Complete Joy in Knowing The One Who Is in The Beginning (1 John 1: 1-4)

Complete Joy in Knowing The One Who Is in The Beginning (1 John 1: 1-4)

prédication 1 Jean 1 : Patrice Berger, 2021_03_16, église AB Lausanne

titre : Complete Joy in Knowing The One Who Is in The Beginning (1 John 1: 1-4)

Résumé : Summary: The apostle John begins his gospel and his series of epistles with the “beginning”. The foundations of faith are based on an explanation of life and the beginning of all that exists. Isn’t this an opportunity to reflect on this point?

Complete Joy in Knowing The One Who Is in The Beginning (1 John 1: 1-4)

The book of the Bible that we are going to open today will not be the book of Exodus, but the first epistle written by the apostle John.

1 John 1: 1-4 (Check the sidebar)

John the Apostle

The apostle John, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, is the one who lived the longest. He was a remarkable witness to recall the beginning of the birth of the church of Christ and the simple and marvellous fundamentals of the work of Christ.

Great pedagogy

There again, with great pedagogy, he reminds us of the essentials so that our joy is complete, deep, and anchored in the truth.

Gospel author

The apostle John is also the author of the Gospel of John. Both writings begin with the same starting point, “the beginning”.
All truth rests on a clear basis. The apostle likes to recall it.
He is going to tell us about Jesus who is from the beginning.

Just like the apostle Paul

Colossians 1: 16-18
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 Indeed, in him everything was created in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, thrones, sovereignties, dominions, authorities. All was created by him and for him.
17 He exists before all things and everything subsists in him.
18 He is the head of the body which is the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, in order to be the first in everything.


If we want our joy to be complete without being disappointed, it must be based on something reliable.

Need for a starting point

Whatever our understanding of the Bible and science, there must be a starting point, as with all things.

Weak foundations

There is no point in going back to the subject with billions of years if I do not know the starting point. All these billions of years rest on what? It’s a scam, it’s not a scientific process, it’s a reverie, a delirium, it’s ideological.

The Big-Bang

A friend in a child’s class heard the teacher explain the Big Bang to explain our origins: with a great image, she explained that the profusion of planets came from the magma which had exploded as if a big firecracker had propelled the planets we know.
She had known how to put herself at the level of the daily life of her students to explain to them a scientific notion.
Then one of his students raised his hand:

  • “Mistress, who lit the firecracker? « .

You need a starting point!

Characteristic of the starting point
A starting point is needed which is not only a biological coincidence.

For it to make sense, the starting point has to have the creative capacity, it has to work and there has to be a purpose.

Confrontation of two ideas

To be even clearer, the explanation of the “beginning” is confronted with two main ideas:
• God at the origin
• or ousting God, in favour of pseudo-scientific hypotheses.
Both appeal to faith.

Without God

Without God, we have been indoctrinated since childhood, in all the naturalist reports that it is a conjunction of selections and adaptations that makes us become what we are.

A Single Ferrari

In short, we are being told that all the parts of a Ferrari have been fine-tuned to the nearest micron and assembled with surgical precision.


Incidentally, this perfection is based on the fact that, of course, positive changes are still going to occur and are resolutely going to be for the better…

More and more elaborate!

And that we start from something simple to move towards something elaborate, more beautiful, and more complex.

But we observe the opposite
Except that, what we observe, is precisely the opposite, the changes go towards an alteration, in an ageing manner on planet earth.

The diversity of fauna and flora is becoming increasingly impoverished, and the cries of alarm concerning our planet go in this direction.
The basic races supplant the more complex ones.

Gasoline for the Ferrari

But the demonstration of the creation of the Ferrari forgets to tell us that it needs gasoline for it, therefore platforms to extract oil, refineries and gas stations. Well, maybe we can be made to swallow the pill after billions of years.

Roads for the Ferrari
However, what do we do with a Ferrari in the universe, even if it has gasoline? Roads are needed; these roads, what do we put them on? What are these roads for? Who drives?

Inert, the Ferrari

The Ferrari example relies on inert parts that cannot enable it to function. Not on living cells.
Here, life?

Origin of life
Where does it come from? Since we only know how to transmit it (we do not give life, we transmit). This morning’s text tells us exactly about it. And that’s the other explanation for « beginnings. »

Someone capable
Inevitably, there must be someone capable and who has thought of everything: God, with a capacity for creation and not just a capacity for transformation, capable of creating a perfect environment to welcome living beings with coherence and purpose for this varied and bountiful life.

