Old Town Christian Fellowship
1 John 1
That Your Joy May be Full!
  • Rest On Us
  • Look What You've Done
  • This Is Our God
  • At Your Name
  • Lion and the Lamb
  • 1 John 1

    Good morning church! We are starting a new book this morning that I’m very excited about. It is another short one, only 5 chapters, I’m not yet 100% sure yet how long it is going to take us to get through, you guys know that I’m not 100% sure how far we are going to ever get today, but that’s OK. One of the things that I love about this particular book is that it has some history in our own movement, Calvary Chapel.
    For those of you that don’t know there are all kinds of statistics out there about how many pastors quit the ministry each month, they really began to surface during the pandemic with estimates as high as 1,500 to 1,700 every single month. Like most things on the internet, those numbers are simply not true. The actual number is closer to 250, which is still higher than it should be. One statistic out there that you can find that appears to be accurate is the average length of time that a pastor stays at the same church.
    Now that number, on average is 3-4 years…which means there are a whole lot of guys that stay for two years, and a few guys that stick around like we have. Many pastors are like teachers that have a limited number of lesson plans, and then when a new class comes in next year, it is the same material with minor changes here and there.
    Well if you know the testimony of Pastor Chuck Smith, he was basically on that rotation. He had about two years worth of sermons and would work his way through those sermons and then it was time to move on to another church. He was in a denomination that had a strong emphasis on evangelism, and less of an emphasis on teaching the Word of God. The result of that was 17 years of frustrating and by and large fruitless ministry.
    He pastored a church in Tucson, which was then followed by a pastorate in Corona, California – where the church actually grew smaller over his two years there. When he first arrived, there were 57 people, and on his last Sunday, there were 27 people, seven of which were his own family. He used to tell the story that one of the churches that he pastored grew by only two people during his tenure there and those two were the birth of his own children. This pattern continued on for years, until he pastored a church that he really loved.
    It just happened to be in Huntington Beach, CA, now I’m sure he and Kay loved the church, but it just so happens to be that at that point in his life, Chuck also loved to surf and wanted to break that pattern of moving on because he had run out of sermons…so he began teaching through this book. 1 John. It took him over a year to do it, and then went on to the book of Romans, and teaching through the Word changed his life, and changed the church.
    So whenever we come back to this book, I’m mindful of that, Chuck wouldn’t want us to be, keep it all about Jesus, and we do, but it did set a wonderful example for us in teaching the full counsel of God. As is our practice here.
    It’s funny, he spent a year in 1 John, and at other times I heard him teach through 10 chapters of the book of numbers at a time and there is rumor that there are some old tapes of him teaching Genesis in two sittings. Like Genesis 1-20 in a 2 and a half hours sermon.
    I know when we start a new book, I’ll often give you some background and maybe an outline. This letter is categorized as a general epistle meaning it wasn’t written to a particular church. In fact, in the letter it’s self doesn’t have an introduction or a signature at the end, but it was written by the Apostle John. This is confirmed by the earliest of the church fathers. Both Irenaeus[4] and Tertullian[5] say that Polycarp had been a disciple of John, and he confirms the apostolic authorship.
    John is generally considered the youngest of the disciples when he was called and he lived the longest. As all of the others were killed for their faith. He actually lived well beyond the average life expectancy at the time. And it is estimated that this letter was written sometime between 85-95 A.D. and may have actually been written chronologically after the book of Revelation.
    Rather than give you an outline of the letter, I want to highlight some of the reasons that John tells us that he wrote the letter. Remember not to a specific church, but to the church as a whole. John did pastor the church of Ephesus that we read about in the book of Acts and again in Revelation chapter 2. So this would have been sent to them, it would have been sent to the other churches John wrote about in Revelation chapters 2-3, and it has been given to us. So let’s pray and begin by looking at those reasons.
    Father God....amen
    Just a heads-up for you this morning, I’m going to be teaching from the Legacy Standard Bible. I remain a fan of the NKJV, I like the ESV that many of you use, some favor the NASB. Well, I’ve looked at the scholarship on this one for awhile, and I personally believe that it is the best translation that we currently have for what we do. Meaning they have gone back to the original translation philosophy of the New American Standard in doing an actual word for word translation from both the Hebrew and the Greek.
    Most translations today are what they call dynamic equivalents. Meaning the translators try to say in English what was intended in the original languages, making is both flow poetically, and make it more understandable for the common reader. Well, I’d rather know what God said specifically through His Spirit and put the burden on the teacher or pastor to help us gain the sense of it. So bare with me as we try this out.
