1 JOHN 1:1-4

"REAL LIFE"

Intro: When my 2 older kids were younger, I used to tell them stories instead of reading to them. Begin - once upon a time:

A.) Those 4 words opened up the door into the exciting world of make believe!

  1. Of Prince Aaron & princess Amy / of rides on horses through the forest / of Battles w/ the black knight !
    1. Favorite was of a lonely house that was just waiting / & longing for a little boy & girl to move in

 

C.) Kids love Stories / love the world of make believe / of fairy tales &

D.) But when you become an adult things change - most adults know life isn't a dream world!

1.) This life resembles more of a battleground than a playground.

E.) The fairy tale stories of youth - are no longer as meaningful - you search for something real

 

The search for something real is not new / been going on since the beginning of mans history

A.) Men have looked for reality & satisfaction in wealth, thrills, conquest, Pleasure ,power, learning & even religion

B.) Nothing necessarily wrong with any of those things except that in themselves /they can never really satisfy longing inside of man !

1.) Because Wanting something real & finding something real are two different things

C.) Like eating cotton candy - you bite into it expecting something real And end up w/ mouthful of nothing

1.) people waste priceless yrs/ money/ on empty pursuits for reality

One place where this frustration is real evident is in the entertainment industry! ( They represent the life most people dream of/ fame & fortune )

A.) Harrison Ford - one of the most successful actors in the history of Hollywood - moves have grossed over $2 billion

B.) Told an interviewer: "you only want what you ain't got"

1.) asked - what don't you have? Peace was his response

C.) Actor Nicholas Cage - echoed that same idea - "I wonder if there is a hole in the soul of my generation. We've inherited the American Dream, but where do we take it? It is not just about cars & wealth. It has to do w/ freedom. We will fight for freedom, but are we free in our thoughts or are we paralyzed by our dreams of consumption!"

D.) People know that real life should include peace, freedom, sense of purpose, happiness; absence of loneliness

    1. but people don't know where to find these things! Search

 

Some search for meaning in their Career / They opt to be a human " doing " rather than a Human " Being !"

  1. Who they are is what they do / so consequently they do a lot ! They work many hrs because if they donít work they donít have a life !
  1. For others life is about what they have / they find meaning in a new house / new car / new clothes / Cycle of going from one new thing / toy to the next !
    1. Cycle goes on & on because all those things do is bring a temporary satisfaction / doesnít last !

 

Teenagers are another group where you see the search 600,000 teenagers - attempt suicide every year - 6,000 succeed

A) Reason most often given by teens who attempted suicide is that they feel lonely, isolated & think nobody understands them

1)Never forget the story of 2 teen age girls in Chicago / cheerleaders / honor students / laid on tracks / Reason ? Note know one understands us

Here in 1st John - the Apostle John writing centuries ago deals w/ a theme that is forever up to date: life that is real!

A.) John shows us that the real life people are seeking after isn't found in things or thrills/ power or pleasure - pursuits

B.) Found in a person - person of J.C. John tells us about this

"real life" - in the 1st paragraph of this letter! v.1-4

  1. This morning there are 3 vital facts about this real life that I want us to notice about this life John is speaking about

 

1st - this life is revealed - v.1,2a

A) Men talk about knowing the secret of life! "come to my seminar only $500.00 - reveal secret!

    1. John says there is not secret - life has been revealed in the Word of life - Jesus

B) God saw man in his emptiness, loneliness,/ saw man - searching for meaning of life/ He sent His son to reveal life

    1. Jn 1:1 - In beginning - Word/ word was w/ God; Word Was God, v.14 - became flesh Dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

C) Jn.10 " Come might have life ........ abundantly

D.) And John says here that which was from the beginning has been revealed to us! NO SECRET Jesus is the word of life (life is about Him)

1.) no mystery; Paul 1 Cor 2:7 - Mystery of God - Greek word Musterion - something once hidden now revealed

E.) God sent His Son to become a man - to give man the life that he is searching for

    1. John says - we heard Him! We touched Him, seen Him; He is the real thing - Word of life

 

F) He has been manifested - revealed for those who seek to know Him

1John 5:12 He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.

