The Word Made Flesh & the Fellowship of the Body

Today’s selected reading is found in the first epistle written by the apostle John unto the saints which were at Ephesus. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first two chapters of this New Testament book. “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, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful, and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:1-10).

 

            “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye have from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth. Not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:1-11).

 

            “I wire unto you little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because he have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, ,and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (1 John 2:12-27).

 

            “And now, little children, abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him” (1 John 2:28-29).

 

            When you come to the first epistle written by the apostle John you will find an epistle that was written unto the saints of God which were at Ephesus. As you begin reading with and from the first and opening verse of this epistle you will find the apostle beginning this epistle in similar fashion to how he began and opened his gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will recall that when the apostle John began the gospel narrative which he wrote concerning the Lord Jesus he did so by referencing the Word of the living God. In the opening verse of this gospel narrative the apostle John emphatically declared that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In essence that which the apostle John sought to do was present his readers and audience with a powerful statement concerning the deity and eternal nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps one of the questions I can’t help but ask when considering the words the apostle used to begin and open his epistle is whether or not his audience and readers would have known who he meant and who he was speaking about when he mentioned and spoke of “the Word.” Did and would his readers and audience have known that the One whom he was writing and speaking about was indeed the Lord Jesus Christ Himself? What makes this all the more interesting when you think about it is when you consider each of the four gospel narratives together and discover that He never referenced nor spoke of Himself as the Word. If you read the words which are found in each of the gospels you will not find a single occurrence when the Lord Jesus Christ referred to Himself as the Word which was manifested among men and which came down from heaven.

 

            Upon reading the words which are found within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find various references of the Lord Jesus Christ and that which He declared and spoke concerning Himself. Within this gospel narrative you will find the Lord Jesus referring to Himself as the bread which came down from heaven. Jesus would declare unto His audience that Moses surely gave their fathers bread in the wilderness—this despite the fact that it was bread which came down from heaven—and yet those who partook of that bread perished in the wilderness. That which the Lord Jesus emphatically declared concerning Himself was that He was indeed the Bread which came down from heaven that would indeed satisfy the hunger of all those who came unto Him and partook of it. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when speaking unto His disciples—even the Jews and the religious leaders which were present during His day—the Lord Jesus held nothing back concerning Himself and His coming down from heaven. It would be in the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find the Lord Jesus referring and speaking to Himself as this Bread which came from heaven—bread that when partaken of would satisfy the hunger of those who chose to eat it. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the eighth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John:

 

            “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself: thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him: for his hour was not yet come” (John 8:12-20).

 

            “Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whnither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. And as he spake these words, many believed on him” (John 8:21-30).

 

            “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye will seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the work of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s ‘words; ye therefore hear them not because ye are not of God” (John 8:31-47).

 

            Please pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it the Lord Jesus Christ emphatically declares unto the Jews—and not only unto the Jews but both those Jews which believed and those which did not believe—that He came down from the Father who was in heaven. It is with these words the Lord Jesus clearly and plainly declared unto the Jews that He had indeed proceeded forth from His Father who was in heaven and that it was His Father who had indeed sent Him into the earth. You cannot read the words presented in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ and His identity as the only begotten Son of the Father. It was with and through these words the Lord Jesus would emphatically declare unto those Jews which believed and those Jews which did not believe that He was indeed the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father. The words presented here are incredibly unique and powerful for they also help us to understand words which are found in the sixth chapter which the Lord Jesus spoke unto those in Galilee. It is in the sixth chapter of this New Testament gospel where the Lord Jesus just fed five thousand men—not including women and children—with five loaves of bread and two fish in the sight and company of all. Once the miracle was over and Jesus dismissed the crowd He crossed over to the other side perceiving they would make Him king over them. When those who ate of the five loaves of bread and the two fish found Jesus on the other side—not only did Jesus declare unto them that they sought Him because they partook of the bread which He fed them with but he would also declare that He was the bread from heaven. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture:

 

            “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:26-27).

