Wednesday, November 19, 2014


1 John 1:1-4, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us--that which we have seen and heard 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. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”

That a man named Jesus once lived on this earth is a matter of record acknowledged even by most secular historians.  Years are even numbered according to the “Year of Our Lord” (i.e. A.D. = Anno Domini = “Year of Our Lord”).  Who is Jesus?  Why did He come?  How can we know?  The Apostle John was an eyewitness of Jesus and wrote about what he saw and heard.

He wrote this epistle in part to refute some heretical teaching.  False teachers were distorting the truth concerning Christ’s person and work.  They claimed to have an exclusive and advanced understanding knowledge of the truth.  They professed faith in Jesus, but denied that He had actually come in the flesh (Cf. 1 John 2:22; 4:2).  They likewise denied the physical reality of HIs sufferings.  So John wrote to refute their heresies.

John was an eyewitness to the truth about Jesus.  Three times in three verses he spoke to that which he had “seen and heard” (Cf. 1 John 1:1-3).  To use the Apostle Peter’s language, he wasn’t following “cleverly devised myths” in what he was speaking about, he was an eyewitness to the truth (Cf. 2 Peter 1:16).  What did he see and hear?  He saw the incarnate Word, the “only Son from the Father,” dwelling among men (Cf. John 1:14).  He saw the Divine Son having come in human flesh.  He beheld His glory (Cf. John 1:14).

John saw the eternal life made manifest.  John saw that in Jesus.  Eternal life is not merely life unending, it is defined in terms of relationship with God.  John elsewhere wrote, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:4).  Jesus came for the express purpose of providing eternal life to the spiritually dead (Cf. Ephesians 2:1).  John’s gospel and epistles are replete with references to the life made manifest and availed to us by Jesus through his death and resurrection. 

  • “In him was life” (John 1:4). 
  • “He has granted the Son also to have life in himself” (John 5:26). 
  • “I am the bread of life” (the terms “life” or “living” are used some 18X in this chapter” (John 6:35).
  • “Whoever believers in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38).
  • “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
  • “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
  • “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
  • “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).
  • “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one.  I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18).
The Apostle John was an eyewitness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He devoted his life to proclaiming the truth that he himself had witnessed.  He willingly suffered persecution to defend and proclaim these truths (Cf. Revelation 1:9; Acts 4:20).  His fellow Apostles were willing to suffer martyrdom for that cause.  They yearned for others to receive the true life that Jesus alone can provide.  The Apostle John still testifies to us through God’s inspired word. He who died on the cross and rose from the dead is able to impart life to sin-dead souls (Cf. Ephesians 2:1).  That very same Jesus who called a rotting Lazarus from the grave, is able this very day to revive any man and bring him into an eternal fellowship with the Father and the Son (Cf. 1 John 1:3).  Life is in the Son.  Do you have the Son?  If so, you have the life—it is yours by His gracious provision (Cf. 1 John 5:11-12)!  If not, don’t delay in calling on Him.  He came that you might have life and have it abundantly (Cf. John 10:10).

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