Hello and welcome to Word Alive – I ‘m Derek Stringer, and I ‘m delighted to present a new Presenter and Producer – Mark Williams. If this was telecasting instead than wireless you would see that he is a immature cat – a batch younger than me! That ‘s a good ground for me to be on wireless instead than Television – You do n’t look so old on wireless!
And you know you ‘re acquiring older when the thing you want for your birthday is non to be reminded of it!
Anyhow – it ‘s good to hold Mark as portion of the Good News Broadcasting squad here at Ranskill, Nottinghamshire. He lives with his school teacher married woman Ruth in Lincoln and leads the worship group in his church among other things.
Thankss for holding me as portion of the squad – And it ‘s merely great to cognize that in turning up at the studio and taking clip to bring forth shows we reach 1000000s of people all over the universe.
Well — as we launch a new series for Word Alive, I hope that I ‘ll be able to construct a good relationship with all you who are listening. And I truly want to assist Derek in taking the Word of God and demoing its relevancy. As you know, it ‘s non a affair of Making it relevant – It ‘s ALWAYS relevant. I merely thank God for the chance of being involved.
Mark has been involved in some broadcast medium, bring forthing and showing a ‘live ‘ Sunday eventide show for BBC local wireless in Lincoln.
But this is something a whole batch bigger. Thankss for the challenge!
It ‘s truly nice holding you with us Mark – and I think we ‘d break acquire into today ‘s subject. There are ever lessons of huge relevancy to us to reap from God ‘s Word.
And Derek ‘s been demoing that for a few old ages as hebdomad by hebdomad he ‘s tackled books of the Bible and subjects from it.
Today it ‘s the First Epistle Of John. Let ‘s inquire God to learn us and state to us merely what we need to hear from His Word today. I ‘m traveling to suit into the manner in which Word Alive is structured – I ‘ll convey a quotation mark, or read a Bible when Derek wants me to.
And in that manner, hopefully, it breaks up the sound of my voice and gets the ‘light and shadiness ‘ into the show that we all normally need when listening to something.
We ‘re get downing with the gap words of First John, chapter 1 and the first 4 poetries.
Let me read them — “ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our custodies have touched-this we proclaim refering the word of life. The life appeared ; we have seen it and attest to it, and we proclaim to you the ageless life, which was with the male parent and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you besides may hold family with us. And our family is with the male parent and with his boy, Jesus Christ. We write this to do our joy complete. ”
Let me manus over to Dr Stringer.
And I truly do appreciate your aid Mark – thanks.
Well, I came across an article with the header: ‘Tell-Tale Signs Of Turning Old. ‘
I was amused by some of them –
“ You Know You ‘re Turning Old When –
You feel like the dark before and you have n’t been anyplace.
When you sit on a rocking chair and ca n’t do it travel.
When your articulatio genuss buckle and your belt wo n’t.
When your dorsum goes out more than you do.
When you sink your dentitions into a steak and they stay at that place.
When you turn out the visible radiation for economic grounds instead than romantic 1s.
When you step out of the shower and you are glad that the mirror is all fogged up.
And this last one truly amused me:
You Know You ‘re Geting Older — When you lean over to pick up something off the floor, and you start inquiring, ‘now what else can I do while I ‘m down here? ‘ ”
I do n’t cognize about you but I want to decease immature — every bit tardily as possible. We do n’t ever turn wiser as we grow older – But the Apostle John did!
He was a typical immature adult male. He ‘d been given the nick-name: ‘A Son Of Thunder ‘ – which tells you what sort of cat he was, I guess. You do n’t name a timid wall-flower ‘A Son Of Thunder ‘ . It merely does n’t suit! But he writes now as an old adult male and an apostle.
Foundations are of import and an Apostle had the function of get downing churches and giving a good foundation to them.
John, Peter and Paul were all apostles. And it ‘s interesting to me that the occupations of the apostles connects with what they were making when Jesus called them – but they get enhanced and raised up to a religious degree.
PETER was projecting a net when Jesus called him. Subsequently he caught 3,000 fish in his gospel cyberspace on the Day of Pentecost.
PAUL was a tentmaker. When Jesus called him it was to construct new churches so that heathens would happen a place with God.