 

            “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heavne to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven,  and giveth. Life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said und to them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it that he saith, I cam down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 8:28-51).

 

            The words which we find here in this passage of Scripture are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about them by and with them we find the Lord Jesus once more declaring that He came down from heaven—and not only came down from heaven but came from the Father who was in heaven. There is something truly unique and captivating about the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto those in Galilee for not only had He fed them with and from the five loaves of bread which was presented unto Him but now He was declaring that He was the bread which was come down from heaven. Jesus spoke unto those in Galilee that Moses their father had given them bread in the wilderness, however, He would go on to declare that those who ate and partook of that bread died in the wilderness. Once the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River and entered into the land of Canaan the manna would cease and the only record and trace of the manna they ate was in a jar concealed within the Ark of the Covenant beneath the Mercy Seat. OH we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention—not only to Jesus once more declaring and speaking of where He came from but also speaking unto the Jews in Galilee that He came down from heaven as the bread of life. Those who ate and partook of that bread would indeed never hunger—or even thirst again for that bread would indeed satisfy them.

 

            With all of this in mind it is absolutely necessary that when we read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we never find Jesus referring and speaking of Himself as being the Word. We know that Jesus declared that He was the Light of the world, we know that He declared He was the living water and that He was the bread which came down from heaven. We know that Jesus declared of Himself that before Abraham was I AM, as well as that He was the door and gate of the sheep. That which Jesus did not declare and speak of Himself, however, was that He was the Word. What’s more is you will never find the Lord Jesus declaring and speaking of Himself as the Word which was in the beginning, the Word which was with God, and the Word which was God. Oh there were plenty of times when the Lord Jesus would speak unto the Jews concerning His identity and where He came from as He would indeed profess God as being His Father and that He did in fact come down from heaven. That which we find in the opening verses of the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative must needs be carefully considered for when the apostle John chose to begin this epistle he did so by not only referencing the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ but also the awesome and wonderful truth that He was the Word. We know that He was the bread which came down from heaven and it is in the opening chapter where we encounter the truth that He was the Word which came down from heaven and came from the Father. Oh consider the following words which are found in the opening chapter of this gospel beginning with the first verse:

 

            “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light,t hat all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:1-18).

 

            Within this particular passage of Scripture we find the apostle John choosing to begin even further than did the apostle Matthew and even the beloved physician Luke. When seeking to present the picture of the Lord Jesus Christ the apostle Matthew chose to trace the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ back as far as Abraham, thus demonstrating that He was indeed a descendant of Abraham. It would be this particular truth and reality that would further confirm the words which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote in the second chapter when they declared that Jesus took upon Himself the seed of Abraham that He might fulfill the work for which He had been sent. When you come to the New Testament gospel narrative written by the physician Luke you will find that he traced the lineage of the Lord Jesus back even further than Abraham and traced it all the way back to Adam who was the son of God. In all reality we might very well say that the gospel narrative written by the physician Luke was indeed a contrast between Adam who was created as the son of God and the Lord Jesus who was the eternal, only begotten and un-created Son of God. It was the Lord Jesus who was not formed of the dust of the ground and needed the breath of life to be breathed into His nostrils that He become a living soul but rather He was indeed the express image of the invisible God and came to fulfill and restore that which was forfeited in the midst of the garden due to transgression.

 

            When we come to the first New Testament epistle written by the apostle John we once more find him writing and speaking of that which was in the beginning. It is absolutely impossible to read the words found within this gospel narrative and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ having come down from heaven and the witness which the apostles—including John—would behold for those three and a half years. It would be in the first chapter of this first epistle written by the apostle John we find him writing and speaking concerning that which was from the beginning—and not only speaking of that which was from the beginning but that which they heard, that which they had seen with their own eyes, that which they have looked upon, and that which their hands have handled. What adds even more weight and might to the words which the apostle John wrote here is that he seems to look back and appeal to that which he had previously written in his gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. It would be in the New Testament gospel narrative we read of the Word being in the beginning, the Word being with God in the beginning, and the Word being God. It would also be in the first chapter we find it written how the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and how we beheld His glory—the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. Now here we are in the first chapter of the epistle written by the apostle John and we find him writing concerning their own personal witness with “the Word of life.”

