Posted by Peter Thompson

I John 1:1-10

Having Joyful Fellowship with God

INTRODUCTION:  Many times in the book of First John, John refers to our sins being forgiven by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.  He refers to the readers many times as “my little children”.  This book is written to saved people.  If you take the book out of that context you can make it mean all kinds of things that it does not mean.  So I want you to keep in mind as we study this book that saved people are the target audience.  Here in V. 3 John talks about fellowship.  He says that he is writing so that the Christian person he is writing to can have fellowship with him and the other apostles who have fellowship with God the father and Jesus Christ.  So the ultimate goal here is fellowship with God.  Fellowship has the idea of walking beside somebody and joining together in a goal and purpose.  When a Christian person is in full fellowship with God, walking beside God, going in the same direction as God, working toward the same things as God, then their “joy will be full” in v. 4.  Joy is gladness that is not dependent upon your circumstances, but a gladness that comes as a result of knowing Jesus Christ and having eternal life.  So the goal here is joyful fellowship with God.  In this chapter John brings out three actions that are necessary to having joyful fellowship with God.

  1. GAIN ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS (VS. 1-2)
  2. John here begins by assuring these Christians of the truth of what they believe
  3. Just like Peter did in his books, John points to his personal experience with Jesus
  4. This was not just some fairy tale in some book
  5. This was something, in fact someone, that John had experienced for himself
  6. John says, “that which was from the beginning”
  7. Jesus was from the very beginning
  8. When we read “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” in Gen. 1:1-Jesus was there
  9. When we read in John’s other book-“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”-the Word was Jesus Christ
  10. Here again John refers to Jesus Christ as the Word of Life
  11. He says we saw Him with our eyes
  12. He says we heard Him with our ears
  13. He says we touched Him with our hands
  14. Jesus was real and really was God come to earth
  15. The apostles saw Him teach, do miracles, die on the cross, rise again
  16. In v. 2 he says “the life was manifested” –Manifested means to be made visible
  17. Eternal life came to earth in Jesus-and John and his friends saw, heard and felt the whole thing
  18. And John says I have showed eternal life to you
  19. John and the other apostles spent their lives telling people what they saw
  20. They saw Jesus, God himself, doing all that needed to be done to give eternal life
  21. He lived a sinless life in front of those apostles
  22. He made broken people whole both physically and spiritually in front of those apostles-the works that He did showed He was God
  23. When the time came He paid for the sins of the world on the cross in front of those apostles
  24. And then three days later he showed His power again by rising from the dead and those disciples saw Him walking and talking after complete death
  25. Those disciples heard him say, that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life
  26. That life is still available for you today if you have never accepted it
  27. The Bible teaches that you are a sinner-that you have broken the law of God, in fact your very nature is opposed to God
  28. That you deserve eternal death in Hell for your sin-that is torment that goes on forever and ever
  29. But God loved you and sent God the Son to earth to die for your sins
  30. He didn’t have sin of His own to pay for, so He was the perfect sacrifice
  31. Romans 10:9 says that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you can be saved
  32. You won’t have to go to hell anymore, but you can have eternal life through Jesus
  33. Believe that He died on the cross for your sins, believe that He rose again, proclaim that He is your Lord and master and receive eternal life
  34. Without that relationship with God through Jesus, you will never have fellowship with God or joy in Him.
  35. WALK IN THE LIGHT WHERE GOD IS (VS. 5-7)
  36. These Christians that John is writing to had already made that decision in their lives
  37. But there were some other things that Jesus taught the apostles while He was on earth
  38. They were saved but they were struggling to have fellowship with God because of all that was going on in the world around them
  39. Persecution of Christians, temptation to sin, they were just struggling and having no fellowship with God and were anything but joyful
  40. So John wants to help them experience that joy again through fellowship with the God that saved them
  41. Jesus taught how that could happen
  42. And in v. 5 John writes “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.”
  43. The contrast is between light and dark here
