Okay, Sunday’s sermon was jam-packed full of information, so I might’ve missed a few things here or there. In my defense, I wrote as fast as I could.
We went over a handout that compared the Gospel of John and the First Epistle of John. Item #1 of the Gospel of John is to be compared to item #1 of the First Epistle of John. I’ll retype the handout for you (but not in the way I want because this blog platform doesn’t allow for tables!) and then right below, I’ll go through each point in more detail – as explained to us by our pastor!
GOSPEL OF JOHN
3. Can’t be broken (state)
4. Based on justification
5. Start of beginning in Christ
6. Being born or new birth
7. Coming to Christ
8. Being placed in the family
9. How to become a true believer
10. Physical vision vs. “Eyes to See”
11. Coming into covenant
12. Israel at the Exodus out of Egypt
FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN
1. “Koinonia” – the purpose of salvation
3. Can be broken (experience)
4. Based upon sanctification
5. Finishing/Completion in Him
6. Growing up (maturity)
7. Living in Christ
8. A matured relationship in it
9. How to measure true belief
10. Actions vs. Words
11. Working out being a covenant partner
12. Israel dwelling in the promised land
LET’S COMPARE (Detailed explanation of each point):
1. Most Christians think being saved is it – that’s all you need, but it isn’t! There’s biblical fellowship (New Testament fellowship) waiting to be achieved now – koinonia.
Salvation has a purpose. To obtain koinonia, you must be saved. Pastor Latta used a baseball metaphor to further illustrate this point. Salvation is hitting the ball. Well, what’s the point of hitting the ball into the outfield if you refuse to touch the bases? There’s first, second, and third base. Finally, there’s home plate – koinonia.
Our obtaining of koinonia will fulfill and make Jesus happy (as it did John).
Agape – biblical love. When God came down from the mountain, Him and Adam didn’t share a few cheeseburgers and talk about random stuff. They were in koinonia with each other. They had biblical fellowship with each other. God had agape for Adam and vice versa – and this is true, flawless, biblical intimacy. Wow. That’s the type of love others should see when they look at the church. Don’t think that biblical love is impactful? Research the first-century church.
2. Your salvation is an individual decision. You decide when and where you want to give your life over to Jesus and God. Koinonia is a community-oriented experience. Koinonia takes ALL of us. We are ALL in fellowship (or should be trying to be) with God.
3. God doesn’t force you into being saved. He doesn’t bully you into salvation. Thus, salvation isn’t something you are given by God. IT’S A STATE – a living, bodily state. Koinonia is an experience, and experiences can be ended. Furthermore, in order to experience koinonia, you need to be a specific state – to be clear, you need to be in a saved state. In order to obtain koinonia, you must be saved. Plain and simple.
4. Justification is such an interesting concept to me. IF you’ve been justified, your sins have been paid for; that same justification is applied to us by mercy and grace (thankfully). We’re as justified as Christ – if that doesn’t make you get on your knees in gratitude, I’m not sure what will.
On the other side of the coin of justification is sanctification. The closer to God we are, the closer to each other we are.
ALL OF THIS IS A PROCESS. And all processes have an end, so what’s the end of this great process? New Testament koinonia – biblical fellowship is the ending result. Thus, koinonia is our “measuring stick.
7. Koinonia is living in Christ – it’s knowing Christ. “To know” implies a deep intimacy – a mature, loving relationship.
9. ONLY GOD can change the human heart.
10. Miracles are what you see. But what do you see? Many heard Christ, but what did they hear? What did you learn about Jesus and God from those miracles? How did you grow? We all have eyes; we don’t all have spiritual eyes. We all have ears; we don’t all have spiritual ears.
A major theme in the Gospel of John is the physical versus the spiritual. The Ancient Jews, the Pharisees saw Jesus doing miracles, but they didn’t see nor understand the spiritual message He was sending via said miracles and signs.
11. Covenant partners – and beloved, there is NOTHING more intimate in this ENTIRE WORLD. It’s a sacred blood covenant. And how do you belong to a covenant? You enter into it. The First Epistle of John is about realizing what being a covenant partner entails – and realizing that we’ll never live up to the requirements of being a covenant partner; however, we have an Advocate.
12. Jesus was the new Moses, the FULFILLED Moses. In Exodus, the Israelites exited Egypt and journeyed towards their Promised Land. For us, in salvation – in being saved – we exit the Egypt of sin.
The question is this: What happens next? Israel was saved. They were delivered out of Egypt. Now what? God is saying, “Okay, Israel. I saved you. NOW, let’s work on having koinonia – biblical fellowship.” Let’s find our Promised Land.
· How can I walk in fellowship if I’m not righteous?
· Biblical faith is revealed by action. To summarize what James said, faith without works is dead; without works, your faith will produce no fruit.
· Finally, faith always precedes knowing; faith always precedes understanding.
Keep in mind:
· The next verses involve 3 tests, and we’ll see John judging 3 false claims.
Let’s get to it!
· PASTOR LATTA SUGGESTION: Add the word “therefore” before the verse because it’s referring to what was just said in verse 3.
· Keep commandments and know Him – there is NO room for doubt here. To “know” is to be involved in a deep, intimate relationship. This isn’t like knowing what time it is; This is a very profound knowing.
· This is the first false claim. You don’t know God if you don’t keep or guard His commandments. You’re a liar.
· HIS Word – Word of Christ. In Exodus, the commandments are (in Hebrew) known as the “words.” THEE commandment of God, however, is to believe in the Lord.
· Christ also told His disciples that He was giving them a new commandment: Love one another, which applies koinonia, does it not?
Side note: Jesus issued a new commandment. What does it take to command or issue one? It clearly takes someone of authority to do so, and again, Jesus has the utmost authority.
· The word “perfected” comes from the Greek word “teteleiotai,” which means to bring to completion, to bring to its final goal, to finish. Jesus’ final words on the cross were, “It is finished.” It was completed.
· God’s relationship with the believer is WONDERFUL at the salvation stage, but it’s NOT complete. Again, you hit the ball, but the process isn’t over. RUN! Run and touch each base.
Until the Father and Son make their eternal home with us, within us, the process isn’t over. It hasn’t finished.
· Get out of the way and let Him work. Koinonia is a supernatural thing. We can’t do it or achieve it on our own. We have to let Him work in us – in our hearts.
I forgot the name of the man pastor attributed this quote to, but it’s a powerful stringing together of words: “Love is not something YOU FEEL, it’s what YOU DO.”