How to Be Happy though Saved
I John 1:1-10
INTRO: This is how I learned to spot a backslider in the congregation...During a Valentine banquet at another church the pastor told me they were having problems with one couple in the church. I told him I bet I could tell him which couple it was. They were easy to spot.. They were the only ones not smiling, not enjoying the fellowship.
The Christian life is meant to be one of radiant joy. Jesus in John 15, 16, 17; joy is a fruit of the Spirit; Psa. 51; Psa. 86:6.. .Twice the disciples were criticized because they were happy.
The greatest ad for Christianity is joy. The greatest hindrance is that many people need to learn how to be a Christian and enjoy it.
This is the purpose of John's writing.
JOY: Perfect tense: full, complete and continuous. Not silliness nor "happiness". but an artesian spring of joy which nothing on the outside can affect or atrophy.
I. THIS JOY IS SHARING A COMMON LIFE. vs. 3, 4
The NEB translates "fellowship" as sharing a common life. THE SOURCE OF THIS JOY IS Fellowship. Note the sequence of the passage. He's telling us about the Incarnation that we might get in on the life and thereby have a full and complete joy.
1. WE SHARE THE LIFE OF THE FATHER. There are two ideas in this word "fellowship"-partaker and partner.
(1) Partaker of His Life...IJ Peter 1:4. Illustration: the prodigal son and Father sharing with him. Illustration: Rev. 3:20--"Sup with me..."
The good news of the Gospel is not that we are to IMITATE His Life, but that His life has been IMPARTED to us .IMPARTATION NOT IMITATION.
(2) Partner in the Life...a word used of marriage, business partnership--sharing in the work and responsibility. Paul said the Philippians were "partners" with him in the Gospel.
Vs. 3 lays out our part..."We declare unto you...that which we've seen and heard." We are to share with others this life.
Illustration: When Jill told an old friend she had become a ...
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