JOHN was repairing cyberspaces when Jesus called him. He wrote when people were floating off and needed to be restored.
Turning to John ‘s missive we ‘re looking at a MENDING MINISTRY.
John was an interesting individual. Probably he was closer to Jesus than any other apostle.
Jerome was an early church male parent and historian, and he says this:
When the aged apostle John became so weak that he could no longer preach, he used to be carried into the fold at Ephesus and content himself with a word of exhortation. “ Small kids, ” he would ever state, “ love one another. ” When his listeners grew tired of this message and asked him why he so often repeated it, he responded, ‘Because it is the Lord ‘s bid, and if this is all you do, it is adequate. ‘
That seems really consistent with what John writes in both his Evangel and in this
peculiar epistle. It ‘s believed that John was composing from Ephesus, where he lived out the
last old ages of his life and finally died. If you were to travel at that place today, you ‘d happen two
different grave markers as they try and conjecture, seemingly, where he was buried. It ‘s believed that he so wrote to churches up in Asia Minor, around the Black Sea, that at one clip likely were booming churches but at this point were coming unravelled. They were coming apart at the seams because false instructors had infiltrated and were seeking to convert them that Jesus truly was n’t who He said He was and that He truly had n’t done what they said He did. It was doing all sorts of struggle and confusion.
The church does n’t cognize what to make: Make we throw these people out? Do we love them? What do we make? They ‘re doing so much division and struggle and tenseness that John
writes this epistle to seek and screen this out. He is seeking to assist them understand.
This missive was one of the last letters in the New Testament that was written. As a affair of fact, it could hold been every bit much as 20 old ages after the apostle Paul was put to decease
in Rome. It helps us to understand that, by this clip, the churches would hold been good.
established, but so would hold the counter-religions. By this clip those who were learning
false philosophies were good organised and they were doing all sorts of jobs in churches
I do n’t cognize what this missive will make for you. But I know that there were at least 4 grounds why John wrote it.
Mark has the cardinal poetries that give the grounds —
Chapter 1:4, “ We write this to do our JOY complete. ”
Chapter 2:1, “ I write this to you so that you will NOT SIN. ”
Chapter 2:26, “ I am composing these things to you about those who are seeking to LEAD YOU ASTRAY. ”
And so in Chapter 5:13, “ I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may Know that you have ageless life. ”
And believing about this there ‘s something singular about it.
First, John is composing to: “ do our joy complete ” – That answers our LONELINESS. We ‘re to be involved with other trusters ‘ .
And he ‘s composing this so “ that you will non transgress ” – That answers our GUILT.
He ‘s besides composing about: “ those who are seeking to take you astray. ” That trades with DECEPTION.
And he ‘s besides composing these things so that “ YOU MAY KNOW ETERNAL LIFE. ”
That means we can hold SECURITY.
The entire vocabulary of the New Testament is 5,437 words. 1 John has less than 300 words. But the word “ KNOW ” comes 25 times – it ‘s a cardinal word.
Comedy histrion Tony Hancock had a Television soliloquy. He delivered it with superb timing and I have n’t got a hope of copying his accomplishment. But listen to portion of it.
“ What have you achieved? You lost your opportunity, me old boy. You contributed perfectly nil to this life. A waste of clip you being here at all. No topographic point for you in Westminster Abbey. The best you can anticipate is a few Narcissus pseudonarcissuss in a jam jar and a black rock bearing the fable, ‘he came, and he went. ” And in between? Nothing. Cipher will even detect you ‘re non here. After about a twelvemonth person might state down at the saloon, ‘where ‘s old Hancock? I have n’t seen him about recently. ‘ Oh, he ‘s dead, you know. ‘ Is he? ”
Tony Hancock committed self-destruction. His wireless programmes do populate on but how sad. We can cognize a joy beyond words.
That ‘s what 1 John will acquire across to us. It ours through FELLOWSHIP with God and one another.
Well let ‘s now look at John ‘s INTRODUCTION.
Most epistles unfastened by stating something like, “ Hi, this is John. How are things traveling? ” He gets directly down to the message with what is one long sentence in the Greek.
