Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

1 John: True, Fulfilling Fellowship With God
Part I: Identifying The True Heritage Of True Fellowship With God
(1 John 1:1-4)
  1. Introduction
    1. Claims that professing Christians and Christian organizations have of spiritual fellowship with God are often not true: Dave Hunt's book, The Seduction of Christianity (1985), p. 8 claims "many church leaders . . . sincerely practice and promote" cultic, mystical ideologies in the form of "visualization, meditation, biofeedback" of false spiritualities often originating from ancient paganism, Ibid., p. 23-34. Even some conservative believers seek to attain to human expectations of conduct (like not wearing dresses above the ankles) that do not rise from Scripture with the belief that adhering to such expectations make them holy!
    2. Thus, it is imperative that we recognize what true, fulfilling spiritual fellowship with God is really like that we might be involved in it versus being misled into false or artificial spiritualities, and we begin with 1 John 1:1-4 that identifies the true heritage of true fellowship with God (as follows):
  2. Identifying The True Heritage Of True Fellowship With God, 1 John 1:1-4.
    1. What the Apostle John described as the "Word of life" in 1 John 1:1, a reference to Jesus Christ (see John 1:1, 4, 14) had already been in existence "from the beginning" of creation: the word "was" is in the imperfect tense ( en), meaning "was already in existence,' not came into existence'" at creation as say some of the cults, U. B. S. Greek N. T., 1966, p. 813; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV , 1978, ftn. to 1 John 1:1. [This counters the key Mormon and Jehovah's Witness cults that reflect the ancient Arian heresy that there was a time when Jesus, the Son of God, did not exist, but was created by God the Father!]
    2. John added that this "Word of life" came in the body so that John and the other disciples had heard Him speak, they had seen Him with their eyes and had handled Him with their hands, 1 John 1:2. This statement counters the Gnostic heretics who claimed that deity cannot unite itself with anything material like a body (Docetism), Ibid., Ryrie, p. 1770, "Introduction to the First Letter of John: Gnosticism."
    3. John declared that this "Word of life" was manifested in the flesh, that John and the other disciples of Jesus were declaring to believers like his readers what they had seen and heard during Christ's earthly life that the readers might also have spiritual fellowship with Jesus' original twelve disciples, 1 John 1:3a.
    4. Now, this spiritual fellowship was also truly a spiritual fellowship with God the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, the "Word of life" Incarnate Who had came from God the Father, 1 John 1:3b; John 1:14.
    5. John clarified that he was writing these things unto his readers that their joy might be full, 1 John 1:4.
    6. Uniting all these truths leads us to discern and identify the true heritage of true fellowship with God:
      1. The true spiritual fellowship with God the Father is shared with Jesus Christ, God the Son Incarnate, and through Him to His twelve apostles, 1 John 1:3a,b.
      2. Then, true fellowship with God today is unified in belief and is transferable by faith to others by their exposure to the words of Jesus' apostles, 1 John 1:3a. Thus, true fellowship with Christ and with the Father is aligned with and is built up by faith in the New Testament writings of Scripture that were either written by Jesus' apostles, or were sanctioned as canonical by their words via John 17:20! [Our lessons on Biblical canonicity show every book of our 66-book canon of Scripture is sanctioned by Christ's words that in turn make the words of His apostles on what is canonical fully authoritative!]
      3. Also, if true spiritual fellowship with God is transferable by faith to mortals through Christ just as Jesus' disciples came to fellowship with Him, that fellowship will also provide a unity of belief and outlook among fellow Christians today who adhere in belief and outlook to the words of the apostles.
      4. Third, true spiritual fellowship with God produces fullness of joy, 1 John 1:4.
      5. Accordingly, fulness of joy can be known by believers in Christ today as they fellowship with God in aligning in belief and practice to the words of Jesus' disciples in the New Testament!
Lesson: The true heritage of true fellowship with God is found through believing and heeding the words of Jesus and His twelve apostles who knew fulfilling, joyful fellowship with God the Father and with His Son, the God Incarnate Lord Jesus Christ.

Application: May we heed the 66-book canon of Scripture as the true heritage for fellowship with God.