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— 2 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— 3 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. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1-4
There is a danger if we by disposition are more prone to be “thinkers” than “feelers,” or if we find ourselves in churches that are so oriented theologically or in practice, that our faith can become overly academic and intellectual. The Word of God is deep and vast and there is much intellectual fodder there to be mined and meditated upon, to be contemplated and memorized. But the truth of Scripture must never become merely a collection of facts. We must never let our faith reside only in our heads. It must reach to our hearts and move us. We should pursue truth, but we should equally be passionate about the truth!
As an example, the Apostle John has packed the introduction to his first letter with theological content. He addresses the eternality of Christ (“which was from the beginning,”), and the Divinity of Christ (“which was with the Father”; “his Son, Jesus Christ”). He also writes about the Incarnation, that Christ was “made manifest to us” (which he mentions twice), and Whom he has seen (mentioned twice), heard (also two times), and touched.
He writes, too, about what it all means for the follower of Christ, that we, too, can enjoy eternal life and fellowship with the saints, with Christ, and through Him, with God the Father.
But John is clearly excited about the truths he talks about. The words just pour from his pen and, as he expounds and expands, he packs it all into only two sentences! Clearly theology is not a dry and dusty topic for John, but something he is passionate about.
As if there were any question, though, John admits in verse four that he is joyful about the One about whom he writes. “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” The truth of the gospel--that fallen sinful man can be restored to intimate fellowship with God the Father through Christ the Son—gives John joy. And he wants to further that joy by sharing it with others. He is testifying to and proclaiming the truth because the thrill of the gospel only gets better as we see more and more people join the fellowship.
So, like John, let us never be content with intellectual self-satisfaction, but may we be passionate about the truth, and proclaim it to others, “that our joy may be complete.”