That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:1-4, emphasis added)
Uh… Am I really a Christian?
First John use to freak.me.out. Coming across verses like “we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3) would make me question my salvation. Because, uh, I know I don’t do any of His commandments well. None of them. I truly suck at it.
Then there is also this verse: “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (2:4).
And this verse: “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” (2:5).
Again, these verse would make me go What!?! Am I really a Christian? Or am I just a big, fat, phony, liar?
This book of the Bible made me squeamish time and again until I learn why John was writing in the first place. There are actually multiple reasons that John is writing, but the main theme is found 1 John 1: 3-4. That theme? Fellowship.
Fellowship is key to joy.
- to declare his fellowship with the Father and with the Son;
- to explain that all Christians can have fellowship as well; and
- make clear that through this fellowship our “joy may be full” (v4).
John’s epistle was written to a group of existing believers (1 John 5:13), so we can conclude that it was NOT written to convince them of their need for Christ (they already knew). Rather, it is written to address their need for fellowship with our Father God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So, if as you read quietly through 1 John you find yourself squeamish about what the author has to say, don’t ask yourself, “Am I really saved?” Instead ask yourself, “How is my fellowship with my Creator Savior?”
Only by grace,
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