“I’VE GOT THAT JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY…” 1 John 1:1-4
INTRO – Kid’s song from long ago:
“I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart (WHERE?) Down in my heart (WHERE?) Down in my heart (WHERE?)…Down in my heart to stay!”
Lot of doctrinal & theological truth in that simple little song. When we come to know Christ as Savior & Lord, His eternal joy is permanently deposited down into our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, & that joy will never leave us. It’s part of the fruit of the Spirit. It’s as firmly fixed in our souls as the Holy Spirit is – & that’s eternal!
- “Scripture makes it clear that the fullest, most lasting and satisfying joy is derived from a true relationship with God. It is not based on circumstances or chance, but is the gracious and permanent possession of every child of God.” (John MacArthur)
Starting series this morning from 1 John – “Living in the Light.” Apostle John wrote this letter, & part of his reasoning in writing this letter was to combat heresies that had arisen against the Gospel. These heresies were denying both the deity & the humanity of Christ.
- John wrote this letter to affirm that Jesus IS the Son of God, that He is “the Word made flesh who dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
He also wrote this letter to affirm that those who truly have a faith relationship w/ the Lord Jesus will exemplify that faith in their daily lives. He wanted to encourage them & challenge them to keep living for the Lord in the face of opposition & heresy, just like you & I must do today.
- And when that faith is real & active, it will show in our lives through the joy of the Lord that is down deep in our hearts – down in our hearts to stay!
- As John said in v. 4, he was writing “so that our joy may be complete.”
- “complete” – to come to an end, to make full, to accomplish
So let’s talk about the joy, joy, joy, joy that’s down in our hearts to stay!
Jesus is the Eternal Word, which means we will have Eternal Joy – v. 1 – Verse 1 starts this book off proclaiming Jesus. Steven J. Cole: “True Christianity is Jesus Christ—revealed, experienced, and proclaimed with joy.” (https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-2-true-christianity-1-john-11-4) He is the focal point of the book from beginning to end, & John wants to make that abundantly clear to his readers as they wrestle w/ the doubts that were brought about by the false teachers. John was proclaiming, “It’s all about Jesus! It always has been, it is right now, & always will be about Jesus!” He’s the “Word of life!”
2 foundational statements:
- “He is God!” – “That which was from the beginning” – John teaching the truth that Jesus is God, the 2nd Person of the Trinity. He’s not just a great prophet, or a great teacher, or a great healer. He was & is God.
- John 1:1-3 – “In the beginning was the Word, & the Word was with God, & the Word was God. He was w/ God in the beginning. All things were made by Him, & without Him was not anything made that was made.”
- 1:26 – “ Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’”
- “He is man!” – He left heaven & came to earth, clothing Himself in humanity, becoming one of us, living & walking among us for some 33 years. John & the other apostles:
- “Heard” Him – Jesus’ teaching was amazing & awe-inspiring. Even His own enemies said, “No one ever spoke like this man!” (John 7:46).
- Saw Him – “which we have seen w/ our eyes” – They got to actually see Him heal the blind, the lame, the sick & diseased; raise the dead; feed the 5,000 & the 4,000; walk on water; cleanse the Temple. His sinless life & divine miracles validated & affirmed that He was the only-begotten Son of God.
- Looked upon Him – More than just “seeing” – they were firsthand eyewitnesses to His glory & majesty – the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36). Peter talked about this event when he wrote in 2 Pet. 1:16 – “We had nothing to do with man-made stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and of His coming again. We have seen His great power with our own eyes.” (NLV)
- Touched Him – Same word Jesus used after His resurrection when appeared to His disciples – His victory over the grave was the final validation of His Lordship & His deity.
Jesus gives us Eternal Life, which means we will have Eternal Joy – v. 2 – B/c Jesus is the eternal God, & b/c He is the eternal “Word of life,” He has the authority to give us “eternal life.” In fact, not only does He GIVE eternal life, He IS eternal life!
- John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, & the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.”
- John 1:4 – “In Him was life, & that life was the light of men.”
- John 6:35 – The bread of Life – v. 51 – “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever.”
- John 6:40 – “For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life.”
- John 11:25-26 – “I am the resurrection & the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”
The very fact that Jesus IS eternal life means that He had the divine authority to give that eternal life to ANYONE who comes to Him in faith! And with that eternal life comes eternal joy b/c you are now forever connected to the One who is the source of life & joy!
Jesus gives us Eternal Fellowship, which means we will have Eternal Joy – v. 3 – Our relationship w/ Jesus our Savior isn’t some static, impersonal state of existence. NO! It is full of life, full of purpose, full of meaning & intimacy & growth & energy & enthusiasm & movement & passion. It’s that word “fellowship” that is so important!
“koinonia” – It means sharing, contributing, participating. It’s an active word, not a stagnant condition of impassive nothingness. If we were Buddhists w/ their lifeless statues of Buddha, or Hindus w/ their manmade idols of their 33 gods & goddesses, or Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses w/ their false doctrines, then ours would be a life of emptiness & nothingness & foolishness, just like their lives are. There’s no true fellowship in those false religions, meaning that there’s no true, lasting joy.
But that’s NOT us, b/c that’s not the TRUTH! The eternal fellowship we have – the eternal koinonia we have – is w/ our eternal Savior & Lord, Jesus Christ, the ONLY Savior of the world! THAT, my friends, imparts eternal joy! You see, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, & any of you who are here today who are lost w/out Christ can have HAPPINESS, but it is temporary happiness, not an eternal joy! You can be HAPPY b/c the circumstances of your life are favorable RIGHT NOW, but you cannot & do not have eternal joy that will never change or leave you! Your happiness will change when your circumstances change, but the eternal joy that comes from eternal fellowship w/ Jesus never fades or dies b/c HE never fades or dies!
TABLE TALK QUESTIONS:
- What do you think is the difference between “happiness” & “joy”?
- Talk about a time when you and/or your family experienced joy in spite of the external circumstances.
- Read these verses & answer this: Which verse do you like the best & why?
- Psalm 30:4-5
- Luke 2:10
- James 1:2