AN ENCOUNTER AND CONTINUING EXPERIENCES

1 John 1:1-4 “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.”

**To be born again means that we have had an encounter with the living God
We have encountered His love – 1 John 4:8

We have encountered His peace in our heart and lives
Peace with God – Romans 5:1
Peace of God – John 14:27
This encounter is life changing – transforming us from the inside out
**A continuing experience…
To be born again means that we also continue to experience God on a regular basis as we live out our daily life – at work, at home, in our neighbourhood
John the apostle writes and says…
**That which we have seen – encountered, experienced
John 3:3 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
**That which we have heard – because we can hear the voice of God
John 10:3 “The sheep hear his voice…”
John 10:4 “The sheep follow Him, for they know His voice”
John 10:16 “The sheep obey His voice”
**That which we have touched – we have touched and experienced His power
Power to move us from darkness to light – Colossians 1:13
Power to move in the supernatural – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Power to be a witness (evangelism / testimony) – Acts 1:8
**So, as believers – disciples, followers – we have had an encounter with the living God
God with us – Emmanuel – Jesus – the Word of Life
And that initial encounter is followed by regular experiences of His peace, His presence, and His power
Totally life-changing, life-altering, transformational
Never to be the same again
Never to be the same as you were last year, last week…
**We are now new creatures in Christ
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
John continues in his letter to state that we can know for certain that we are truly born again – that we are truly ‘new creatures’…
**1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know (for certain) that you have eternal life.”
Eternal life is a gift you receive when you are born again – saved
Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life”
This gift is the supernatural ability to have a personal relationship with God
John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
So he states, “I write these things…”
What things?
Well, there are almost 30 verses in the five chapters of the first letter of John that state:
**“If you are born again…”
“If you know God…”
“If you are born from above…”
“If you live in Him…”
“If you have been born of God…”
So, everyone can test themselves to see if they are true believers are simply cultural Christians
**2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
If we are truly born again and our lives have been transformed and dramatically altered / different – then we will see six major areas where life has changed and continues to change
*All NIV verses – underlined reference to “saved”*
**
Obedient to His commands
1 John 2:3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
Being saved or born again means we have made Jesus Lord and not just Saviour. As Lord, He expects that we will obey Him. His commands are not suggestions – they are commands.
Jesus said: “If you love Me you will obey Me.” (John 14:23)
**
By words and life-style we show people Jesus
1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
To be born again means to “have the Father”
1 John 4:15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
Acknowledges by:
Attitude
Life-style
Mouth / words spoken
Thoughts
**
Practices Righteousness
1 John 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
** 1 John 3:6,9 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
** 1 John 5:18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.
May stumble and fall BUT not constantly into / over the same “sin”
**
        4. Has a tremendous love for other Christians
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Practical love on a daily basis
** 1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
This also means being an active and participating member of a local church where you can practically love other believers on a regular basis
**
     5> Believes that Jesus is the Christ
To believe means to trust with one’s whole being
1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well.
** 1 John 3:23-24 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.  Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
**
       6> Overcomes (overcoming) the world by faith
1 John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
** 1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
** 1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
That you may know deep inside that you are going to Heaven when you die
That you may have a deep assurance that God loves you and experience that love today and every day as you share it with others
When you became born again and a true believer God comes and lives inside your spirit (heart) and then begins to live His life through you
Tom taught recently … and had a tremendous quote in the teaching:
** “For too long we’ve called unbelievers to ‘invite Jesus into your life.’ Jesus doesn’t want to be in your life. Your life (before Him) is a wreck. Jesus calls you into His life. And His life isn’t boring or purposeless or static. It’s wild and exhilarating and unpredictable.“
That expresses so well Paul’s experience when he writes:
** Acts 17:28 “In him we live and move and have our being…”
Paul understood that when a person becomes born again that their old life is dead and gone and now God lives His life in and through us…
** Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
And, as He lives His life in and through us we continue to “see, hear, and touch” and always have something new and fresh to share with others who do not know God personally
So that they will experience His love and become a believer and “share fellowship with us and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son…”
Then our joy will be made full / complete … because we will be fruitful and productive in the Kingdom
“Going into all the world and making disciples…” (Matthew 28:19)
So, Peter writes:
** 1 Peter 2:9 (The Message Version) “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you— from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”
** Your personal testimony – encounter and experience – with God as He lives His life through you
Your salvation experience (being born again)
Your experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and empowered
Your continuing changes in your life – the way you see life and live life
Your regular (daily) experiences as you see God touch others through you
Fresh manna daily…
This is living life that is a light for others to see as Jesus did
** John 1:4 “In him was life (Zoe, God’s life and nature), and the life was the light of men.”
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
This is why we are constantly experiencing God in our lives so that our testimony (story of our walk with God) remains fresh and vibrant – interesting and exciting to share
** An encounter and continuing experiences with God