 

            If you take the time to read the words which are found in the opening chapter of this first epistle you will find the apostle John appealing to that which he personally witnessed and beheld concerning the testimony and witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be in the first and opening chapter of this epistle we find the apostle John writing and speaking of something very much similar to that which the apostle Peter wrote in the second epistle which was written unto those who had obtained like precious faith through God the Father and through the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be in the first and opening chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Peter he would emphatically declare unto his audience how they had not followed cleverly designed fables or stories but were personal eyewitnesses to the life and manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s more is the apostle Peter would go on to write and speak of how the Lord Jesus brought he, James and his brother John up the mountain and there was transfigured before them in their sight. It would be there atop the mountain the appearance of the Lord would be altered as He would shine with radiance and glory that rivaled the very glory and strength of the sun itself. What’s more is the Lord Jesus would indeed appear talking and speaking with Moses and Elijah concerning the kingdom and the suffering He would experience and endure upon the cross.

 

            As you read the words which are found in the first chapter of the epistle written by the apostle John you will find him choosing to open it by writing and speaking concerning that which was from the beginning—and not in the beginning as he had written in the gospel narrative concerning the Lord Jesus but in the beginning of the manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know from the gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ written by John that Jesus was indeed the Word made flesh which dwelt among us and how we beheld His glory. The truth of the matter concerning this, however, is when you consider the fact that for the first thirty years of His earthly and natural life He was the Word made flesh in obscurity as He lived and moved among us and dwelt with us in obscurity living and learning how to do life as we ourselves experienced on a day to day basis. It would be when He turned thirty years of age, however, the Lord Jesus would no longer be the Word which was made flesh and dwell among us in obscurity but would now be the Word made flesh which dwelt among us and was manifested among us. It was this the apostle John wrote of when he spoke of us beholding the glory of the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for what we find in the opening chapter of this first epistle is the apostle John looking back to the beginning to that time when the Lord Jesus Christ was indeed manifested unto us as the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father who came down from heaven.

 

            The more you read the words which are found in the first chapter of this first epistle written by the apostle John the more you will find him writing and appealing to the beginning when they first began walking with and following the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact it was this walking with and following the Lord Jesus that would serve as the basis and foundation for everything the apostle would write in this particular passage of Scripture. I would dare say that if you want to truly understand the words and language contained within this epistle you must needs recognize and understand that everything had its foundation in the words which the Lord Jesus had spoken unto and among them. The words which the Lord Jesus spoke and the works which He wrought in the midst of the earth were indeed the foundation and core reality of the words which the apostle John would write in this particular epistle for even his own teaching would not be his own but would be that which was spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Just as the Lord Jesus declared that He could not speak anything of Himself save only that which He heard and saw the Father speak so also would the words which the apostle John would write here be not based on his own wisdom or his own intellect but would be based purely and solely off that which he saw with his eyes, that which he looked upon, and that which his hands had personally handled of the Word of life. Moreover the apostle John would go on to declare that the life was manifested and they had seen it and bore witness and showed unto them that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto them. Not only this but the apostle John would go on to write once more concerning that which they had seen and heard which they would indeed declare unto them.

