“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. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
~1st John 1:3-4
As another week rolls by we proceed with another couple verses. There seems to be a concurrent theme here in the beginning huh? Kinda like John’s saying yet again, “I was there, guys. Can’t you get the picture?” well he draws out that theme repetitously here here again again.. (see what I did there?)
As many will know in life, repetition really engraves things on your mind and heart. We subconsciously know our way around our house without even thinking about it, we know every word in our favorite song, and we all know that address from Finding Nemo that the movie forces us to memorize.
The common denominator? They’re learned by repetition. We know John is making sure his point is being made by repeating it. Even though this was written around 60 years after his ministry with Christ on earth, the memories are still deeply engrained into his mind. Definitely something I wouldn’t forget if i was picked by God himself to be a disciple!
Anyways.. So whats the reason that he wants to get this word out about Christ’s literal life, death, burial, and resurrection? John MacArthur does a good job describing verse 3:
” ‘Fellowship’ does not mean social relations, but that his readers would be partakers of (or, partners) with John in possessing eternal life.”
So the purpose of proclaiming the explicit gospel as God presents it is because we want others to partake in what we already have! We as believers have eternal life, so we want others to be in on it too. The presentation of the reality of the gospel produces people who God saves and inherits eternal life with Christ, which then in turn leads to joy.
I’m currently reading “Desiring God” by John Piper, which is a fascinating book. He covers the reality of Joy being so vital in the Christians life, really it’s at the core of it. Joy being what all of us are essentially after. He also makes clear that vain happiness and joy are different. Happiness found in anything other than God is a vain happiness and never produces God-given joy. We as believers have joy that comes from the provider of it. God. He is the provider and satisfier of our longing for joy. (But more on Christian Hedonism some other time!)
So John tells these things so that their “joy may be complete” the literal gospel propels a heart toward God, the giver of joy. And just like we compliment and proclaim our favorite person to “complete” our joy in them so too is that joy in God complete in lifting up and proclaiming the name of Christ!
Thanks for reading!