John 20:30-31, 1 John 1:1-7
The Apostle John has an incredible story to tell. He cared for Mary, the Mother of Jesus, until her death. He stood with Mary during her son’s crucifixion. He lived through the destruction of Jerusalem, and the martyrdom of Peter, James, and Paul. No one could hardly blame this man if he had turned away from
his faith in Jesus. But he never did. And as an old man, he pens a word of insight about the importance of not just belonging to God- but belonging to others. So, like John, no matter what you have been through, you can enjoy the hope of belonging to a family because you belong to God.
John provides for his first-century readers and us a hopeful message. Both in his Gospel and in his letter, John encourages us to keep believing in Jesus. This common belief in Jesus as the savior unites us not only with God but with one another.
- Jesus was real (1 John 1:1)
- Some have stated that Jesus of history is a myth
- But the majority opinion of scholars rejects this claim
- This means this- If Jesus is real, Christmas becomes an important reminder
And if Jesus is real, then we should pay attention to eyewitness accounts
John then gives us a short version of the Christmas story in this letter, for Jesus, was “with the Father and has appeared to us.”
2. Jesus provided for us (1 John 1:2-7)
- Eternal life (1 John 1:2)
- This is more than life in heaven with God. This is life in the now empowered by God
3. Fellowship one with another (1 John 1:3-7)
- You can walk in honest, open relationships because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
- Because Jesus came to us, he can unite us in fellowship.
This Christmas, will you consider the following:
Jesus was a real person
Jesus had eyewitnesses tell of his life
Jesus invites you into a community
Would you consider joining a spiritual community this year?
TALK IT OUT:
- The Apostle John lived through Jesus’ death and cared for Jesus’ mother until she died. He survived the martyrdom of Peter, James, and Paul but never abandoned his faith. Pastor Rusty reminds us that, like John, no matter what we go through, we have hope as part of God’s family. How has God used your spiritual family to encourage you during personal challenges?
- In his Gospel and his letter, John encourages us to keep believing in Jesus. This shared belief in Jesus as our Savior unites us not only to God but also to one another. For believers, our faith connects us to Jesus as the One who died for us, but how does it connect us with one another?
- Some believe the Jesus of history is a myth, but most scholars reject this claim. The Apostle John shared his personal experience with Jesus. He speaks of different ways he and others of his day had experienced Jesus personally. List the various ways John details in 1 John 1:1. While Jesus isn’t here with us physically as He was when John lived, how can we still experience Jesus today?
- Pastor Rusty explains that when the Apostle John proclaims eternal life to us, he speaks of more than mere heaven; he also speaks of our present life, which God empowers. What hope can we, as believers, find in this truth?
- In 1 John 1:3-7, the apostle reminds us that we can also have fellowship with one another. This involves very honest relationships with other believers because of Jesus’ sacrifice. He says we can unite in fellowship with them. Take a few moments to reflect on your relationships with others who share your faith. How does faith foster deeper friendships with your spiritual brothers and sisters?
LIVE IT OUT
- This Christmas reflects on the fact that Jesus was a real person, then thank God that He came to earth for you.
- This Christmas reflects on eyewitness accounts in scripture that tell of various people’s experiences with Jesus and how these changed them. List several ways your faith has changed your life, and thank God for how He has changed you.
- This Christmas, Jesus invites us into a community of believers. If you don’t already attend a small group of believers, make a commitment to join one. Become part of: a connection class, a women’s Bible study, a men’s Bible study, or an online study group. Which group will you commit to joining as you begin 2023? Email Pastor Tim for details about a Concord small group today at [email protected].