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Commentary On The Book of First John

The Book of First John, chapter 1

THE WORD OF LIFE . . . 1 JOHN 1:1-4

1 John 1:1 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; [KJV]

“That which was from the beginning” . . . what beginning? There are three beginnings in the Bible: the first is in Gen.1:1, the second in John 1:1-3, and now this one.

The first "beginning" is in Gen.1:1 and is an undated beginning, for no one knows when God created the Heaven and Earth. Our Creator God is eternal. The dictionary says of ‘eternal’ . . . without beginning or end; existing through all time; everlasting; timeless; forever the same; unchangeable; continual. I simply cannot explain how God has always been and always will be. I won’t even attempt to try. But God’s Holy Word states He lives forever (Deut.32:40); He is ‘eternal’ (Deut.33:27; Job 36:26; Ps.9:7); He has an everlasting kingdom (Ps.145:13; Is.57:15; Lam.5:19; 1 Tim.1:17); God’s ‘clock’ is different than ours (2 P.3:8); He is the beginning and the end (Rev.1:8). We must believe!

The second "beginning" is listed in John’s Gospel 1:1-3. If we could think beyond the Creation, billions of years ago, we can see our Saviour and Lord, Jesus, stepping out of eternity. And even back all that multitude of years, Jesus is already past tense; He is none other than the Ancient of Days (Dan.7:13,22). “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 anything made that was made.” (Jn.1:1-3). . . . Notice the word ‘was’ . . . NOT is. This beginning doesn’t even have a beginning! Jesus was there all the time!

Now we come to the third "beginning" in 1 Jn.1:1. This is a completely different ‘beginning’. Here John is referring to the incarnation of Christ Jesus, the time Jesus came into the world, as Man, at Bethlehem. When Jesus was about thirty years old, John became acquainted with Him. Jesus called John to be an apostle.

Now John states:

  • #1 . . . “We have heard”;
  • #2 . . . “we have seen”;
  • #3 . . . “we have looked upon”;
  • #4 . . .“our hands have handled.”

John is speaking of the incarnated Christ, of Whom he knew very well. He is saying he heard Jesus speak and teach many times. He is saying he saw Jesus with his very own eyes. He is saying he looked upon Jesus intently for three years (Jn.1:14). John looked upon Jesus in faith for salvation of his soul (Jn.3:14-16). He is saying his hands handled Jesus (Lu.24:39-40). John also reclined upon the Bosom of Jesus in the Upper Room (Jn.13:23). I think it is very possible that John actually felt the wounds of the nails in Jesus’ Hands and Feet. After Jesus was resurrected, He was still flesh and bones, He was still a human being, and John ‘handled’ Him.

1 John 1:2 For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; [KJV]

For the life was manifested” . . . the ‘Life’ of which John is speaking is the Word of Life, which is none other than our precious Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ. John states ‘we’ have seen it (Jesus, the Word of Life), meaning he and others; and he is bearing witness, as we should also do. John is stating that Jesus IS eternal life. Without Him, there will be NO Heavenly home. NOT everyone will go to Heaven as many false teachers say today! Universalism is a "damnable heresy" (2 Pet.2:1). http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_false_doctrines_universalism.1.htm

You either trust Jesus to save you, or you are doomed to the pits of Hell. You cannot access Heaven, where God is, without Jesus (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:10-12). Jesus came from the Father to save us from God’s wrath, and everlasting punishment. Accept the free ‘gift’ of eternal life (Ep.2:8-9; Ro.6:23).

1 John 1:3 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. [KJV]

John states, for the third time: “That which we have seen and heard”. Why does he repeat it? “That ye may have fellowship with us.” He is saying believers can, should, and must have fellowship with each other.

What exactly is Christian ‘fellowship’? It is sharing the things of Christ, it is learning more about Him. It is becoming more like Jesus every day. To do this, we must first have fellowship with God the Father, and with His Son, Jesus the Christ. We must know the Lord Jesus. I don’t mean to know about Him, but know Him personally as your Saviour and Lord. Fellowship with our God, and His Son is something very precious, and also fellowship one with another. The incarnation of Christ makes ‘fellowship’ possible. Christ is the factor joining us to God and other believers.

1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. [KJV]

This is one of the reasons John has written this wonderful little book; “That your joy be full.What is ‘joy’? Happiness, yes. Gladness, yes. Pleasure, yes. Feeling wonderful, yes. But joy is much more. Joy is your soul rejoicing, knowing that eternal life is yours. You can have joy even in times of sadness, excruciating pain or deep sorrow (Ac.16:23-24; 2 Co.6:10; 1 P.4:12-13; Jn.15:11; 16:24; 17:13; Ro.14:17). Joy comes only from Jesus!

WALKING IN THE LIGHT . . . 1 John 1:5-2:11

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. [KJV]

We must first of all understand just exactly what God means by “light” and “darkness.” In the Bible ‘Light’ is a symbol for all that is good, pure, holy, untainted, reliable, trustworthy, etc. God is Light! ‘Darkness’ on the other hand is completely opposite. It represents evil, wickedness, and sin of every kind. Satan is darkness! John wants us to know “God is light”! There is nothing, in any possible way, evil or wicked about God. God is good, kind, merciful, just, loving! God is “LIGHT”!

1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: [KJV]

There are many today that ‘profess’ to be Christians, yet in reality, they are not. They walk in ‘darkness.’ They are in direct disobedience to God. We cannot have fellowship with God (be His friend), if we continue to walk in sin, (darkness). When we ‘walk in darkness,’ we lie; we contradict the truth by our words and deeds. Mat. 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV)

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. [KJV]

It is important where and how we walk (live); and that is in the light of His Presence! If we take our eyes off Jesus, sin and darkness will prevail. We will fall, like Peter did (Mat.14:29-30). God makes us two wonderful promises in this brief verse: #1. We’ll have fellowship with one another, based on fellowship with the Godhead (verse 3). #2. Continuous cleansing . . . not only forgiveness . . . is provided by the precious Blood of our Saviour (1 Pet.1:18-19). The stain of sin is made clean by His precious Blood (Is.1:18; Rev.7:14).

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [KJV]

If we say we have no sin, we are LIARS! We fool only ourselves, refusing to accept reality; for God very plainly states that ALL people sin, NO one is exempt (Ro.3:10, 23). We are not perfect; that’s why we need Jesus!

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [KJV]

We CANNOT raise ourselves up to God’s level; and we CANNOT bring God down to our level; but there is something we can do! We can get rid of sin by confessing it to God. When we accept Christ as our Saviour, ALL sins (past, present and future) are forgiven. SO . . . why do we have to confess our sins to Him? Simply because even as God’s children, we will still sin for we still possess our old nature; and when we sin (NOT IF), it throws up a barrier between us and God. We do NOT lose our salvation, but we do lose the ‘joy of our salvation’ like David did (Ps. 51:12), and we lose fellowship with God (Is.59:2) until we confess those sins to God. Once we do this, God forgives us and cleanses us from all our unrighteousness (SINS). Sins are gone (Ps.103:12; Mic.7:19; Heb.8:12; 10:17).

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

To say we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar; for He says that we have sinned! It takes humility and honesty to admit our weaknesses; and to admit God is right, and we are wrong! I don’t know about you but I don’t want to call God a “LIAR”. Go to Him and confess your sins. He already knows, but He wants to hear it from you! You will feel better, for fellowship will be restored, and you will have the “joy of salvation” also, returned to you. You CANNOT lose your salvation! Once you are saved, you are always saved! OSAS!!!

First John

Ch.1 . . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5

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