September 2, 2021 - Pastor's Corner

Melvin-head-shot

Welcome back, family, to CEFC’s Pastor’s Corner!

Below is the current entry on our website under Resources. This email/letter is to make the content easily accessible to all who desire to read it.

Our present focus for the Pastor’s Corner is extracting brief insights from the First Letter of John, 1 John. Once more, I encourage you to read through this one letter at one sitting at least once or twice. You will see that there are three specific phrases or similar wordings that reveal the letter’s main theme: 1) “I am writing”; 2) “by this we know”; and 3) “eternal life.” A distinctive about each of these phrases is each time they show up some aspect of Christian living—moral, social, theological—is mentioned. Yet there is one verse where all three phrases appear—1 John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” In this verse, John summarizes his exhortations to action that appear throughout his letter. And taken together, all these things coalesce into the main theme of Certainty of Faith in Jesus Christ and Our Subsequent Practice.

For today, our specific focus on our journey of pulling out brief insights from John’s first letter is on 1:1-4. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew.

From our passage today come the following insights:

  • The apostolic nature of this letter is evident by the pronoun “we.” And an apostle’s authority rests in Jesus Himself; it’s as if Jesus is saying the same thing. We know this is true because of passages like Ephesians 2:19-22. Thus, an apostle’s assertions in the Scriptures carry divine authority. This is important because this first letter of John addresses whether a person is or is not a true Christian.
  • The apostles identify Jesus as “the eternal life.” We know this because of 1 John 5:20, and because of John 17:3. Also, the personal nature of their eyewitness interaction with Jesus is clearly seen by the verbs “heard,” “seen,” and “touched.” This eyewitness interaction is a requirement of those claiming to be apostles, which is why it’s impossible for someone to be an apostle today.
  • The reason why the apostles proclaim Jesus is He is the only means through which we are able to have fellowship with God and fellow Christians. Jesus is the “glue” Who holds us all together, and without Him, it is impossible to have close, intimate interaction with God, nor are we able to interact with one another in ways that glorify God unless Jesus is our common factor. This means that how we talk with, serve with, argue with, live with one another is directly influenced by Jesus. John really examines this truth in his letter, so we’ll save more for later.
  • The continuous nature of the apostles’ writing these things indicates the centrality of Jesus is necessary to keep experiencing fulfilled joy. In other words, true delight in life and the things of life is only found when Jesus is our main focus, not an add-on like an accessory. We may experience happiness in relationships, academic or career success, because these realities have some element of enjoyment. However, unless we on purpose make Jesus the center of it all, our happiness will waver as circumstances change. For our joy is to be as stable as Jesus. And according to the apostles, this only happens if Jesus is continuously on purpose kept as the main focus of our lives.

Our roadmap through 1 John will be given in monthly entries, and our time in the letter will continue through the end of January 2022. So, here is September’s map:

Date

Passage

September 2, 2021

1:1-4

September 9, 2021

1:5-10

September 16, 2021

2:1-6

September 23, 2021

2:7-11

September 30, 2021

2:12-14

I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 5:10. Peace be to you, beloved.

Pastor Melvin