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How do we know that we know the Truth? How can we live a life that works? We know because the eyewitnesses saw, heard, and touched God in the flesh. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Hi everyone and welcome to Training for Life Redeemed. I’m Dan and I’m here with my dad. As always, we’re going to be starting the book of John First John, right?
One John one. John John’s first letter that he wrote to a group of churches. We’ve been talking about all three letters being written to the same group of churches up near Ephesus, Colossae, that kind of area. And so Dad as we dive into John chapter one, one, Yeah. One John, one . Everyone just presume I’m referring to one John as we go through this , do you want to just kind of set the scene again for us as we dive into the book as a whole? Give us a bit of the context. Why is John writing this letter? Why do people want to hear it? Or maybe they don’t want to hear it, .
Okay, so you’ve got a church split. Up until up, up to this point, we’ve had churches that have got factions within them, like the Church of Corinth. But now for the first time, we’ve actually got a bunch of people who walked out of church and founded an alternate church, and they’re under an alternate bunch of leaders, teachers, whatever. and they’re basically saying, If you belong to John’s group of churches, you’re going to hell. And if you belong to their group of churches, you’re go, you’re saved. and it’s all about what you think of Jesus. It’s all about whether you trust, what John’s been teaching you or whether these other guys have got some better revelation. and I, I’ve, I’ve looking through all of these letters, I don’t think there’s, I think there’s a pattern that is formed through the whole, all of the general epistles.
Really. They all seem to be facing churches where false teachers have come in, invaded the church, split the church, and made a complete mess of things. And now people are sitting there going, Well, how do I know that I know what I know , you know, how do I know? You know, who am I supposed to believe out of all of this? Yeah. and that’s, that’s a real crisis of faith. I personally think on the research that I’ve done, that these letters are all happening somewhere in the early sixties. So if you look at one and two Timothy, and Titus, you look at, one and two, Peter, Jude, Hebrews, they’re all dealing with the same issues. Peter’s in Rome. I think Jude’s probably with him. you know, Jude, Peter and Jude Paul are about to get the killed. the Jewish revolt is about to happen or it’s in progress. it’s a huge crisis. So how do I know that I, what I’m believing is,
Is the right stuff. Is the right stuff, which is good. I think that sets us up well for understanding this first chapter. Cause the first chapter really starts off with John saying, You know, we are writing this. We can tell you exactly what we saw. You know, we saw it, we heard it firsthand. He kind of repeats it a lot. Yeah. In this first chapter, . So it makes sense that he is trying to drive home a point here of how do you know? Well, I saw it. And what you’re hearing is passed down from people who saw it. And that’s what makes this more authentic, is because I sat down with Jesus. I listened to him. I was, you know, if you believe that he’s the beloved disciple, he’s literally lying on Jesus’ lap Yeah. Eating meals with him, and yeah. They’re living together for years. And so he’s saying very clearly in this first chapter that, you know, we know the truth because it’s come straight from Jesus to me. And I’m baring on, I’m confirming this is, this is the truth about Jesus, about the way of life. And he’s going to talk about the way of light and darkness. And we’re talking about sin as we go through this chapter. Yeah. So,
So there’s a, a group back in Palestine, I think the evidence says that they’re also in Western Turkey in these churches. We know him as the Essenes. And they claim that, you know, Enoch went up into the sky, read God’s heavenly library, all the secret books came down with all the secrets that you need to get saved. but he only taught it to the elect. And if the elect have the secret books, well, obviously they’re the elect. And if you don’t have them, well, you are not the elect, and we’re not going to let you have them because you’re not the elect. and we’ve got a whole plan for how the last days are going to work. And we’ve got it all scheduled out on the table here, and we are ready to rock. And John is just going, Don’t , just don’t. And one of the things that struck me as I’m reading through this is, it’s almost as if John is writing his own version or reteaching everything Jesus said in the upper room on that last night.
