Faithlife Sermons

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Every year I think that I have managed to escape from getting the flu virus and every year I get at least one cold…This happens every single year … I go through the same battle....
It starts with someone in our household getting the flu… I start becoming defensive… I start chewing on airborne and vitimin C tablets.. and just when I think that I have managed to get through… I catch a cold… The flue virus can be more than nuisance it can be deadly and so getting vaccinated is probably a good thing…
Now we are encouraged to be vaccinated with the flu virus... to prevent spread... Now the church ON THE OTHER HAND is the opposite...
The church is about being fruit bearing… Jesus said that those who bare fruit… much fruit… more fruit… the point is that we are meant to go viral...
The worst thing for a believer is to be vaccinated...
When you think about how they create a vacine… is they give you a bit of the virus..
with a little bit of the Gospel… just enough church… just enough worship and the word… problem is that we want to be contagious… and if we have just enough....
We want to be contagious… We want our message to go viral.
When it comes to the Gospel being a contagious is good thing… It is a good thing for a Church to have Contagious Faith… Paul wrote to the Ephesians and Colossian church… He told them that he had heard of their Faith in the Lord Jesus and the love they had for one another....
They had a reputation for being a healthy and life giving community proceeded them…
I read that it take 86 church members 1 year to reach 1 person… That is a really slow rate!
Part of the problem is that evangelism is not part of a churches DNA....
We need to ask ourselves the question How can we create ministries that are thriving?
How do we "Become a contagious church.”---
Contageous churches are full of contagious people...
John the beloved Disciple give us the keys to being a Contagious Christian…
This is a prologue to which actually a sermon.
It’s also, from a rhetorical point of view, an exordium.
What you’re supposed to do in a rhetorical exordium is set up rapport with the audience.
You do two things, actually—you establish authority, and you establish rapport with the audience.
The reason John wants to build report is that he is fired up with the message of Jesus… He has first hand knowledge of Jesus that he is anxious to share with others the hope that he has .... so they too might share (have the same fellowship) in that life..
How do we become contagious … First we have to...
We have to Catch IT!
John begins with the phrase “that which we heard from the beginning.”
What is “that which” that was from the beginning...Go back as far as you will in your imagination, says Genesis, before anything that exists came into being, and you will find God, the eternal Being.
Go back to that same point, says John in his gospel, and you will find Jesus Christ with God, because he was God, before anything was created. 1 John echos the introduction to the Gospel of John...
John is not so interested much creation but the Word of life.. or as Moffat says… “logos of life” The Greek word logos can be translated either as ‘reason’ or as ‘word’ or ‘speech’.
Christ the logos the Word of God (first principle in creation) Not only was Jesus with God in the beginning but in fact He was God…and he was the agent of creation… all things were made through him and nothing was made without him.
God as creator is omnipotent in power… able to bring into existence creative order through the spoken word…
The idea is that this eternal subject of John has been audibly heard, physically seen, intently studied (have looked upon), and tangibly touched (hands have handled).
This idea would have enormous implications for his readers.
The implications were enormous because they said that this eternal God became accessible to man in the most basic way, a way that anyone could relate to.
This eternal One can be known, and He has revealed Himself to us.
John brings the message into the personal realm… Not only is Jesus God… but he is also through his incarnation became a man… John and others were first hand witness to Jesus being a personal God… That which from begining the eternal word appeared in human form in a place in time so that they could experience God in a personal way… They had the privilege of experiencing Jesus as a real person....
The word of life is described as being seen with their eyes.. this expression is only found in this text… it means they were eyewitness to life of Jesus.
John’s testimony is that he and his friends saw and heard and touched Jesus and they shared in his life.
This is important when you think of a dangerous teaching of Gnosticism that was infiltrating first century the church.
Part of the teaching of Gnosticism was that though Jesus was God, He was not actually a physical man, but instead some kind of pseudo-physical phantom.
Yet John declared, “I heard Him!
I saw Him!
I studied Him!
I touched Him!” John stresses the importance of the word of life being incarnational becoming a man… at the same time…he stresses the importance of having a personal knowledge of God.
John says that those who know Christ were personally convinced that he was none other than the ‘Word’ of God—the source and meaning and purpose of life… It was a relationship with a real person… this is one of the reasons why the Disciples were willing to lay down their very lives for the Gospel… It was more that an inclining or a feeling more than a belief system… It was because of the knowing Jesus personally… seeing him after the resurrection… there were no doubts about who he was.
They heard with their auditory senses...
Something they saw with their own eyes..
They studied and looked upon and marvelled…John says that which they had looked upon.
The Greek word used here is theasthai, meaning to gaze at and study something carefully until understanding breaks through.
John says that he and his companions carefully studied Christ—and they understood the nature and significance of the One whom they followed.F
They physically touched Jesus.
To have heard was not enough; people ‘heard’ God’s voice in the Old Testament.
To have seen was more compelling.
To touch means to feel or to hold with ones hands --- But to have touched was the conclusive proof of material reality, that the Word ‘became flesh, and lived for a while among us’.
This word touched (epsēlaphēsan), the climax of the four relative clauses, describes more than a momentary contact.
‘ “Psēlaphan” is to grope or feel after in order to find, like a blind man or one in the dark; hence to handle, touch … It may also be used in the sense of “examine closely” ’ (Brooke).
It is the same word that Paul uses in his sermon on Mars Hill… that they had made this statue to the Unknown God — Acts 17:27 God created mankind for the purpose that they should seek him and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him..
As you read through the four verses, you’ll see in the beginning when John says the word we or our, he is talking about the apostles who were eyewitnesses of the events of Jesus’ life.
He says, “We looked at him.
We felt him.
We saw him.”
He is talking about us, we the eyewitness.
Then in verses 2 and 3 he says, “I’m telling you about what we saw, because I want you to know what we know, and I want you to experience what we’ve experienced through Jesus.”
So by the time you get down to verse 4, he is really not talking about we, meaning himself.
He is not even talking about we, meaning the apostles.
He is talking about us Christians...
This experience of knowing Christ is not limited to the first Century… The only way to be a contagious Christian is to experience Christ for yourself… they proclaimed eternal life because they had caught it… they got it…
The only way only way to catch the a cold or the flu is through intimate contact…
The common cold is spread in several ways...
1. by airborne respiratory droplets... ( someone has to coughs or sneeze in your direction)
2. By skin to skin contact... (handshakes or hugs)
By Saliva (kissing or shared drinks)
4. By touching contaminated surface...
This is what John is getting at in these verses...
How to we catch it…
God “speaks” to us in many ways.
His “voice” is heard in all of the following:
• Creation, the “thumbprint” of God (Ps.
• Covenants (Old and New Testaments)
• Christ—God in flesh (2 Cor.
1:6; Heb.
• Conscience (Rom.
• Christians (1 Cor.
• Circumstances with God’s providence (Gen.
• Counselor, Comforter, the Holy Spirit
Through the Scriptures --- Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God…
The Greek word John uses for seen is horan.
This term basically refers to the physical experience of optical viewing, or seeing something with our eyes, without further implication.
Then, the writer expands his point by saying we have looked at.
The Greek word used here is theasthai, meaning to gaze at and study something carefully until understanding breaks through.
John says that he and his companions carefully studied Christ—and they understood the nature and significance of the One whom they followed
Evangelism is not what we tell people, unless what we tell is totally consistent with who we are.
It is who we are that is going to make the difference.
If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch the fire of enjoyment from us.
If our lives are not totally centered on Christ, we will not be Christ-bearers for others, no matter how pious our words.
—Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Yearling,
2 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—
The word manifested means “to come out in the open, to be made public.”
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