Note the ways in which the Word of Life is certain:
a. INDICATED BY ITS PERMANENCY v. 1....John tells us that it was “from the beginning.”
1. It was not new...it was from the beginning. John wants to tell us something about the Word of life which was from the beginning. Of what? The beginning of the Gospels....preached by the apostles and by Paul.
2. John tells us that nothing changes. I am telling you about Him who was at the beginning.... this is no new truth..
3. Note: AVOID ANYTHING NEW...NEW IS WRONG....I stay with the apostolic presentation of Christ....some of you are into secret knowledge, voices from God....there are no new revelations from GOD...either to Mary Baker Edy or any other person.
4. “this is the message from the beginning.” Jude 3...”once for all delivered faith". We have to contend for the “once for all faith.” There will always be people who have new information....that Jesus is not God. I am a once for all minister of the faith....nothing new...no new delicacies.
a. Heb 13:8....”He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
b. Listen, IF IT'S NEW, IT'S WRONG!
b. IT IS SENSIBLE: [it is perceived by the senses]
1. John wants us to know that our SENSES can apprehend this word of Life. it is not reserved for some special people or supeR intelligent people....
2. what we have HEARD, BEHELD, HANDS HANDLED, SEEN....
a. John is saying that this Word of Life can be seen and experienced by the senses....we heard, we saw, we handled, we beheld...
b. John heard Him, touched Him, saw Him, experienced Him....BEHELD HIM. John 1:14....”The word became flesh and we beheld His glory.”
c. In v. 2, John calls Him the ETERNAL LIFE....
3. Note the steps.
a. WE HEARD: they heard Him speak....I was there and heard Him speak...perfect tense.....”we have heard".....which means not just one single occasion....but many times....a progressive and continual tense....John heard it all...nothing missing...which is the tense of the verb.
b. WE HAVE SEEN WITH OUR EYES: this has reference to a physical act....nothing mystical about it....John did not seen a phantom vision of the Lord....but he saw with his eyes....not some transcendental seeing. The tense of the verb suggests a complete seeing. John saw it all. John did not see a vision....and by the way, I PLACE NO CONFIDENCE IN ANYONE WHO HAS SO CALLED SEEN THE LORD. It is not verifiable..
c. WE BEHELD: sounds like he might be repeating...but the word beheld means; to “look long at” “ a searching gaze.” John 1:14 uses the same word...We looked closely and deeply at Him. They saw what was behind what He did....we looked, searched, gazing at Him, looked deeply...
d. Our HANDS HANDLED: means “to grope” feel after” In Luke 24:39 Jesus said, ”handle me.” We touched him....he was not some spirit, but was real...He was no phantom, or apparition. John leaned on his chest. He had three years to touch Him and be near Him....brush up against Him.
Note: that John does not say “I” touched Him...but “we” all saw, held, handled, heard the Word of Life.
c . CONCLUSION v. 2....”life was manifested.” “the eternal life which was with the Father.” What John held, touched, heard and saw was the eternal God manifested in the flesh. “make visible what was hidden.” GOD WAS HIDDEN UNTIL CHRIST CAME AND MANIFESTED HIM IN THE FLESH. Thus, His Word of life was the Eternal Life....word of life and eternal life. John 5:26....note about life... equal life with Father...John 5:40....John 11:25-26.....John 14:6....I John 5:12...
a. “with the Father” means face to face with the Father.
b. The proclaimed word of Life v.3 "that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you".......
1. John did not sit back and enjoy what he had seen, heard and beheld....HE PROCLAIMED HIM....He must be proclaimed.
a. certainty of a true fellowship, end of v. 3 "and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ".
2. “may have fellowship with us.’ fellowship: means PARTNER....”that you might be partners with us.” [something held in common.] Same as I Cor 1:9....”called into partnership with Christ.”
3. When you are saved, you are immediately placed into a partnership with Christ and the Father. “Christ lives in me” is PARTNERSHIP....It is sharing of the same life.