This is what the Epistle to the Colossians tells us in chapter 1, verse 16:
For in him, everything was created in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, thrones, sovereignties, dominations, and authorities. All were created by him and for him.

God’s obligatory starting point

It is at this starting point that the apostle recalls that God is at the initiative of the « beginning ». It remains to define who God is so that we do not mistake the person and so that « our joy is complete”. How to know if the person is:
• Budda,
• Allah,
• Shiva,
• the Eternal?

 » We « 

The other witnesses

To answer this important question, the apostle John guides us and he also calls other witnesses to witness who, like him, could have said the same thing. Besides, the « we » is perhaps one of the most used words in these few sentences…

John doesn’t talk about it to himself

John does not tell it to himself, he is one witness among many others. It seems, in the first place, that these other witnesses could have been the other eleven disciples.
There are other witnesses, for instance:

  • the opportunists who came to take advantage of the creative, re-creative or reparative acts of Jesus to be cured. More than meeting the person of Jesus, it was their problems that they sought to solve, it proves that Jesus had this ability.
  • The great (wise men) or the small homeless (shepherds), at the time of His birth.
  • The naysayers: they weren’t questioning what proved His divinity, but the fact that it was destroying all their institutions. Jesus did not fit into the human boxes of religion. Normal, He was divine.
  • There were so many witnesses of His life and also so many witnesses of His resurrection.
    These witnesses are not “staggers”.

« They Understood « 

They heard:

Other witnesses are:

  • Jesus
  • but also angels Acts 1,
  • but much more, Moses and Elijah,
  • the Father, at the time of the transfiguration.
    Luke 9. 35 “This is my beloved Son: listen to him!”

In short, they did not tell each other, they « heard »!

 » To see « 

Witness = see

The characteristic of a witness is to see. This is what the text tells us.
I will come back to what they saw, what they saw Jesus do is the clear sign that Jesus is the creator God, the « beginning » of all things.

Feed a crowd

But remember the disciples who feed a crowd of 5,000 men with the snack of a young boy.
• Not only was everyone fed on the same snack basis. When it is you who distributes it is not the same thing as when you receive:
• If you receive, you have your share but you do not care where it comes from,
• whereas when it is you who distributes and that you see the thousands of people, that there is a crowd, with your basket, you see the thing differently!
• And as if to put an additional exclamation point and for this to mark their memory as disciples forever (so that they pass it on to us), Jesus allows just one full basket to remain in each hand of the disciples.

Unique, outstanding
You see, when John says “that they saw” (the extraordinary acts of God), it was that it was unique, outstanding. No other follower of any deity can just claim to have seen this!

« Contemplated »

The disciples with John gazed.

Not stealth

They didn’t just have a flash in the corner of a field on a hypoglycemic day or have a fleeting appearance and go wild afterwards.

3 years

They had time to contemplate for 3 years, in unique moments like the transfiguration, but also in the common moments of life. And in 3 years of proximity, we have time to see a lot of facets of a person.

 » Hit « 

But the apostle adds something that reminds us that Jesus was not:
• a vague spirit,
• a hologram,
• an angel.

Our hands touched Him: we know that John was very close to Jesus during His ministry, but we also have the testimony of Thomas, who like the other disciples touched the real risen Jesus.

Remember Remember

But, imagine the apostle writing these few sentences: all the memories come back, it’s obvious…

« Word of Life » 

The apostle is a witness to the « Word of life », a qualifier to designate Jesus.

He witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus, just through the word.

Word of the day

Also noteworthy were:
• His speeches,
• His conversations,
• His teachings
were just as much “Word of Life”

Man and the universe

It is with this same Word that Jesus created what we are and our environment. Moreover, you, regular readers of the Gospels, will have noticed that John mentions the same thing at the beginning of his Gospel. Why? Because it is crucial! Jesus is life in all of His people. It is so important that the apostle must announce it and recall it.
Jesus is not someone like Gandhi, but He is the author of Life. 1 John 1. 2-3
Life indeed has been manifested; we have seen it, we are witnesses of it and we announce it to you, this eternal life which was with the Father and which was manifested to us.

Jesus is the

• eternal life,
• He is eternal,
• He is God.

