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By James Dearmore - Over 49 yrs A Missionary
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Series on I John #1 - (or Stand Alone)
by Missionary James H. Dearmore, B.S., Th.B., Th.D.

Preached At One Of Our Missions In Africa (ibc)
August 29, 1982 © James H. Dearmore
Tape Recorded And Transcribed By Stenographer
(Edited To Reduce African Illustrations)

I want to speak to you tonight from a text in the book of I John. This is the first time in quite some while that I've spoken to you from anywhere in this book. And I felt that this was the message for us tonight. So let's turn there now to I John chapter 1. The theme tonight is something that you've heard me speak of many times before in various ways and from different directions, sideways and backward and forward and so forth. And yet, if you continue to hear me speak, you'll hear me speak on it many more times in the future. The theme is "The Life That Is Real" (in Jesus). That's the only life that really counts, isn't it? The life that's real in Jesus.

You know, back when we were children, and I can still remember it though I am fifty-two years old. And brother Kelly will tell you that he can still remember it if he is, what --- Seventy-one or seventy or whatever it is. Back when we were children, it used to be a very exciting thing when Mother or Dad would sit down and begin to read us a story or they'd tell a story and they'd say, "Once upon a time." Yes, "Once upon a time." Now you can remember that, can't you? Every one of you. Back when your older brother or your mother, your father, your auntie or somebody would begin to tell you a story as a little child and they'd start --- it's funny how all those stories always started, "Once upon a time," isn't it? You can't imagine how so many stories started that way but they did. All of them!

"Once upon a time." And those were very exciting words in our childhood days. They opened the way into a world of imagination and thrills, but it was just a dream world. A dream world of happiness to a child, when we were small children, wasn't it? Just those words --- They were like a doorway into a dream world of happiness. "Once upon a time."

But then, one day, a time came along and bang, that "Once upon a time," didn't satisfy us anymore, did it? We didn't like that "Once upon a time," we wanted something that was real. We wanted something that really was something you could touch, something you could experience, something you could feel, something you could know, rather than a dream world of "Once upon a time." And this search for reality is really what we're talking about tonight. The search for genuine reality.

The search for reality has been going on ever since the beginning of history. Ever since the first man and the first woman were created and placed here on earth by God. From that time until now, the search for reality has been going on. It has never ceased. It is searched for, this reality that we're speaking about, it is searched for in many ways. It is searched for in wealth or in thrills. It is searched for in conquests. It is searched for in power, in learning, and even in religion. And it is something that all men need to find. The life that is real in Christ.

Wanting something real though, and finding something real, are two entirely different things, aren't they? I believe there are people in the world today, I'm certain in my own mind that there are many people in the world today, who would like to find this real life. And yet, some way, the devil blinds them and they can't seem to find it. Most don't even know what they are looking for! They can't quite get hold of this real life in Christ, although they, in a sense, are seeking for it and would like to have it. But as we said, wanting something real and finding something real are not always synonymous!

Again, it's like a child, I remind you of something (and we still do this occasionally even when we're fifty-two years old). I might do it Tuesday if I get to go to the Pretoria show as I hope to do. It's like a child eating cotton candy at the circus, or at the Rand show. And that is what life is like a lot of the time. It is like a child eating cotton candy. Many people are like that today in their life because they expect to bite into something real and they end up with a great big mouthful of nothing.

Now isn't that right? A lot of people do that. And that is about the way it is when you eat this cotton candy! You've got a whole, big mouthful and really you've got a mouthful of air, haven't you? Just a faint, sweet taste and that's about all there is to it. This cotton candy!

And that is the way people are about life sometimes, they think they've got a big bite of something, a big mouthful, and it turns out to be just a mouthful of nothing. And they waste priceless years on empty substitutes for reality. But there is no substitute for reality that satisfies like the reality itself does. Nothing really satisfies like the reality of Christ.

John's first epistle here from which we'll be reading in a moment, written about 1,900 years ago, deals with this theme that is as old as the world and yet is always new. The life that is real in Christ!

John had discovered something. He had discovered satisfying reality is not to be found in things or thrills but rather satisfying reality is to be found in a person, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. That's where real, honest-to-goodness, genuine reality is to be found. It is not to be found in things or thrills but in a person, Jesus the Christ, the Eternal Son of God.

