1 JOHN 1:1-4 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—2the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
In the first 4 verses John immediately starts with introducing Jesus and letting us know in verse 4 why he is writing this letter – to reveal to us the secrets of having remaining joy. In today’s lesson I like to focus on 2 words mentioned in verse 2 and repeated in verse 3. The two words are: “we declare.”
John’s letter is very different from any other letter. Notice the way John starts his letter. No introduction of himself. He jumps into the letter without introducing himself. Instead the first thing John introduces is Jesus Christ.
Next to this notice the words “we declare.” The word declare has the meaning of pronouncing, announcing and proclaiming something. John is telling us without any excuses the message of Jesus Christ.
Just think about it, the way John is proclaiming the message without even introducing himself makes me feel like he is speaking with authority. There doesn’t seem to be any doubt in his heart that what he is saying is correct. John is so convinced that what he has to share is the truth that can set people free. Of course this leads me to ask the following question, how confident are we as Christians in sharing the things of God? How confident are we at all about the message of Jesus Christ? How are Christians presenting the gospel toward the world? With fear and trembling or full with confident?
Also notice that John is not sharing his opinions but only the message of Jesus Christ, nothing of himself, but only Jesus Christ. It is all about Jesus and nothing of himself. Now as we look at scripture this is really the way it should be. According to 2 Corinthians 5:20 and Ephesians 6:20 Christians are called to be Christ ambassadors, now what is the function of an ambassador? To proclaim his opinions and thoughts, no an ambassador is there to represent his country. It is not about him but the country he is representing. The same should apply for Christians; we are not here to share our opinions or what we think about the gospel. No we are here to represent the Kingdom of God.
Often time people are so afraid to share the word because they believe the lie that we need to have a certain bible degree before we can represent the Kingdom of God. When you look at John’s letter the first thing you will notice is the simplicity of words being used. The apostle John said the same in 1 Corinthians 2:1 that he didn’t come with words of wisdom, but instead he came with power and anointing. You see it is not so much the intellect behind the words, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
The church in today’s society has become a place of entertainment instead of representing the Kingdom of God. Today when a pastor presents his message it has to be full of jokes, stories, hermeneutics, etc to keep the attention of the congregation. The church has become uncertain about the gospel, therefore we try to do it in our strength believing that what Christ did wasn’t enough. Instead our dependence should not be in our strength but in the Spirit of the Lord. Look at the way John is sharing the word, without introduction, jokes, etc but instead John declares Jesus and Jesus alone.
In closing look at verse 1-3 and notice how many times John says and repeats the words seen it, heard it and handled it. In those few verse John seems to be repeating the same kind of words again and again. This shows us that John experienced and knows what he is talking about. He is not sharing just some kind of head knowledge but instead he knows what he is talking about. He wrestled with it and overcame. Applying this to our own life how convinced are we Christians about the word of God? Are we sharing and declaring the things of Christ how HE changed our lives. Can people see the power of the gospel in our lives? Are we speaking with full confidence about the things of God or do we speak with doubts and uncertainty?
The word of God is so powerful and full of life. Notice how just a few words can teach us so many things. Let us never doubt the word of God and instead declare boldly the things of God. Not putting ourselves before Christ, but instead remembering that we are His ambassadors. We are here to represent the Kingdom of God and not what we think or our opinions.
Be blessed always…
STUDY GUIDE FOR SMALL GROUPS
· Start with 1 or 2 Icebreaker(s) if necessary
o What kind of person are you? Introvert or extrovert?
o Have you ever been robbed? Tell us more about it?
1. Who remembers last weeks teaching? (Last weeks message was about that every Christian can experience joy that remains with us to the fullest no matter our circumstances.)
2. Is there anyone here who would like to share with us how the teaching helped you this week?
3. 1 JOHN 1:1-4 – what is John basically doing in the first 4 verses? (Introducing Jesus and letting us know why he wrote this awesome letter.)
4. John says in verse 2 and verse 3 “we declare”, I want to take some time and meditate just on those 2 words. Let us take a time of meditation and share afterwards what the LORD has shown you about those 2 words….
5. John’s letter is very different from many other letters. Why? Notice that John doesn’t introduce himself he jumps into the letter without introduction. What does the word “declare” mean? (pronounce, announce, proclaim)
6. John is proclaiming his message without even introducing himself. It makes me feel like John is speaking with authority. How does it make you feel? The same? (John is speaking with authority. There is no doubt in his heart about the message being true. John is convinced that what he is talking is the truth.)
7. Ask yourself how confident are you about the bible? How do we Christians deliver the gospel towards the world? In confidence or full with doubt? Do we bring in our opinions or truly only share the word of God? Please share your thoughts….
8. 2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20 – what are Christians called to be for Christ? (Ambassadors!)
9. What is the task of an ambassador? Share their opinion or represent their country? (As an ambassador we do not share our opinion. We are here to represent our country. The same applies for Christians. It is not about us or what we think but about the Kingdom of God.)
10. How does this make you feel?
11. 1 Corinthians 2:1 – how did Paul share the word of God? (In a simple way and not with intelligent words but with power and anointing.)
12. How do we try to share the word in the church today? Are we afraid to share the gospel because we think we don’t have enough knowledge? (Today the focus in churches has become to bring a message that is full with jokes, stories, hermeneutics, etc. Today’s church has become uncertain of message and therefore we try to do it in our strength believing that what Christ did is not enough. Notice that John hasn’t got the same problem. He proclaims and declares the word of God.)
13. Read verse 1-3 again and notice how many times John says the words – seen it, heard it, handled it… what does this show you? (It shows that John experienced and knows what he is talking about. He is not sharing just something with us. He knows what he is talking about. He wrestled with it and overcame.)
14. How convinced are you about the word of God? Look at your life are you declaring and showing the people how Christ changed your life? Has your life changed that people see that Jesus is really powerful? Are you speaking and full of confidence about how Jesus changed your life and what HE did on the cross? Please share your thoughts…
15. Please share in your own words how you feel about teaching….
Open up for ministry time if necessary…..
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