Fellowship and Seeing the Face of God

Sermon Outline (Encounter, June 1)

Listen to the Sermon: 

1 John 1:1-4

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Word of Life

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— 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 also 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. And we are writing these things so that our[a] joy may be complete.

Quick Exposition of the Text

  • The Preexistent Nature of Jesus Christ
  • The Source and Supply of Life (zoe)
  • The Christian Experience of Community through Fellowship with: God, Jesus, Each other

Friendship was the vehicle that propelled the ministry


Look at Paul

  • 6 out of 13 letters are from Paul AND TIMOTHY
  • When the church sent them out, they sent out Paul AND Barnabus
  • When there was disagreement, they were commended (Acts 15:39-40) to God’s grace and continued in groups.

Look also at Jesus’ Model:

  • Crowds (following Jesus) – multitude
  • Community (Learning from Jesus) – the 72
  • Core (Ministering with Jesus) – 12
  • Camaraderie (Serving and Leading with Jesus) – 3
  • Covenant (United to Jesus) – 1

Application of the Text

  • You must embrace the extraordinary uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

1 Samuel 2:2: “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”

Jeremiah 10:6: “No one is like you, LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.”

Psalm 86:8 “Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.”

Isaiah 45:5 “”I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.”

Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!”

1 Kings 8:60: “…so that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else.”

Psalm 86:10: For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.”

Psalm 83:18: “That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.”

Isaiah 44:6: “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God beside me.”

Jesus is the Source and Supply of Life (zoe)

  • Neuter Gender – emphasis is not on Jesus, but on the LIFE
  • Word – (gk. logos) – the preexistent nature of Christ; reason, the cause
  • Life – (gk. zoe)
  •     Life particular to humanity; why? Imago Dei
  •     Life – existence vs. non-existence
  •     Life everlasting – unending; why? Christ resurrected

Jesus both POSSES the life.

  • For the Christian: If you are tired, weary, heavy laden, go to Jesus.
  • For the Christian: If you are conflicted, confused, in fear, go to Jesus.
  • For the Christian: If you are guilty, caught in your sin, embittered toward your brother or sister, go to Jesus.
  • For the Non-Christian: Come to Jesus, there is hope everlasting, grace unending, and atonement firmly secured and waiting.

Jesus also IS the life.

  • We go to Jesus because he possesses this life. But as we go to him, we increasingly discover that he isn’t just this benevolent being, full of power and all these wonderful gifts and blessings to comprise life, but He Himself IS the life.
  • Do you treasure Him as life?
  • The NATURE OF THE CHIRSTIAN LIFE:
    • Not Prioritizing God, but Glorifying God.
    • It’s not putting God first in your life, it’s God BEING your life.
    • God BEING your life is discovering your true identity.
    • Read the rest of John’s introduction! God being your life doesn’t eliminate other people from your life, it finally and fully invites people into your life.

Treasure Jesus Together

Be drawn to friendships that are:

  • Missional
  • Accountable
  • Eternal

Paul picks up the theme of treasuring Christ together and puts over a dozen ways.

  1. “We are . . . individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5).
  2. “Love one another with brotherly affection” (Romans 12:10).
  3. “Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10).
  4. “Let us pursue what makes . . . for upbuilding one another” (Romans 14:19).
  5. “Instruct one another” (Romans 15:14).
  6. “Have the same care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:25).
  7. “Through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
  8. “Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
  9. “With patience, endure one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
  10. “Be kind to one another” (Ephesians 4:32).
  11. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
  12. “In humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
  13. “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9).
  14. “Encourage one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
  15. “Always seek to do good to one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

Treasuring Christ together, two impossible things become possible.

FIRST: In this Fellowship we discover the link between the invisibility of the Ascended LORD, and the visible manifestation of God in the world.

1 John 4:12

12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Come with me; Where chains will never bind you
All your grief; At last, at last behind you

Lord in Heaven; Look down on him in mercy.
Forgive me all my trespasses; And take me to your glory.

Take my hand; I’ll lead you to salvation
Take my love; For love is everlasting

And remember; The truth that once was spoken
To love another person; Is to see the face of God.

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

SECOND: Sinners become saints, the petulant becomes a priest, and the obstinate becomes obedient. Where does this Fellowship begin? Where does this friendship begin?

1 John 3:10

English Standard Version (ESV)

10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Friendship begins in the very same place that true discipleship begins. When we begin to obey Jesus.

A.W. Tozer preached a sermon entitled Revelation is Not Enough. In it he is parsing out, quite eloquently the difference between a head knowledge of God and a heart knowledge of God. He calls it the Body of Truth and the Soul of Truth.

“No man can know the Son except the Father tell him. No man can know the Father except the Son reveal Him. I can know about God; that’s the body of truth. But I can’t know God, the soul of truth, unless I am ready to be obedient. True discipleship is obeying Jesus Christ and learning of Him and following Him and doing what He tells you to do, keeping his commandments and carrying out His will. That kind of person is a Christian – and no other kind is.” – A.W. Tozer

Which leads us back to the question of assurance. Are you that kind of person? By yourself, you can make guesses. On your own you can reason one way or the other. But in Christian friendship, you can be assured. Because they’re going to tell you. (Prov. 27:6)