He tells about this living reality in the very first paragraph of his letter, I John chapter 1. Let's read the first four verses, the first paragraph of the book. First John chapter 1:1-4: "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; (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;) 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."

We won't take time to really look at every word in those verses, but I just must call your attention to two or three things there before we go on to a little more organized look. Notice what he's developing here right from the beginning of the book, is reality. That's what he's emphasizing, isn't it? Reality! "That which was from the beginning." Now something that was, has to be a reality otherwise it couldn't be --- he couldn't say it was! Not an imaginary thing, but it is something that really was from the beginning!

And then he makes it even more plain by saying, "Which we have heard." "We've heard about it. And we've heard it." But then he goes ahead and makes it even more real by saying: "We've seen it with our own eyes," he says, "which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon." "And not only that, but we've touched it." "Our hands have handled of the Word of life."

They had seen Jesus in the flesh with their own eyes. They had been with Him between three and four years, almost every day. They had eaten with Him hundreds of times. They had been with Him when He said, "Feed this multitude of 5,000 men, plus the women and children." Which would have been perhaps twelve to fourteen thousand people. They said, "Oh, but we don't have any food. What will we feed them with?" And what did Jesus say? He said, "Feed them." They said, "We have a little boy here that's got a little bit of fish and a few loaves." Five loaves and two fishes I believe it was. "We've got a little boy like that. And that's all the food in the whole crowd of twelve or fifteen thousand people." They were with Him when that happened.

These men, and this man who wrote this was no doubt there when this happened. And he saw Jesus take the two fishes and the five loaves and bless it and break it and said, "Now, distribute it to the people." And they gave it out, and they gave it out, and they gave it out, and everybody was filled and satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full afterwards of the scraps left over from the five loaves and the two fishes. They had seen this! They knew about the reality of it. He said, "Which we've looked upon and our hands have handled of the Word of life."

He says, "The life was manifested." "It was made plain to us. And we've seen it. And we bear witness of it. And we show unto you that eternal life. And that's what I'm trying to do here tonight. To show you that eternal life, "Which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us." Jesus, the Son of God. The real, honest-to-goodness reality of things is in a person, not in thrills, not in wealth, not in friendship, though friendship is sweet; not in family, though family is sweet; but the honest-to-goodness reality of life is found in Jesus.

He says, "We're only telling you about that which we've seen and heard. We're declaring that unto you, not something else. Not just something that we don't really know about. But we're telling you about that true fellowship that we have with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ." And that's what I'm trying to do tonight. That is what I try to do every time I preach. Every time I witness, every time I write an article for "The Message" (a gospel paper we published for many years), every time I write a tract, anything that I do, I try to witness about this reality that is found only in Jesus!

And you say, "Well, why do you do that, Brother Dearmore?" I'll tell you why I do it. For the same reason that John said he was doing this. "These things write we unto you," for what reason? "That your joy may be full." In order that you can have this real life, that you can have this peace, that you can have this joy down in your heart. That real peace that knows that if you drop dead where you sit now or if I drop dead in this pulpit, that immediately we would be with the Lord on the golden street. That's the reality, isn't it? That is the reality. And the reason for preaching it is that your joy may be full, as John said here.

Now, let's think a little while about this in a more organized fashion for just a few minutes. There are three vital facts about the life that is real. And we want to speak about them in order tonight for the next little while.

In the first place, this life that's real is revealed, isn't it? It's revealed. It's not something that is hidden away. It's not something that can't be fathomed. It's not something that can't be approached or achieved or reached. It's not that at all. It is not something just beyond our reach all the time. But it is something that is revealed to man.

One of John's favorite words, if you read the book, this whole book, in the entire first epistle of John, you'll find that one of his favorite words was this word "manifest." "Manifest." There in I John 1:2, we read it to you already, where he said, "For the life was manifested." Now what does that mean, when he says it was manifested? It means it was not hidden. It wasn't hidden in order that we must search for it, but it was manifested, that is, it was revealed openly to them, this life that is real in Jesus!

If you were God, let me ask you this question, how would you reveal yourself to man? I know, of course, that we have no way to give a proper answer to that question, but it will guide our study and our thoughts here for the next minute or two. If you were God, how would you reveal yourself to men?