He is speaking about a relationship with a PERSON who is from the Beginning. There are at least three beginnings in the Bible.
Genesis opens: “ In the BEGINNING God created the celestial spheres and the Earth. ” That ‘s the beginning of the creative activity of affair.
The Gospel of John opens: “ In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. ” That is a get downing manner beyond clip. Way back in infinity there was one – literally the LOGOS who holds all things together – that LOGOS or Word on life became Jesus!
Now In 1 John we read: “ That which was from the Beginning. ” He is mentioning to a definite affair.
Actually, John uses the phrase many times.
Notice chapter 2 and verse 7: “ I am non composing you a new bid but an old one, which you have had from the beginning. ”
V.14: “ I write to you male parents because you have known him who is from the beginning. ”
V.24: “ See what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. ”
Ch.3 and verse 8: “ He who does what is iniquitous is of the Satan, because the Satan has been transgressing from the beginning. ” And verse 11: this is the message you heard from the beginning: we should love one another. ”
Yes — Coming to cognize Jesus Christ personally there is a new beginning for us.
John is stating: “ That which was from the beginning is a PERSON. We have heard, seen and our custodies have touched him. ”
Christian religion is historical non hysterical. Talk to some people about religious affairs and they will state, “ Well, I like to experience ” – and so they go off on a flight of illusion.
Christianity is based on FACT non FEELING. On what truly happened.
If my religion were based on feelings by Monday forenoon when I do n’t experience every bit divine as I do in a worship service I could believe this Christian thing is n’t for existent. But when my Christianity is based on facts, they do n’t alter despite my feelings.
Becoming a Christian is to be related to a individual.
Have you prayed and all of a sudden realised what you are praying is incorrect?
“ Now I lay me down to kip,
I pray the Lord my psyche to maintain.
If I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my psyche to maintain. ”
That supplication is excess. God already has my psyche!
All of us are related to person — We portion the same life as that individual. What makes us a Christian is to portion the life of God – to hold an inseparable relationship with Him.
1 John stopping points on the note, “ Having the Son you have LIFE. ”
The beginning of Christianity is a existent individual. It ‘s cognizing The ‘logos ‘ – the Word – Jesus — who holds all things together.
And John goes on to compose: “ The life appeared ; we have SEEN it and TESTIFY to it, and we PROCLAIM to you the ageless life, which was with the Father and has APPEARED to us. ”
This ageless life was seeable. It was in the relationship of the Father and the Son. Jesus did non merely come to demo us God. He came to demo us MAN related to God.
When John says: “ What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you. ” The Grecian word is Theatron – from which we get the English word ‘Theatre ‘ — Watching Christ ‘s life we see life as it was meant to be.
When you go to the theater, you do n’t merely peek at the phase. You stare at the phase. If it ‘s a good play, you stare at it really intensely. That ‘s what the word means: to look intently, to look into, to look into it out, to exhaustively analyze. And John had that chance.
When he says, “ Our custodies have touched ” — That word ‘touched ‘ is besides an interesting word. It was a word used to depict how a unsighted individual would manage something in order to see it. If they ca n’t see with their eyes they, in a sense, see with their custodies.
They do n’t merely touch it ; they do n’t merely brush up against it. But they handle it ; they feel it. They try to see it with their custodies. That ‘s the word used here. So it ‘s speaking about managing ( touching ) Jesus in a manner that convinced them this was existent. That this was true.
The false instructors have come along and said, “ Jesus truly is n’t who you say He is.
He truly did n’t make what you say He did. ”
John is stating, “ How do they cognize that? Were they at that place? Did they hear Jesus? Did they see Jesus? Did they look into this material out? Did they touch Him? Did they examine the whole thing? How would they cognize that? ”
John is stating, “ I was at that place. I was an eyewitness. I heard it right out of the oral cavity of Jesus. I saw Him do those things. Many of us did. We examined it ; we checked it out ; we touched Him. We touched the resurrected Jesus. ”
John says, “ Based on that, how do these false instructors know what they ‘re speaking about? ”
Yes — It reminds me really much of the skeptics of our twenty-four hours. It ‘s interesting to me that 2,000
old ages subsequently they come along and state, “ Jesus did n’t state that. Jesus did n’t make that. This is n’t truly who He was. ” If John was here today, he ‘d inquire the inquiry, “ How make you cognize that? Two thousand old ages removed, how do you cognize that? ” John would state, “ I was at that place. I heard it ; I saw it ; I touched Him. We examined Him, and we wrote about it. We recorded it in historical paperss. ” How would somebody 2,000 old ages subsequently know better than informants who were right at that place?
