That Your Joy Be Full


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1 John 1:1-4 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; 2 (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;) 3 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. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.


The Bible tells us of itself that …

2 Timothy 3:16 … All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

that the Scripture of our Bible “came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

All scripture is the very breath of God, His spoken Word that has been written down as God’s blessing to us. God chose people through whom He spoke His Word. The phrase “Word of the Lord” is found 7054 times in our Bibles. The phrase “Word of God” is found 48 times in our Scripture. The phrase “thus saith the Lord” is found 7067 times in this Holy Text. This Bible is God’s supernatural Word given us us

to save us,
to instruct us,
to guide us.

God wrote this Word by the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Triune Godhead. And it is this Holy Spirit Who guides us into all truth (John 16:13). We who are Christ’s brothers and sisters by faith are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. The Scripture so assures us of this that it states “if anyone have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9). As we come to God’s Word tonight let us seek His face. We now ask the Spirit of God to guide us into this great truth, to awaken us and guide us as we look at this most Holy Word from God.

Many of the books of the Scripture are introduced by the person whom God used to write them. For example, the Book of James begins:

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

or in Peter’s writings:

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

or in Paul’s writings:

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

The Apostle John’s writings are distinctively different from the other texts of Scripture. The Apostle rarely mentions his name as God uses him to write. The Apostle John – like Moses in the Old Testament – was a very humble person. Many people find their joy in themselves. They find joy in:

self satisfaction
self service

John found his fulfillment in life not in himself,
but in his relationship to Jesus Christ.

that disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:7, 20)

When all the other disciples ran away from Christ during His trial and execution, it was John and Jesus’ mother Mary who were found standing at the foot of the Cross. It was John to whom Jesus entrusted the care of His aging mother:

John 19:26-27 … When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. This was how he identified himself. This doesn’t mean that Jesus didn’t love others – we know He loves us all – but John found his fulfillment in living for and loving Jesus. Because of this John became the only disciple to die of old age, living to be about 94 years old. This wasn’t because the Roman Empire didn’t try to kill him. He was exiled to Patmos, a desert island, and left to die. But John loved the Lord, and the Lord kept John going a long, long time!

The Joy Of The “We”

As John writes this letter to us he tells us his purpose in writing it. He says in verse 4:

these things write WE unto you, that your joy may be full.

Who is the “WE” that John is referring to at the beginning of this letter? Did John have a secretary that he dictated the letter to, as the Apostle Paul did? Was there another Apostle who helped John draft this letter? In the last chapter of this letter the Apostle states:

1 John 5:13 … these things have I written unto you …

As John closes the letter he speaks of “I writing”, but as he opens the letter he speaks of “we” writing.

Who made up the WE”?

Some of the commentaries I read state this this first “we” is an editorial we which is a first person plural pronoun used by an editorialist in expressing the opinion or point of view of a publication’s management. I don’t think that’s what it was. I think the “we” that the Apostle speaks of is his personal unity with Jesus Christ.

Though John lived 60 years past the ascension of Christ into Heaven, John experienced the personal presence of Jesus Christ every single day of his long life. The WE was Jesus and John.

As John wrote he stated “we – Jesus and I – are writing this to you so that your JOY may be full”! John wanted us to experience the same joy that he experienced every day. This doesn’t mean that he didn’t suffer. He was – according to the historians – at one time boiled in oil. The early Church pastor called Tertullian said that when he was boiled in oil – and suffered nothing because of it – that all watching that day in the Roman colosseum gave their lives to Christ. I do not know if that is true or not, but I do believe that John lived very much in the Presence of Christ at all times. As he wrote this letter – indwelt and moved by the Holy Spirit – he and the Lord wanted every Christian to know and have fullness of joy.

It Is The Conscious Presence Of Christ
That Gives Us Joy!

1 John 1:1 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;

Let’s examine this text. That which was from the beginning. What was from the beginning? What is this a reference to? It is a reference to the very first part of our Scriptures. The Bible says:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth.

