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John’s Purpose John 1:1-4


When we consider the last post, we were reminded how easy it is to twist words when the whole conversation has not been considered.  Each part serves a particular aspect under-girding the writer’s main point, so I want us to begin our study of 1 John in that place, John’s main point. John writes in verses 1-4 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life…That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”

What captures your attention in the opening of John’s letter? Three thoughts come to my mind. First, John’s words in the opening of this epistle draw our attention to the opening words of two other books in the Bible, the gospel of John and Genesis. Notice the similarities between “That which was from the beginning…the Word of life…”, “In the beginning was the Word…”, and “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” All three passages emphasize the eternality of the central figure in these books, God. In Genesis, the central figure is Yahweh the Creator. In John’s gospel, the central figure is the Word, the Creator, and in 1 John again, we find the Word of Life. Secondly, John’s words draw our attention to the physical reality of the incarnation of Christ. He says: “that which we have heard, our hands have handled, and that which we have seen and heard we declare unto you…” John is writing as a witness of physical events that he personally experienced, and then he is going to relate those events to the spiritual well-being of his church congregation. Apart from the incarnation of Christ, there could be no eternal life. Thirdly, John is going to emphasize his main point for writing the epistle. He says “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us…And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” John’s purpose can be summarized generally with the following statement: John wrote the his epistle confronting false teaching concerning the person of Christ and the nature of the Christian life, because he wanted these Christians to have a vibrant Christian experience as they walk in fellowship with God. God wants you to have a vibrant Christian experience as you walk in fellowship with Him, as well; therefore He preserved these words for your growth as a Christian. In our next post, I would like to dig a little deeper into John’s purpose, a vibrant Christian experience.


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Introduction to thoughts on 1 John

Imagine for a monument that you are a young person who has taken the potentially life changing step to run for public office in your local community. After formally announcing your candidacy, you are approached by a member of a popular local media outlet soliciting your first formal interview. Being young and inexperienced, you thrill at the opportunity to get your name and views out to the public, and after completing the interview, you eagerly anticipate its publication. Finally, the day comes that the interview is published. You pick up the paper and begin absorbing the article, but to your dismay, you meet an article that is far less flattering toward your views than you anticipated. You cringe in several location, where the author twisted your words, and presented them in a way that misrepresented your views. Every quote was verbatim, however not every quote accurately portrayed what you said in the interview. You quickly learned the hard lesson, that your words can be easily twisted and presented in a way that is quite contrary to your original intention.

As a pastor, it is both my passion and sacred duty to labor to “rightly divide” the word of truth for God’s people. Pastoral labors are not strictly academic; however, living and working in the midst of God’s people provide countless reminders of the devastating consequences of embracing false teaching to whatever degree we meet it. Ideas have consequences, and the degree to which we embrace right ideas will directly manifest itself in the blessings we experience in our daily Christian walk. To the contrary, wrong ides also have varying degrees of negative consequences. It was this passion that drove the Apostle John to pen a series of simple yet practical epistles to his beloved church family at Ephesus. Over last few months in our church here in Cape Coast, we have been studying the first of these epistles. Week after week, my hearts has been stirred by the pastoral love of John for his church family, and his desire to confront wrong thinking. It is my desire to share with you some of the highlights of our time spent in this epistle. Our next post will discuss the primary situation facing the church, and John’s approach to correcting this great problem in the church.



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Seek First the Kingdom of God

“Selfishness looks first at home, but godliness seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, yet in the long run selfishness is loss, and godliness is great gain. It needs faith to act towards our God with an open hand, but surely he deserves it of us; and all that we can do is a very poor acknowledgment of our amazing indebtedness to his goodness.”
Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

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Thoughts on Church Community

“When you build with natural tools, over time the natural divisions between people will become set in concrete. Use natural tools to reach middle-class whites, and over time your church will be middle-class white. But when you build with supernatural tools, over time those natural divisions begin to soften. An all-white church will, remarkably, slowly perhaps, become less all-white. This has been the story of my own congregation. 
While recognizing our tendency toward similarity, we should aspire toward community where similarity isn’t necessary—where no strand of similarity in the congregation explains the whole congregation. That kind of community defies naturalistic explanations.
God has great purposes for the community of your church: to safeguard the gospel, to transform lives and communities, to shine as a beacon of hope to the unconverted. Community that does this is demonstrably supernatural. It is not community designed around the gospel plus some other bond of similarity. It is community that reveals the gospel. Yet too often, community in our churches better testifies to our own prowess in niche marketing than to the supernatural at work.”
Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015).