This is what the apostle John is affirming and, there again, he places himself as a witness with the others that have experienced the evidence: they have been witnesses of His action on all forms of illnesses, with incomprehensible healings given our habits: a disabled man for 38 years takes his stretcher and leaves, the muscles, the tendons, everything was operational without a physio session! John is a witness (chapter 5 of his gospel), can a man do this?

  • If he was active in the suffering and battered life of men, Jesus was also active in death. Not a misunderstanding, there’s a small detail in the raising of Lazarus; Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to Him: « Lord, he already smells, for he has been there for four days. » (Gospel of John 11: 39). Lazarus didn’t have a perfume problem, the decomposition was doing its thing. John is a witness (chapter 11 of his gospel), can a man do this?
  • On the fauna and flora: He dries up a fig tree, and orders pigs and fish. As a reminder, the apostle John practised fishing in a professional way, so he doesn’t tell rumours!
  • The Elements: He also commands a raging lake to stop, a tsunami wave, nothing stops him. John who was a freshwater sailor witnesses this!
  • He defies the laws of physics: walking on water is within anyone’s reach, when it’s frozen. John a freshwater sailor witnesses this!
  • The invisible, spiritual world fears Him and obeys Him.

All this mastery marks the action of someone who has the upper hand.

The apostle tells us that they saw and they heard.
Yes, all these actions were not done with a defibrillator, scanner, MRI, medicine, chloroquine, vaccines, garlic cloves, satellite dishes or hyper lightning rods and others…

All of these extraordinary acts were done by His Word.

Today’s text tells us that Jesus is the Word of Life, what else could the apostle say? “I saw it and I heard it! « .

The crowning achievement of this coherence is that He announces His resurrection and brings it to pass.

• demonstrated His divinity,
• that He was the beginning,
• that He was the Word of Life.

But John does not recall Jesus’s story in the gospels to be praised nor to show he is right, but to recall that he is in communion with Jesus, with the Father and the Son, which are of the same nature.


note the different functions:
• the Father decrees,
• the Son executes,
• with the help of the Holy Spirit.

To be in communion with Jesus is to be in communion with God.

It’s nice to be among an audience with a great person in this world; however, it’s something else to be in communion with this distinguished guest…

John reminds us that he is in communion with Jesus and that it is not an exclusivity reserved for those who have witnessed His ministry, but that the people to whom he writes a few decades after the ascension of Jesus, can also be in communion with Jesus.

May your joy be complete!

Communion with Jesus is not a religion or a philosophy, but it is being in communion with the One who is the starting point of everything.

Well, wouldn’t that be the purpose of life?

I know someone very well who never knew his biological father and had to be removed from his mother’s custody as soon as he was born.

He was beautifully taken in by friends who adopted him. For nothing in the world would he change families. However, as a child, he was disturbed by his biological link.

Every time there was an appointment with his biological mother, at the child welfare office, he was turned upside down, all the more confused that she didn’t come, almost every time.

This link with its beginning was erased, it was deprived of it and will remain a wound and a difficulty.

We can be like him if we refuse the evidence of God, of Jesus as the beginning.

The millions of billions of years lost in nothingness aren’t the beginning of humanity.

• Our joy is complete because we know the beginning.
• Our joy is complete because this beginning has a name, Jesus.
• Our joy is complete because it is not a fabrication but He demonstrated it, on our ground, at home, on the earth during His ministry in front of a crowd of witnesses.
• Our joy is complete because He wants us to have fellowship with Him.

He is always present at the appointment.
He is waiting for us.
And our expectation doesn’t end in disappointment!

Bible Passages

1 John 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 show 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.

Luke 9:35

And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

John 11:39

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

John 1:1-4

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Colossians 1:16-18

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Related Links / Notes

1st John Sermon Series

Study Notes are translated from the original French version prepared by the pastor Patrice Berger. The orginal French notes are in « note » form, and are not a direct transcription of the video, however they are quite close the original text preached at the church. The notes provided here follow that form, and are detailed enough to help provide a deep understanding of the texts in the epistle 1st John.

All services as well as some of the bible studies are streamed on the channel  YouTube église AB Renens-Lausanne.  Also visit the You Tube channel of the Swiss Action Biblique Youth Groups (JAB Suisse Romande)/ Facebook.

Bible verses in the study link to the ASV bible. In addition to the ASV Bible , other versions of the Bible are also available on our website.

The King James Version is available as an audio bible Podcast which can be accessed below.

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  • Commencement
  • Basis
  • Truth
  • Big-Bang
  • Joy
  • Witness
  • Life
  • Word of Life