When God created the Heaven and earth, Who was there with Him? It was Jesus Christ, the Word of God. In another writing the Apostle tells us:

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Christ was with God the Father in the beginning. As God made all things, all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. The Apostle Paul says of Christ:

Colossians 1:16-17 … by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

The Father, the Son, and the Spirit existed together in eternity past, and have always existed. When the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2) Jesus was with Him. When the Father said “let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) Jesus was there with Him. Everything that both Father and Spirit did, they did in union with Christ. Why? Because as Jesus said:

John 10:30 I and my Father are One.

Jesus did not make this statement saying just that He and the Father were in agreement. No. The Pharisees understood what Jesus was saying. When He said I and my Father are one the Bible says they took up stones to kill Him (John 10:31). When Jesus asked them why they attempted to kill Him they said:

John 10:33 … because … thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Jesus did not make Himself God. He is God. He is God the Son. He is, as John said,

John 1:14 … the Word was MADE flesh, and dwelt among us,

The Word made flesh. This is Jesus. Jesus Christ became flesh, and dwelt among us. What does John tell us of Jesus? He said:

1 John 1:1 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;

John wants us to know that Jesus was not a figment of his imagination, nor a fable conceived. He said:

Christ Is No Myth Nor Fable

God promised in the Old Testament that one day Messiah would come and be manifest to us. God promised in Micah 5:2 that

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

The everlasting Christ would be manifest – and Jesus was manifested to John. John said “we HEARD Him”. John was there at the Sermon on the Mount. John was there at the Mount of Transfiguration. John heard Jesus teach daily for over three and a half years. John said:

we have SEEN Him with our eyes

We HEARD Him. We SAW Him. We HANDLED Him. We intently STUDIED Him daily.

1 John 1:2 (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;)

Jesus Christ came as a forerunner of what God wanted for all of us – everlasting life. As Peter testified:

2 Peter 1:16-18 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

Jesus Christ is the manifest Member of the Godhead. He came from God, and went back to God. He was seen, handled, studied, and absolutely verified.

1 John 1:3 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.

God Wants Our Fellowship Too

John wrote this Book as God the Holy Spirit empowered him so that we, like John, could have the same fellowship with the Triune God as he had. This is what gives us fullness of Joy. Not the stuff that we have, but that we are in the company of the Creator of all things.

The devil teaches us that joy comes from the satisfaction of feelings or by the possession of “stuff”. The Lord teaches us that “in God’s presence is FULLNESS OF JOY. At His right hand is PLEASURES forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

We will never find joy in loving the things of this world. John warns us later:

1 John 2:15 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.

Oh Beloved, Jesus said:

Mark 8:36-37 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Things do not bring joy. Money does not bring joy. Feelings do not bring joy. Worry does not bring joy. Popularity does not bring joy. Being selfish will not bring joy. What brings us joy? The Presence of God in our lives. The devil and the world is a thief that comes to rob us of our joy. But Jesus did not come to rob us, but to bless us. He said:

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Fellowship with God is the essence of eternal life. Eternal life does not begin the day that you die, but every day that you rise from the bed. You only have fullness of joy when you practice the presence of Christ as John did. Pastor R.A. Torrey put it this way:

{Jesus} is able to save not only from the uttermost but “to the uttermost” all that come unto the Father through Him. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Some receive Christ as a sin-bearer and thus find pardon, but do not get beyond that; and so their life is one of daily failure. Others receive Him as their risen Savior also, and thus enter into an experience of victory over sin. To begin right, we must take Him not only as our sin-bearer and thus find pardon; but we must also take Him as our risen Savior, our Deliverer from the power of sin, our Keeper, and this find daily victory over sin.

This is what the Father would have of us all – a daily Presence of God. We grow in that Presence when we do as Christ bids us do. We look to Him in prayer, Bible reading and study, and in Church attendance. We also do the things He commands, repenting when we fail, and praising Him daily for the victory He gives us.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!


About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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