Tag Archives: seen

Our Fellowship Is With The Father

OUR FELLOWSHIP IS WITH THE FATHER

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you may also have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. (1 John 1: 3-4)

John makes it clear from the start that he was not propagating another religion in opposition to the religions that were already in the world. He was writing of something far deeper and more real than that. He testified to being an eyewitness of what had happened when God broke into history through the coming of His Son into the world. He had seen, heard and touched the one who had come from the Father. There was no denying the witness of someone who had been that close, especially when there were others to back up his story.

But what was the purpose of Jesus’ coming? Did He come from God to tell the people of the world how sinful they were and to bring judgment on them from an angry God? No way!

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3: 17)

What did He mean by “saved”? Salvation, in modern times has been pared down to mean “saved from hell so that we can go to heaven when we die.” Is that the best that Jesus could do; shed His blood so that we can have a passport to heaven? What about now? Do we just go on living as we have and hold on until we die?

Salvation from God’s perspective, is far bigger than that. When Adam and Eve plunged the world into darkness by their disobedience, it affected every part of creation. Every creature, every plant and tree was doomed to die. Animals turned on each other; humans turned on each other and, worst of all, we turned on God and became His enemies. The fellowship God so delighted in with His children went out the window and the people God created to be His beloved children were thrown out to make their own way in life, which was the choice they made.

But God didn’t leave it there. He went to enormous trouble to prepare a nation – one He painstakingly built from one childless couple whom He trained to trust Him, to obey Him and to raise their miracle-born son to do the same – to receive His Son when the time came. It took many centuries and much frustration on God’s part to bring them to the point where He could send His Son into the world, born among them into a human family as a helpless infant, raised by a godly couple to show His people what He was really like.

What was His intention? Just to rescue people from hell so that they could go to heaven? What a pathetic purpose if that was all He could do! No, Jesus came, first of all, to reveal the heart of the Father. Was He the demanding, disciplinarian God His representatives, the religious leaders made Him out to be? Far from it! He was a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness. The prophets of the Old Testament knew that and taught and wrote about it, but His people ignored what they said because they were bent on rebellion.

Jesus specifically came to show His people that God was a gracious and loving Father. He, Jesus, was the exact replica of His Father. But He did something even more wonderful than that. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and then gave His life as though He were a sinner, so that sinners could be reconciled to their Father.

Why did He do it? Just to save sinners from hell? No, He did it so that sinners could be forgiven, washed clean of all their sin, given a new heart, a new start and restored to God’s family as His holy and beloved sons and daughters. But best of all, from the moment of their “new birth”, their new beginning, they are restored to fellowship with the Father. That was the problem. They were out of fellowship with Him. In spite of their rebellion against God, they were still in a relationship with Him as His children, although they were estranged from Him because of sin. This happens in families the world over all the time. Kids rebel, run away and dissociate themselves from the parents. This does not make them “unborn”. It cuts them off from fellowship with their families.

God’s desire, when Jesus did all this for us, was to bring us back into fellowship with Himself, not when we die, but here and now. And He did it! Jesus died to clear away all the barriers to fellowship and to restore everything that we lost through sin so that we can be one with the Father again. Fellowship with the Father has great benefits for us – the more time we spend with Him, the more we get to know Him and become like Him, shedding our old self-centred ways and learning to do what pleases Him.

But perhaps the greatest benefit of all is learning to do God’s will so that His purposes on earth are fulfilled through us. That’s what fellowship with the Father accomplished for Jesus. John’s gospel is full of assurances that Jesus lived in such harmony with the Father than they did everything in tandem. No one could accuse Jesus of sin because He only said and did what He heard the Father saying and doing. How did He learn these things from the Father? Through many hours of fellowship with Him.

With no more obstacles in the way, John assured his readers that they, and we, can also have fellowship with those who are one with the Father and with the Father and the Son. And how that delights the heart of God, fulfilling His desire from the beginning!

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/

Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?

 

A Word About The Word

A WORD ABOUT THE WORD

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. (1 John 1: 1-2)

There is no testimony more powerful than that of an eyewitness. He was there. He saw it happen and he relates the details of the event with a measure of accuracy as his eyes and ears took it in and his brain processed the information. Of course, not every eyewitness’s story is exactly the same. Each one saw if happen from a slightly different geographical position and each one interpreted the details through his grid of understanding.

Some eye witnesses are more observant than others. They will pick up details which others miss. Others think they saw this when they actually saw that. But when one puts all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle, a clear and credible story begins to emerge. Most of the details correspond and overlap, making the story realistic and credible and can be accepted as an accurate account of what happened.

Why did the Holy Spirit orchestrate four gospels to be written? Some of the details in their accounts of Jesus’ life overlap; other bits differ slightly or even contradict, but the overall story is accurate and believable. Each of the gospel writers had a different purpose for telling His story and therefore it is understandable that they would have had different emphases and that they would have arranged their material differently.

Matthew presented Jesus as the King of the Jews, the fulfilment of prophecy and God’s promised Messiah. Chronology and details were not as important as his overall purpose and were fitted into the bigger picture. He was careful to record those parts of his information which highlighted Jesus’ identity as the King of the Jews.

Mark’s message was that Jesus came as the Servant of Yahweh. He included nothing about His birth or early childhood. He told us much about Jesus’ actions and little about His teaching. A servant is busy doing the will of his master, rather than teaching others about him.

Luke, the doctor, focussed on Jesus’ humanity. He was very much the Son of Man. This aspect of Jesus was real but not the only meaning of His identity since Son of Man was also a Messianic title. The Holy Spirit featured prominently in Luke’s story because, as a human being, Jesus did nothing without the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was a real man, hungering, weary at times, eating and drinking and experiencing the whole range of human emotions.

When we get to John’s writings, which include his gospel, his letters and the book of Revelation, a much broader Jesus emerges, a man, yes, but much more than a man. John wrote in later years and had time to process the information he remembered about this Jesus. He could only reach one conclusion – He was indeed the Son of God.

He began his first letter to unknown recipients with words of affirmation and reassurance. What he had to say to them was based on eyewitness facts. He employed words which conveyed the activities of the senses – seen, heard, touched – sensory experiences which registered in his memory indelibly. Was it not John who leaned against Jesus at the supper table, hearing His hear beating in His chest, feeling the warmth of His body against his own?

Did he not see miracles happen,; deaf ears opened, blind eyes seeing, paralysed limbs functioning again and even the dead coming back to life? Did he not hear the resounding cries of his dying Lord from the cross? Did he not look with horror on the one who was pierced with a Roman spear until the last drops of His blood spilled on the ground? Did he not hear the words of the Roman centurion who pronounced that his Master was dead? Did he not gaze in wonder at the gaping wounds in the hands and feet of his risen Lord?

No one could deny what he had seen and heard and, on the solid foundation of eyewitness facts, he made his declaration to his readers. If Jesus said what He said, and did what He did, and then He fulfilled His predictions about His own death and resurrection, who could contradict what He taught about Himself and His mission?

No other human being in history who created a religion around himself or out of his own imagination could back up the ramblings of his mind with indisputable historical fact. Many skeptics have tried to disprove the resurrection of Jesus on legal grounds and have come away convinced of the truth of the Biblical record.

The bottom line is: Jesus was the Son of God. He came from the Father. He was God’s complete and final Word to humanity. Everything He said and did confirmed His identity. He brought us life through His death and resurrection. Those who believe in Him have eternal life and, though they die physically, they live eternally in the fullness of God’s presence and glory.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/

Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?