I. THAT (ONE) WHICH WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD.
A. The One who was from the beginning.
B. The One who is eternal.
C. The One we saw and heard.
D. The One of whom we bear witness.
E. We declare Him unto you.
II. THE PURPOSE FOR SHARING CHRIST.
A. That you might have fellowship with us.
1. Jesus Christ removed all of the barriers that held men apart.
a. Racial barriers. "Neither Jew nor Greek."
b. Social barriers. "Bond or free."
c. Sexual barriers. "Male or female."
2. The world in Jesus' day had sharp divisions.
a. Racial divisions. (1) The Jews had nothing to do with the Samaritans or any other race. (2) To the Jew the world was divided between the Jew and the Gentile dog. (3) The Jew would not think of eating with a Gentile. (4) They felt that only a Jew could be saved thus the Gentiles were created by God only to fuel the fires of hell. (5) Jesus changed all of this.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
b. Social divisions. He came to a world which a large percentage of the people were slaves. (1) Slaves were considered as animals. They were the property of their masters who could use them or abuse them any way they pleased. (2) They were bought and sold, had no rights of their own.
c. Sexual divisions. (1) The women in the time of Christ were only one step above a slave. (2) No rights of education or self determination. Their fathers would sell them to the perspective groom. (3) The Greeks said that every man should have a courtesan for companionship, a concubine for sexual gratification, and a wife to bear his legitimate children.
3. Jesus came to change all of this.
a. Every person is of inestimitable value to Jesus. (1) The poor as well as the rich. "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith?" (2) The Aborigine as well as much as the cosmopolitan. (3) The women as well as the men.
b. He has put us all on one plain.
III. "AND TRULY OUR FELLOWSHIP IS WITH THE FATHER AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST."
A. John begins with a lower level, "Fellowship with us" then raises it to the highest level. "Our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ."
1. Fellowship, communion, oneness with the Eternal God the Creator.
B. This is the ultimate purpose for our existence. This was God's basic purpose in creating man.
1. "And Adam heard the voice of God as He walked in the garden in the cool of the day."
2. "Walking and communing with God in the beauty of His creation, that is the ultimate experience in life."
3. Revelation 4:11
. "For You have created all things and for your good pleasure they are and were created."
C. How would you rate your fellowship with God?
D. The closest relationships in life are based on love.
1. We sometimes have business relationships, they can become very strained but we continue them because be cannot afford to break them.
2. Many relationships are based on fear. One terrorizes the other, is a tyrant and holds the relationship together with fear.
3. These can be very strained relationships.
4. God wants a loving relationship with you.
a. He initiated this relationship by His love for you.
b. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
c. "We love Him because He first loved us."
E. Can you imagine God wanting to share all of His resources with you?
1. I realize that I have so little to offer this relationship except love.
2. I have nothing that God needs, I can only offer Him what He desires, and that is my love.
IV. "AND THESE THINGS WE WRITE UNTO YOU THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL."
A. Oh the fullness of joy that comes from fellowship with God.
1. As David said, "My cup runneth over."
2. Peter said, "Whom having not seen you love, and though you do not see Him now, yet you rejoice with a joy unspeakable and full of glory."
B. I think of the words of that hymn, "The love of Jesus, what it is none but the loved ones know."
1. I feel so sorry for those whose hearts and minds are closed to Jesus Christ.
2. If they only knew what they were missing out on.
3. The philosophers who talk about the ultimate experience, confess that they know nothing about it. We know what it is. It is walking in fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.