We could list several ways that God obviously has used to reveal Himself to man. One is that He revealed Himself in creation, didn't He? Romans 1:20 speaks along those lines when it says: "For the invisible things of him," speaking of God, of course, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." Now what's he saying? He is saying that the things of God are clearly seen and understood by those things which were created. That is, by man in other words. "Even his eternal power and Godhead." Even creation shows us a little bit about God, doesn't it? "So that they are without excuse."

So that they are without excuse. That's part of the answer to the problem of what about this poor fellow that hasn't heard the gospel preached properly. Well, even the stars preach the gospel. The arrangement of the stars preaches the gospel. The arrangement of the constellations and the galaxies in the heavens preaches the gospel. Someday, God willing, I'm going to preach to you on that and show it to you from the arrangement of the stars that the heavens preach the gospel. But here he says that the creation reveals God to some extent to all men, doesn't it? And therefore they are without excuse.

But the problem with this creation revelation is that creation could not reveal all of the full story of His love for man, could it? It was not sufficient by itself. So, He revealed Himself more fully in His Word, the Bible, right here. (Holds up Bible). The thing we always preach from. The thing we always teach from in Sunday School. The thing we always teach from in our Bible college classes, and so forth. He revealed Himself more fully in His Word.

But now the final, thrilling and complete revelation of Himself to man is found in His Son, Jesus Christ --- Only in Jesus! Because His Son is very God as well as very man. And therefore, He Himself could fully reveal God to man. In the gospel of John, 14:9, Jesus said this: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." So the full and complete and final revelation of God to man was and is in His Son!

If we go back and think about that a little bit further, we might say it this way, because Jesus is God's revelation of Himself, First John 1:1 calls Him "the Word of life." There in the last part of the first verse he calls Him "the Word of life." The Word of life, this real life, is revealed in Christ.

Then if we go back to the gospel of John, and read the first verse, we see: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Jesus, the complete and full revelation of God to man.

John clearly identifies Jesus as the Son of God in the third verse of our text this evening, First John 1:3. And then he warns several times in his letter through the following verses and chapters of the letter not to listen to false teachers who tell lies about Jesus Christ. We have many today who do this, too. We still have some around who tell lies about Jesus. He speaks of this in 2:22 in particular, when he says this: "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ." That's what John said about them as he warns about that.

Wrong about Christ --- here's the sad part about these people who claim to be Christians and yet they don't seem to understand anything in reality about Christ. The sad part about that situation is that to be wrong about Christ means to be wrong about everything important. Now you think about that. To be wrong about Christ means to be wrong about everything important because Jesus is the final and complete revelation of God to men. So if you're wrong about that, then you're wrong about everything that really matters, if you're wrong about Jesus.

First John 5:20 says: "We are in him that is true, even his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." To be in Christ is automatically to be in eternal life. To be out of Christ is automatically to be outside of eternal life or outside of this real life that we're talking about.

False teachers must be firmly rejected. We see in the records of the life of Jesus many of the wonderful things of the life that God wants us to enjoy. But it is not just by imitation of Jesus that we may share in this life that's real. There is much more to it than that. It is not sufficient just to try to imitate the life of Jesus. There is more to it than that in order to share in this real life, this eternal life that's found only in Him.

Now we said there are three vital facts about the life that's real that we want to think about for a few minutes now. We've mentioned already and discussed in some detail the fact that this life is revealed to us in Jesus. Now let's think for a minute about this. This life is experienced. It is not only revealed to us, but it is experienced. It is something that you've got to experience yourself. If I could, I'd be saved for every man in the world and then that would be the end of it, and we could all go on to heaven and be happy forever, couldn't we? But this is something that each man has to experience for himself. This real life has to be experienced by you!

Or as we would say when I was a kid, when we were smarting off, you'd tell a fellow, "You do so and so and I'll knock your block off." And he'd say, "Who's going to do that, or you and who else?" And then your answer, of course, was, "Me, myself and I."