 

            If you continue reading the words which are found within this epistle you will find that at the very heart and core of it is having fellowship together with the saints of the living God and His holy apostles. What’s more is that at the very center of this epistle is believing in the Lord Jesus Christ—and not only believing on the Lord Jesus Christ but also believing on the Father. You cannot read the words which are found in this epistle and not encounter and come face to face with certain themes which are present within it—themes such as life, love, and belief. When writing unto this audience and group of readers the apostle John would indeed write unto them first and foremost that their fellowship might be with them. Not only this but the apostle John would go on to declare how their fellowship was with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. It is incredibly important for us to recognize and understand the words found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and wonderful truth that we have been called and have been invited into the place of fellowship together with the saints of the living God. Perhaps one of the greatest realities we must needs recognize is that in and through the Lord Jesus Christ we have indeed been called into fellowship and community together with the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the living God. Oh I have said it before and I will say it again that when the disciples made the decision to forsake everything to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus—not only did they make the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus but they also made the decision to walk with and fellowship together with each other.

 

            I find the words found in this passage of Scripture to be truly wonderful and powerful when you take the time to think about them for you get the sense that at the very heart of the epistle itself is an invitation to partake in fellowship together with the body of Christ and with the apostles themselves. The words and language we find in this epistle must needs be carefully considered for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and wonderful truth surrounding the call and invitation we have been given to have fellowship with each other. What’s more is that fellowship we have been called to have one with another has at the very heart and center of it a fellowship with the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God and with the Father of the Lord Jesus Himself. Essentially that which we are and have been called to partake in and enjoy is fellowship together with the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we make the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus Christ we make the decision to walk with and fellowship together with those who have also made the decision to walk with and follow Him. This is what is so incredibly beautiful about the words which are found within the New Testament gospel narratives for each of the apostles not only made the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus Christ but they also made the decision to walk with and fellowship with each other. Simon and Andrew made the decision to walk with and fellowship with each other as they followed the Lord Jesus; James and John made the decision to walk with and fellowship with each other as the followed Jesus; Matthew and the other seven disciples made the decision to walk with and fellowship together with each other as they collectively walked with and followed the Lord Jesus. Oh there was never any one who walked with and followed the Lord Jesus alone for each and every one of those persons who walked with and followed Him also fellowshipped together with the disciples and others who were walking with the Lord Jesus.

 

            We must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here bring us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that we have indeed been called into fellowship together with the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that not only have we been called and invited to walk in fellowship together with the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus but that fellowship was and is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the beautiful truth that our fellowship takes place in two different realms and two different spheres. On the one hand our fellowship takes place in the earthly and natural realm as we walk with and fellowship together with the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus—those whom the apostle Paul wrote of in his epistles of the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus that was prepared for Him by the Father through the Spirit in the midst of the earth. We must needs recognize and understand that if we profess to have fellowship with God the Father and especially if we profess to have fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ we must at the very same time have fellowship together with the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus. We cannot declare that we have fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and not at the same time have fellowship with His spiritual body which is present upon the earth.

 

            There would be those among us who would like to think and even profess they can have fellowship together with the Lord Jesus Christ without having fellowship with His spiritual body which is present in the midst of and upon the earth. The truth of the matter, however, is that those who profess they have fellowship with the eternal and only begotten Son and do not also have fellowship together with the head of the body lie and deceive themselves. In fact this is something which the apostle John wrote and mentioned in this epistle when he asked how men could say that they loved the living and eternal God whom they cannot see when they can’t even love their earthly brother whom they do so. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this particular reality for I am absolutely convinced that just as we cannot say we love the eternal God whom we cannot see if we can’t love our brother whom we do see so also we cannot say that we have fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ if we cannot and do not have fellowship together with the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus. Think about the disciples themselves and how the disciples could not truly say they had fellowship together with the Lord Jesus Christ if they could not have fellowship one with another. Imagine one or more of the disciples attempting to say they had fellowship together with the Lord Jesus Christ and yet they did not and would not have fellowship one with another. It would have been entirely and altogether impossible for the disciples to profess they had fellowship together with the Lord Jesus Christ and yet not also have fellowship together with each other as they collectively walked with and followed the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            As you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you must needs recognize and understand that just as we have been called and invited into fellowship together with the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God so also have we been called to fellowship together with the saints themselves. At the beginning of this epistle the apostle John writes unto his audience—not only concerning their having fellowship with them (a fellowship which was rooted and established in having fellowship together with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ)—but also that their joy might be full. It would be in the fourth verse of this first and opening chapter the apostle John would go on to write unto them how the purpose of this epistle was that their joy might be full. Oh please pay close attention to these words for when you read the first chapter of this epistle you will not only find the apostle John writing and speaking of fellowship but also of being full—fellowship one with another rooted and grounded in fellowship with the Father and the Son Jesus—and their joy being full. This is something that has great and intrinsic value when we think about and consider the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it the apostle John draws and calls his readers into the place where they recognize that they have indeed been called into fellowship together with each other and have indeed been called into a place where their joy would be full.

