1 John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we to you, that you also may have fellowship with us…
Our text presents a work, a motive, and an object. A work to declare Christ unto you; a motive, to become your spiritual benefactors; an object, to bring you into fellowship with us, "and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ."
I. A PERSONAL AND EXPERIMENTAL KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST EMINENTLY FITS US TO DECLARE HIM UNTO YOU. This is our work, and for this experimental qualification there can be no substitute; neither training, learning, nor natural talent may be put in its place. Spiritual knowledge and experience is a mighty power here; without it, all is feeble.
1. It implies a revelation of Christ. The age for personal manifestation is passed away; this book supplies its place. This is the Christ we declare — a Divine Christ, in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
2. It implies real and experimental knowledge of Christ. We have seen Him, not with mortal eyes, but by spiritual sight, seen Him through an adapted medium, as set forth in revelation, as apprehended by faith; seen Him so as to know, love, and trust in Him.
3. It implies appreciation. "We have handled Him," heard with our own ears, seen with our own eyes; handled with our own hands, and tested with our senses, and now we appreciate Him as Saviour. He has saved us — we feel it, we know it. As such, we present Him to you; we appreciate Him as able to do all things for us: what He has done, guarantees ability to do all that is needful. Being justified by His death, we shall be saved by His life.
II. IN DECLARING CHRIST TO YOU, WE ARE MOVED BY A SACRED AND DIVINE FEELING OF BENEVOLENCE.
1. It is love. The love of Christ constrains us. That love is without parallel or comparison; it was love to enemies, and manifested in intense suffering. I enjoy the benefit of it; I want you to do the same.
2. To this we are moved by sympathy. We know your state; we see you strangers and aliens from God; we know your woes, disappointments, and dissatisfaction; yes, and we know your danger — we were once in the same state. We have found great spoil, we want you to come and share it; we have found great joy, we want you to come and be glad with us; we have found Christ, we want you to find Him too: hence we declare Him unto you.
3. In this we are moved by a sense of duty. Thus it becomes a motive here. Every servant has work to do. Christ bids us preach, we may not be silent; the Church requires the gospel, and we must preach it; the world is perishing for lack of knowledge, and we must teach it. A field, waste and desolate, lays at our feet — we must cultivate it; souls are in danger, and we must not parley nor trifle.
III. IN A SPIRITUAL PARTICIPATION AND FELLOWSHIP WITH THE FATHER AND THE SON, THE WANTS OF MAN ARE MET.
1. We have fellowship with Christ by faith; this meets our necessity as sinners.
2. We have fellowship in labour and honour; this meets our wants as probationers.
3. We have fellowship in blessedness; and this meets our necessities as sufferers.
4. We have fellowship in the things of eternity; and this meets our necessity as immortal beings.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.