Now that's the point we are making here. You've got to do this yourself. Me, myself and I. I mean, you cannot do it in the sense of saving yourself, but you must experience it for yourself! No one else can experience it for you. If they could, then a few of these grand, old warriors of the cross would volunteer to experience it for the whole world and then we could all go on to heaven and be happy, couldn't we? Heaven on earth --- the whole world saved, if you could experience it for everybody else. But you can't. Each man must experience it. So this life is experienced and each man must experience it for himself.

John had a personal encounter with Jesus. In the first four verses of this first chapter of the epistle of John we just read to you a few minutes ago, we saw an account of this. He had a personal encounter with Jesus, didn't he? What did he say? He said he knew Jesus face to face!

Like the song says, "Face to face shall I behold Him. Far beyond the starry sky. When with Rapture, I behold Him. Jesus Christ, who died for me."

John is telling about the fact that he had seen Jesus face to face many times! He had experienced it, this life! He had heard Jesus speak. Jesus had lived with John and the other apostles over a period of years. They studied under Jesus, their teacher. No doubt, they had even touched His body. They knew Jesus was real. There was no question about it! They knew it was real. They knew this wasn't just a figment of somebody's wild imagination. They knew it was real!

Some today might say that John had an advantage, and yet when we stop and really think about it, we can realize that it is not the physical nearness to Jesus that made the apostles what they were. It wasn't really that which made them what they were. It was their spiritual nearness to Jesus which made them what they really were. And this spiritual nearness to Jesus can be experienced by men today, can't it? Just as much as it could be by the apostles in the days of Christ.

Jesus was real and exciting to John and the apostles because of what? Why was He real and exciting to them? He was real and exciting to them because they had trusted in Him. They had believed in Him as the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Messiah. That's the reason it was such a thrill to them. That's the reason it was so exciting to them to be with Jesus because they had trusted and had believed in Him.

By trusting Christ, in other words, they had experienced eternal life. Just as we can experience eternal life today by trusting Jesus. And there's no other way to experience it either. This is the only way. Just this one way.

Five different times in this letter, John uses the phrase, "born of God." "Born of God" --- in this little, short book of I John, five different times he uses that expression, "born of God."

John heard Jesus use these words from His own mouth. He had heard the words come from the very mouth of Jesus. In John 3:3, it is recorded: "Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'"

You say, "Well, now I just can't understand the new birth." Well, don't feel too badly about that, I don't understand it either. Nicodemus didn't understand it either. But he believed, got saved, and was one of the fellows who came and buried the body of Jesus, at great personal risk to himself! He was a prominent Jewish leader, yet he came and begged for the body of Jesus and took it out and buried it along with Joseph of Armata. So he undoubtedly was saved. He undoubtedly truly believed, because he risked all. Here they've just crucified the leader of this little group of believers and yet, Nicodemus goes out there and takes His body, being a great leader of the Jews --- he risks everything, his whole life-style, his position, leadership and everything, to go with Joseph and bury the body of Jesus.

We can experience this real life only after we have believed the gospel, put our trust in Christ and been born of God, as Jesus spoke about in John 3:3 when He was speaking to Nicodemus. And John, the apostle, wrote about here in his epistle five different times, speaking of this "born of God."

One thing about this eternal life or this real life that we can have in Jesus is that it is not earned by good works or by good character. Sometimes, and I don't want this to sound as if I'm making light of the wrong thing because I don't mean it that way, but sometimes when you see some sorry, good-for-nothing, low-down rascal out here, you could almost feel (if the Lord didn't get a hold of your old, mean human heart), you could almost feel like, "Well, let the sorry rascal go on to hell!" But the thing that is really pathetic is when you see this fellow of good (public) character, a wonderful fellow, just a nice all around outstanding fellow, but yet you know that he has not yet come to know the Lord. And then you could just weep to think about it. But eternal life is not earned by good works or good character. Being a good citizen isn't enough.

Eternal life, this life that is real, is a free gift from God to those who trust His Son as their Savior. And it cannot be obtained in any other way. There is no other way --- it is absolutely impossible to obtain the life that is real in any other way.

First John was written to tell people how to be sure they have really been born of God. You say, "Well, where does it tell that? I'd like to know how I can be sure that I've really been born of God."

Turn to I John chapter 5, verse 13. And we'll see that this is the reason why the book was written. "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." So there he rolls it all up in one ball of wax, as we used to say, doesn't he? You can know that you have this eternal life because you have believed on the name of the Son of God. Or as he said in a different way, "that ye believe on the name of the Son of God."