 

            With all of this being said, however, it is as you continue reading the words found and written in this epistle you will find the apostle John shifting gears and speaking unto them concerning something that was perhaps incredibly difficult to bear. Beginning with the fifth verse of the first chapter we find the apostle John declaring unto them that the message they heard from Him [the Lord Jesus Christ] and which they declared unto them was that God was and is light and that in Him is no darkness at all. It is this concept of there being no darkness in the living God we must needs recognize and understand for just as there is no darkness in the living and eternal God so also must there be no darkness in us. Just as the eternal and living God is indeed Light and dwells in Light so also have we been called to walk and live in the light and as children of the light. One of the main and underlying purposes for this epistle is that the saints of God might recognize the clarion call to personal purity, righteousness and holiness in the sight and presence of the living God. The word and message which was received from the Lord Jesus Christ was that God was Light and that in Him there was no darkness at all. In all reality this is something which was written and spoken of concerning the Lord Jesus Himself in the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. It would be there in the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find it written concerning the Lord Jesus that He was indeed Light and how this Light was the life of men.

 

            It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand the words which are found in the first and opening chapter of the epistle written by the apostle John for within it we find him writing how God was light and how in Him was no darkness at all. This reality and concept of God being light would be at the very heart and center of the words which are found in the final verses of the first chapter. Beginning with the sixth verse the apostle John would declare unto his readers and audience that if they said they had fellowship with Him [God the Father] and walk in darkness they lied and did not the truth. Conversely, however, the apostle John would go on to write that if we walk in the light as he is in the light then we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. Pause for a moment and consider the intrinsic and apparent link between the fellowship we have with the eternal and living God and the fellowship we have with one another. It would be the apostle John who would declare that if we say we have fellowship with the Father and yet walk in darkness—not only do we lie but we also do not the truth. If, however, we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another. Moreover if we walk in the light as He is in the light the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

 

            Please mark the words found in the latter portion of this passage of scripture for the words which we find here in this passage of Scripture calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the fellowship we profess we have—not only the fellowship we profess to have with the Father and with His Son but also the fellowship we profess to have one with another. The apostle John would declare that if we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness we lie and do not the truth. Not only this but the apostle John would also go on to declare that if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If, however, we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Oh please don’t miss that which is found in this passage of Scripture for there is a vast difference between saying that we have no sin and confessing our sins before and in the sight of the Father. There would be those who would dare think and believe they have no sin and rather than confess their sins and their faults they proceed to deny the sin which is present within their hearts and lives. This is something we must needs recognize and acknowledge when reading the words within this epistle for as we will see denial of sin within our lives might very well set us on a path where we not only deny the presence of sin but also eventually and ultimately deny the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. It would be in the first chapter of this epistle the apostle John writes and speaks unto his audience of the possibility of denying they have sin and how such denial demonstrates deception within their hearts and the reality that the truth was not in them.

 

            The first chapter of this epistle would conclude with the apostle John writing once more and declaring that if we say we have not sinned we make him a liar and his word is not in us. On the one hand the apostle John declares that if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us and on the other hand he writes that if we say that we have not sinned we make him a liar and his word is not in us. Juxtaposed to this particular truth is the reality that the apostle John goes on to write that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. What’s more is that the apostle John also goes on to write and speak of the blood of Jesus cleansing us from all sin. It is incredibly important for us to pay close attention to this for if we truly desire the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all sin and if we truly desire to be forgiven of our sins and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness we must needs be those who come to terms with any darkness that is present within them. What’s more is that there seems to be this safe place within community and fellowship one with another—and not only one with another but also with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ—where we can indeed confess our sins and our faults. Remember the words which James the half brother of the Lord Jesus wrote in the fifth and final chapter of his epistle:

 

            “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:13-16).

