• Pastor Bowler

Passed From Death to Life

The Word of Life

I. The Declaration of the Word of Life

You cannot know Jesus Christ without declaring Him. You cannot know Him without speaking about Him. In 1 John 1:3 the Bible says, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you…” We must declare what we have seen and heard. We “declare” Him.

My lovely wife and I have been married since 1974 and of course, I am very grateful to God for her. We have a wonderful marriage. I am certainly not a perfect husband, and we do not have a perfect marriage. I do not know if there is such a thing. But I truly love her. I do not have any trouble talking to people about her. I do not have trouble speaking about her or making people aware that she is may wife because it is in my heart to do so. She means more to me than words can express. By the way, she often tells others that she loves me, too.

The truth of the matter is, when you love someone and know someone, you are going to speak about that person. If you and I are not talking about Christ, it is because something is wrong with our knowledge of Jesus Christ. We have allowed a fruitful knowledge to become an unfruitful knowledge. We have gotten into the facts and ideas and quote things and given cute little answers to religious questions to get people off our backs. But the truth of the matter is, He is nearly meaningless to us. John penned under the inspiration of God “We have seen Him and heard Him, and now we declare Him.” I think he could not help but declare Him.

I wish I could adequately express what the disciples were going through and the persecution they were receiving because of their faith. In Acts chapter 4, there were told not to speak. They were beaten and threatened. It was going to cost some of them their lives and it would cost the lives of many followers through the centuries. The Bible says in Acts 4:19-20, “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye…For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

They had to talk about Christ. They could not keep themselves from it because of what He had done for them. True followers of Jesus Christ cannot be silenced.

I love to meet people who talk about our Lord. They do not limit their talk about Him to Sunday. They speak of Him freely at home. They talk about Him on the job. They talk about Him at lunch, and on the hospital elevator, and in the doctor’s office.

Is it not wonderful to meet people who cannot help but talk about Him? They have heard Him, they know Him, and they love Him. It does not make any difference where they are. Their motive is not to be seen men; it is not something they work up—they love Him and declare Him.

II. The Possession of the Word of Life

How are the lives of people changed so dramatically from a life of sin and self-service to life of true joy in following Jesus Christ? The Bible says in 1 John 1:3-4,“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.”

How does this happen? How do people who are not in agreement with the things of God have their lives so drastically changed that now they enjoy fellowship together with the Lord and His people?

The apostle Paul wrote of this change in lives. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,…Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

This is a very bad list! I do not want to live in the same neighbourhood with this crowd! These are people you do not want around anyone you love. But note what verse eleven of this chapter says, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” They were changed by the blood of Christ. They were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” What is this treasure we have in earthen vessels? What is this possession we have in earthen vessels? It is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He has come to live in us. If you are a Christian, He has come to live in you. God made Himself known in the Person of His Son.

Look again at 1 John 1:3-4, “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.”

Every person wants exactly what God says here in verse four of 1 John chapter one. There is no doubt that everyone wants to be full of joy. The Lord Jesus said in John 15:11, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Where is the joy the Lord Jesus promised? It is in Him.

The older I get, and the longer I live, the more simple the Christian life becomes for me. We are to meet God in His Word and in prayer. We are to serve the Lord in a local assembly of baptized believers where we can have confidence that God’s work is being done God’s way.

Each of us has a world view. A world view is an interpretation of the world and an expression or idea about how it came to exist, and an application of that to your own life. A biblically-correct world view needs to be shaped in the hearts and minds of children at home.

When God manifests Himself to us, He becomes real to us, and then we declare Him to others. As we declare Him to others, they come to know Him, and they find that joy that can only be found in Him as He manifests Himself to them, and they want to declare Him to others.

You may have promised the Lord many times that you were going to change, but every time you attempted and failed, you tried in our own strength. You must confess to God that you are not able of doing what you ought to do apart from His strength at work in our life. Let’s ask God to enable us, and He will.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”—1 Peter 2:9

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