The Word of Life
There is a five fold purpose expressed in 1 John: (1) 1:3, “That ye also may have fellowship with us [other believers]: and … with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ;” (2) 1:4, “That your joy may be full” (3) 2:1, “That ye sin not” (4) 5:13, “That ye may know that ye have eternal life” and (5) 5:13, “That ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
The “Word of Life” is one of the wonderful titles given to our Lord Jesus Christ. The powerful purpose of the Bible is to reveal the Word of Life to us. We find this purpose clearly declared in 1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
As the Lord opens for us the first epistle of John, we find how quickly He leads us to the Word of Life. The things we find in the epistle are written to believers who “…believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13) Every believer should take the time to read meaningfully this entire epistle.
Our God is eternal. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are co-equal, co-existent, eternally existent. God the Son became a man without ceasing to be God. He is co-existent, co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
In John 1:14 the Bible says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
John wrote a testimony to believers in this first epistle concerning the Word of Life. The Lord Jesus is referred to as the “Word.” We all have thoughts, but thoughts are not known until they are formed into words. Those words express our thoughts. They express who we are and what we believe.
In the Word, the Lord Jesus, we have the very expression of God. God reveals to us who He is in the Person of Jesus Christ. He also reveals His great love for us. The Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Lord Jesus is referred to as the “Word of Life.” I trust you know Him—not simply in His humanity, in only a historical sense; but I trust you know Him as your Saviour.
Notice the manifestation of the Word of Life.
God has revealed Himself to us in the Person of the Son of God. He became flesh and dwelt among us. 1 John 1:1-2 declares, “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…(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.)”
John says, I want to tell you about Him, and he asserts the reality of the total personality of Jesus: (1) “We have heard” (through the ear-gate); (2) “we have seen” (through the eye-gate); (3) “we have looked upon” (lit., gazed intently upon); and (4) “our hands have handled.”
John remembered the day when someone came to him and told him of the Messiah. He recognized the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is. He said, “I heard Him speak! With the ears I heard His voice! I heard the very voice of God! With these eyes Have seen God in the Person of His son! I heard Him say, ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,’ and with my eyes I beheld the Lord Jesus Christ!”
Try to imagine the radiant hope in this man’s heart as he said, “I have seen the risen Christ! I know He’s real! I have examined every aspect of His life in detail. I have looked upon Him. He is everything that He claims to be. He is God! He did have a real body. He came forth bodily out of the grave, alive forevermore! I have handled the Word of Life!”
John says in verse two, “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.” Christ existed before He came to earth. He was with the Father, and He was manifested unto us. John’s life was changed by Jesus Christ. John said, “This is real to me! I have seen Him! I have handled Him! My eyes have beheld Him! My ears have heard His voice!”
This is somewhat the same testimony that Peter gave. II Peter 1:15-18 says,
“Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance…For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty…For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased…And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”
Peter declares, “This is not a cunningly-devised fable that we followed, or a dream that someone had about a Messiah and a Saviour. We were with Him! We know He is true! As a matter of fact, we were with Him on that holy mount when He was transfigured into the glorious likeness that He shall come in someday. We beheld the glory of God! We saw Him! We heard God speak! No man can take that from us!” Many people might say, “Well, if we could have been there and heard that, then we hold speak with this same kind of assurance.”
On the contrary, the Bible says in II Peter 1:19-21,
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts…Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation…For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
We have a more sure word of prophecy than someone testifying about what he saw! Peter said, “This is not just a man’s testimony, we have a more sure word of prophecy than that! God has recorded in His Word for us that these things are true.”
Has God made Himself known to you? Do you truly know Him? Some you on occasion talk about Him when you are called upon to do so. Some of you give answers to please people who question you. Some of you give answers because that is what you know others want to hear. But do you truly know Him.
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”
—2 Corinthians 4:6