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Fellowship and Life Together

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Jesus Is Alive

Can you hear the excitement in John’s words? He’s talking about knowing Jesus. He’s writing to prove that Jesus really did come. That God’s promise to send a Savior really was fulfilled. That the extraordinary things that have been told about Jesus really happened. Listen again to the way John wrote, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and have touched wiht our hands, concerning the word of life” (1 John 1:1).
Did you hear the progression? He says they heard it. Better yet, John says, we not only heard this stuff, but we saw it, too. Not only did we see all these things concerning Jesus, but we actually got so close that we were able to touch Him with our own hands!
Maybe John had in mind here that account of Thomas that took place a week after the first Easter. When Thomas doubted the resurrection so much that He said, “unless I see in his hand the mark of the nails and place my finder into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (John 20:25). A week after Thomas spoke those words, Jesus was stood before him and gave him the opportunity to do just as he said. (John 20:27).
There was a reason behind what John wrote in 1 John 1:1. Of course, John and the other apostles could not keep the accounts of Jesus to themselves. They continually told others. Actually each of them - except one - gave his life because he refused to stop talking about Jesus.
At the time of this writing, John was countering the teachings of a man named Cerinthus. The time was about the year 85 A.D. By this time John, like many others, had fled Jerusalem. He had actually left Jerusalem nearly 20 years earlier because of the rising conflict between the Jews and the Romans that eventually resulted in the Roman’s crushing Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D. Most likely, John wrote this letter from the city of Ephesus which is also the city where Cerinthus lived as well.

Threat of False Teaching

One of the things Cerinthus taught was that Jesus was not a true man. But that rather some lower deity that created the world sent this teacher named Jesus. Cerinthus’ teaching had crept into some congregation and believers were falling away from the faith.
John was using his experiences of hearing, seeing, and touching Jesus to convince members of the church that Jesus really did live, that Jesus really did do miracles. That Jesus’ dead body was really place in the tomb. That Jesus really did rise from the dead.
The teachings of Cerinthus really could be devastating for the young church. A little bit of false teaching may seem so harmless. However, that little crack of false teaching can shatter ones’s faith when one starts to question why a doctrine does not match up with the truths of God’s Word.


Fellowship in any congregation is priceless. When it comes to fellowship it is all about Jesus. Friendships can be had in any group or club, but fellowship through Jesus is completely different. That’s the point John is making in 1 John 1:3, “the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you , so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:2-3).
John reminds us that true fellowship with God only comes through knowing Jesus.
Cerinthus and his false teachings may seem worlds apart from us. Yet, today’s churches have similar challenges when we don’t get the doctrine right. Today’s churches are too often distracted by dollars, donors, and donuts.

George Barna reports that in the United States over 90 percent of the population believes in a God or gods that have power over the universe. As a result, religious tolerance and experimentation are commonplace. Furthermore, when asked if all of the world’s religions essentially prayed to the same God, 64 percent of the adult public agreed. In the Christian church, among those who called themselves evangelicals, 46 percent agreed, and among those who labeled themselves “born again,” 48 percent agreed. Among adults who simply called themselves “regular church attendees,” fully 62 percent said that they believed all religions essentially prayed to the same God.8 This is astonishing. Within the pews of America’s churches, two-thirds of the people do not believe in the exclusive character of the Christian message, and almost half of all evangelicals say the same.

A famous church leader was once questioned why he was so concerned about “Good doctrine”. His response was “Good doctrine, good doctrine, good doctrine” don’t you get it. It’s no different then the farmer who says “good seed, good seed, good seed”. Good see produces a harvest. Good doctrine produces a good harvest.
A recent study actually showed that churches that enjoyed the best fellowship, harmony, and peace were also churches that had offered the most Sunday School classes, Bible studies, and small groups. Good doctrine and knowing God’s word results in good fellowship - now only with the Triune God, but with one another.
Wouldn’t it be great to experince the fellowship that John described. Hearing, seeing, touching Jesus? Is that kind of fellowship restricted to a few people who lived during the first part of the first century? I think Jesus wants us to experience more than that. Didn’t Jesus say, “I will not leave you as orphans” (John 14:18)? Didn’t Jesus say, “I will be with you always to the end of the age” (Matthew 29:19)? What about John 14:23 where Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will make our home with him” (John 14:24)?
We do indeed can have this personal fellowship with Jesus. He comes in His Word and teaches us, “In many and various ways God spoke to His people of old through the prophets, but now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1).
In a short time we will to the Lord’s Table. Here Jesus comes to us again. It is an intimate time with Jesus as He visits us with His very body and blood for our forgiveness.
Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed.
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