So when he was having a crisis, you know, Jesus is announcing, Tomorrow I’m going to get dead. All your plans about, you know, the kingdom that’s going to rule the world, forget that tomorrow I’m getting dead. and you fellas are going to be scattered for a while and there’s going to be chaos. I’ll see you back in Galilee, after I rise from the dead. And they’re all looking around the room going, I don’t know what he’s talking about. And the next morning, the disciples gone except John who’s standing at the foot of the cross with Jesus’s family, or at least with his mother, and watching this happen. And when he writes these letters, you know, I am the way, the truth and the life. All those things Jesus said that night, He just, he’s walking us through the whole thing. His experience of everything I thought was going to happen isn’t, and then relating that to these people who are now being confused about what they thought was going to happen. and it’s, you know, I was there. I saw it. I heard him, I touched him. That’s how you know.
Yeah. And I think John’s got a great process here. Guy goes, You know, I’m very clear. I’ve heard, I’m proclaiming to you exactly what I’ve heard or what I’ve passed on. And he goes, in verse four, he says that these things are writing you so that our joy may be made complete. I love that. It’s a plural there. Yeah. It’s not a, you know, so that your joy may be made complete or that my joy, but that our joy together. Yeah. We’re actually going to find our joy in the truth of the gospel.
Yeah. And in watching you guys get saved and persevere in the faith, our great delight, you know, I, he’s an eyewitness. If, if I’m speaking as John first few verses, I, I saw I touched, I heard mm-hmm. , our joy is what happens with you. I had a little joy moment yesterday. my daughter is teaching at the Christian school where I used to teach. And the last group of year sevens that I taught, had the year 12 formal last night. And the yearbook came out and my daughter sent me this little picture of one of the kids I taught in year seven. And her happy memory from all of her six years at high school was my Bible class. And they go, Oh, . You know, and that’s John’s joy. It’s, you’ve given your life to teaching people the word of God, teaching them the truth.
You don’t want ’em to go to hell. You want ’em to get saved. And when they stand up and you know, and commit to Christ, you go, Wow, I, I encourage people at the Lord’s Supper, you know, turn the lights on, discern the body, look around, see who’s taking the Lord’s Supper. Look at, look at how excited it is to see these people come to Christ. And a few months ago, one of my grandchildren who, you know, as far as we knew, was not a believer. he took the Lord’s supper, looked up, smiled at me, like, Yep, that’s right. That grandpa,
I’m taking it.
I’m, I’m in. And you go, Hallelujah. So that’s, that’s our joy as we see this gospel. Grab your hearts.
Now the next few verses here in John Dad, John’s going to harp on about God being lighting to follow in the light and being in the light as God is in the light. And can you just explain what’s the point of the light, this aspect, like, is it kind of like shining a light to reveal sin? Cause you get talking about sin straight afterwards, Or is it just kind of like following Jesus because that’s where Jesus is no matter where he is. I’m going to follow him. Maybe if it said Jesus was in the dark, that’s where I want to be is the
Wherever he is. Yeah. I, it’s this idea that there’s the truth and then there’s what you want to do. You know, there’s your fantasy world of what you want to believe, and then there’s what’s real. And it’s God the creator who creates what’s real. It’s God the creator who creates time and light and space and everything in it. So, you know, if you want to get real, if you want to live in the real world, you’ve got to walk in the light of the way God designed it and of the instructions he gives us so that we get life right. Now. If you want to shut all that down and go with Satan and his lies, and imagine that you can just recreate reality, you, you’re banging into brick walls all over the place, life isn’t going to work the way your little fantasy wants it to work. and we make up the most ridiculous fantasies and we go out and try and make ’em work and people get hurt. I liken it to, you know, we wrote that little book called God’s in Following God’s Instructions. Little book. Little book. Yeah.
It covers the whole of Genesis to Deuteronomy, God’s book of instructions, but it’s all of life, isn’t it? Mm-hmm. . I, I remember vividly from, my days, in the citizen military forces. We were throwing hand grenades and, live hand grenade firing with a bunch of 18 year olds. What else do you do with teenagers?
