Living Confident in Christ
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 1 John 5:13, John 5:24, John 6:46–6:47, John 17:3, 1 John 1:1–1:4
A 13-week message series in the book of 1 John
1 John 5:13 NIV
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
John wrote 1 John so that we would know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we as Christians possess THE greatest God-given gift anyone could ever have—the gift of eternal life. Eternal life is this unique and incomparable human experience with our God that doesn’t just speak to the extent of our days, but also to the enjoyment of our days—an unrivaled experience that’s true both for this life and for the life to come.
John grew up on the Sea of Galilee, the son of a commercial fisherman named Zebedee. He and his brother, James, left the family business to follow Jesus. Not sure what their dad thought about that! His mom, Salome, also a believer, wanted great things for her sons in Jesus’ Kingdom. More importantly, Jesus changed John’s life, and he lived the rest of his life inviting others to know and follow His Savior.
When John tells us about Jesus, he’s not passing along second-hand information he picked up on the streets. Nor is he sharing the academic research of a historian who lived centuries after Jesus did. No, John is a first-hand eyewitness, a faithful follower, and a best friend of Jesus.
John 5:24 NIV
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
John 6:46-47 NIV
46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.
John 17:3 NIV
3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
1 John 1:1 NIV
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
The Miracle & Mystery of the Incarnation
In this opening verse, John tells us about both sides of Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth was a real human being and an actual historical figure. He’s not a myth. He’s not a fairy tale. John didn’t make him up. “Heard, seen, looked at, touch.” These interactions happened between John and Jesus at different times, in many places, and on numerous occasions—before AND after the resurrection. But John also tells us that Jesus the Messiah was fully divine, that "in the beginning" Jesus (with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit) spoke creation into existence as the Word of Life. This is the miracle and the mystery of the Incarnation--that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God.
1 John 1:2 NIV
2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
1 John 1:3-4 NIV
3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.
“Fellowship" (koinonia) is this incredibly personal and intimate relational word that speaks to the QUALITY of a relationship (its closeness) rather than the REALITY of a relationship.
So being friends is one thing, but being best friends is another. Being married is one thing, but being happily married is another. Likewise, being a Christian is one thing, but being a vibrant Christian who shares a close relationship with Jesus is far better. This "fellowship" with Jesus is what John wants for every Christian.
Trustworthy & Transformational
John’s message of eternal life in Jesus Christ to all who believe is both
TRUSTWORTHY and TRANSFORMATIONAL.
One way or another and at one time or another, we all have to work through the barriers that stand between us and our experience of eternal life in Jesus Christ. So whether our barriers are intellectual, emotional, spiritual, circumstantial, or situational, let's trust God and be transformed by Him so that we can live more confidently in Jesus, knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that we have eternal life because of Him.
1. Share your name and your all-time favorite holiday food!
2. Think of a time you experienced something amazing and later tried to convince a friend it really happened. What did you have to say and do to convince them?
3. What do you think John is trying to convince us of in the beginning of his letter (1:1-4)? Who and what is he pointing to? How do you know?
4. Circle “life” and “eternal life” in these verses then read 1 John 2:25; 4:9; 5:11-13, 20. How would you define “eternal life” based on this letter?
5. Who are “we” in these verses? See also Acts 1:21-22 and 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. How can John make the audacious claim in verse 4 that to have fellowship with “us” equals having fellowship with the Father and His Son? In what way is that true of us today (if it is)?
6. We live in the chaos of competing opinions about what “life” is, who Jesus is, and even how “good Christians” live. What views about all this do you hear from others you know? How confident are you that you understand and are experiencing eternal life?
1 John series start page
Check out this link for more information about our 1 John series Discussion Groups. You can also access the electronic version of our 1 John journal here