Now this was important for John to mention because in that time there was a heresy running through the region ( Gnosticism )

  1. Gnostic taught that all matter was evil / therefore they said that Jesus could not have a physical , material body
  1. They denied the humanity of Jesus - they said that Jesus didn't really live physically ( more appeared as kind of a phantom )

C) Another SECT of Gnostic heresy taught that Jesus was a real man but that the ("Divine Christ ( Christ Consciousness ")

1) Came upon Him at His baptism & left again at the crucifixion

D) problem w/ both these heresies as well as what the new age movement teaches - is that - denies incarnation!

1.) God Literally became a man! 1 Tim 3:16 - God was manifested in the flesh! Revealed in the flesh

Dd) The other problem is w/ the Gnostics as well as the New age the focus isn't on Knowing the Person / knowing Jesus

1) But w/ Gnostics pursuit of Knowledge & New age achieve the

" Christ Consciousness"

E) John says I heard him w/ my ears! Saw him w/ my eyes - I touched Him w/ my hands - He is the real thing

1) Not a force but a person After the Resurrection Jesus appeared to His disciples - Luke 24:39 recorded-

"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." Later He also ate

 

 

F) John says the Eternal One - who is from the beginning - He has been revealed to us!

1.) This life isn't hidden we don't have to search for it - it has been revealed in God's Son

 

Now as we read through the gospels - we look at Jesus and see the wonderful kind of life that God wants us to enjoy!

A.) As we go through life - encounter various situations/ a good thing for us to ask ourselves - is what would Jesus do!

B.) Jesus is our example - but the life God wants us to enjoy isn't necessarily found in seeking to imitate Christ!

1.) No - there is a better way! 2nd point

This life is to be experienced V2a

A.) John had a personal encounter w/ J.C. - His was no second hand religious experience inherited from somebody else

1.) or discovered in some book / taught at some seminar

B.) No - John knew Jesus face to face

C.) now you might be thinking John had an advantage - I've never seen Jesus, never heard Him talk - touched Him Born 20 centuries too late!

D.) Listen catch this /it wasn't the Apostles physical nearness to Jesus that made them what they were

1.) It was their spiritual nearness

 

They had committed themselves to Him as Savior & Lord. And by trusting Christ they experienced Eternal life

A.) 6 times in this letter John uses the phrase "born of God" Something he had heard Jesus say:

B.) Jn 3:3,6,7 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. You must be born again

C.) Being born of the spirit opens the door to experience this life! Life that is Not about imitation primarily but impartation

    1. Born again God places His spirit in you / begins to teach you / convict

seeks to empower you to live for the Lord !

  1. Begins to do a work on the inside / that will affect your life on the outside

affect attitudes / thinking / causes you to long after things of God

D.) New Covenant - "I will put my spirit w/in you and He will cause you to walk in my ways! Person who was never loving suddenly becomes loving

A person can try all they want to imitate Christ! Clean up their act - seek to change their ways / Clean up the outside

A.) But if they are not born again - there will be a break down somewhere

B.) Matt 7:22-23 - Haunting passage: Many will say in that day Lord - prophesied in your name; cast out demons; many wonderful works

1.) Depart from me I never knew you!

C.) Never born again; never became part of family of God - never trusted Christ as Savior and Lord

D.) 2 families you can be born into/ - all born into family of Adam - sin

1.) through trusting Christ born into family of God -/ no 2nd generation Christians! - each individual must decide!

E.) So seen life is real! Jesus was manifested revealed and it was for purpose: we might experience life in Him

 

3rd - this life is to be SHARED - v.3,4

A.) John says - "That which we have seen and heard we declare it to you"

B.) The Christian life is a life to be shared!

    1. Good book - new dessert- song on the radio / C.D./ Joy that is derived in being able to pass on something blessed you ! ( meant to be shared)
  1. The Christian life is the same way / if you keep it to yourself - you are missing out on one of the true purposes for being a Christian!
    1. Christian life takes on a whole new meaning / whole new appreciation / when you realize it is a thing to be shared !
  1. Example : How many of you have been to Disneyland ? lately? Any of you go w/out your kids?
    1. if won the Lottery today - would you say I am taking my wife to Disney

Probably not!

  1. Last time I went to Disneyland before I had Children was my senior yr. Of Highschool- went w/ 3 best buddies / did everything to have a good time
    1. Including getting in trouble & almost getting thrown out of the park
  1. Left early - which was a 1st and I remember thinking to myself I just donít like Disneyland anymore !
    1. Growing up in Orange Co. we used to go several times a year ( much cheaper then ) But Disney land had lost its impact at age 18

E)- Until - I had kids !