It was fun. So we are throwing these things and they go, bang. And you know, there’s a kilometer of shrapnel flying around in little one centimeter strips everywhere. but every now and again, one of the grenades didn’t go off. And so there was a particular platoon I didn’t join in our unit. called the engineers and they had to crawl out on their belly and find the unexploded grenade, put a little charge next to it and make it go bang . And so I’m standing there with the recruit next to me going, You’re not going to duck your head down cuz you’ve got a spot where that thing landed so that our poor Sapper doesn’t go wandering all over the bush and trip over it. You got to tell him where it is. it’s walking through a minefield, but walking through a minefield in the dark without a map, you’ve got to be mad. that’s life. That’s Satan’s darkness. So we’ve got to walk in the light as Jesus is in the light and it’s basically walk where I put my feet. Yeah. this is the way to get life ight.
And I think it’s very clear in this first bit of John, that John knows no one’s going to be able to do that perfectly. Because the next thing he goes on is about if you say you’re without sin, you’re lying to yourself. . And anyone who lies is not following Jesus. . Yes. and there’s this whole thing about, you know, we are all sinners and if we confess our sins, it’s kinda like coming into the love by confessing your sins and go, Oh, coming back to where Jesus is.
Okay. You’ve just tripped on a landmine
And we do what I do doesn’t define who I am. This is a big issue. Mind John. Yeah. Yeah. So I’m not a sinner.
No, but you do sin,
But I do sin. Yeah. And when I do sin, that contradicts who I am. So we’re going to get into this thing in John, cuz he, he gets Christians all tied in knots over this thing. And the false teachers, they created the knots. So let’s get a couple of truths straight. Jesus died in my place. My sin is gone, paid for, done. I’m a saint, not a sinner. Yeah. I’m a new creation, but I do sin. So the first thing I have to admit is I was a sinner. I am, I was not without sin. Jesus had to die to pay for all of that, past, present, and future. So I have to admit my guilt. And that’s, that is not easy. So facing up to people and going, I’m ashamed of myself. Look what I did. That is everybody ducks for cover to try and get away from doing that. Mm-hmm. . So John says, you’ve got to start by fessing up and admitting that you got life wrong. That you are in the habit of getting life wrong and Jesus paid for all of that. If you can’t do that, then you are going to pay for it. So we’ve got to admit that we’ve sinned, we’ve got to confess it and we’ve got to lay it on Jesus and let it go. And the day we do that, God turns around and says, Okay, you are righteous. You are holy. You are clean. It’s finished.
, that’s our starting point. And that’s, that is unbelievable grace. But that’s who we are. I’m not a sinner. You are not a sinner. We are saints who sin , who’s sin. And we, that just doesn’t make sense. But that’s what we do.
Yeah. But it’s, it makes sense in a law court system where it’s, Yeah. If you think of it in that sense of you’ve been declared not guilty, then you did the wrong thing, but you still declared not guilty, even though you’ve done the wrong thing, you still declared not guilty, You will always be declared not guilty. You
Have already been executed for those crimes. . That’s right. Can’t sentence you to death a second
Time. It’s a great movie that helps “double jeopardy.” It’s really double
Explains it. It’s wonderful. Yeah. I’ve already served my time. I can go and kill him. No, that’s just the movie. That’s a good movie.
But that, But that’s the point, isn’t it? Yeah. You know it. It’s paid for. It’s finished. I can, I can relax. How do I know it’s been paid for? The guy writing this letter was there, touched, saw, heard the whole mess right down to putting the spear in. This is how we know we have eyewitnesses and he rose from the dead. And that proves that I will rise from the dead when I admit my sin. Confess it and lay it on Jesus. Cause then it’s done.
Beautiful. Let’s end the episode there, . I think it’s a good place to end if you’d like to come. Come and grab the study notes and stuff that go with this episode, Head over to trainingforliferedeemed.com/92. If you haven’t subscribed yet, hit that button as well. And make sure you come and join us again next week. We’re going to be chatting through one John chapter two, one. I imagine we’re not getting through a lot of that . That’s a big chapter. Come and join us then.