As we continue considering 1 John 1:1-4, we come to the second thing John hints at as he proclaims the joyful assurance that is found in knowing Christ. As we saw last time, (If you missed part one, be sure to see the last post) an experience with Christ is necessary for us to have fulness of joy. Now, we see in verse two that a proclamation of Christ is also necessary. 1 John 1:2 reads, “2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.”
A Proclamation of Christ v2
The life was manifested. What life? The eternal life which was with the Father. The eternal life that was manifested to them. John is literally pointing us to Jesus Christ who was manifested in the flesh. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” He who lived with the Father from eternity past, is manifesting to us in himself what eternal life is. Eternal life, as Jesus defines it is simply knowing God and knowing Him. In John 17:3 Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Eternal life is knowing God, and Jesus Christ has manifested Him for us in the flesh. Listen to what Colossians 1:15-20 says:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. God the Father is a Spirit and He does not have a body. But, if He were to pass in front of a mirror and cast a reflection, you would see Jesus in the mirror. If God the Father were a signet ring and He pressed Himself into a lump of clay, the image that would be left behind would be Christ. He is the image of the invisible God. If you want to know God, then get to know Christ who manifested for us eternal life. The author of Hebrews put it this way in Hebrews 1:3, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”
This eternal life—Jesus Christ—was, and is, one with the Father, was manifested to them, they experienced it, and now they cannot help but proclaim it. Joy does not just come through an experience with Christ only…it comes through experiencing Him and proclaiming Him! Joy comes from receiving AND giving.
In Israel there exists a sea that is referred to as the Dead Sea. The reason it is called the Dead Sea is because nothing lives in it. The reason nothing lives in it is because the dead sea is supplied by water from the Jordan river, but it has no outlet. Therefore, minerals and salt flow into the Dead Sea constantly, but because there is not outlet the water evaporates and leaves behind the salt which makes it impossible for plants or animals to survive. The salt concentration is an unbelievable 33.7%! That is more than 8 times the salt concentration of ocean water. Many believers are like the Dead Sea. We take in and learn and receive spiritual information, spiritual education, and spiritual training, but we do not have an outlet. We receive, but we do not give. An experience without proclamation results in lifeless religion. An experience of Christ coupled with a proclamation of Christ results in JOY!
Stay tuned to find out what else is necessary for our joy next time. Until then…
1. What describes you more: the Dead Sea which receives, receives, and receives, but has little to no outlet? Or a reservoir which receives and gives in healthy proportions?
2. If you are more like the Dead Sea, what can you do immediately to start giving out what you receive?
3. As you think about proclaiming Christ, list some ways this could bring you joy.
4. How will you apply what you have learned today? Today, in response to what I have read and studied I will ________________________________.
You can listen to the entire message on 1 John 1:1-4 here and also find a PDF of the sermon notes and some application questions to help you share what you have learned.