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Volume 21 - Page 78 of 202 Index | Zoom | |
A Fourfold fellowship.
The doctrine of Christ.
"That which we have seen and heard declared we unto you, that ye also may have
fellowship with us" (I John 1: 3).
The editors of the Greek MSS indicated by the letters LTTrA and W, insert the word
"also" after the word "declare". By reading the verse again, paying attention to the two
occurrences of the word "also", we learn that the first element of fellowship is the mutual
recognition of revealed truth:--
"That which we have seen and heard declare we ALSO unto you, that ye ALSO may
have fellowship with us."
Fellowship arises out of the relationship implied by the three words "seen", "heard",
and "declared". These words are somewhat similar to those of Paul in I Cor. 15: 3:--
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received."
We have, too, in Acts 22: 15, the words:--
"For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast SEEN and HEARD."
If we ask what Paul had seen and heard, we have the answer in the same chapter:--
"The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and SEE
that Just One, and shouldest HEAR the voice of His mouth" (Acts 22: 14).
Paul had seen and heard a person:--
"When it pleased God . . . . . to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach HIM among
the Gentiles" (Gal. 1: 15, 16).
When we look back to the opening verses of the first epistle of John, we find the same
personal emphasis. What John had "seen and heard" is plainly stated in verses 1 and 2:--
"That which was from the beginning, which we have HEARD, and 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, 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 unto you."