 

            Oh there is a vast contrast found within this passage of Scripture between our denying the sin(s) within our heart and soul and confessing that sin which is present within us. Remember the words which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote when they urged their readers and audience to run with endurance the race that was set before them and to lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset them. Remember also the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy in the second epistle sent to him when he spoke of no man entangling himself again in the affairs of this world. Remember the words which James wrote concerning friendship with the world being enmity with the living God and how those who chose to be friends of the world make themselves to be enemies of the living God. Not only this but what about the words which the apostle John wrote in this very epistle when he himself spoke concerning loving the world and the things of this world. It would be in the second chapter of this epistle the apostle John would warn and caution his readers and audience concerning loving the world and the things which were in the world. There is within this particular epistle a clarion call to confess our sins and our faults in the space and realm of fellowship but there is also a powerful witness and exhortation given unto men and women to love not the world not the things of the world lest the Word, the truth, the light, and the life be absent from the midst of them. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the second chapter beginning to read with and from the fifteenth verse:

 

            “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

 

            It is absolutely necessary for us to recognize and understand the words which are found within this passage of Scripture for in the final section of the second chapter of this first epistle written by John—not only do we find the apostle admonishing and instructing his readers and audience to love not the world nor the things in the world but he also goes on to write and speak unto them concerning the arrival and coming of the antichrist. What’s more is the apostle John would go on to write how even then at the time of the writing of the epistle there were many antichrists thus signifying that it was the last time. These whom the apostle John wrote as being antichrists are those who went out from us but were not of them. If those who went out from them had been of them they would no doubt have continued with them. Instead of abiding with them and choosing fellowship with the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the Father and with His Son they went out from among them that they might be made manifest that they were not all of them. The apostle John would then go on to emphatically declare how that one who is a liar is he which denies that Jesus is the Christ. This one was antichrist who denies the Father and the Son and whosoever denies the Son the same does not have the Father. Oh please recognize and understand the words and language found within the opening two chapters of this epistle for what we find within them is a powerful and clarion call—not only to avoid denying sin but also a clarion call to love not the world nor the things which are in the world. Moreover the apostle John also declared unto them and admonished them to be those who acknowledge the Father and the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father.

 

As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw our attention to the words and language which is found in this passage of Scripture for beginning with the twenty-fourth verse of the second chapter we find the apostle instructing and exhorting them to let that abide in them which they heard from the beginning. What’s more is the apostle John would also go on to declare that if what abode within them from the beginning would remain in them they would also continue in the Son and in the Father. Not only this but he offered them a very specific promise—namely the promise of eternal life. If you want to truly understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and this epistle you must needs recognize and understand the powerful invitation to fellowship with the Father and with the Son as well as eternal life. It was Jesus Himself who emphatically declared that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. At the very heart and center of this epistle is indeed the wonderful and powerful invitation given by the apostle John to lay hold of and take part in eternal life—eternal life which is indeed fellowship together with the Lord Jesus Christ and with the Father. The apostle John wrote unto these dear saints that they might have fellowship one with another as was at the beginning on the day of Pentecost and that they would have fellowship one with another—and not only one with another but also with the Lord Jesus Christ and with God the Father. This epistle must needs be read with the understanding that we have indeed been called and invited into life eternal—and not only life eternal but also in the truth and in fellowship together with the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the Lord Jesus as the head of the body. Oh that we would be those who embrace this life offered and afforded unto us by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the eternal Father who is in heaven that we might have fellowship one with another and embrace and lay hold of eternal life.

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