    1. Now it took on a whole new excitement ! Because now I was going to get the opportunity to share this place w/ the ones I loved so much
  1. Now I am not comparing life in the Lord to Disneyland / but I think the analogy holds true / as Disneyland takes on a whole new meaning when shared
    1. So does our relationship w/ the Lord !
  1. Jesus said it is better to give than to receive ! When we are sharing our faith ! when we are talking about our relationship w/ the Lord
    1. Takes on a whole new life ! Excitement / appreciation !

1Chron. 16:23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

As we read this epistle you will see John had in mind 5 purposes for sharing

A) V3 Fellowship / V4 that we may have Joy / Ch.2:1 Not sin / Ch.2:26 That we may not be deceived / Ch.5:13 Know we are saved

 

In the remainder of our time today I would like us to quickly look at the 1st2

A.) #1 - v.3 - Fellowship: Word fellowship is important one in Christian's vocab

B.) Simply means to share in common! Christ Jesus

1.) Early church marked by sweet fellowship - "All things in common " Did they ? - No! Christ / C..C. Vista

C.) Christian fellowship isn't talking about our kids; football teams; political stances!

    1. Christian fellowship is sharing Christ / our relationship W/ Him

D.) John points out that this fellowship involves a two-fold relationship - 1st - w/ God Father - Jesus Christ - vertical

1) Jesus paved the way / opened up the door!

that opens up the door for the horizontal w/ each other/

E) Elvis Presley would sing "Are you lonesome tonight and girls would swoon. but Elvis was a very lonely man!

1) One of the last things the "King of Rock & roll " ever wrote was

a note that he crumpled up & through away / Reported USA today

2) Aid saw him crumple it up & retrieved it It read

" I feel so alone sometimes . The night is quiet for me . I'd love to be

able to sleep . I am glad that everyone is gone now . I'll probably not

rest . I have no need for all this . Help me Lord !

F) Here was a man practically worshipped by millions / yet w/ all his

fame & fortune , power & popularity , he felt alone isolated & miserable

The person who gives his life to Christ never has to experience loneliness again! Fellowship w/ God and part of His family

E.) College student - break funeral came back grades dropped - Grandma's bible - adopted!

1.) " I don't know who I am or where I belong" Maybe you have felt that way

F.) You are a child of God! Belong in His family -1st fellowship!

 

2nd Reason - JOY! V.4 -

A.) Fellowship is Christ answer to loneliness of life - Joy is His answer to emptiness of life

B.) This is the only place in this epistle that John uses the word joy - but idea runs through whole letter

1.) Joy isn't something we manufacture ourselves; Joy is the wonderful by product of fellowship w/ God

C.) Ps 16:11 - David wrote in thy presence is fullness of joy

Cc) Jesus said in John 16:22 - Your joy no man takes from you. Jn 15:11 - My joy remain in you - your joy be full!

D.) Karl Marx wrote the pre-requisite for people's happiness is the abolition of religion!

E.) But John shares faith in Christ can give you a joy which can never be duplicated by the world

1.) Diff joy & happiness ?- happiness revolved around circumstances

Joy - inner peace

F.) Peace in spite of circumstances! Peace surpasses understanding.

Not know what future holds / know Him who holds the future

 

Joy involves a sense of complete satisfaction

A) Knowing my life is in His hands /mind ,emotions, heart...... in Him!

B) Joy involves a spirit of exultation ! It was Joy that led Paul & Silas to worship in jail / after beaten

    1. Joy results in a feeling of power / strength & boldness / it was Joy led Peter & John go back out & preach after warned not too

C) John says sharing this w/ you so you might experience fellowship & might have joy! Full Joy - Literally remain full!

1) People today are longing for Joy / Share the source

Evangelism has been described as one beggar telling another beggar where to find food.

A) Boy & the late night meal (rescue mission window )/ I can't be happy unless my friend is eating too!

D. L. Moody, uneducated and untrained, yet yielded to God, led Mordecai Ham to the Lord. Mordecai Ham, though not a great evangelist, was faithful to his task and won William Graham to the Lord. And Billy Graham has won thousands.