Audio Sermon “God's Miniature”

Sep 25, 2016
“God's Miniature" No.8 by Rev. Toru Asai
1 John 1:1 – 2:6, Rev 3:19-20, etc.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)

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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 (1 John 1:1).

"That which was from the beginning" is the preexistent "Logos" by which all things were created (John 1:1-3), and the personified "Wisdom (hokmah)" that the Lord brought forth at the beginning of his course (Prov 8:22). This Logos/Wisdom had appeared and lived as a man among us, and John, together with the other apostles, claims to "have heard," "seen" and "touched" him, and thus, testify to him.

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 (v. 2).

For John, this hearing, seeing and touching began in the past, but its effect is still continuing as an ongoing experience even in the present time. This experience has produced personal fellowship with Christ and the Father as well as mutual fellowship with one another in the believing community.

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ (v. 3).

"Fellowship (koinonia)" comes from the verb koinoneo "to become a sharer," or "to take part willingly in bearing burdens and needs." Here, the fellowship that John speaks of is the fellowship with God who is invisible, and Christ who has physically ascended to heaven. So how can we have such fellowship, and even if you do have it, how can you say you do?

If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth (v. 6).

Even if we think and say that we have fellowship with God, there is a great possibility that we do not in reality. This is because the one we claim to have fellowship with is a spiritual being. And without having fellowship with him, it is impossible for us to know him, and his word is not in us. And without knowing him or having his word and truth in us, it is impossible to live as his miniature doing what he desires.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. … If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (vv. 8-10).

To "claim without sin", or to "claim we have not sinned" is to deny the necessity of the redemption through the death and resurrection of Christ. Such a claim robs us of the opportunity to learn the love of God by being forgiven. If we are, in reality, without sin as Jesus was, then we would have known the Father from the beginning having fellowship with him. But the fact is that the world has lost its fellowship with him when sin came into it. Thus, as seen in the case of the Pharisees, those who claim to be without sin are liars refusing to be circumcised in their hearts, and God's word is not in them. Paul once was a Pharisee and belonged to this category. Although he did not hear, see nor touched Jesus in a physical sense as the other apostles did, he came to know Jesus personally through the conversion experience on the way to Damascus. Hence he came to have the same fellowship with the Father as John did. Even among those who claim to be Christians, there are those to whom Jesus is only a concept, a sacred idol, or even a man who seemingly existed in the past and died for people's sins as the Bible claims—not a real living person who loves, sees, hears and talks to each person today. If you do not know Jesus in the way John explains, you have not been circumcised in your heart and God's word is not in you yet, and you have no fellowship with him. This fellowship begins in this way:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (v. 9).

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