1 John 1

With this post we begin our study in the book of I John. Any who read here are welcome to chime in (some guidelines in “C’mon In” the tab up above).

As we comment on the first chapter this week, I’ll change the color of the verse numbers so you can see which have been commented on so far. Multiple and duplicate comments are fine – think of it as sitting around the table discussing the passage –

Oh, and it’s perfectly OK to go back and comment on a previous chapter when something you see today reminds you of a verse a little ways back.

The Bible is generally its own best commentary – please feel free to contrast and compare.

Remember to read the entire letter at one sitting sometime this week; it will help keep things in context as we observe and encourage here.

Contribute and enjoy~


1 John 1:1-10
The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life. [2] This one who is life from God was shown to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and announce to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was shown to us. [3] We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
[4] We are writing these things so that our joy will be complete.

[5] This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. [6] So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. [7] But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.
[8] If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. [9] But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. [10] If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

8 Replies to “1 John 1”

  1. jenz

    Hi I’m new to these studies

    When I read verse 5
    I drew the conclusion that since “God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.” Then if we find ourselves in dark depressing times He can bring lightness into our lives and show us the way through the darkness to a brighter day. What a reassurance that is. And He did me bring me though a terrible time last year. Praise Him.

    Verse 7 reminds me of the saying that Christians cant live a solitary life
    We need others to learn and get support from

    verse 9 and 10
    We are all sinners but He loves us so unconditionally that He castes our sins very far and wide. Praise Him for loving us so.

  2. Phil

    Good thoughts, Jenz – thanks for leading off.

    My thoughts on John’s opening paragraph…

    The Father showed us (manifested) the one who is life. We (John and those with him) have seen, heard, and have touched him. In other words, this is real, not hearsay. In today’s courts first-hand evidence carries much more weight than hearsay (there’s an undersatement for ya’ ); it was so in John’s day as well. This is real, friends, this is genuine.

    John describes why he writes (and I smile because it’s the same reason I write here) He writes so we can have fellowship with him – actually it’s with the Father and His son, Jesus Christ – and so that our joy can be complete.

    The God’s Word translation renders it this way:
    We are writing this so that we can be completely filled with joy.

    I will dwell on the concept of complete joy today. Where else in the world is that possible? Only in knowing and fellowshipping with Jesus Christ, God’s son. Society has all kinds of “other suggested answers” but there really is but one source for full and complete joy.


  3. Gordon

    It’s important to consider the differences between joy and happiness as Paul defined them in Philippians. Happiness is a brief positive emotion elicited from a positive experience. Joy on the other hand is a positive thought and feeling whether or not the experience is positive or negative. It might also refer to if we experienced something in the same way as somebody else.

    John experienced Christ in the flesh and we have to accept in faith that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, that He is God and man, and He alone has overcome all barriers between God and man. John tells us, that He knows for sure that Christ is God because he experienced Him. We can now share in all the richness of this and we can believe Christ is who He says because John is a first hand witness.

    Fellowship with others as God defines fellowship can only occur if we live in the light. This means we must actively choose each day to obey the Lord and have fellowship with Him. We could be Sunday only Christians, but then we would be disobeying God, living in darkness, and we wouldn’t be having true fellowship with the Children of God when we met them on Sunday.

  4. Phil

    Today (Monday) I’m considering John’s opening words,

    What was from the beginning … (NASB)

    and remembering he used similar terminology in his gospel.

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God (emphasis mine). (1.1)

    …the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (1.14)

    “What was from the beginning” is a person!

  5. Phil

    Today (Tuesday) I’m thinking about LIGHT.
    Jen mentioned it earlier and I’m thinking further on the thought from vv 5-7.

    When I can’t find something I usually ask for more light. When there’s something detailed I want to see better, more light. When I’m looking for a flaw, still more light!
    But when I’m trying to cover a flaw, I’ll subdue the light or shine it only where I want it to shine.

    God IS light, John wrote. When He’s around (and I say that respectfully) there’s nothing hidden. But when I live like there’s nothing hidden (no disobedience to His Word, for example) only there is … I’m lying; to myself and others.

    To walk in the light though, the way He walked, enables me to walk (and talk) with Him unafraid, and His blood washes me so I really AM clean.

    Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Why is it so difficult to live this way consistently?

    Thinking about it today.
    Phil —

  6. Phil

    There’s a short little line in FFH’s “Big Fish” that says
    Obedience is neat.
    It’s true; unless you’re living disobedient at the moment. Then it’s something else.

    I have my eye on verse nine today, thinking about the phrase “cleanses us from all sin”

    The same would apply to the word “clean”; at least as far as I can tell. Clean is good. Unless you’re just a LITTLE bit dirty. then cleaning up is bothersome. “I’ll stay like this.” And it gets a little worse. Not a lot, just a little. “It’s OK, I’ll clean up later.” First thing ya know, people are avoiding me; going around. Not staying long. Standing at arm’s length to talk. “No one’s…. Oh that’s right — I need to clean up! Finally it’s worth the effort, but a little late.

    Aren’t you glad it’s not that way with sin? That it doesn’t have to be, at least?

    Like a toddler in a highchair after spaghetti, all we have to do is sit still. God cleans up. Confessing our sins is a bit like holding my pudgy little messy hands in his direction while I wrinkle up my nose. God reaches for the divine washcloth and goes to work. He talks gently to me while He swiftly cleans me up — and not just my hands, He gets EVERYthing.

    “ALL – clean! Hop down now.”

    I smile. He smiles. We hug before I find the next thing to do today.

    It’s always more fun hugging a clean kid than a messy, dirty one. And as the youngster, I feel better about everything in life when I’m clean.

    So why don’t we come to Him and stick out our grubby little hands more often? “Wash me?”

  7. Phil

    I let my mind dwell on verse eight today.
    “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

    It certainly is easy to fool oneself into thinking everything’s OK, isn’t it? Like the gunslinger who can hardly breathe, speak or focus… “I’m OK!” I’ve been through segments of time when I’ve convinced myself I’m allright even though it wasn’t so. Self-deception is very destructive. We’re not living in truth when we allow that to occur.

    Conversely, living in a state of what one author has termed “continual repentance” brings about a unique sense of joy and peace in the believer’s heart. Here’s how it works. When I think THIS way I know I’m capable of sin. Any sin. I don’t have to do wrong, it’s not bound to happen, because Scripture tells us that with every temptation comes a way of escape. God makes sure it’s so (I Cor 10.13). So it’s possible to go a half-hour without sinning. An hour – you pick the interval. It’s possible.

    [coming around to the other side of the table now … wanna come along?]

    It’s possible to drive several hours in a row without drifting out of my lane too. But in those hours are dozens, even hundreds of minute corrections. “If I continue like this I’ll drift out of my lane and eventually find myself in trouble,” my subconscious tells me, so I move the steering wheel -just a little- to correct the trend that’s certain to result in error. When I live that same way, knowing what I’m capable of, knowing there is sin “just waiting to happen”, I’m being honest with myself. The truth IS in me, and righteousness is more apt to win the ongoing contest inside me between right and wrong.

    (See why John wrote this letter? He said in two lines
    what took me forever to say — and not as effectively as he did either.)

    Phil —

  8. Jonell

    I’ve been reading 1 John for the last 2 weeks, and these are the things I keep thinking about. Funny how what causes me to stop and think will not be the same thing that makes you stop and think. We are all different and different things touch our lives in different ways.

    [10] If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

    This says to me: If we claim we have not sinned … His Word has no place in our hearts or lives, and that will be evident to the world by the way we live.

    Then I like:

    [1]The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life.

    In one of my Bibles I have underlined
    and that says to me that I know Him. I have heard Him and seen Him and touched Him. I remember about 10 years ago, I was all excited b/c a high school girl in our church was selling Pizza Hut cards. Each time you purchased a large pizza you got a medium pizza free. Each time you took advantage of this offer, they punched your card, and when your card was all punched out, the deal was over for you. I thought this was a great deal and told lots of my friends about it. One day it hit me, “Why am I not this excited about Jesus and what He has done for me and what He can do for others?” And so I had to back up and look at my life and my style of witnessing. I had to become closer to Jesus myself and hear Him and see Him and touch Him and really get to know Him … so that I could share Him with others. The things we know and love are the things we share with others. The things that are important to us are the things we talk about.


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