We Proclaim To You

Sunday, June 08, 2014, 9:45 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “Give Me Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 1 (NIV).

The Word of Life

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 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. 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. We write this to make our joy complete. ~ 1 John 1:1-4

(Cf. John 1:1-14): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word of Life spoken of here is Jesus Christ, God the Son. He was with God the Father in the beginning, and all things were made through him, i.e. he is our creator God. He is the one who made us. John and the other disciples knew him when he lived here on the earth. So, they were personal witnesses to the Son of God having been made in the likeness of humans. They saw him, touched him, heard him speak, watched his life, lived with him, walked with him, etc. They knew him intimately and personally. They saw him after he had risen from the dead, too, so they were also witnesses to his resurrection. After the Lord went back to heaven, these same disciples waited in prayer for the promised Holy Spirit, so they now had the Son of God dwelling within them in the person of his Spirit, so they were continuing in their fellowship, communion and intimate and personal knowledge of Christ.

Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered as we suffer and was tempted in like manner as we are tempted, yet without sin. He lived his life on this earth for approximately 33 years. The last 3+ years of his life was spent in public ministry. He called 12 men to be his followers and they traveled with him wherever he went. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, comforted the sorrowful, encouraged the timid, fed the hungry, and preached God’s righteousness, holiness, sovereignty, divine will, purpose and character, as well as he preached forgiveness of sins for the repentant and salvation from sin and eternal life with God in heaven. He also preached the sanctified life for those who would follow him in faith and obedience to his will for their lives.

His messages were not light and fluffy feel-good messages that attracted large crowds of people, though. In fact, many of those who had been following him left him, never to follow him again, because they said his messages were too hard (too weighty). Many hated him because he told them that what they did was evil. The religious leaders were jealous of him and they hated him because he threatened their positions of power over the people because he preached the gospel of salvation to the people and so many were becoming followers of Christ. These religious leaders were some of Jesus’ strongest opponents, in fact. They seemed to follow him around trying to stir up trouble for him and always looking for an opportunity to accuse him in some way. Eventually, as God would will it so, they falsely arrested him, beat him and then crucified him on a cross, although he had done no wrong.

Yet, this was all part of God’s plan for him and for us, for he became our sacrificial Lamb who died to take away the sins of the entire world. When he died, our sins died with him. When he rose from the dead, he conquered sin, death, hell and Satan. He died, not only so we could be with him in heaven one day, and so we would escape the punishment of eternal damnation, but he died so we would be free of the control of sin as we live on this earth day by day, and so we would be free to walk in his righteousness and holiness.

The way we receive this great salvation and forgiveness of sins is first of all by God’s grace, via Jesus’ shed blood for us on the cross for our sins, and then by faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. This faith is a gift from God, but one that must be appropriated (applied) to our lives. It is realized in this way: By faith we submit ourselves to the cross of Christ, willingly dying with Christ to the sins that once enslaved us so that we can be made into new creations in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Eph. 4:17-24; cf. Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; 2 Co. 5:15; Gal. 2:20; Tit. 2:11-14; & 1 Jn. 1-5).

Walk in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. ~ 1 John 1:5-10​

When we truly understand what it means to believe in Jesus Christ, i.e. that it means death to our old lives of sin, and that we are given new lives in Christ to walk in his righteousness and holiness, then 1 John makes sense. God/Jesus Christ is light (truth, holiness) and in him is no darkness (sin, evil). So, if we claim that we have come to know him as our personal Lord and Savior, and thus claiming that we are in intimate relationship and fellowship with him, yet we continue to walk in sin (by lifestyle), then we are liars and we do not live by the truth. You see, it is not enough to have had intellectual knowledge of Christ, or to have had an emotional experience of “getting saved” if that experience did not involve us willingly submitting ourselves to the cross of Christ in dying with Christ to our old lives of sin so that we could be resurrected by the Spirit of God to new lives in Christ (See Eph. 4:17-24; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; 2 Co. 5:14-17; Gal. 2:20; Tit. 2:11-14; & 1 Jn. 1-5).

As well, we don’t just “get saved” and then we go to heaven one day when we die, and then have nothing of substance in our relationship with Christ in between. Coming to Christ means that we have been turned from the darkness of sin to the light of the gospel, and from the control of Satan and sin over our lives to God, and to the control of his righteousness now over our lives, so we can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are being sanctified and made holy. Coming to Christ means we have died to sin and now we live for God. It means we no longer live for ourselves, but we live for him who gave his life up for us. The old has gone. The new has come. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live, I live in his power and strength within me.

Coming to Christ also means I can now say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and desires so that I can live an upright and holy life by the Spirit of God within me. It does not mean I will never sin again, but it does mean I will no longer continue in a sinful lifestyle without regard for God and his holiness. It means, as well, that when I do sin that I own up to my sin, confess it, turn from it, and throw off what hinders so that I can run the race and walk the walk that Jesus has marked out for me. This, I believe, is what it means to walk in the light as he is in the light. Yet, it also means that we have daily communion with our Lord, that we desire after him and his word, that we spend time listening to him and then obeying his word, and that we follow him wherever he leads us, realizing our lives are no longer our own to be spent however we want, but our lives are to be for the praise, honor and glory of God. I am his and he is mine! Amen! Give me Jesus, oh what gladness!

Give Me Jesus
Oh, What Gladness!
An Original Work / December 2, 2013

Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior.
I’ll walk with Him in His favor.
I’ll abide in His love always;
Follow His ways to the end.

Jesus is the Son of God.
He died upon a cruel cross.
He’s forgiven all my failures
By His mercy and His love.

Give me Jesus – His compassion,
And His mercy; loving kindness.
Let Him teach me how to love Him,
And to please Him. He’s my friend.

Jesus died for all our sin
So we could have eternal life.
He will free you from your bondage
If you trust Him with your life.

Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him.
May I listen to His teachings.
May I follow where He leads me
In His service. He’s my Lord.

Jesus Christ will come again
To take His bride to be with Him.
Oh, what gladness; free from sadness
When I meet Him in the air.