Sermon Detail

Strength for the Journey Sharing in the Common Life

December 10, 2023 | Buster Brown

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 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." 1 John 1:1-4

In order to have strength for the journey (Psalm 84:5-7), God has so built us that we receive mutual strength by treasuring the greatness of all that God is for us in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

"God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now, God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there." C.S. Lewis

"Spiritual warfare is all encompassing. It touches every area of our lives…our families, our relationships, our church, our neighborhoods, our communities, our places of employment. This is virtually no part of our existence that the Evil One does not want to maintain or reassert his unhealthy or perverse influence." Clinton Arnold, Dean of the School of Theology at Talbot Seminary

"Scripture lays down the basis of fellowship in 1 John 1:7; ‘if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.’ Jesus Christ, then, is the source and fount of all spiritual communion. Only when rightly related to the Lord do we experience true fellowship with another Christian. Just as light and darkness are incompatible, so a believer can have no real fellowship with an unbeliever. Neither can the Christian be in fellowship with one who walks contrary to the teaching of Christ (2 John 9-11), or a professing brother who is immoral, idolatrous, a drunkard, or a thief (1 Corinthians 5:11).

Scripture lays down several guidelines for enhancing the communion of believers in the body. (1) Love one another with the same compassion that Christ displayed to his own (John 13:34-35; 15:12). The law of fellowship should be the rule of love (Hebrews 13:1). (2) Cultivate that spirit of humility that seeks the other person’s honor (Philippians 2:3-5). (3) Lighten fellow believers’ load by bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). (4) Share material blessings with brothers and sisters in need (2 Corinthians 9:13). (5) Tenderly correct a sinner while helping to find solutions to the problems (Galatians 6:1). (6) Succor a fellow believer in times of suffering (1 Corinthians 12:26). And (7) pray for one another in the Spirit without ceasing (Ephesians 6:18).

The Christian will want to seriously regard the saying of an anonymous saint, ‘You cannot draw nigh to God if you are at a distance from your brother.’” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible

  1. Jesus Christ is eternal (v. 1).
  2. Christ has eternally existed with the Father (v. 2).
  3. In the fullness of time, God came in the form of a man (vv. 2-3).
  4. Because of the incarnation, the apostle John has, and all believers have, obtained fellowship with the Father and the Son (v. 3b).
  5. This proclamation leads to fellowship with other believers (v. 3a).
  6. The proclamation leads to intense joy (v. 4) (Psalm 16:1-3).


1. The more I ponder, rejoice in, and treasure Jesus the greater my joy/purpose/peace/hope.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:15-17

2. As I ponder, rejoice in, and treasure Jesus the more I will walk in the joy of self forgetfulness and kingdom mindedness.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

3. The more I ponder and think through the reality of all that Christ is and what he has done for me and my union in him the more embracive will be my relationships and friendships with like-minded pilgrims.

“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” C.S. Lewis