Thoughts on the Relationship Between Theology and Our Love for God and One Another

“Our love isn’t proportional to our forgiveness; it’s proportional to our understanding of forgiveness. If someone has been forgiven by Christ’s supernatural sacrifice at the cross—and yet that person never explores the depths of his sin and the miracle of the atonement—his love will remain tepid. It is impossible to know too much about God and his love for us in Christ. If someone is into theology and not into loving others, the problem isn’t that he’s spent too much time learning about God; it’s that he never took to heart what he learned. In fact, 1 John warns he may not even be a believer at all. Supernatural community begins with sound theology. It is unapologetic about the sinfulness of sin. It is honest about God’s personal wrath in a personal hell—rather than making hell seem like a logical consequence of his justice that even he’s embarrassed by. It glories in the miracle of the atonement—how at the cross something so horrific could achieve something so beautiful. And in keeping with Christ’s resurrection from the dead, it expects transformed lives as a result.”

Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015).


Porcher Update January 2016

Missions Update Template


Sermon 1 “The Value of Learning from the Past” Romans 15:1-5

Sermon 1 “The Value of Learning from the Past”

Ill: Picture a young boy sitting in a classroom at the beginning of his education career. The teacher introduces the alphabet and numbers. The boy looks puzzled why am I learning about letters and numbers what practical purpose does this serve in my education. Why does he do this? He has no experience in life. He has no idea that the foundation for his ability to read, learn, and work hard is founded in those foundational things.

Text: Romans 15:1-5

Purpose: Paul wants the church at Rome to be patient and self-sacrificing toward their brothers, therefore He reminds them of the importance of learning from history, specifically the example of Christ, so that they we respond in a Christ honoring way.

Proposition: God wants you to walk in holiness by learning from the past.

Question 1: Why is history important?

  • History is about God.
    • Genesis 1:1
    • Colossians 1:16
  • History reveals God character and ways.
    • Genesis 50:20
    • Acts 17:24-28
    • Romans 11: 25-36
  • History reveals man’s character and ways.
    • Psalm 78:3-8

Ill: Our greatest pursuit in life is knowing God, and in that pursuit we will have a greater capacity to understand ourselves. A fear of God and knowledge of God is the starting point for all true wisdom.

Question 2: How does learning from history challenge us?

  • It gives us real life illustrations of God’s mighty working.
  • It shapes our ability to see with our eyes what the Bible states in other places.
  • It shows us living examples of ourselves. (It is often very difficult for us to see our own weaknesses or the results of sinful practices, but studying history helps us to see these things.

(Ill) Any single person can try to teach a married person how to have a good marriage, but practically, whether they realize it or not they have very little knowledge to draw from.

Question 3: What is the main purpose of studying history? Romans 15:4

  • Learning: Perspective, warning, direction
  • Patience: Life processes take time
  • Comfort: Life is full of challenges
  • Hope: There is a sure reward for faithfulness to all those who are in Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:6, 12-13

  • Holiness: You will not walk in holiness unless you take head to and pay attention to the history we find in the Bible.
  • Warning against pride: You will think to highly of yourself and puff yourself up with pride, unless you are constantly receiving instruction from Biblical history.
  • Perseverance: You will struggle to faithfully persevere in the Christian life without these great lessons from Biblical history.

Question 4: What will we be doing in the weeks and months to follow?

  • Saul: A humble man from a humble family becomes the king of Israel, a mighty warrior
  • David: A simple shepherd, the youngest of His father’s sons, becomes a mighty soldier, psalmist, king, and prophet.
  • We will see their strengths, weakness, opportunities, failures, responses to their sin, and God’s grace and justice. My prayer is that through these studies, our hearts will be drawn to the truth and stirred up to walk in holiness. I pray that we will learn, to become more patient, be comforted in times of testing, and strengthened to trust God steadfastly! May He be glorifies in our lives!

Conclusion: Do you want to be a godly person who walks in holiness and in the fear of the LORD? Then you must be a student of history!

  • Do you want Biblical wisdom?
  • Do you want to be more patient
  • Do you want encouragement in difficulty and comfort in sorrow?
  • Do you want to be holy?
  • Do you want to be humble?
  • Do you want to persevere?
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Posted by on September 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

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