If the Gospels were traveling to be discredited, they would hold been discredited in the
first century, because there were 100s of people who had lived when Jesus lived that were still alive when the Gospels were written. If there was one word in those Gospels that was n’t true, those people would hold said, “ That ‘s non true. I was at that place. I saw it. It did n’t go on that manner. ” But it ‘s interesting that non one of those people of all time came Forth and said that, because there were far excessively many informants there who said, “ That ‘s precisely the manner it happened. I was at that place. I heard it. I saw it. I touched it. I examined it. ”
The grounds was overpowering as to the dependability of these historical paperss that we call the Gospels.
So it was n’t discredited!
No — It ‘s merely when 1000s of old ages have passed that person can come back when all the informants are dead and gone and state, “ I merely do n’t believe it happened that manner. ”
John is taking them to task and he ‘s stating, “ How make you cognize that? ” He ‘s set uping the fact that he has certificates to place what ‘s true.
Looking at the life of Jesus we see the LOST SECRET OF HUMANITY. The earthly life of Jesus showed a continual dependance on the Father.
It ‘s that life John is speaking approximately. A new manner of responding to state of affairss in dependance upon God. “ The life appeared, ” says John, “ And we proclaim what it is all about. ”
And when we relate to Him it consequences in 2 fantastic things.
A most beautiful consequence is FELLOWSHIP.
“ We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you besides may hold family with us. ”
And what is ‘Fellowship? ‘ Is it what we have when we drink a cup of java after a service? We can speak really slickly in church about ‘having family ‘ — Well, it ‘s the Grecian word koinonia – and it ‘s mentioned over 60 times in the New Testament.
In the Navy they might state you that ‘Fellowship is two-fellows in the same ship! ” That ‘s non a bad definition really. They have something in common! Or to take it further – They ‘re in the same boat!
What does FELLOWSHIP intend? It ‘s pure Anglo-Saxon, and it comes from FEE-LAG-SHIP. In the clip of Chaucer FEE meant COWS. LAG meant PUTTING THEM TOGETHER, and SHIP meant ALL BEING FRIENDS.
An Anglo-saxon husbandman would hold half a twelve cattles here, and another half a twelve at that place, and each one watched the other to see he did n’t steal his cattles. Now there comes a twenty-four hours when 1 said, “ I will swear you with my cattles and allow you travel haying, and tomorrow I will watch your cattles and you can travel haying, ” and they had FEE-LAG-SHIP, literally ‘cows traveling together ‘ .
In Iceland for many old ages they have called cattles FEE. And you put your cattles together, you trust each other, and that is FELLOWSHIP.
And The FATHER throws in everything with our void. We come with our demand and He comes with His supply. It a great trade!
2 Peter 1:4 Tells us that in swearing Jesus Christ as Saviour: “ We become sharers of the godly nature. ” And the word for ‘partaking ‘ is koinonia. We come into family with God ‘s nature.
We all have things in common but we have a alone family with God who comes to populate in us by His Spirit. It does n’t do us fantastic people or of course gracious. We can be grouchy. That ‘s because we grieve or slake His influence within us.
But, “ Our family is with the FATHER and with his Son JESUS CHRIST. ”
It is because I put at his disposal all that I have and I discover that He makes himself available to me.
Real FELLOWSHIP is non merely PARTNERSHIP but its FRIENDSHIP. Friendship and partnership together spell ‘FELLOWSHIP ‘ .
Have you of all time thought that God wants you to be his friend? What do you make with friends? You tell secrets. You portion things with them that you do n’t portion with others do n’t you?
Jesus said to his adherents: “ I have non called you retainers but I have called you friends. ” And He told them things that they He did n’t portion with others.