    SO this is what John says about why it was written. If you look at verse 4 with me...
    5 reasons
    1 John 1:4 LSB
    4 And these things we are writing, so that our joy may be made complete.
    I am writing this so that your joy may be full, that you may have joy to the fullest, the most amount of joy that you can possibly have, that it would be made complete. That it would not fall short and no joy would be missing.
    2nd Reason he writes...
    1 John 2:1 LSB
    1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
    1 John 2:12 LSB
    12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.
    The little children…newly saved…verse 13
    1 John 2:13 LSB
    13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have known Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you have known the Father.
    Expectation of Spiritual growth. How do we transition or mature?
    1 John 2:14 LSB
    14 I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
    Verse 21
    1 John 2:21 LSB
    21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
    and then he tells us in verse 26, I’m writing so that you won’t be deceived.
    1 John 2:26 LSB
    26 These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
    See just like Peter warned in his second letter about the threats that were coming from within the church with false teachers, this is one of the major warnings that we have in this letter. Those that would try to deceive. The largest movement at the time, or at least the most dangerous heresy was what is known as Gnosticism. And the Gnostics claimed to have a deeper knowledge, higher knowledge, or spiritual superiority in many ways. The name comes from the Greek word Gnosis which simply means “to know.” They taught that salvation was obtained through this special knowledge.
    They had some odd beliefs, one of which was that anything material, including our flesh was sinful. Our spirit, our personality, thoughts and emotions are basically good. So anything done in the flesh was evil, and separate from our spirit. So you could sin in the flesh and be good with God in the spirit.
    This created a couple of problems for them when it came to Jesus. Jesus in their teaching could not have been both God and man. Because if Jesus was really flesh, then He could not have been without sin. SO He only appeared to be flesh, like the worlds first hologram. SO there were all kinds of stories about if Jesus walked with you on the shore of Galilee and you looked back, there would only be one set of foot prints, who knows, maybe a Gnostic wrote that poem.
    Also, they taught that Jesus was only spirit, but might have had a dualism between God and man, but not both at once. Kinda like a split personality, but only between deity and humanity. So it was dangerous. Who doesn’t want to know more, or to have a special or deeper knowledge, it really appeals to our pride. It still exists today, but not by that name.
    Finally in the last chapter we read...
    1 John 5:13 LSB
    13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
    So that we can know and not doubt.
    SO, let’s start from the top and see how far we get.
    1 John 1:1 LSB
    1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—
    Not that I want you to wonder if we will finish this ahead of Pastor Chuck’s pace, but I want to quickly look at two other instances that the bible talks about beginnings. The very first verse in your bibles....
    Genesis 1:1 LSB
    1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
    This beginning is the creation. We see before the heavens and the earth God already was in eternity. Now in the gospel of John, this same writer begins.
    John 1:1 LSB
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    The Word, correctly capitalized here calling Jesus the Logos, the Word. In the beginning was Jesus...
    So again in our letter, right off the bat, John is addressing the heresy of Gnosticism with saying...
    1 John 1:1–2 LSB
    1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—
    This is all present tense, we heard and continue to hear…Perhaps you were told something over and over again by a parent, whether it be good or bad and you find yourself hearing it over and over. Maybe not a parent. I sometimes hear Nicole’s voice asking me, “well what did you say you would do?” We had a pastors gathering of the Maine and just over the border in Canada pastors yesterday…and I reminded Pastor Ken of something that he had said probably 15 years ago and as I was saying it, he started saying it.
    John is saying we were with Him, we heard Him and continue to hear Him. He was not some kind of hologram of pretend appearance of a spirit, we were eye witnesses, we beheld Him, we touched Him with our own hands, we know that He is real, and He calls Him the Word of Life…verse 2
    1 John 1:3 LSB
    3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
    1 John 1:4 LSB
    4 And these things we are writing, so that our joy may be made complete.
    All of the hard things to come were written for this.
    1 John 1:5–8 LSB
    5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not do the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
    1 John 1:9–10 LSB
    9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous 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.
    Grace and Peace
        • 1 John 1:4ESV

        • 1 John 2:1ESV

        • 1 John 2:12ESV

        • 1 John 2:13ESV

        • 1 John 2:14ESV

        • 1 John 2:21ESV

        • 1 John 2:26ESV

        • 1 John 5:13ESV

        • 1 John 1:1ESV

        • Genesis 1:1ESV

        • John 1:1ESV

        • 1 John 1:1–2ESV

        • 1 John 1:3ESV

        • 1 John 1:4ESV

        • 1 John 1:5–8ESV

        • 1 John 1:9–10ESV