1 John 1 Bible study

Living Word Magazine

Chapter 1

 

 

1.   The Reality of the Incarnation of God 1 -4.

 

1:1 This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life --

 

At the start of his letter John emphases the fact that Christ was God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16).   The reason for this was because the heretics known as Gnostics would not accept that God could become flesh.   First he declares the eternity of Christ, "in the beginning".    The word "beginning" here  does not refer to Creation but in fact to infinity.   It is beyond the scope of humanity, who live in time, to imaging that God never had a beginning.   Secondly he makes known the Divinity of Christ "the Word" (John 1:1).   He sets out the proof that this Divine eternal God took upon Himself the form of a man (Heb. 2:14).  Being one of the twelve disciples that were with Jesus he could say that he had heard, and been taught by Him, he had  seen Him with his own eyes,  had watched (looked) Him doing His father's will and touched Him.

 

1:2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us).

 

They had seen in Christ the nature and character of God actively displayed and bear witness to it boldly declaring that the eternal life in Christ which was in God had been revealed to them (John 11:24-25).  

 

1:3  What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ).

 

What he had seen and heard he is making known to everyone so they too may have fellowship with Christ's followers whose fellowship is with God the Father and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

1Jn 1:4  Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

 

These things are being written that we might know that full and complete joy in Christ.

 

2.   God is Light 5 - 7.

 

1:5  Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.

 

The message that is being passed on by John was received from Jesus Christ "The Light of the World" (John 8: 12, John 12: 46).   Although God does shine with a glorious light he is using the illustration of light to depict the pure, holy character, the goodness  and knowledge of God.   In comparison with darkness which portrays sin, wickednessl, hatred and ignorance.  God is Light and because He is there can be no darkness in Him.

 

1:6  If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.

 

If we say that we are His and have fellowship with Him and yet we do not live a life that reflects His Light then we are liars (John 14:15).

 

1:7  But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

If it is Christ that is living in us (Gal. 2:20) His Light will shine through and because we are in fellowship with Him we can have fellowship one with another.   It is the blood of Christ that cleanses, removes from us all sin and guilt and it keeps on doing so.

 

1:8  If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

 

If we say that we have no sin, refuse to admit that we are sinners, then we accept what is untrue and there can be no truth in us.

 

3.   The Reality of Sin 9 - 10.

 

1:9  But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.

 

If we freely admit that we have sinned and confess our sins to Christ.   We can be sure that He will forgive them and all our unrighteous deeds because He gave Himself as an atonement for them.   He is faithful and true to His promises.

 

1:10  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

 

If we claim that we have not sinned then we are contradicting His Word (Rom. 3:10 and Rom. 3:23) and calling God a liar. It is evident from this that His Word (Christ) is not in our hearts.

Further Reading Resources for you - John

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