I. THE WORD OF LIFE.
A. A reference to Jesus, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God. In Him was life, and the life was the light of man."
B. What John has told us about the Word of life.
1. We have heard Him.
2. We have seen Him.
3. We have gazed steadfastly upon Him.
4. We have touched Him.
II. "FOR THE LIFE WAS MANIFESTED."
A. Paul wrote to Timothy,
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
1. The Bible is very clear on the fact that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh.
2. The denial of this truth is to be aligned with the spirit of Antichrist.
B. John gives us two reasons for the manifestation of Jesus.
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
C. The life is a reference to the life of God, and John declares, "And we have seen it."
1. Peter said,
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2. In trying to prove a case, it is always good to have the testimony of eyewitnesses.
III. "AND BEAR WITNESS."
A. Jesus said to His disciples,
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
B. The night of the resurrection Jesus appeared to His Disciples in Jerusalem,
And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
And ye are witnesses of these things.
C. Just before Jesus was arrested and condemned to die on the cross, He said to His disciples,
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
D. That is why when the Apostles were seeking to appoint someone to take the place of Judas among the twelve, Peter said,
Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
1. On the day of Pentecost as the Holy Spirit had descended upon the church, Peter in His message declared,
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
2. When on Solomon's porch when the crowd had gathered as the result of the healing of the lame man, Peter said,
And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
3. After the first persecution by the religious leaders in Jerusalem, as the disciples realized their need of divine boldness, they began to pray, and after the prayer we read,
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
4. When Peter and the others were standing before the council for the second time and the High Priest said to them, "Did we not strictly command that you were not to preach any more in the name of Jesus?"
Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
5. As Peter was preaching to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius he declared to them,
That word, [I say], ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, [even] to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God [to be] the Judge of quick and dead.
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
6. As Stephen was preaching to the council he said,
For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled [them] in condemning [him].
And though they found no cause of death [in him], yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took [him] down from the tree, and laid [him] in a sepulchre.
And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
7. As Paul was sharing the witness of his conversion to the mob that had gathered on the Temple mount he said,
And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt [there],
Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
IV. "AND SHOW UNTO YOU THAT ETERNAL LIFE."
A. A true witness is not one who just tells you about Jesus, but shows to you that life that He gives. Our lives are a more powerful witness than our words.
1. Many times what we say is thoroughly discounted because of what we are.
2. If I preach one thing and live another, no one is going to give any credence to what I preach.
3. We are not only to tell the truth about Jesus, we need also to show the truth.
4. When Paul was talking to the elders of the church of Ephesus he said, "I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you but have shown you and taught you publicly and from house to house." Not only in public but privately. Not one thing in front of the people and another when he was out of the limelight.
V. WHAT DID THEY WITNESS AND SHOW? "THAT ETERNAL LIFE THAT WAS WITH THE FATHER AND WAS MANIFESTED UNTO US."