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That Which Was Seen and Heard

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That Which Was Seen and Heard

Sunday, November 4, 2007

“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

1 John 1:3

1. The message John and the other apostles received was not only for themselves. Rather, it was for the whole world, as Jesus commanded (cf. Matt. 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

2. Here was a striking contrast with the Gnostics and also with all other kind of exclusive groups. There has always been and always will be groups that want to establish a fellowship of the intellectually elite. The apostles by contrast were attempting to proclaim to the world what they had received.

3. Remember that Christianity began by God’s revelation of himself in Jesus and continues by the authoritative testimony of the apostles to that revelation.

4. John uses three words in describing how the gospel is shared. The first word he says we “testify” to what we have seen and heard. This word (martyrein, v. 2) originally comes from the courts of law and denotes the bearing of testimony to that which one has seen.

5. In the Gospel Jesus is said to have borne witness to the Father because he has seen the Father and is willing to reveal him (John 3:31–32; 18:37).

“He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:31-36

“Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” John 18:37

6. In the same way the disciples are called to bear witness of Jesus because they had experienced him firsthand during his three-year ministry. “And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:27).

7. Second, John says we “proclaim” to you what we have seen and heard. This verb is much like the other involving a verbalized testimony to what has been seen and heard but it also suggests a commission from Christ, authority for the apostles to preach the gospel.

8. Finally, in verse 4, John says we “write” these things that our joy might be full. This is the way in which the gospel has come to us and must be passed on. The apostles bore witness to what they had seen and heard of Jesus, proclaimed it authoritatively on his commission, and finally preserved it in the writings that have since become our New Testament.

9. Let us close today as we started out remembering that the message John and the other apostles received was not only for themselves but instead it was for the whole world, as Jesus commanded (cf. Matt. 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16

“No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God

did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:13-18

GracePointe Baptist Church

2209 N Post Road

Oklahoma City, OK 73141

Phone: (405) 769-5050

http://www.gracepointeonline.com

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