Now some characteristics of one who is born of God --- one could make a long list, but let's quickly look at a few of them here. In the first place, one truly born of God lives a righteous life. That does not mean that he never makes a mistake. It does not mean that he never commits a sin. We won't be that way till we get to heaven. When we get to heaven, then we won't commit anymore sin. But he doesn't just habitually and constantly and continually go out here and dwell in and dabble in and live in sin, if he's truly been saved. He lives a righteous life. That's in chapter 2, verse 29. He does not habitually and knowingly practice sin. That's recorded in 3:9 of this same book, First John.

He will occasionally commit sin. This is also recorded here in I John. In chapter 1, verse 8 and chapter 2, verse 2, that he will occasionally commit sin. And then, of course, our favorite excuse is, "Well, the devil made me do it." But that's not really the whole story, is it?

They love each other. This is another characteristic of one who is truly born of God. They love each other and they love the Father. We find that in chapter 4, verse 7 and chapter 5, verse 1.

Another thing that's very obvious about truly saved people is they have no love for the world's system. They're not all wrapped up in the desire to be an active part of the evil world's system in which we have to live. We can't be part from the world, as Paul said. We must be in the world, as Paul said in another place, but we must not be of the world. We have to live here; there's no other place to live. We can't live on the moon yet, can we? Maybe someday we can, but not now we can't. But they have no love for the world's system. That's in 2:15-17.

And then another characteristic of these truly saved people is they overcome the world. Yes, they overcome the world. They are not overcome by the world, but they overcome the world. And if you read over there, you'll find that the victory that overcomes the world is "Even our faith!". That is what overcomes the world!

You know, I'm afraid we've got a lot of counterfeit Christians around the world today who are not born of God and they're just like a counterfeit bank note. You know, we've had some problems here in the Republic recently, not long back, they were putting out warnings about a bunch of twenty rand notes that were not real. They were fakes. Counterfeit bills, counterfeit notes. And I'm afraid a lot of Christians that we have in the world today are just like those counterfeit notes, they're not real at all. They don't truly know the Lord. They just have the name of being a Christian. Either because they were sprinkled as they were a baby or because they go to church occasionally or because they were christened in the church or because they do this or do that or do something else. And they don't really know anything about true salvation.

But if you have not experienced, remember, we said that this eternal life is revealed, this life is experienced, and if you've not experienced this eternal life, then you can now. Romans 10:13 says this about it. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Going on quickly to a conclusion, the third thing about this life, not only is it revealed and not only is it experienced but this life is shared. This life is shared. If you've really been saved, you're going to want to share it with somebody else. You're going to want to share it with everybody else. Not in a holier-than-thou type attitude, but because of your concern about the unsaved. You're going to desire to lead them to know Christ as well. And put them on that road that leads to the golden street. This life is shared.

First John 1:3 says this about it, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." You can't hide it if you're a really, honest-to-goodness, born again Christian and you have this real life in you, then they will know about it. They'll know about it and you'll want to share it with others besides. Once you experience this exciting life that's real, then you will want to share it with others. You won't want to hide it from others.

John wrote this letter for the purpose (as he said here and I just read it to you) of sharing Christ with us. He had five purposes for sharing. His five purposes that are shown here for his sharing are this.

In the first place, that we may have fellowship. You can't have a real friend --- oh, I know you can have a buddy-buddy, and you think he's your special friend. And maybe he is in the human sense. But you can't have a friend who sticks with you past the point of death, except in Christ. That we may have fellowship. That real, honest-to-goodness fellowship.

Because Jesus became man and died for us, we can have fellowship with God and with each other. Without that we couldn't have real fellowship with each other or with God. In other words, the life that is real solves one of the greatest problems of mankind today --- that is, it solves the problem of loneliness.

You say, "Oh, but there are thousands of people all around us, how could one be lonely?" There are millions of people in the world today, living in big cities, that are at the point of dying from loneliness. And this life that is real solves the problem of loneliness because you have Jesus with you all the time.