God wants to make this with us so that we have fellowship with him. We ca n’t hold the family until we come to Christ. We ca n’t intensify a matrimony until we are married! We must inquire: “ Have I a partnership with Christ to intensify? ”
When we have the Son we are related to the Father. Related to the Father we can hold fellowship with one another.
Do n’t allow ‘s pull the leg of ourselves that we can hold our ain private hot-line to heaven. By going a Christian we enter a community of religion. John is stating: “ The Gospel is non merely about MAKING CONVERTS but conveying people into COMMUNITY. ”
To understand the mission as simply doing converts is to believe that the lone ground for holding a babe is to hold it. So you leave it at the infirmary and that ‘s it. You go on with your life, because that was the whole intent. Merely to hold one. We would state that ‘s pathetic. The ground you have a kid is so that you take it place and you love that kid and raising and train that kid. The kid becomes portion of the household, and you experience this fantastic love relationship that we call the household.
That ‘s precisely what John is stating. We do n’t travel out and proclaim the message merely to do babes so they can remain in the infirmary. We go out and proclaim the message so people can come in into this community, where they can see household and raising and attention and growing and preparation.
It besides gives them the ability to see community in a manner that this universe can non offer. It ‘s a whole new degree of life.
That ‘s so of import. It ‘s the manner to enduring joy.
As John says: “ These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. ”
It ‘s merely when we come into community together as the organic structure of Christ that we experience this abundant life — this comprehensiveness of joy. Failing to cultivate community we will lose out on the joy we can cognize with God and one another.
God ne’er intended the Christian life to be lived out in isolation.
An edition of the National Geographic included a characteristic article about the Arctic wolf. It described how a seven-member battalion had targeted several musk-oxen calves which were guarded by 11 grownups. As the wolves approached their prey, the musk-oxen bunched in an impenetrable hemicycle, their deathly rear hooves confronting out, and the calves remained safe during a long draw with the enemy. But so a individual ox broke rank, and the herd scattered into nervous small groups. A skirmish ensued, and the grownups eventually fled in terror, go forthing the calves to the clemency of their marauders, and non a individual calf survived.
That is an disposed description of what was go oning in these churches in Asia Minor. But it is besides a really disposed description of what happens in most churches. And the calves do non last.
The lone manner we ‘re traveling to see the abundant life, the comprehensiveness of joy, is if we understand what it means to come together and see reliable Christian community with the individual and work of Jesus Christ as the basis.
The HORIZONTAL family depends upon the VERTICAL 1. If we want to unbend out the horizontal relationship we must acquire the perpendicular one right.
When we have fellowship With the Father and the Son we have the footing for joy.
“ We write this to do our joy complete ” says John.
And ‘Joy ‘ is a good word but possibly a more helpful one is, “ Exhilaration. ”
Detecting that God is involved with us is the most exciting thing of all. Life as it is intended to be lived will be filled with ‘joy ‘ . Oh yes, with many force per unit areas and jobs. It can be tough being a Christian. Although likely less for us than for many.
As the kids ‘s writer Lewis Carroll put it: “ I ‘m really brave by and large, ” he went on in a low voice: “ merely today I happen to hold a concern. ”
We do n’t desire tough times but do n’t be surprised by them. See it a privilege to belong to Jesus Christ because it will acquire better. It ‘s non that Christians have a life that is easier. We have a God who is greater!
In 1914 Ernest Shackleton sailed from England with a 27-member crew aboard the Endurance headed for the mostly undiscovered continent of Antarctica.A
His biographers tell about an advert he ran in a London newspaper in expectancy of his journey:
“ Work force Wanted For Hazardous Journey.
Low Wages, Bitter Cold, Long Hours Of Complete Darkness.
Safe Return Doubtful.
Honour And Recognition In Event Of Success. “ A A
5,000 work forces volunteered to travel.
It ‘s a metaphor for our family with the Father and Son and one another. Far more than subscribing up with Shackleton, going a Christian is fall ining a great escapade with God.A It is tickle pinking, assuring and dramatic but there are likely if non inevitable adversities along the way.A
And one million millions have volunteered.
The Christian life is really good but do n’t be surprised when it is besides really hard. Acknowledging the troubles of life God promises particular commissariats for followings of Jesus.
