1 John 1:1-4
“Telling The Truth About Jesus”
June 7, 2015
First Baptist Church
What’s the number one thing?
The Glory of God!
1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of
June Memory Verse:
Philippians 1:6 NIV
6 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to
completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Pray for 2015 Committee on Committees
Kendall Smith, Chairman
Jim Merritt, Jr.
• Focus on the Bible: 1.2.3 John by Michael Eaton, Christian Focus
• Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur, W Publishing Group, 2002.
• First John Introduction by Dr. Bob Utley, Available on YouTube
Why study 1 John?
It answers 2 basic questions about Christianity
1. How are we saved?
2. How are Christians supposed to live?
(3 Tests of Christianity)
1. Brotherly love
2. Obedience to the Gospel
3. Rejection of a fallen world system
Purpose of writing 1 John
1 John the epistle (letter) was written as a cover letter to the Book of John
– There is no opening greeting and directive
– Letter was circulated to all churches in the area
Who was John?
• Son of Zebedee and Salome
• Younger brother of James who was a Disciple & the 1st martyr of the
• James and John nicknamed the “sons of thunder” by Jesus
• Fisherman by trade
• A follower of John the Baptist until he singled Jesus out as the Messiah
• Referred to himself as “the disciple that Jesus loved”
• Only disciple present at Jesus’ crucifixion
• Jesus gave him the charge to care for his mother
John the Preacher/Author
• Remained in Judea for about 12 years after the Resurrection
• Fled to Roman Asia because of the persecution of Christians by Herod
• Became the leader of the church at Ephesus, which was founded by Paul
in 50 A.D.
• Wrote letters of John while at Ephesus around 85-95 A.D.
Church in Ephesus
John in his last years
• Was the only disciple still alive in 85 A.D.
• Only disciple that was not martyred; died in 98 A.D.
• Banished to prison community on Isle of Patmos to live in a cave
• Wrote the Book of Revelation while at Patmos in 95 A.D.
Christianity’s Challenge in the 1st Century
• Paul established churches in Roman Asia during his missionary journeys
• Acts 19:10 …’all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both
Jews and Greeks.’
• Many Jews fled Israel by 70 A.D. to Asia
• Attempt to mix pagan ideas with Gospel in Asia
Churches in the 1st Century
False teachers in the church
• 1 John 2:19 ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us.’
• False teachers did not have Jesus as the center of doctrine for salvation
• Interpret the Gospel to fit their lifestyle and heretical philosophy
Philosophy of the 1st Century Mediterranean world
• God is a spirit, and spirit is good; matter (physical) is evil.
• “Dualism” – contrasting aspects that are equal
• Their Logic – If this is true, God cannot be fully God (spirit) and fully man
(physical body) in Jesus.
• A Holy God cannot be in sinful matter
Specific ‘…isms’ of the 1st Century
1. Docetism – the heresy that denies the reality of Jesus’ human nature
– Denies the eternity of Jesus (1 John 1:1)
– Denies Jesus was the Son of God in the flesh
– John addresses this in 1 John 1:1-4
2. Gnosticism – special “knowledge” from God
– I know the truth, and I am saved by what I know, therefore, it does
not matter how I live.
– I do not sin
– Separates truth from life
– Claim to have a very special fellowship with God, derived from their
3. Antinomianism - ‘against the law’
– There are no moral laws God expects Christian to obey
– Christians are not required to obey Old Testament laws because
Jesus fulfilled the OT law as a means of salvation
– I do not believe that I sin
– Claim to have fellowship with God
– Considered to be a component of gnosticism
4. Asceticism – I am saved by what I don’t do.
– I don’t eat certain things, etc. (don’t, don’t don’t)
– Misguided Jewish Christians who tried to incorporate Christianity into
– Monks who lived a life of denial and degree of holiness
proportionate to self-denial
The monk with the most lice was the holiest
John’s Style of Writing in 1st John
• Written in ‘black & white’ terms
– Very direct and no middle ground for compromise
• All about the ‘horizontal’ relationships
– To be right with God, you must also be right with man
– Brotherly love
• ‘If, then’ style of writing
– If you say ………, then you lie, and do not know the truth.