  44. The dark is sin and worldliness, while the light is purity, holiness and godliness
  45. Here John is saying that God’s very essence is purity, holiness
  46. And there is no sin in God at all
  47. In the next verse, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”
  48. The subject is how to have fellowship or walk alongside God so that your joy can be full
  49. He says here that if we say we walk with God and we walk in the darkness that God has nothing to do with then we lie-we are not really walking beside God at all
  50. As much as we say we love Jesus and God the Father-if we are living in sin all the time, we are far from God, because He is walking in holiness andpurity
  51. And then John ties it all together in v. 7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another”
  52. So if God walks in the light (holiness and purity)
  53. Then if we walk in the light (holiness and purity)
  54. Then we are walking with Him and having fellowship with Him
  55. Then our joy can be full, and we will be going in the same direction with God
  56. John makes clear here that a Christians sins are cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ
  57. So a Christian goes about to live a holy and pure life
  58. That way they can walk with God and have fellowship with Him
  59. But that is all made possible because Jesus cleansed us from sin when He died on the cross
  60. It does not matter how much a lost person tries not to sin, they will never walk with God because they have not accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to cleanse their sins
  61. So here is what this looks like practically for you today
  62. If you want to walk beside God
  63. So that you are going in the same direction as He is
  64. So that your joy can be full
  65. You need to get rid of sin in your life-because sin separates you from God
  66. It does not affect your eternal life-Jesus took care of that
  67. But it keeps you from walking beside God-so get rid of it if you want to walk beside God
  68. Be pure and holy like God is pure and holy and you can walk together
  69. That is why God said in I Peter 1:16 “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”
  70. Live a holy life, stay away from sin, have fellowship with God and your joy will be full
  71. CONFESS YOUR SINS AND BE CLEANSED FROM THEM (VS. 7-10)
  1. John said that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses sin
  2. Again, that it what makes it possible to have even the possibility of fellowship with God
  3. Because no matter how much we in our flesh try to live a sinless life-we are going to fail
  4. There are going to be times in your life, no matter how hard you try that you are going to give in to temptation and sin
  5. In fact, John says here in v. 8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
  6. Remember, he is talking to saved people here
  7. They still have sin in their life, because they are human beings with human sinful flesh
  8. So if we try to live this holy life that we have been talking about and we get to the point where we say, well, I’ve done it, I don’t have any sin, you better think again
  9. If we say that we don’t have any sin, we are lying to ourselves and the truth isn’t in us
  10. So here is what John says we should do as a Christian people
  11. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
  12. “We”-John and all the other saved people
  13. We should confess our sins-that is to declare to God, I have sinned in this particular way
  14. When you do that He will forgive you and cleanse you so that you can have fellowship with Him again
  15. Understand that we are not talking about heaven or hell here, we are talking about walking with God or not walking with God
  16. We are talking about fellowship with God or not
  17. We are talking full joy or not
  18. Christian people should confess their sins, God will forgive those sins, and walk with them
  19. When you have unconfessed sin in your life, it is a barrier between you and God
  20. Your eternal life has not changed, that is eternal
  21. But you will not be close to God, you will not be going in the same direction that God is going, you will not have the joy of serving God, your prayers will be hindered
  22. In order to have fellowship with God, you need to confess your sins
  23. And God is awesome, he will forgive your sins, and restore your fellowship
  24. So that then you can be close to Him, you can go in the same direction He is going, you will have his joy and your prayers will be heard and answered.

CONCLUSION:  So in order to have joyful fellowship with God you must begin with salvation through Jesus Christ.  After you are saved you must walk in the light because that is where Holy God walks, he cannot walk beside you when you are in the darkness.  And you must confess your sins, so that he can cleanse you and restore the fellowship.  Then and only then can you walk beside God, going in the same direction as God, working toward the same things as God, so that you can have the full joy that comes with being a Christian.