Listen to what Paul says in Second Corinthians: “ We do non lose bosom. Though externally we are blowing off, yet inside we are being renewed twenty-four hours by twenty-four hours. For our visible radiation and fleeting problems are accomplishing for us an ageless glorification that far outweighs them all. ”
The problems of life are temporary.A They will go through and Christians will see the admiration of Eden when today ‘s problems will be forgotten.
Equally good as future promises may be it may non be plenty to cover with present pain.A So, the Bible adds another position. Peter wrote on this: “ Rejoice that you participate in the agonies of Christ ” .
The point here is that Jesus suffered for us.A We have signed up with him and it is an honor to see for him a small of what he experienced for us.
When life gets difficult we non merely place with Jesus but we gain insight that helps us to assist others.A Have you of all time gone to a counsellor or doctor and discovered that she or he one time suffered what you are enduring? A
As Christians our lives are non ever easy. We experience the same cosmopolitan jobs of life as everyone else.A We may even endure excess hurting and jobs merely because we are followings of Jesus.A But when we do, God steps in and provides supernatural love, attention, promise and strength.A We get to see God in new and deeper ways because of the jobs of life.
It ‘s non that Christians have a life that is easier but that we have a God who is greater!
In December 1914 the Endurance entered the ice Fieldss of the Weddell Sea.A The battalion ice froze around them and the promises of the ad started to come true: A “ Hazardous Journey.
Low Wages, Bitter Cold, Long Hours Of Complete Darkness.
Safe Return Doubtful. ”
They stayed in and around the ice-locked ship for 10 months.A
Shackleton and four crew members took one of the lifeboats and headed off from South America toward South Georgia Island where there was a whaling station.A They were the lone hope for the 23 work forces left behind on Elephant Island.A Shackleton prayed for God ‘s grace and God got them to South Georgia Island.A But they landed on the incorrect side.A The whaling station was on the other side of a mountain scope that had ne’er been climbed by humans.A Without experience or proper mounting equipment, Shackleton and two of his work forces headed up the mountains and over ice Fieldss, through snowstorms and over unreliable drops.
They made it in 36 hours.A
Ernest Shackleton wrote in his journal:
“ It seemed to me frequently that there were four, non three.A I said nil to my comrades, but afterwards Worsley said to me, ‘Boss, I had a funny feeling that there was another individual with us. ”
You see, God did n’t continue them from trouble but he climbed their mountains by their sides.
They reached the whaling station.A They led the whalers back to the Antarctic Peninsula and Elephant Island where the other 23 crew members were marooned and rescued them all.A Not one was lost.
God has n’t promised us a life of ease.A He has promised us himself and decorate sufficient for whatever we face. Deep inside us God is at work and we are involved with His great programs. There is nil more exciting than this. It ‘s the existent trade!
Derek Stringer has been taking us through the first 4 poetries of 1 John 1 – and the rubric of this series is Authentic Christianity. If you would wish a free transcript we ‘ll be pleased to e-mail it to you. Just inquire us at our web site gnba.net I ‘d better give that reference to you once more – It ‘s gnba.net
We ‘d love to speak with you over the phone – and if you want pray for you. You can make the studio by utilizing a free phone in the UK. The phone is normally ‘manned ‘ during office hours. They answer phone gets ‘cleared ‘ on a regular basis by us – Make delight acquire in touch – it ‘s truly good to hold personal contact it you. And if we can be of aid in stating you more about Good News Broadcasting – the production squad behind Word Alive, good – that will be a pleasance.
I ‘m really thankful to Mark Williams for fall ining me in the studio every bit good as taking attention of the production of Word Alive. Mark is the Media Director of GNBA and I ‘m Derek Stringer.
Thank you so much for taking clip to listen. We will be back with more in this series from First John about Authentic Christianity. If you joined us tardily in the programme or want to listen once more – you can make so anytime at the web site – gnba.net
It ‘s been so good to be involved and I hope that as clip goes by we ‘ll construct a good relationship with one another because we have fellowship with the Father and the Son and through it – family with one another. That will be a joy.
Good-bye for now.
Good-bye and God bless you.