Another reason, another purpose for sharing this that John gives us is that we may have joy. And I read that one to you earlier, First John 1:4. Joy is Christ's answer to the emptiness and hollowness of life. This joy that's just there! It's not something that makes you get out and go crazy and roll around on the floor or anything. But it's just that peace and joy in your heart knowing that you've got Jesus there. And it doesn't make any difference if you're ten years old or if you're like some of these old warriors of the cross like Brother Kelly, seventy-one, seventy-two. He's got that joy in his heart just like the ten year old child who has just been saved --- still the same peace there, isn't it, Brother Kelly? Same way it was when you first came to know the Lord. And it will still be there when we walk on the golden street! That joy and peace that we can have! That joy, as he said here in I John 1:4: "These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." This real life, this eternal life that is real, or the life that is real in Christ is something that produces joy!

Another purpose for sharing is (and he gives this to us) that we may not sin. That is, to keep us from sinning. He shares with us for that purpose in I John 2:1. John faces the sin problem squarely. And he presents the only answer for sin. The only answer for sin is the person and work of Jesus Christ. There is no other answer. Man doesn't have any answer apart from that. Of course, that is not man's answer, that is God's answer. The only answer for sin is the person and work of Jesus.

The life that's real is a life of victory. And John shows us how to experience victory over temptation and sin. In I John 2:26, he speaks to us that we may not be deceived. Here he uses the word antichrist. Antichrist. Now anti- means against or instead of. If you'll look it up in the dictionary, you'll see that it has those meanings. And many people today, many false teachers, are going about over the world today seducing people with lies. They offer a substitute Christ. That is, one instead of the true Christ. Or one against the true Christ. And they seduce people with lies and offering this substitute Christ, a substitute salvation and a substitute Bible. But the Holy Spirit will help us to detect and to reject untruths, if we really and truly have the life that is real.

But without this life that's real, you're completely at the mercy of every lying spirit that comes along because you don't have the Spirit of God to guide you into all truth. Oh, you may be skeptical and you may not be taken in and yet even in that, you will be seduced, in your skepticism, unless you have the life that's real. And that means if you have the life that's real that you have the Spirit of God in your heart to reveal the truth to you.

Now another reason or another purpose that John had for sharing this was that we may know that we're saved. He speaks of that in I John 5:13. The disciples died for their faith. Think about this for just a minute as we near a close. They died for their faith. Do you believe that men would die for something that they didn't know was real? These men wouldn't have died for something had they not known that it was real, would they? It'd be completely unreasonable, ridiculous, unthinkable. Down through the ages, millions of men have died for the cause of Christ. Would they die for something that's not real? Would they? Would they? No, they wouldn't. That we may know that we're saved, that was one of his reasons for sharing and for telling us about this in the book here.

The disciples, as we said, died for their faith. They knew what they had seen. They knew! They didn't have any doubts about it. It is like, as a closing illustration, we might give the story of the human fly. You, no doubt, have read about some of these human flies that do incredible climbing acts on buildings and other things, and many men today are somewhat in the same position as this human fly I read about one time. He was the greatest. He was fantastic. He was putting on a performance in front of a huge crowd of people. And he was going to climb this twenty-nine story building without any aids except just his shoes and his hands. And so he started up the building --- he was being very careful, going up as he went. Sticking his fingers into the right places to get a grip and hold him as he went up. Up there about ten stories up, he put his hand out and reached to hold on to what he thought was some mortar. Instead, it was cobwebs! It came off in his hand, he fell and was killed!

And that's the way so many people are today about salvation. They're holding on, they're just up to the critical point, and then they grab a handful of cobwebs and they fall --- They don't have the reality! They've just got a handful of nothing, or a mouthful of nothing, as we were talking about earlier.

All the way through I John, to summarize the whole thing, we find the themes of obedience, love and truth go through the book in every chapter. He also emphasizes fellowship and shows some conditions for fellowship. The conditions that he particularly emphasizes for fellowship are obedience, love and truth.

Now as a man grows in the life that is real, by reading and studying the Bible, by prayer, by hearing the Word taught and preached, after he's been born again through faith in Jesus, then these things always follow: the Spirit controlled mind knows the truth when it hears it, the heart feels love, and the will inclines us toward obedience. In other words, what it all boils down to is just what we've been talking about from start to finish today. This life that is real is revealed, it is experienced and it is shared!

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