That Which Was From the Beginning
That Which Was From the Beginning
Sunday, October 21, 2007
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.”
1 John 1:1
1. The central event of history is the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. John is one of the chosen witnesses who saw, heard, and touched the One who had existed from the beginning—the Son of God, whose eternal fellowship with the Father is now extended to others.
2. This verse echoes John 1:1, as that verse in turn echoes Gen. 1:1. The two New Testament verses highlight the Incarnation as an event as significant as creation itself.
3. That which was from the beginning refers to the divinity of Christ. The heard, seen, looked upon and touched refers to His human nature. Having seen, heard, and looked upon, serve to strengthen our faith in the gospel. Since our salvation depends on the gospel, its certainty is in the highest degree necessary to know these from an authority.
4. And how difficult it is for us to believe! Every one of us who is honest knows too well by his own experience how this is true. To believe is not lightly to form an opinion, or to assent only to what is said, but a firm, undoubting conviction, so that we may dare to be sold out to the truth as it is fully proved by the Holy Scriptures.
5. The apostle John brings us the truth that the Christian can be assured of his salvation in that God has brought about fundamental changes in his life. In this epistle we will be seeing three simple tests.
6. (1) A Christian has been given a sure knowledge of who he is in Jesus Christ. This involves truth. (2) He has given the Christian a desire to pursue and obey the commandments of Christ. This involves righteousness. (3) He has given the Christian a new relationship with other believers. This involves love.
7. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of these three elements in the Christian life. Truth! Righteousness! Love! We need them all. Indeed, it is only when all three are present that any of us can claim to have entered into a well-rounded, vital, and growing Christian experience.
8. (1) Love without righteousness is immorality, though today in some religious circles it is called the “new morality.” (2) Righteousness without doctrine is legalism. This is the kind of religion that existed in Christ’s day in Judaism and against which he was so outspoken. (3) Doctrine without love is a bitter orthodoxy. It is the kind of truth that is rigorously perfect, in a sense, but which does not win anyone.
9. The moral test (the test of righteousness or obedience) is the test of practical righteousness in the believer’s life. It does not mean that the Christian must be without sin—indeed, John says that the one professing to be without sin deceives himself and makes God a liar (1:8, 10)—but it does mean that he must be progressing in righteousness so that his profession is increasingly matched by his conduct.
10. The social test (the test of love) is the test of the Christian’s relationship to other Christians. Does he love them? Since God is love and since love comes from Him, anyone claiming to know God but failing to show love for others is either self-deceived or is attempting to deceive.
11. The doctrinal test (the test of belief in Jesus Christ) is theological, for it is John’s claim that no one who fails to believe that the preexistent Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, became flesh at a fixed point in time and history and died for our sin can be a Christian.
Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.
- Jeremiah Burroughs
The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God; we should neither eat nor sleep, but eat to God and sleep to God and work to God and talk to God, do all to His glory and praise. - Richard Sibbes
“Beware, I pray thee, of presuming that thou art saved. If thy heart be renewed, if thou shalt hate the things that thou didst once love, and love the things that thou didst once hate; if thou hast really repented; if there be a thorough change of mind in thee; if thou be born again, then hast thou reason to rejoice: but if there be no vital change, no inward godliness; if there be no love to God, no prayer, no work of the Holy Spirit, then thy saying "I am saved" is but thine own assertion, and it may delude, but it will not deliver thee.” - Charles Spurgeon
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050