by Pastor Ayo Sparks
THE VERACITY AND THE UNIMPEACHABILITY OF OUR MESSAGE
1 John 1: That 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, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us 😉
John is the only Gospel Writer that unequivocally revealed the Deity of Christ. In other words, he painted the picture of Jesus as God who only took on flesh and blood to in a bid to ultimately establish a relationship between man and Himself. Also in this his Epistle, he’s referring to Jesus as “that which was from the beginning…”
The “that” in that context is actually referring to “He” which was from the beginning. He began his Gospel with the revelation of Jesus as God – the very Person of the Word with which and by whom all things were made. Same is corroborated at the beginning of his Epistle.
John 1:1 in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1 John 1:1 that which was from the beginning,
John sounds here like introducing or revealing the Person of Jesus Christ to unbelievers. It births and strengthens human faith and reliance on Jesus when He’s known as God that He is and not just a Savior He only became for our sakes. We all know that it was just “God” in the beginning. That is, God alone has been before anything that was and is today!
John is saying, “I’m telling you about a Personality whose existence precedes existence of/in any realm; one who is eternal Life personified. We have heard about Him and we have read and studied about Him. But beyond that, He manifested in human flesh. So, when you see Jesus, you’ve seen God manifested; Life, manifested! Jesus is more than a man, He’s Life personified! Interestingly, we have not just heard about Him or just read about Him, we also saw Him and touched Him when He manifested as man!”
No witness is as strong, reliable and dependable as that of a eyewitness. John wrote as an eyewitness and that makes his account worth embracing as true and reliable. Though, until the resurrection of Christ, his disciples were not so much sure and believing in His real Identity. But afterwards, their faith caught fire and they preached about Him, ready to die. Why? If you’re sure of something, you can defend it even with your blood!
These are people who didn’t just hear about the Word of Life and then started preaching same. They saw and touched Him in His incarnation. So, The Message which we preach till today about Jesus as God; the Word of Life in Person, is true and unimpeachable because it stemmed from those who didn’t just hear about Him but saw and touched Him! It’s not fairy tales, not at all!
It was important for John to have re-emphasized the incarnation of Christ because it was a time when Gnosticism was fast gaining grounds. The idea that Christ indeed is God but was never a man was getting internalized in the soul of many. Gnostics teach that Christ is just an influence that comes on a man for a particular mission and goes back when the mission is accomplished. They proclaim that Jesus was just a great man influenced by the force of Christ. That’s subtle and misleading. However, we know and believe that Christ is not just an influence, He has manifested in the flesh and His name is Jesus!
CALLED TO COMMUNION!
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
The coming of Christ was targeted at the ascension of men into the realm and class of God! He came to raise sons to glory. Hallelujah!
The sin barrier between God and man was dealt with at the cross and through Christ man now have access to God. Jesus came to relate God to us; He came to relate with us as man and to establish a relationship between us and God. Therefore, through Christ, we are directly in relationship with the Father. It is important to know that the secret to a strong, stable and successful relationship is fellowship. Without fellowship, relationships crash down!
Christianity is God calling us to have fellowship together with Himself as with one another. The finished work of Christ beings us into a relationship with God and it requires fellowship to make the relationship viable and profitable. The believers who don’t understand the place of fellowship are missing out a great deal.
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
That we are called UNTO the fellowship of his Son means that we are now equal sharers and partakers of the nature, identity and the glory of his son. Thus, as sharers, we are called to fellowship together as birds of a feather flock together! Being in fellowship with other believers is awesome but your individual moment of fellowshipping with the Son is a calling!
One thing is sure: the believers who are always in the place of fellowship with the Son (in word study, worshipping in songs, talking to Him about the issues surrounding them) are known to be full of joy. That’s because, in the place of fellowship, things are sorted out. Hope is rekindled. Life is imparted. Strength is bestowed and assurance is given!
Remember, Christianity is a call to communion (fellowship) with Jesus. So, learn to answer the call daily!
NO ROOM FOR FALLING!
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
John having revealed the Person of Jesus Christ as God, the very Word of Life, is helping us to know that in nature, God is Light. That is, God is pure, undefiled, holy and true. No duplicity with God. The more we stay in the place of fellowship with Him the more His nature infused into us begin to find expression. And that’s the expectation of the Father concerning us. So, if we are not manifesting His nature as lights that we have become, it is because we are missing fellowship with Him!
When we are not fellowshipping with God in His word, we will find ourselves taking decisions based on what we hear in the News or somewhere in the world. Mind you, the word of God is Light, acting contrary to the word is walking in darkness, and that’s a sign that we are not in fellowship! For instance, the word of God admonishes us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. For any believer to disconnect himself or herself from other believers is a sign that such a one is walking in darkness.
Again, in the place of fellowship with God, visions are birthed. Revelations and directions are given. Strength is added. Hope is rekindled, and so on. But while we are in fellowship with ourselves as believers, our high priest carries out blood of sprinkling which is targeted at cleansing us from whatever errors or mistakes we may have made before coming to fellowship. So that, when the Father (Who is also present in our gathering) beholds us, we are clean and perfect in His sight.
Two things quickly:
Only the high priests deal with blood, priests don’t! We are a kingdom of Kings and priests in Christ, Jesus is our High Priest. He alone deals with blood – His own blood. So, it’s an error to have any priest dealing with the blood in whatever form.
It is not your duty to cover yourself with the blood of Jesus, it is His duty to cleanse and cover you with His blood. As a believer, you’re not going to be covered by His blood, you’re covered already!
In Christ Jesus we are cleansed and sanctified. Also, there’s the ongoing work of sanctification till the day of our fill redemption. That is part of what you miss when you don’t fellowship with other believers.
Remember, there can be relationship without fellowship but there cannot be a successful relationship without fellowship. We are already in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ but we are called to fellowship!