Fellowship in and through Jesus Christ

August 31, 2018 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

Topic: The Gospel Scripture: 1 John 1:1–4

Sermon Date: 31 August 2018

Text: 1 John 1:1-4

Opening Discussion: Most of us have received spam emails trying to convince us we have won a lottery or have inherited a million dollars. Or emails that try to convince you to purchase a fake Rolex watch or college diploma. What is the most outrageous scam or con that you have had to deal with?

Observation - What does God’s word say?

Most of these phony deals are easy to spot. But far more serious than losing some money to con artists would be to lose your soul because you bought into a false religion. Satan always has made sure that numerous spiritual con artists thrive at their trade. As you observe God’s word, what do the scriptures teach in:

  • 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
  • Acts 20:29-30
  • Matthew 7:21-23

Read:  1 John1:1-4

What are your observations? What are the connections between fellowship and doctrine?

Meaning - What does God’s word mean?

It’s no accident that there is such confusion on the essence of true Christianity and the person of Jesus Christ. These are foundational issues. If you have a shaky foundation, it does not matter if the rest of the building is impressive—you’ve got a shaky building! And so Satan has tried to confuse people about true Christianity.

Here in the opening 4 verses of 1 John, the apostle begins to counter the false teachers. He shows that…

True Christianity is Jesus Christ—revealed, experienced, and proclaimed with joy.

Christianity is not essentially a system of thought. Rather, it is a person—Jesus Christ—who was historically validated, personally experienced, and authoritatively proclaimed by the apostles. That is the foundation that John lays in these opening verses. There cannot be fellowship among people who do not share the same BIBLICAL view of Jesus Christ. Shared biblical doctrine is the basis of Christian fellowship.

The purpose of the apostles’ preaching is explained in verse 3, “…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.” It was for the creation of a fellowship between brothers and sisters in Christ in which we share life, we are mutually committed, we are mutually accountable, we believe that same truth, we are committed to the same mission, we are in love with the same Lord, we are trusting the same God, we are proclaiming the same gospel. And he says, “We proclaim this so that you may have fellowship with us.”

Read:  1 John 2:18-23, 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Ephesians 2:13-22.

What are your observations from these verses?

Application - How must I change?

  •  Is there a Truth to be believed?

The false teachers emphasized secret knowledge. Is it possible to believe the gospel without knowing certain facts? If not, what facts do you need to know about the gospel in order to believe? (Ephesians 2:1-5)

  •  Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

Why didn’t the multitudes that heard the same teaching and saw the same miracles as the apostles also see and believe in Christ as the life-giving Savior?

John states in (1:2), “the life was manifested,” and then repeats that this eternal life “was manifested to us” (the apostles). In other words, the apostles not only had Jesus Christ revealed to them in an objective, historical way; but also, He was manifested to them in a…………………………………..

  •  Is there a Behavior to be changed?
  1.  Why is it important to base our faith in Jesus on the biblical revelation of Him? What current errors violate this?
  2. What is the difference between an academic knowledge of Christ and knowing Him as “the Life”? Do they overlap?
  3. Why is it important to be clear about the biblical truth concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ?
  4. Should a joyless Christian witness? How would you counsel such a person to recover his joy?


Many people believe in a Jesus of their own imagination and have an emotional experience that they call being born again. But when their problems are not all magically solved, or they go through difficult trials, they conclude that “Jesus didn’t work,” and they go back to the world. The problem is, they didn’t believe in the Jesus revealed by the apostles in the New Testament. Have you bought into true Christianity, or could your faith be a cheap, phony substitute? John gives you three test questions:

  1. The doctrinal test: Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, come in the flesh?
  2. The ethical test: Does your life reflect growing obedience to Christ?
  3. The relational test: Does your life reflect growing, practical love for others?

Closing Prayer: Help us to see the truth. Help us to understand what these words are describing. Convey to us the richness and the glory of this relationship of life in Jesus Christ. As we live and learn in this Book in the days to come, that our life indeed would be an expression of the saving life of Jesus Christ and of the fellowship of the triune God.

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