1 John 1:1-4 NIV
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen
with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched —this we
proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and
testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father
and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so
that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.
Summary of 1 John 1:1-4
The only giver of fellowship with God is the one and only Lord Jesus Christ.
Who then is this Jesus, the Son of God?
1. He was ‘from the beginning’ in verse 1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God.
– John 1:1 precedes Genesis 1:1 (Creation)
– 1 John 1:1 can mean any of the following:
• Before Creation
• The beginning of history
• The beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry
• The beginning of the Christian faith of John’s readers
2. This One who was from the beginning became manifested in human flesh
– We have heard…seen with our eyes…touched with our hands
– The Life was manifested to us…
– The Son of God was physically tangible
– Docetism regarded Jesus as an illusion
3. The Son of God is characterized by Life and is Eternal Life
– The Life appeared … Verse 2
– John 1:4 ‘in Him was life’
– There was one generation of men who witnessed this ‘Eternal Life ‘
walking on earth in human form
– John says, this eternal life “has appeared to us”
– John continually repeats his credentials as a witness
Names for Jesus in 1 John 1:1-4
• That which was from the beginning
• Word of life
• The life
• The eternal life
• God’s Son
(In the opening of the Gospel of John, he refers to Jesus as the Word)
What is this ‘fellowship’?
Fellowship (Greek koinonia) is the spiritual union of the believer with Christ as
well as communion with the Father and fellow believers.
– A personal relationship
– We experience the presence of the Father and Jesus through the
– This fellowship is also with our fellow believers
Purpose of John’s Letters
1 John 1:4
4 We write this to make our (your) joy complete.
‐ Goal of the epistle is to create joy in the readers
‐ The proclamation of the reality of the gospel produces a fellowship
in eternal life (God and Jesus)
‐ Fellowship in eternal life (God through Jesus) produces JOY
Definition of the Gospel
1. The Gospel is a person (Jesus) to be received.
2. The Gospel is truth about that person (Jesus) to be received.
3. The Gospel is a lifestyle like that person (Jesus) to be lived.
4. Remove any one of the above, and you do not have a complete Gospel.
Lesson Application for Today’s World
The heresy of the 1st Century is alive today if:
1. We combine Christianity with any other system of thought.
• Reincarnation, Humanism,
2. We emphasize correct doctrine at the exclusion of personal
relationship and a lifestyle of faith
• Denominationalism, legalism, orthodoxy
3. People turn Christianity into exclusive intellectual eliteness
4. People turn to asceticism (don’t, don’t, don’t) or antinomianism (I
am saved by the grace of God, and can live like I want)
• Asceticism – Trusting in what I don’t do
• Antinomianism – Taking Christianity as a license to do what I
want – Live it up!
The Epistle of 1 John has 3 tests of genuine fellowship (salvation):
1. The affirmation of a proper view of Christ
• 1 John 1:1-4
2. The affirmation of sin’s reality
• 1 John 1:5-2:2
• Next Sunday’s Lesson
3. Obedience to God’s Commands
• I John 2:3-6
• Next Sunday’s Lesson
The Plan of Hope & Salvation
John 3:16 NKJV
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 14:6 NKJV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through Me.”
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23a NKJV
23a For the wages of sin is death,
Death in this life (the first death) is 100%.
Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to
pay the penalty for our sins.
The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in
Revelation 21:8 NKJV
8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral,
sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with
fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
Romans 6:23b NKJV
23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Revelation 21:7 NKJV
7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be
Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior.
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that
God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one
believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
If you have questions or would like to know more, Please, contact First Baptist
Church Jackson at 601-949-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/